There can be as many open job posts in the IT sector as programmers like but the fact remains that all the codes they write need to be accompanied by sensical and creative content. This is where the creative industries come into play to animate the software and hardware we use every day.
However, there is a problem with such a concept of progress, as there are few permanent job positions in the creative industries since they outsource labor. Namely, most of the workers are freelancers who might love what they do and aren’t shy to post it on social media but they live from one project to another. Navigating the creative industries as a freelancer can be difficult at times so here a few tips on how to make it in this line of work.
Word of mouth
One of the primary and if not the biggest concerns a freelancer has is whether they will someone hire them the day after tomorrow or the next month. Advertising your services in the paper and online will get you only thus far so you need a more reliable marketing strategy.
The key to success, in this case, is relentless networking by constantly making new acquaintances with important players in the industry. You might not be a politician but that does not stop you from shaking their hand and politely introducing yourself. In order to have a chance to meet new business associates, make yourself present at social gatherings and various events, conferences, and seminars related to your profession.
The ability to adapt fast
The world is changing rapidly and so is your profession. Freelancers can never allow themselves to be old-fashioned in regard to the technology and the equipment they use, although this is ironic having in mind the quaintness of the etymology of their occupation. You have to accept the fact that your informal schooling is a never-ending process that requires you to learn new tips and tricks (this text included) nearly every day.
Furthermore, you will have to embrace any technological advancement and do so before your competitors. For example, if you’re a photographer and a camera with a revolutionary type of lens hit the market, do your best to grab hold of it as soon as possible.
Learn from other people
Even seasoned freelance artists can learn a lot from their older colleagues if they are ready to listen. This is especially important if you are new to the creative industries and hungry for knowledge. Alongside attentively listening to people who have become jacks of the trade, you can turn to online sources to further improve your expertise.
Using the same example as above, a person striving to turn their passion for photography into a proper job can explore the Internet on how to start a photography business with minimum investment. Once they grasp the basics, they will be ready to raise the game to the next level by learning how to shoot from a camera mounted on a drone, for example.
Establishing a presence on social media
There is hardly any creative person who is not present on social media at least with a single active account. Big businesses open their company accounts on every social media platform imaginable to advertise themselves but people often shun them as the essence of social media are people, i.e. live users as individuals.
This is where your chance for landing new gigs and promoting your services lies, as you are a living and breathing human who is ultra-creative. By generating engaging content that has a personal note to it, you will soon gather a huge number of followers that will help you establish a professional online presence. It should not come as a surprise that professional photographers should have the easiest task of presenting their portfolio on Instagram but other freelance visual artists, like actors or painters, can also post likable (literally) content.
Learn to value your work
It is easy for a pizzeria to determine the true value of pizza slices and set the price accordingly. The operational costs, workers’ pay, the cost of ingredients, etc., are all figures to add up but when it comes to creative work, no such calculations are possible. Essentially, you have the final say when it comes to determining the price of your services.
Yes, there probably is an average price that others charge but you have to account for, pun intended, the fact that your services are unique because no two creative freelancers are the same. In other words, if you don’t hold the work you do in high esteem; don’t expect your clients to do it for you.
The hours might be long and sometimes you will be too tired to take a shower after you arrive home from work. Freelancing in the creative industries is tough but at the same time rewarding because you are performing the work you like and you are getting paid good money (hopefully) for it. Success is just around the corner, all you have to do is persevere.