Be Free, Lance | Unique Names + Defining Your Business

After the launch of my new design studio Rowan Made a few weeks back, many of you expressed interest in hearing more about why I chose to kick my own name to the curb and start fresh. In all honesty, I felt that I had hit a ceiling working under the name “Breanna Rose.” Yes, it’s my name … but it didn’t allow for much growth beyond myself. Last May, I took a big step and hired a contract designer to help with incoming project overflow. But in doing so, I quickly realized that I had entered into a new weird grey area. This designer was working alongside me, but under my name. That part felt weird. I absolutely loved having her around to take on new work, but didn’t feel my personal brand was truly setup for this type of working environment. So from that moment on, the seeds of creating a new brand were planted.

Be Free, Lance | Trading Services

Chances are that if you are a creative, you’ve been approached or thought about trading services with another. While it may sound like a good deal ( and probably really enticing, let’s face it! ), make sure that you are always fair to yourself and others. It’s a two way street. I can’t stress this enough. Because we typically use currency to pay for goods + services nowadays, there is an established value for each and every creative, which is important to respect. Everyone has a different story and experience level. But no matter what, they have worth. SO, if you are considering a trade of services, here are a few things to keep in mind :

01. Do your research and attempt to come up with a realistic monetary value for what’s being traded. Maybe a photographer needs a new website and offers their graphic designer a free session for shooting design portfolio work. Or maybe a florist provides their services to a well respected stylist for exposure during highly anticipated shoot. This kind of stuff happens all the time in the creative world! But no matter the scenario, try your best to figure out what’s fair. Take what you would usually charge and SUBTRACT the trade portion’s value. Sometimes this means you’re working entirely for trade. Other times it’s simply a portion.

Be Free, Lance | Voice Values

I’m not sure how it happened, but I stumbled across Abby Kerr and The Voice Bureau a few weeks back and am HOOKED. There is so much strategy over there. From your brand to content and vision, it’s a great resource, hands down. So after clicking around for a bit and soaking up as much information as humanely possible, I noticed that they had a callout for their “insider stuff” in the header, which promised to help discover your voice values. Curious little me decided to sign up and take the self-assessment because let’s face it, I cannot get enough of those personality tests. I’m obsessed. Plus, why not learn more about yourself?? You never know what kind of light bulb moments will go down.

Be Free, Lance | The Best of 2013

In honor of the new year, I thought I would put together a little “best of” recap from my Be Free, Lance column. It’s something that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed developing + curating for you all, as well as the discussion that always follows. So many of you have fascinating viewpoints and that’s exactly why I love doing this. Together we share, learn, and grow for the better. I’ve spent a good part of this year brainstorming ways in which I can take BFL to the next level and I’m excited to announce that I will be developing a Be Free, Lance workshop ( online ) sometime in 2014. It’s very much in the beginning stages and I plan on taking my time to get it just right … but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to let you know it’s in the works!! So without further ado, feel free to click through and browse a few of my favorite posts from this year. And don’t forget – the comments section in all of these is a gold mine for other thoughts, too!

Be Free, Lance | Define Your Own Time

Before finishing up design school, I was under the naive impression that I would graduate and design all day long at my dream job. Well, that didn’t happen and I’m actually grateful for it. WAIT WHAT? Yup. Grateful. When I began freelancing, there was a lot of networking, emailing, blogging and long days. I longed to design MORE and work on projects that I was passionate about. As time went on and I developed a consistent client base, I designed a little more, yes, but it wasn’t ever what I imagined while in school. The picture I painted then involved waking up, designing beautiful things all day, and then wrapping it up. Bam, done.

Contrary to whatever little old me thought, I only design for about THREE hours per day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but I would say that’s a good average! The truth is, many people don’t realize how many hours per day are devoted to “business stuff” before jumping into freelance. I surely didn’t. When you are your own boss, many hats are worn – some of which you will feel totally unqualified for at first. The secret, though, is that you are not alone. We’re all just moving forward trying to figure things out as we go. It’s a constant process and evolution of learning + adapting!