In a recent Be Free, Lance post, someone asked me about the business side of being a designer, which I thought would make for a great topic! The truth is – when you choose to become a freelancer, you are no longer just a creative being. You become a secretary, a customer service rep, financial manager, marketing guru, as well as countless other things. You’ll be wearing many hats, but that can be kind of fun, right!?
The trouble is, we don’t always know how to handle / do all of these things. I, for one, am a full fledge designer who definitely doesn’t have a degree in accounting. No worries, though, you don’t have to know everything about business. If you have the passion to become a freelancer, these things will come in time. You’ll learn how to balance emails, finances, and market yourself as you go. It’s all about research + patience. I remember the first year being pretty tough. I didn’t have any sort of organized system for managing clients, got easily overwhelmed by emails, and ( I’ll admit ) didn’t have the best working process.
I’m naturally an organized person who loves planning, so you can imagine that first year really threw me for a loop. For once, I wasn’t able to control absolutely everything, simply because I didn’t know how. Instead of trying to solve everything at once ( which probably would have made things worse ) – I tried my best to learn patience. I would dedicate an hour or so everyday to research a subject I didn’t feel confident in. Whether it was contracts, invoicing, project management, or who knows what – I had to figure it all out.
So, If the business side of being a freelance creative is weighing you down – the best advice I can give you is to move forward with confidence. Your clients don’t need to know all the gritty details about how you organize your business. The important thing is that you’re trying to be a successful business owner. Luckily, thanks to a little thing called the internet, there are a TON of resources out there that you can utilize. Become best friends with google and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We don’t have to know it all, that’s for sure.