The guys over at Invoice2go asked me to blog about 3 things I wish I knew when I started freelancing. I am sharing the following points in hopes of saving freelancers from trouble when first diving in!
1. The Importance of mailing Lists
Before I sold artwork, I used to sell hair straighteners at trade shows. I was really good and I sold a lot of them. When my customers walked away from me after their purchase, I hoped to never see them again because if I did, it usually meant they wanted to return it or yell at me. When I started selling my art, at first I didn’t keep in touch with my clients. I quickly realized that I didn’t know who my clients were, which meant I didn’t know how to get in touch with them about shows they might be interested in going to, or new work they might be interested in purchasing or sharing with others.
Make sure to keep your client’s information and start a mailing list right away. Even if you don’t send out your first email until you have enough content, make sure to keep a list of people who are interested in your work. Previous and current clients should be included on your list, as well as people you have personally engaged with and who have expressed interest in what you do. Don’t spam people you don’t know.
With everyone being constantly bombed with information from social media and cats on YouTube, catching someone’s attention is difficult. Inboxes are like a holy place of attention because they are checked regularly, and often have very high user engagement. This makes mailing lists mandatory to keep in touch about news, new products and events. You can easily use a product like mail chimp to set up and manage your list(s).
2. Different sources of Income
When I first started selling fine-art prints, I thought I needed to focus only on selling prints at high prices, and that it would be sufficient to sell artwork only through galleries. This greatly restricted the volume of people who could purchase my work, and it came with a big pay cut as well. I decided something needed to change. After creating a few prints at a lower cost and selling them anywhere I could, I saw that all kinds of people could have access to my work, not only top shelf art collectors. I continued to look for all kinds of ways to apply my skills and formulated many sources of income.
There are more avenues of revenue then you may think. Don’t be fixated on the one type of income, one type of client, or even one type of style of work. Brainstorm all kinds of ways to use your services, skills and product. For example, if you know a lot of Photoshop, you could create Photoshop tutorials and sell them online. If you know a lot about photography, maybe you can write an E-book about how to get started. Once you have a few streams of income you can start choosing what you want to focus on, and maybe what you want to automate.
3. Never stop learning.
Technology is changing and improving faster than we’re all breathing. It’s important to remember that the market changes with technology too. Moving images might be on their way to replace still ones for example. If you’re a photographer you might soon need to learn videography to keep up with what clients need. Adapt or die. If you don’t do this, your clients might pick someone else for the next job. Pay attention to what’s changing and constantly pick up new skills in your trade.