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Below are the 13 most recent journal entries recorded in Freelance Graphic Design's LiveJournal:

Monday, April 19th, 2010
10:54 am
[mystisblom]
How much should I charge?
I'm living in Germany and got the chance to work as a freelance designer for an US advertising agency (California), but now I have no idea how much and how I should charge them. Per hour, day or project? How much is the norm? If you have any information I would be very greatfull.
Thanks a lot in advance.
Saturday, January 30th, 2010
6:03 am
[fakehuman]
Chance to make 30$ just for 1 minute webcam video
Req 5 English speaking persons (3 males and 2 females) at the age of 18-35 to make a brief video (1 minutes), using your web-camera, for advertising my company.

Prefer energetic, good-looking people (photos are necessary) with pleasant voices.

Nothing too serious. Have fun doing it, this is an easy project for the right person. Thanks for your interest.

Will paid $30 for 1 video.

Please write me: Cecco.i.Degrassi.33@gmail.com

Thank you!
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
9:54 am
[shawnwrites]
Long time, no anything.
Remember way back when I was just a wild-eyed kid in the big city? I started a little LJ community specifically for freelance designers to share information and ideas. And I didn't do a damn thing with it. I'm going to go ahead and try to revive it. And what's the best way to bring a community back from the dead? Post something worth reading. I'm too busy to write at the moment, but I saw this link elsewhere and wanted to share it.

The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Successful Freelancers

Reading this list doesn't really tell me anything I don't already know, but for whatever reason it inspires me. My business is going really well right now, but at the same time I know that I'm not doing my best 100% of the time. This list of habits just kind of serves to remind me of some of the things I need to focus on to keep growing my studio.

Crossposted in graphicdesign and design.
Wednesday, July 5th, 2006
8:56 pm
[writtenoutloud]
Sunday, May 21st, 2006
2:22 pm
[dmitriversus]
I'm taking the plunge. I'm going freelance design & illustration in July when I move up to Atlanta. Wish me luck, and let me know if you have any latent tips. :)
Monday, March 27th, 2006
7:13 am
[shawnwrites]
Dialing for dollars.
Wow...this is even deader than the buggywhip community I started a few years ago. Har.

Things have really taken a turn on the business front over the last couple of months, which goes a long way toward explaining the extended silence. The last thing I wrote about was that I was going to focus my attention on a few specific markets and approach them one at a time, just in hopes of getting my name out there and getting my portfolio in front of people.

I made 5 phone calls. All 5 were complete cold calls where I called the hospital's main number and asked to speak to someone in the marketing or communications department. After a bit of being passed around until I got to the right person, I introduced myself and told them I have hospital experience and would love to help out whenever they have overflow work or anything like that. A couple of hospitals were polite, but told me that their needs were all taken care of. A couple wanted me to send them more info, but told me they didn't have anything in the near future. When I called the fifth hospital I ended up leaving a voicemail. A few days later I received a call from the VP of marketing and he explained that while he appreciated my call, they were already working with an agency who was handling all of their needs. He then added that the hospital chain keeps this agency pretty busy so I should give them a call and gave me the agency name and phone number.

SCORE! I called the agency and left a message, but didn't hear anything back and sort of forgot about it. Almost two weeks later I got a call from the owner of the agency requesting a PDF portfolio and a face-to-face meeting the next day. I went and met with them and was working with them a few days later. Their one big need was somebody to work on-site for them, especially at the beginning, to learn their systems and so forth. I've been working for them ever since and am loving it. At the moment, they're buried so I am working a lot. It will slow down in the near future, but they plan on keeping me coming in 2-3 days per week indefinitely. They like my work and they enjoy working with me, so it's turned out to be a great situation. I hate making sales calls and introducing myself, but every time I do it I kick myself for not doing it sooner.

As busy as I have been, though, I haven't taken the time to start approaching my next industry. I need to make business development a bigger priority this year. So far I have done pretty well, but I need to keep this momentum going.
Tuesday, January 24th, 2006
3:05 pm
[millipede]
What are some guidelines for pricing as a freelancer?

I've been researching this all morning because I may have a client. I've never been adept at pricing my "art". I've gotten some really vague advice from non-design professors on pricing art("If it sells - you're charging too little. If you aren't selling - you're charging too much."). But specifically, I was not taught much of the business side of design. It's hard.

I feel like I should get about $30/hour since most jobs I expect to get with this client especially will probably take no more than 2-3 hours (I assume base of previous experience in this area of design).

I had a similar job to this possible freelance position where I was a hourly wage employee and made $8, which I felt wasn't enough considering my workload. At 40 hours a week that's $320. And I figure at $30 an hour that is about five two hour projects a week. But probably less. Probably one or two.

ACK! I just want to be on the steady payroll at an agency.
Friday, January 20th, 2006
5:37 pm
[shawnwrites]
Hospitals.
I've worked with hospitals in the past and I've recently started working with the hospital in town, but I'm looking for any ideas people might have about approaching hospitals for work. Up to now, I've just been doing it the old-fashioned way. I make a few phone calls until I figure out who I need to talk to, then I make a phone call to talk to that person and try to set up an appointment. I've had pretty good luck with doing it that way, but I'd like to know if anybody else has tried something different.

I'm in pretty good with this hospital, but there are five or six big hospitals all within 30 miles or so and I'd like to branch out and try to pick up work from some of the out-of-town hospitals.

In the past I've always worked through the marketing department, but a friend suggested that I contact their HR departments and hospital foundations (apparently the all have foundations) because they often have huge design/print budgets of their own. In fact, at one big hospital in Denver, I know that the HR design/print budget is about five times the marketing department budget.

Anybody have any ideas on approaching hospitals?
Thursday, January 19th, 2006
2:31 am
[millipede]
How do I break into freelancing?

I've done three so-called "freelance" jobs. Those were done while studying graphic design and I was reccomended by my professor to the clients. But now I've graduated. And I've moved from that town. And I hope to move to another soon.

Can I solicit to design agencies with a resume that states I'm available for freelance work? Or should I simply submit my resume, follow up and make it clear that even if they can't hire me that I'm interested in any freelance work they may need me for?

I feel like I knew more about what I was doing before I graduated.
Friday, January 13th, 2006
11:37 pm
[johnny_storm]
okay i finally decided on what topic(s) to discuss on my multimedia thesis:

1)the little prince
and/or
2)alice in wonderland

but i cant think of a good media to interpret these.
i'm thinking of doing a non traditional media. an installation? new media?
SORRY BUT IM COMPLETELY CLUELESS.
My strengths are film,photography,graphic design and interactive cd authoring.
Im not that good in animation.

PLEASE HELP. I really need suggestions badly.
Wednesday, January 11th, 2006
1:21 pm
[fuzzyredmittens]
unusual card stock x-posted
I am looking for some unusual card stock paper for a business card I am making for a client. I am currently being sent some samples from WCPC but I would like to see what else is out there.

Anyone have any companies to recommend (or places I might go near Seattle) where I would find unusual paper for off-set printing?

Subtle metallic, interesting feel or texture etc etc...

Thank you in advance. I am sick so the chance of me replying to all comments is small unless you will be offended if I don't :--)
2:56 pm
[shawnwrites]
Intro post.
Hi, I'm Shawn and since I started the community I thought I would introduce myself and try to get things started.


I've been a full-time freelancer for over four years now (not counting an 18-month freelance stint a number of years ago). I've been in Michigan for the past year after living in Denver for almost ten years before that. I was working as a studio artist for a big ad agency, but had a decent amount of freelance work on the side. The agency went through a big reorganization which meant that they were laying off a bunch of folks, including a number of artists. I knew that they would never lay me off, so I went to my boss and offered to take a layoff if I received the same severence package as everyone else. They agreed to give me the severence and I was free.

The package wasn't much...just enough to make a few months of house and bill payments, but I was sure that I could make things happen. As it turns out, I was right. I landed a few decent and steady clients right away (including the agency I used to work for) and have been out on my own ever since.

So what's your story? How long have you been freelancing and how did you get started?
2:29 pm
[shawnwrites]
Welcome.
A few months ago I was searching for an LJ community that was geared more toward the business of freelance graphic design. There are a few great design communities, but not too many posts that dealt with the business of design. Since the community I was looking for didn't exist, I decided to start one. freelance_ideas is open to anyone who is interested in joining. You don't even have to be a designer...freelance writers, illustrators and so forth all face pretty similar hurdles, so anyone who is interested is welcome to join.

The only rule is that you be courteous whenever posting in this community. I guess there is a second rule...let's keep posts to the topic of freelancing. That means no posting designs for critique (there are already several great communities for this) and no technical questions. Aside from that, I don't have any rules in mind. Let's just see where things go and we can add rules later if we have to.

I would like to see this community develop into an active group of people sharing ideas on how they run their businesses, what industries they work with, how we find new clients, etc. Some of the most successful ideas I've had as a freelancer were spurred through conversations with other freelancers. Each of us runs our business in a different way and maybe by talking about things, it'll give us new ideas.

I think to get things rolling, I will try to make a conversation-starter post every week. Please start posting on your own, though, because I'm really looking forward to "meeting" people and learning about and from them.

Best...
...shawn...
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