12 Things You Should Know Before Getting Freelance Creative Work

If you’re a creative person who wants to earn extra income, or if you’re looking for a career change, freelancing is one of the best ways to do it. It allows you to be your own boss and work from home, which means that you can make your own hours and have more control over what kind of projects you take on.

However, there are some things that need to be taken into account when getting into this field. This article will give an overview of some important points that should be considered before making the leap into being a full-time freelance designer or writer.

15 Things You NEED TO KNOW Before You Start Freelancing
Freelance creatives should research the market thoroughly.
Building a strong portfolio is essential for showcasing skills.
Networking plays a significant role in finding freelance opportunities.
Understanding client expectations and communication is key.
Freelancers need to manage their time and projects efficiently.
Pricing and negotiation skills are crucial for fair compensation.
Handling finances and taxes responsibly is a must.
Legal agreements and contracts provide protection for both parties.
Developing a personal brand helps in self-promotion.
Balancing creativity and meeting client requirements is a skill.
Continuous learning and improvement are necessary for growth.
Freelancers should be prepared for both successes and challenges.

1. Confidence Is Key

When you’re just starting out, confidence is key. You need to believe in your own work and yourself and that can take time. In fact, confidence can be learned through practice and experience.

If you feel like you lack self-confidence, remember that many people have struggled with similar feelings. Remember the quotes about confidence from above? They were written by some of history’s greatest leaders, thinkers, and innovators!

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2. Creative Work Requires A Different Skill Set Than Other Types Of Freelance Work

Creative work is different from other types of freelance work. It requires a different skillset and mindset, so you will need to develop new skills or adapt your existing ones in order to be successful. 

You might also encounter some resistance from clients who haven’t worked with creatives before, which can make it harder for them to understand your process and give you the benefit of the doubt when there are problems with deadlines or revisions.

However, there are some skills that are more generalizable across all creative fields: communication and presentation. These two areas often go hand-in-hand; if you’re not communicating well with your client, it will be difficult for them to understand exactly what they’re asking for or even why they need what they’re asking for! 

Communication is also useful when working with other freelancers on an assignment as well as collaborating with clients to determine what type of project best suits their needs (and budget).

3. Connections Are Everything

A big part of getting freelance work is building a network. That means you need to be going to networking events, conferences, and other opportunities to meet people in your field. The more people you know personally or follow online who are doing what you do, the better your chances are of getting connected with someone who’s looking for a freelancer like yourself.

On top of that, when it comes time for interviews and meetings with potential clients, having a good first impression can make all the difference in getting hired (or not). 

While it’s impossible to predict how much time these connections will actually spend with their new friends when they get back home after their conference experience is over (and if they ever will), there are certainly some things we can do beforehand so that we show up well-prepared during our first conversation with them:

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4. The Bottom Line

Creative work is not a job. It’s a passion, and you should treat it accordingly. It’s not a job in the sense that you won’t clock out at 5 p.m., or take weekends off. It’s hard work, but it can also be very rewarding and fulfilling if you are looking to do something creative outside of your 9-to-5 day job.

If you want to make freelance creative work your full-time career: good on ya! But just know that this is going to be much more challenging than simply sitting behind a desk all day doing what someone else tells you (and getting paid for it). 

Freelance creative work requires flexibility, patience, persistence, and sometimes even more than those three things combined!

5. Be Prepared For Endless Interviews And Rejections

When you’re first starting out, it can be difficult to get the gigs you want. But don’t give up! Interviews and rejections are just part of the process, so be prepared for them.

You’ll definitely want to prepare for interviews with potential clients they can take some time! And your interviewers will probably ask similar questions over and over again, so make sure you’re ready for that repetition. It’s also important that you know what kinds of answers they want from you (and what kinds of answers they don’t).

But remember: interviewers won’t always give feedback on why they rejected your work or rejected hiring you they might simply say “We’ve decided not to move forward with this project.” That doesn’t mean there wasn’t something wrong with your pitch or application; it just means that company has different needs than yours right now. 

You might have an amazing portfolio but still not be a good fit for every client out there; even if there are no aspects about yourself or your portfolio that were clearly wrong for this particular client, there could still be something else at play here. 

Don’t let one rejection discourage or frustrate you it’s easy enough to keep submitting applications until someone gives you a chance!

6. Build Up A Portfolio

The most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to build up a portfolio. Your portfolio acts as proof that you have the skills and experience necessary to take on various types of freelance creative work. 

So it should showcase your best work by showing off both your ability with different kinds of projects and techniques and any special skills that help make your work stand out.

You may already have a website or blog where you post some examples of your previous work but if not, now is the time to create one! Make sure all the pieces are properly formatted and organized so they’re easy for potential clients to browse through and get familiar with what kinds of things they can expect from working with you. 

If possible, include a few pieces from past projects in there too; this will help potential clients see how far back in time some of those projects were (and therefore how many new ones there might still be). And finally: make sure everything looks great!

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7. Freelance Work Isn’t For Everyone

Freelance work isn’t for everyone, and there are a couple of things you should consider before jumping into it.

Are you disciplined enough to work on your own? This is one of the biggest challenges of freelancing it’s easy to make excuses and put off working if no one is watching over you. You’ll need to be able to motivate yourself and get those creative juices flowing when no one else is looking.

Do you need regular income? If so, freelance work might not be for you, or at least not yet. It takes time to get established in any field, so unless you have some savings or other financial cushioning options (like an understanding spouse), it’s probably not a good idea for anyone with dependents who needs consistent income from their job.

Are you okay with being your own boss? As I mentioned above about motivation issues when working alone: if this is going to be an issue for someone else, it could definitely become an issue for me as well! 

There’s no one standing behind me telling me what need to do next week or even today! That said though…I’m pretty good at managing my time efficiently without them having too much input so far 🙂

Do benefits matter more than money? Some companies offer benefits like paid vacation days and health insurance even when they pay less than average wages; others don’t offer any such perks but still, compensate employees well enough that they can live comfortably without them (relative term). 

If having access to those kinds of things matters more than making extra money from freelance gigs then maybe this isn’t right either yet either way!

8. Keep Your Options Open

Keeping your options open means remaining flexible and adaptable. It means being willing to work with new clients, even if they might not be in the same industry as you or have the same skillsets as previous clients. 

This will help you avoid getting pigeonholed into a specific type of project, which can make it easier for you to find work and even get higher rates when more people are bidding on projects.

Keep an eye out for new opportunities! The best part about freelancing is that there’s always something exciting around the corner whether it’s learning a new skill or working on an exciting new project with a client who takes advantage of all your unique talents, keeping yourself open-minded is key to finding success in this industry.

9. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

When you’re starting out, nobody will expect you to give up your time for free. In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb not to do any work for free unless it’s something that keeps your portfolio strong (such as an art director or client who has been particularly generous with their feedback and guidance). 

If they ask if they can have your work for free because “we are friends” or “my mom is sick and I need some cash” or whatever else, just politely decline and suggest that perhaps next time would be better for them.

It’s okay if someone gets upset with you when you turn down a project; in fact, I’d expect them to! Saying no means saying no and sometimes people don’t like hearing the word “no.” 

However, there is never an excuse for bad behavior from clients or potential customers: If someone takes offense at being turned down or even agrees but continues asking anyway–that is harassment and should be reported immediately!

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10. You Need To Understand Marketing, Accounting, And Law


You need to be able to market yourself. You need to know how to promote yourself and your business, and this is something that you can do on your own or with the help of a digital marketing agency.


It’s important that you learn to account so that you can keep track of your income and expenses, especially if you work as an independent contractor (IC).


Knowing the laws of your country is essential because as an IC, it’s up to you whether or not to register with relevant authorities such as the government tax offices or social security institutions like SSS here in the Philippines. 

If ever there are issues such as taxes being withheld from your payments or any other legal issues involved in running a freelance business on both sides, it will be helpful if these things are handled properly by those who understand them best: lawyers!

11. Be Versatile

It’s important to be versatile. Being able to adapt to different personalities, situations, and ways of working is key to success in freelancing. It’s also important that you develop a niche or specialty so that clients can hire you for more than just one thing. But don’t let this stop you from taking on new kinds of work with the same high-level professionalism.

12. You Should Also Be Willing To Learn New Skills And Techniques

Even if they’re outside your comfort zone. After all, there might be some aspects of a particular project (or client) that are out of your league but could help get the job done better or faster! Landing freelance creative work takes time and patience, but it’s worth it in the end!

Landing freelance creative work takes time and patience, but it’s worth it in the end! Be prepared to put in a lot of hard work. Don’t expect to land your dream job right away it takes time and persistence.

Also, recognize that setbacks are part of the journey. Be patient with yourself when you don’t get an assignment or reach out as much as you’d like because you’re afraid things won’t work out. You could get stuck on something seemingly small, but if this happens, don’t give up: try another direction instead!

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I hope this article has been useful in helping you figure out whether freelance creative work is right for you. If you were on the fence before, I hope it helped convince you it’s something worth pursuing. If not, that’s fine too! Just remember that there are many ways to make money from home and some of them might be better suited to your needs.

If anything here was useful or interesting to read about (or if something was just plain wrong), feel free to reach out via email or Twitter with any questions or comments!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that provide valuable insights and tips for freelance creatives:

What They Never Tell You About Becoming a Freelance Creative: Discover hidden truths and valuable advice about freelancing in the creative industry.

Tips for a Successful Freelance Writing Career: Learn essential strategies to excel in your freelance writing career.

12 Practical Ideas for Creative Freelancers Looking for Work: Explore actionable ideas to find work and succeed as a creative freelancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions we get asked, along with our responses.

What Software Applications Should I Learn?

A good place to start is by learning how to use the Adobe Creative Cloud applications (Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects, etc.). There are other programs out there that are great for certain things like Illustrator and Sketch which can help you with vector graphic design. 

Another good idea is learning how to use Google Docs or Microsoft Office products it’ll give you some versatility in terms of file types you can work with. You don’t have to be an expert at these programs right away; just make sure that when you apply for freelance jobs online or in-person they require the skills listed in their job description. 

This way if someone asks whether or not they need those skills on their project before hiring them then they will know exactly what kind of work would fit best within those parameters because ultimately it’s always better for both parties involved: 

The employer gets someone who knows what he/she does best so there’s less chance for disappointment later down the road when deadlines aren’t met due to lack of experience level knowledge among other reasons such as communication issues etc.; 

While freelancers also benefit because they’ll earn more money faster compared to starting out fresh into something completely new which could easily happen if no prior knowledge existed beforehand!

What Is The Best Way To Find Freelance Creative Work?

There are a ton of websites that you can use to find freelance creative jobs, but you want one that’s going to help you get paid. I recommend using Fiverr.com if you’re new to getting paid for your creative skills. It’s an easy platform for beginners, and there are plenty of jobs for people who need help with their business and marketing strategies.

How Do I Get Freelance Creative Work?

To get started as a freelancer, all you need is an account on Fiverr or Upwork (formerly Elance), where many potential clients are waiting right now! 

Once your profile has been approved by site moderators (which usually takes less than 24 hours), start browsing through offers until something catches your eye! 

The more active pages within each category mean that more people are looking at it too – so take advantage while they’re still available!

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