Freelancing 101: Tips to Become a Hirable and Profitable Creative Contractor
Guiding Principles and Crucial Tips for Creative Contractors
The freelance world can be a daunting place for some. Without proper education and enough momentum to get out there and establish great clients; it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. I’ve been there. Fortunately, with sound advice from fellow freelancers, I was able to find my way out and eventually landed the opportunity to join the freelance team at MojoMediaPros. As a newcomer, I’m quite impressed with their blog, which contains an extensive repository of useful tips and tricks of the freelance trade. These guys really know the ins and outs of freelancing – a refreshing thing to see from a creative agency.
I really wish I had been able to find information this useful when I was first starting out my freelancing career. So needless to say, I’d urge any creative contractor to follow along with this series. This is our first installment but you can expect more to come!
Nurturing Freelance Ecosystems
In his original article about freelancing, Mojo’s CEO, Steve Lomas explains how his history in the Hollywood film and television industry shaped his thinking and adaptation of a freelance ecosystem in other industries. Most notable from this article is the advice given to freelancers and companies hiring freelancers. For freelancers, he discusses the importance of playing nice with your peers, staying professional with clients, and networking intentionally. For companies working with freelancers, he discusses professional courtesy, prompt payment, flexibility, and an inclusive team-like culture.
Nurturing Nashville's Freelance Economy
Following up on his original article, in the live presentation linked below, Steve Lomas explains how the “Gig Economy” is replacing 9-5 jobs. While it may have started with millennials settling for contract work, many other workers across all generations have since decided that the Gig Economy provides flexibility and financial freedom. As a result, these gig workers (i.e., freelancers) have no interest in returning to traditional forms of employment. The presentation uses “The Hollywood Freelance Model,” to frame a set of guiding principles that will aid freelancers in both obtaining and maintaining happy clients. Physical, social, and financial disciplines are the key points here and include rules like “return calls promptly” and “avoid making promises.”
EIN's: All the Best-Dressed Freelancers are Wearing One
If you’re a freelancer who doesn’t have an EIN, then you should definitely read the article linked below. You’ll quickly learn why you should be thinking of yourself as a company of one – or in other words, a sole proprietor. To sum it up, obtaining an EIN (a taxpayer ID) adds a level of professionalism to your name but more importantly, protects your identity as you will no longer have to use your SSN on W9s and other vulnerable documentation. Having an EIN also comes with benefits and perks like opening up business banking accounts and speeding up loan applications.
Report Affirms MojoMediaPros’ On-demand Team Model
The last article from this series’ first installment (linked below) references a 2018 report on freelance challenges. While the report is three years old, I believe the points are still applicable. The report’s survey found that freelancers have trouble obtaining the necessary education to really grow in their business as there’s a definite gap between starting out and becoming successful in a freelance career.
Whether you’re brand new to the freelance world or you’ve found yourself in a bit of a rut with work given our current climate, I’d absolutely recommend giving these articles a quick read. If you’re wanting more – like education on how to best promote yourself as a freelancer, then stay tuned as this series will continue with some invaluable suggestions on how to really get your name out there so you can become a lucrative freelancer in a competitive market.