Sunday, July 24, 2016

Freelance Fresh Night Out Takeaways

Earlier this month, I attended my first Freelance Fresh Night Out, put on by the RAF (Rochester Advertising Federation). The event featured a panel of freelance and agency creatives, sharing tips and advice that any working professional could put into practice. And I got a cool, free t-shirt!

I always find it inspiring and encouraging to be in a room full of fellow artists, talking shop, and sharing ways to improve (and what not to do). Especially since I've been making my way solely as a freelance graphic designer and art director, since leaving my full time job over a year ago. 

I'll jot down a few of my key takeaways: 

Brand yourself (well) and be aware of your personal brand. Especially your online presence. Be mindful of how you use social medial (positive and negative). People are watching. 

Make sure people know what you do. Not everyone may be aware of what you have to offer. Make it known.

"Bug people," in the nicest way possible. Get your name out there. Remind them that you're available for hire. Ask them if they could use your services. Keep your name on their list of people to call. 

Be buttoned up. Do good work. Be organized. Be professional. Don't leave loose ends. Don't make an employer have to hold your hand throughout a project. Follow directions.

Be confident. Know your stuff and be confident in the skills and talents that are uniquely yours.

Focus on your strengths and do them well. Don't pretend you can do something that you can't or aren't an expert at. 

Reach out to other artists/creatives/professionals in your field. Spur one another on. Ask for help or advice. Share insights. 

Stay relevant. Keep your portfolio up to date. Know the latest trends and technology.

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