Trying to appear bigger than you really are by calling your freelance business some sort of incorporated name doesn’t make sense to us.

You’re a graphic designer and you mostly work alone, but rather than call a spade a spade, you give your company a big fancy name, use the word ‘us’ a lot in phone calls, and generally like to create the illusion that you’ve got minions.

But once a client hires these ‘companies’, it becomes glaringly obvious that this graphic design firm is a solo operation – usually a freelancer sitting in their home office.

We’ve seen it a few times since launching The Freelance Collective. A couple of freelancers we’ve known professionally for years have literally said they’re trying to appear bigger than ‘just’ being a freelancer. They’re really talented, the money is pretty much the same as other quality freelancers, so we don’t get it.

We wonder if the premise has been that these freelancers (we’re calling a spade a spade), think they’ll build a business that looks pretty big, and eventually, they’ll be able to hire more staff, move out of their home office, and maybe even work with bigger clients.

But before long, they realise that their business model doesn’t really sustain a move into a big office. The risks are too great, and anyway, they love the freedom to work from home in their slippers. More importantly, they’re already working on really great client projects anyway.

The truth is that in this modern age, ANYONE can work with great clients. Australia’s best publishers, advertising agencies and national brands hire freelancers every single day, no matter where they’re based. Increasingly, they understand that the best person for their project could well be a freelancer living in Timbuktu. If you’ve got a good reputation for what you do and you’re consistent, it won’t take long for the big clients to find you. They want to work with you because you’re a good quality freelancer and you deliver the creative product they need, without the overheads. Sure, sometimes you collaborate with others, but mostly, you’re freelancing, and you’re loving it.

So what’s the point of pretending to be bigger than you really are? You really shouldn’t be tricking your clients into thinking that there’s you, and lots of other staff under you. So why are some freelancers doing this? Enlighten us in the comments below if you know – please!

Right now, it’s never been easier to get found if you’re a good quality creative freelancer, because now, Australia has The Freelance Collective. The aim is to give clients a place to come and browse our profile holders, look for the freelancer they want to work with, and contact them directly about the possibility of working together.

So in the name of transparency and in a bid to call a spade a spade, we’re urging freelancers hiding behind a company name to stop pretending to be bigger than they really are, and instead actually be what you say you are – a top quality freelancer in the market for new work.

Get your profile here.

Nina Hendy

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