5 Tips for Working as a Freelance Designer
Now that you’ve got a few clients under your belt and things are getting serious, I thought I’d share a few tips on how I keep organized and minimize client and design-related headaches during my week.
1. Send an invoice. Don’t make your client guess when or how you’d like to be paid. Once we’ve agreed to the terms of the project, I email the client a contract and send them an invoice (via PayPal) for the deposit. Once the design is installed & project complete I send them an invoice for the final payment. No guessing when they should pay or how much they owe.
2. Explain your design decisions. In the same way you’d want your client to explain why they do or don’t like something, you’ll need to learn to back up your design with good reasoning – aka be able to convince your client why you are right. I include a short write up on why I added each element of the design with every mockup.
3. Track your hours. I use an iPhone app called Weave. I add client’s project and then a list of standard to-dos (create mock-up, code template, install template). I track hours for each to-do and then I have a general idea of how long it takes to build a site, which helps in estimating design quotes for future clients. Other time trackers: Harvest, Toggl, Tick
4. Track your expenses. Fonts, stock photos, Photoshop actions, PayPal fees, Etsy fees – all of these things can be written off when it comes to tax time so create yourself a spreadsheet and keep track.
5. Download the Web Developer Tool or Firebug. For those of you spending hours coding, it will save you so much time and so many headaches. I use them to select a div and see which styles are being applied. You’re welcome :)10.10.12 in freelance