ask a freelancer

darkempressinfinitemind asked: How did you get into freelance?

The short version? Accidentally!

Longer version? It started with a friend hiring me to ghost write their memoir (before either of us knew what ghost writing was. Also he apparently had this awesome life before he knew me and never bothered to mention it before the idea of writing a book came along. Who knew? Random happenstance). I became more confident in the idea of writing for others, and then was referred to the site by a friend of mine, who was trying to pick up freelancing.

I applied for my first job there, and it was literally months before I got any bites. My first bite ended up paying me $3 an hour. I was desperate, so I took it. It gave me a reference, and I got a better job, and a better job, and a better job, until I had enough references to apply for REALLY decent jobs. Fast forward, and here I am with my own Wordsmithing business.

But you want advice, don’t you?

  • Find a Freelancing Website

There’s Elance, PPH, and a wide range of others. Pick one that works for you (or multiple) and start drumming up your profile there. Get samples out so people can see your style of work.

  • Get Reviews at All Costs

Get people you know to write reviews. Take low paying jobs to get reviews. Take whatever jobs you can and get reviews, because they really are everything to a beginning freelancer. I started out with a GED (not even a high school diploma) and still got high paying jobs, because no one needs to see your credentials – they just need proof that real life people have given you a test run.

Degrees and all that? They’re to prove you know your stuff; that someone has tested you and written off on it. Reviews are the internet’s new degrees; be willing to invest some time and effort into them.

  • Take Any and As Much Work as You Can

Not only for the reviews, but for practice. There’s a new song and dance involved with freelancing that you won’t find anywhere else. Big companies are paying millions on Big Data to figure out what little nuances make customers happy. You don’t have Big Data, and you’re up against thousands of freelancers just like you – you have to figure out the key to standing out by hand.

Getting as many jobs as you can early on gives you a chance to test the waters and find your stride before you’re dealing with big clients that are less forgiving of your fumbles. You’ll learn something new from every job so you really ARE the top professional you claim to be.

  • Claim to Be a Professional

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I should give you advice about being honest and doing the leg work before you get started. But they say to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. So act like the professional you want to be, not the one you are.

If you’re 18 and this is your first freelancing job, make your profile and all your correspondences look like you’re 37 and have been freelancing for 10 years (don’t lie, just be indirect. Talk like you’re older. Say you’ve been freelancing for several years, even if you’ve only been freelancing for a few months. If you’re living at home with your parents and the topic of family comes up, just call them “family;” the client won’t know if you’re a married mother of five or are talking about your dad). People will look right over you if they THINK you’re not capable, without even giving you a chance to show what you can do. If you take away that first – sometimes incorrect – assumption, your foot’s in the door and you can prove yourself.

Then after you have 300 five-star reviews and a client list as long as your arms, you can reveal yourself as 20 with three years’ experience, and people will believe you’re a prodigy. Then you’ll get hired for being the talented young professional who IS their target audience, so you’re perfect to create a product FOR their target audience.  

  • Be Ready to Put in More Hours

Once you’ve been in the game a while and have established yourself, you can make your weekends sacred with no work stuff. But before then, you need to be on call all the time. What’s going to make you stand out against the rest in the beginning is timeliness.

If it’s a toss-up between you and someone just as qualified, the client will decide on whoever replies the fastest and most coherently. Reply to messages as soon as possible. Talk back and forth on the weekends. Offer as tight a deadline as you can for every project, and if you can deliver early, deliver early. Once you have your reputation and your reviews, then you can tone it back to the same level as any other job; you work on your work days, and you’re gone from the planet on your off days.

  • Follow Your Heart – But Follow the Money First

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I hate web copy. Detest it. A client can have the coolest website idea ever, but having to don my promotional hat and describe their services to a target audience is tedious and unfulfilling as all get out. What I enjoy is blog writing, where I get to explore a concept and tell it (sometimes) in my own voice. I love product descriptions even, where I get to sharpen my description skills to be later used in fiction. But guess what? Web copy writing pays well, because it is difficult and it’s in huge demand.

Here’s a quick insider look at the market: Today, every style of business in existence needs a website. That means web designers are the key holders in a world full of locked doors. They’re making a killing, but every website needs CONTENT. They’re cranking out 15 websites a month but they’re just blank pages without some writing to make them REAL. That’s where my industry comes in, the Tonto to their Lone Ranger, to make their home pages, their about pages, their service pages, etc. so their website is a real website. So long as online business booms, web designers are Sauron and copy writers are the one ring to rule them all.

That’s where the money is. So even if I really hate web copy, I’m good at it. That’s what pays the rent, grows my business, and keeps my employees’ checks signed – giving me the financial security I need to then ALSO do things I like. Ghost writing, book editing, blog writing, working on my own stuff.

If you want to make it in freelancing, you need money for bills. But you also need money to prove to your freelancing site that you’re worth promoting. Be willing to do jobs you’re not crazy about, so you can grow to the point of having enough income to afford doing what you really love.

  • Embrace the Uncertainty

One of the hardest things about freelancing is the irregularity. One month, you’re swimming in cash. The next, you scrape by. At the beginning of the month, you only have one project; at the end, you have 10. I’ve been at this for years, and I still have a mini panic during summer when I’m sure this is the year that my career finally ends. But it never has.

The upside to this uncertainty is you’re never sure when great things are going to happen. The security of a 9-to-5 lets you know exactly how much you will make, but robs you of the chance for those surprise miracles where a massive client falls in your lap and pays your rent for four months within two weeks. 

Take faith that a slow month is giving you a chance to rest up for when that tsunami of work comes in. Having a new client every week is giving you a chance to have fun before you have one client for an entire year (which can get boring at times). Freelancing can be a science, but you still need a little faith. It keeps you on your toes, it gives you unexpected bonuses none of your 9-to-5 friends can count on, and it gives you freedom.

Breaking into freelancing is slow going at first, but so long as you’re good at what you do, you will break in. There’s seriously never been a better time in living memory for it.

Hope this was helpful!

1candy12  asked:

How do you deal with people stealing your art I want to post my art but Im too protective of my art I tried once but I always got the feeling in the back of my head that someone will steal it and the thought of it makes me mad

don’t post high res images (aka anything big enough to print and resell – stick to 72dpi and smaller than 1k-2k pixels) and watermark errything!! it may also be worthwhile to officially register a copyright for your work. this will help against truly harmful theft where people try to profit off your stuff, or missed exposure from someone reposting your work without credit. unfortunately you can never be 100% safe from theft or lack of attribution, aside from not posting your work anywhere at all…so for work that’s very personal, you’ll have to weigh whether posting is worth the risk to you

if someone does steal your art, many sites will let you report the theft, although some require you to fill out paperwork proving you’re the original creator of the work. if there’s a way to directly contact the person who’s posting or selling your work, give it a shot, but be professional about it – they may not even know the art is stolen or just weren’t aware of the etiquette involved when posting someone else’s work. if the theft is really bad, aka a big company is mass producing copies of your art for sale and there are serious damages involved, you can hire a lawyer

other than that, just try to be chill about the theft that doesn’t really matter. pick your battles and save most of your efforts for working on your art and presence. it’s definitely a shame that more people don’t respect all the hard work and expertise that goes into art, but don’t let the fear of theft stop you from creating things you love!!

witchdaggahhhh  asked:

Hi, Barbie. Is there such a thing as being too persistent about asking when and how I'm going to get paid for my writing? I'm being polite on the phone and everything, but I've called a couple of times (the timeline I was told about was off and I haven't been paid for weeks after I was told I would be) and I'm afraid of damaging the relationship with this company. Am I just being paranoid?

Hey there! Thanks for the question. I didn’t anticipate how my nickname on here would be Barbie, but I’m unreasonably pleased about it, so score one to me. Onto the question:

There isn’t such a thing as being too persistent when it comes to getting paid – within reason.

If you’re messaging them every hour when the payment is only 24 hours overdo, that’s unreasonable.

If you’re messaging them every day when the payment is only a week overdo, you’re pushing it a little bit. If you know the company and trust them, give them a little leeway and don’t risk calling them cheats. If your working relationship with the client is brand new, then every other day is reasonable, but mix it up with excuses such as, “I’m afraid the site/email program has been glitchy. Have you received my most recent message?” Or, “I just want to confirm that you’ve received my payment request. If not, I can resend it.” This will get the attention of any reputable client.

When they’re weeks overdo? Enter Professional Terminator mode. The Terminator does not curse people out, it does not accuse them of things, it does not insult. It walks in, it makes its intentions clear with no sugar coating, and it gets what it wants.

If the company you’re working with is WEEKS overdo and isn’t giving you any updates on when the payment will be made, any reasonable explanation on why its delayed, and especially if they’ve cut contact altogether – they are not a good company. Don’t worry about hurting your relationship. Get your payment in Terminator fashion, and then run. If you can’t get payment, then put them on a blacklist, and then run.

On that note:

  • Make a Blacklist.

No matter how careful, professional, or experienced you are, if you do freelance, you will get stiffed on the bill by at least one client. Over several years of the job, you’ll get stiffed by at least a dozen. It happens. People suck.

But don’t ever forget it. Create a (black)list of their name, contact information, the project done, and what they stiffed you on (be it a payment or even a review). There may come a day when they crawl back and you’ve forgotten either them or the incident. You then unknowingly take up business with them again only to get stiffed a second time. Fool me once and all that.

With a blacklist, you can reference it to make sure that doesn’t happen. As a plus, if the new offer they make sounds good, you think they’ve improved, or there are new safeguards to protect you, you can demand the original payment (or review) you were stiffed on before you begin working with them. Then it all comes full circle.

One other point: As a freelancer, you’re rarely ever paranoid. You want to make money and get clients, so that irrational voice that usually exists is shut up by the rent being paid. If you are ‘paranoid,’ it’s your experience and skill as a professional giving you a warning.

If you get a weird vibe about a client’s voice, the way they compose an email, or the style of brief they give you, listen to that vibe and go in with eyes wide open. It could be the signal you need to put extra safeguards in place to make sure you don’t get scammed.

You are a professional, skilled and talented. That’s why people hire you. So trust yourself as much as they trust you – you know what you’re doing. Listen to your instincts.

thinktankgoldfish  asked:

South bench pressing Wash. Carolina bench pressing South who is Bench pressing North. Maine who is lifting everyone (and a warthog). Have a good day!

work out squad- or, you’re not a real freelancer until you lived though one of carolina and maine’s insane workouts. they’ve been at this for an hour and a half. maine is on his 273rd push up. Carolina’s thighs aren’t even shaking. i cant draw feet

are you,,,, the anon who’s been super nice to me,,,,,, and really nice and encouraging….?


“Oh uh…hi, guys…”

(A big thanks to @blackskullz, @thebluedork, and @carriepika for participating in this post~! It was a lot of fun and I love seeing all our individual styles all on one canvas together~!

Looks like Scourgey @askarealscourge, Fighter @ask-freelance-fighter, and Squishy @askmpregsonic found out about Voy being hospitalized and decided to pay him a little visit~ Squishy, you should take it easy, and Scourgey, don’t hit your head on the doorframe, omg. Glad you could kidnap Fighter to come along, though~! <3)

the-heros-lily  asked:

Now that con season is mostly over, will you be opening commissions again~? 💗

unfortunately no;;; 

i really want to, but i’ve had a longing desire to freely work on personal drawings and i feel like i’ve been deprived of that for a really long time now. i have one more con in october before i’m truly free

franciscaheroncross  asked:

Hei. Just checked out your page and i'm actually aspiring to become a film director. So i'd like to know how to get there and some important things to know along the way to become one (or involved in the film industry) thank you pal.

inlovewithmydreams said:hi I am 15 I have a dream to be a great director do you have any tips?

Hello @franciscaheroncross and @inlovewithmydreams!

I have combined your questions because the are similar and my answer can apply to both.

There is no one way to become a director. Everyone in the industry has taken a different path to get to where they are now so there is no real blueprint to go from aspiring filmmaker to established filmmaker, or in your cases, director. While the lack of a plan may be frustrating to some (it certainly was and is for me!) it is also encouraging because there are endless ways to break into the industry.

In my experience and from the experiences of professionals I know, the best way is to make connections with people in the industry and to go above and beyond in any internship or job you have. Even if your job is only slightly related to directing, proving you are hardworking and  willing to go the extra mile makes you stand out and you can form connections that will lead you to a better job or opportunity closer to your field.

Freelance editing or filming is another good way to get experience if you don’t have an internship or job related to film. You can edit projects, make music videos, design a flyer, take pictures for events, or other such things for friends, family, and acquaintances. I’ve designed flyers for both parents (free), recorded and edited stage plays for my school (sold the dvds for cheap), taken bts pictures and event pictures (also free), etc. Because of that experience, I got paid for other editing gigs. So be willing to take initiative and make your own projects.

Listen to your cast and crew when they have problems or questions. Pay attention to your actors when they are trying to figure out blocking, motivation, or if they just want to know if you liked a take. Even if they seem fine, check in with them (especially if they are doing a grueling/emotional scene!) They are not puppets, they are people. Also, your crew has specific jobs and many times know more than the director about a specific field. That’s why they are there so be considerate of their comments and concerns. No one will want to work with you again if they feel ignored.

When you do get the chance to direct, preproduction is extremely important to a smooth production. Here is some prepro stuff that is crucial:

-Make a shot list! Don’t go into a shoot blindly without a plan as to how your going to shoot the scene. I have just added a shot list template to the resource drive with a quick example of how to fill it out. This website also has a free template for google drive spreadsheets.

-Scout locations and plan shots out. Doing this will prepare you for possible problems such as poor background noise, automatic lights, not enough room for lights and other equipment, etc. Know how you’re going to block scenes within the space.

-Make a budget plan. How much will food cost? (Side note: food is very important, especially if people are working for free.) Include a buffer in your budget to account for mishaps or extra runs. I usually do around $50 for smaller shoots but it depends on the individual project and your personal budget.

-Communication is key. (Side note: email skills are super important!) If you don’t communicate with your cast and crew, it leads to mistakes, wasted time and money, and frustration. I rarely work with people a second time if they don’t communicate.

-Know the script inside and out. Actors and crew will have questions so you have to know the script as well or better than the writer.

Overall, directors can make or break a production so pay attention to your cast and crew, stay organized, and don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong or that you don’t understand something. You are in charge but realize you aren’t all-knowing.

This became a long answer so I hope it was helpful and not just a ramble!