I've been donig the whole freelance gig for quite a few years but more as a partime thing to suplement my income. Decided that I would become completely independent and jump in head first into the fulltime freelance market. I already have alot of things inplace to help support a freelance career. Invoices, contracts and whatnot. Mostly I've had a few word of mouth clients, some came via my website or through one of my other online portfolios. Maybe 1 or 2 a month with an occasional dry month. I've never really sat down and actively search out clients. I've been lacking in the whole self promotional aspect of being a freelance artist. This is where I'll we be having some difficulty. I need to rearrange my block of time to fit the necessary client searches, networking, social media and promotion aspect, emails etc as well as setting time to work on client and personal projects not to mention managing persoanla and family life since I'll be working from home. I need to average at least 4 to 5 new clients a month to sustain a freelance career that will cover my personal bills and home studio expenses as well as provide something to set aside for a rainy day on those possible dry months if they were to come. Good, solid well paying clients. Creating that list is what will be a challenge. Where do I start, who do I target, how often should i send emails or direct maliers. Thisngs I've gotten so far to help set me straight:
Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market I purchased the 2011 book back in February with the intention to start sending out postcards but never did. Having a Fulltime job made it not as urgent thing to do. Now if I want to sustain a living it is more of a neccesity now than before. the 2012 is out but will use the 2011 one that I have in the meantime.
Breaking Into Freelance Illustration: a Guide for Artists, Designers and Illustrators by Holly DeWolf
The Streetwise Guide to Freelance Design and Illustration by Theo Stephan Willams
Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer by Michael Fleishman
It may seem redundant to get som many books on the same topic. Inevitably lots of the same information will be the same but experiences from each of the writers will be a bit different and new ideas, advice and tips will be derived from that. Different approaches to freelance, this way I can use what will work for me from each writer.
The Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market is a good resource for finding new clients but reading through each listing and finding the client that matches your style needs etc, is abit time consuming and at the end end up with maybe 100 possible leads, then researching online for clients which in the end is very time consuming, costly and tiring and never really 100% accurate.
I will need more than that to sustain a freelance career. So I need to find other resources for finding possible clients and something that is efficient wher I don't need to spend 4 hours sorting through listing to find the right clients. Enter Agency Access. i spoke with a representative from there to see what they services the offer and regarding client lists, and leads that can lead to new clients and paying jobs. She walked me through a brief Demo answered all my questions. Also researching into Agency Access on my own I've heard positive reviews from Thomas James from "Escape from Illustration Island" (Which another good resource I've found for someone getting into freelance. Thomas offers a lot of good information. So researching I've found that Agency Access would be a good resources for establish a good solid client list pertaining to the industry I want to market myself to. Be it children's books, editorials, book covers etc. They seem to have a good email editing program to create nice professional looking emails with images and sending them to the right people. I plan on implementing them into my client search process. So as I go I'll be updating experiences, ups and downs of doing freelance fulltime. Also my experiences with Agency Access.
Hopefully sharing the expereinces will help work through the pitfalls of working Freelance and at the same time helping those who are going through the same process or thinking about getting into freelance.
Here's some art. I mean that's why your here other than learning something.