Rachel, I’m thinking of going freelance
The writer wants to know how to go about drumming up clients
August 24, 2012
I have three young children, and I'm tired of missing out on their milestones while I slave away at work. My husband just got a promotion, and we've agreed his raise sets us up so that I can work part-time while I stay home with the kids. Ideally I'd like to find some freelance gigs to do at home, but I have no idea how to get them. Can you help? Sign me Freelance Franny
There's a lot of things to consider when you're thinking of freelancing but there's one big one. It's whether you are the sort of person who will be happy working on your own.
Some people truly blossom as freelancers, delighting in rounding up new business and working with new people, and they're content to slog through the lesser parts of the work, such as collecting on slow-pays and the occasional client who skips out on payment altogether.
Those are rare people.
Most of us like the comfort of a steady paycheck and the familiar faces of office life, as much as we may complain about the inconvenience of commuting and not spending enough time with our families.
Such people will never be happy as freelancers, and they should never even consider it.
You need to determine which camp you belong in.
If you do decide to go freelance, finding business is a business, and the most important part of your business.
The best way, and certainly the way to start off, is to exploit your existing business relationships, starting with your own agency.
Your supervisors know your work, and no less important you know your supervisors. You know what they like, what they don't like, and you can deliver to their expectations better than any outsider.
Talk to them about how you can set up a schedule of freelance work that meets their needs.
If you are a good negotiator, you'll be able to come up with an arrangement that saves them money and ensures you a steady flow of work and a steady income.
At this point, you could widen your selling efforts but I would hold off a bit until you've got your initial arrangement in place and working.
You really need to work through a few months of freelancing to learn how much you can accomplish working from home as you take care of your three children.
You could well thrive, get all your work done before deadline, and find yourself with more free time with your children than you expect.
But that's not likely. More likely you'll find yourself working late into the night to get the work in on time until you master the art of scheduling.
The last thing you want is to disappoint your very first client—your old agency—by failing to deliver on time.
The good thing to know about freelancing is that as you master issues like scheduling, your reputation will grow on its own, and you will find work coming to you.
Fact is, good freelancers are pretty rare, and when there is a good one out there, agencies will talk them up to others they know in the business.
Finding a great freelancer is like finding a great restaurant. Word spreads.
That sort of good buzz is far more effective at bringing in new business than any form of advertising. It also doesn't cost you a dime or take up hours of your time.
Weekend TV: The zombies wrap up their fall run
Another magazine bids farewell to print: Complex
Coming soon from Hearst, Pioneer Woman magazine
New from Google: New York’s holiday windows
Solid but not spectacular numbers for ‘Hairspray’
New from Facebook, a tool testing for fake news
Programming blog: What’s canceled and renewed
Cable overnights: Big decline for Leah Remini show
Yet another suitor lines up for Time Inc.
What’s hot and what’s not in syndication this fall
Struggling Pandora unveils its challenge to Spotify
It’s here: Media Life’s Hispanic Premium Newsletter
Media Life’s Digital Media Transparency Initiative
- ABC ad sales president Geri Wang retiring
- Lydia Polgreen becomes editor at The Huffington Post
- Laura Henderson becomes SVP of marketing at BuzzFeed
- Erin McPherson becomes head of content strategy at Verizon
- Josephine Livingstone becomes culture writer at The New Republic
- Jessica Lichtenfeld becomes associate consultant at Coleman Insights
- Julie Ginches and Glenn Kiladis join ViralGains
- Stephan Horbelt becomes executive editor at Hornet
- Tony Rock hosting TV One's 'The Game of Dating'
- New York Times Vietnam guide Nguyen Ngoc Luong dies at 79
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top-rated movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s digital traffic data: August 2016
This month’s new media traffic data
Luxury media sales in Chicago
Public relations account supervisor in Atlanta
SEO and SEM manager opening in Pittsburgh
Media supervisor opening in New York
Media buyer/planner position in Madison, WI