Ask DN: For those that freelance - how well are you doing, financially?

8 years ago from John Howard, Founder, Lead Designer at Black Airplane

  • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    Looks like you’re doing something right!

    I have a friend who’s building up her business and I’m curious, how did you find your first few clients?

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    • C___ F_____C___ F_____, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

      Months 1 & 2: my old boss sold his company and started up afresh with a spin-off product, he asked for some of my time. Also got a referral from his old company to work on a big marketing campaign which kept me afloat for a while. That was basically it.

      Whilst I was doing that I picked up a few interesting leads via sites like Hacker News & AngelList, and the work has just started to come through from them. I recently got invited to join Crew too which has been awesome, so I'm speaking to around 2 very strong new leads every week – hence the projected pick up in income..

      That being said, at the beginning I was going for quick fixed-price jobs, just to get the cash in. Whereas now that I'm more comfortable I'm planning ahead a lot more – speaking to clients and looking to start work 2-3 months down the line.

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      • Julian LloydJulian Lloyd, 8 years ago

        Thanks for the reply.

        I hadn’t heard of Crew before, so you were invited as one of their professionals? It looks like a modern take on a staffing agency, mixed with a web service.

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        • C___ F_____C___ F_____, 8 years ago

          Yeah, I'd shown some interest last year when I was still a full-timer and they got in touch after I'd made the switch. I think you're right with the description, they shortlist a few designers for clients, hold payments in escrow and take a % cut.

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