Someone asked me recently if all the work and stress that goes into being a freelance designer is worth it.
(Before I jump too far into this post, I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and answer the question: ‘Is freelance designing worth it?’)
It’s worth what you make of it
My answer to this concerned designer about to make the switch to freelancing: you get out of it what you put into it.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make money, freelance designing is not going to be your diamond in the rough. On a daily basis you deal with unpaid invoices, unreachable clients, low budgets (from your clients and yourself) and many other obstacles.
But, you get out of freelance designing what you put into it.
How to make the most of your freelancing
So how can you get the most out of your freelance design career? You learn to enjoy the benefits of being your own boss- to name a few…
- You get to choose when you work and how many hours you put in each week.
- You define success for yourself and your business – then work hard to achieve success.
- You choose where you work which means you get to set up your own home office, rent office space or work in the coffee shop on the corner.
- You get to find your clients which means you only work for and with people you want to work with.
- You choose how fast your company grows or shrinks which means job security for as long as you like.
- (Add your freelancing benefit by leaving a comment.)
Take off the rose-colored glasses
But obviously my friend wouldn’t have asked if it was worth it if every aspect of freelance designing was all peaches and cream. Many freelancing blogs paint an all-to-rosy picture of freelancing. They show endless photos of designers sitting on the beach with their laptops or talk about how you only have to work a few hours each day – and in your pajamas no-less.
Clearly, these people have never really been freelancers.
There are difficulties and downsides to being a freelance designer – some of which include:
- You are not only responsible for creating amazing designs (the part you probably enjoy most), but you also have to do the dirty work of finding clients, paying bills, etc.
- There’s no guarantee of steady work. Unlike working for a firm or as an in-house designer, your workflow (and cash flow) depend entirely on your ability to find new clients.
- You’re usually a one-person show. Although I always recommend pairing up with other designers or outsourcing some of your work, the bulk of the responsibility to make your business perform lies with you. That can be a lot of stress for one person.
- (Add your freelancing downside by leaving a comment.)
So what’s my answer?
Enough of the back and forth already, right? I’m sure you want to know what my answer was to the designer who posed the question. My answer:
Of course it’s worth it.
I love the new worlds and opportunities that freelancing brings me every day. I love interacting with other designers, clients, businesses, etc.
If I didn’t genuinely love it, do you think I would blog about it multiple times a week? Of course I wouldn’t.
I love freelancing. If you’ve been wondering if you should take the plunge, the answer is “YES!” We’re here to help you at GDB. Make the switch – slowly at first if needed – and you’ll not soon regret it.
Add your questions or words of encouragement…
If you’re concerned about making the switch to freelance designing, leave your questions and concerns in the comment section of this post. Conversely, if you’ve been freelancing for while and can offer any words of encouragement or reassurance for any designers out their who are nervous about freelancing, please add.
Best of luck to all of you in your freelance designing efforts!!