Running your business isn’t just about doing that thing you do well, over and over again. I’m sure other Australian creative freelancers will agree with me here.
It’s about chasing payments, perfecting your offering, quoting for work, answering enquiries, and marketing. It’s about networking, getting to know colleagues and taking part in industry discussions. Sometimes, it’s about actually doing that thing that you do so well.
As a freelance journalist and wordsmith, words are my thing. I can speak to a client and take their brief over the phone, start work on their commission, research in my sleep and I can write an entire newspaper feature in an afternoon.
But if you ask me to update my logo, make small changes to my website, or design a new business card for myself, I’ll put those jobs in the too hard basket forever and a day. It doesn’t take long for your branding to get stale doing this.
This is why I live by the mantra – do what you’re good at (and what you love), and outsource the rest.
This has been an amazing realisation for me. Once upon a time, I had a go at Design Your Own business cards online including with UK platform Moo, and they’re fine. Next time, I approached an Australian creative freelancer and asked them to design my card, and they are streets ahead of what I could design myself.
I’ll never go back to DIY online again after seeing my latest pack of business cards arrive in my letterbox, complete with a deep-etch logo. I still smile every time I see that business card. Admittedly, I probably need to get out more.
For my website updates, I call upon a really talented Melbourne graphic designer I used to re-create my website, and he makes updates and changes as needed. I get an invoice every couple of months as a few jobs add up.
And a freelance web designer and graphic designer in Adelaide was my first port of call when I recently decided to update my client presentation document. His fancy work has created a real impact when I’m quoting on those larger jobs that require some background material and information on how I work for new clients.
He told me it would take a week to create something, but in the meantime, the opportunity to work on a major 6-month project presented itself, so I leaned on this freelancer to get the document over to me within 24 hours so I could use it to present a super professional quote. He set to work, and got it over to me in time. He didn’t mind – he knows that freelancing by definition can be a fly by the seat of your pants life at times, and really wanted to help me get the job.
I thanked him by paying his bill on time, and sent him a gift in the mail – a cool new set of headphones. It’s so easy to show gratitude to the freelancers that help you in your freelance business.
I’ve also worked with a business designer and project manager for a couple of bigger projects. In fact, I called her first and shared the vision for The Freelance Collective. Her response was instant – ‘I love it, and I want to be involved’. She remains involved to this day.
There was no way I could build it, so The Freelance Collective was created with the help of a talented Australian creative graphic designer in Brisbane, who bought the vision to life. We’ve also worked with a Melbourne web developer who slaved away for months to make the site the awesome platform it is today to create the talents of Australian creative freelancers. There’s another Australian creative freelancer who loves social media out there promoting member talent, too.
This network of Aussie creative freelancers are genius at what they do. And when they or their clients need a freelance wordsmith, they call me. They are only ever an email, phone call or quick Skype call away.
Here’s my top tips for hiring Australian creative freelancers:
- Hire Australian creative freelancers that love what they do.
- Check out their website, and look for samples of their work.
- Ask for specific work samples related to your job if their work samples aren’t listed online.
- See how they present themselves to the world by checking out their social media following, for example.
- Write a detailed brief, and ask for a quote.
- Expect to pay a deposit to secure their services, but make sure you’re clear about when the work will be delivered, and how many rounds of revisions the quote allows for.
- Provide feedback, and thank them for good work.
- Refer them on to others.