Jump starting freelance work

I’m wanting to jump start my freelance work but not sure how. I work full-time but I’m ready to make money on the side. Where do I get the clients? Rwally this sounds funny but I really don’t have a clue. SHould I mass e-mail companies? Flyers? Please help

my freelance gigs all come from my personal network of contacts (people who already know who i am and what i can do or know someone who knows)…beyond this i would suggest you post a portfolio on coroflot and your own website and start spreadin’ the news every which way…

Same here. Been hustling to make contacts ever since graduation last May, and it is a pain, but eventually effective.

My experience, and that of a lot of fellow freelancers, is several months of scraping by with occasional gigs, getting slowly deeper into debt, but going to every industry event you can think of, chatting with every acquaintance in related fields you know, building an online portfolio, doing internships, staying in touch with school buddies, and FOLLOWING UP EVERY LEAD. I got my biggest job so far through a chat with a complete stranger at a friend’s office Christmas party.

The trick is, anytime you get a gig, be thorough, fast and professional, and mention what other skills you have. If they like the work you did, they’ll call on you again and tell their friends. Keep this up for 6-12 months and you’ve got a network of employers keeping you going.

All the tips above are extremely valid, and you can get some freelance works also through your ex-bosses, if you had a friendly relationship with them…I´m doing this at this moment, and it´s working well so far…I´m going to have an extra cash until august/2005 doing a freelance job for them…
Good luck :slight_smile:

still in school, but wonder what tools you need at your disposal to be an effective freelancer. Specifically CAD, I am trained in Alias and do not have an IBM so my internal dabate is whether or not to try and pick one up before I graduate. I am trying to save every last penny before May rolls around just in case, but if CAD is extremely important for freelancing, then maybe it will be worth it. Any opions would be appreciated.

still in school, but wonder what tools you need at your disposal to be an effective freelancer. Specifically CAD, I am trained in Alias and do not have an IBM so my internal dabate is whether or not to try and pick one up before I graduate. I am trying to save every last penny before May rolls around just in case, but if CAD is extremely important for freelancing, then maybe it will be worth it. Any opions would be appreciated.

Well I’d say having a computer to do design work on is a requisite if you are going to freelance- if you don’t have a mac or a pc, and want to freelance, get one. If you want to get a full time job, not so critical, but certainly helpful. As far as CAD, Alias is a VERY expensive piece of software. If you have the skills and want to specialize in doing Alias work, you probably won’t have any shortage of clients, especially if you have your own copy of the software. When I graduated my first few freelance gigs were doing Alias at places, however they had their own stations (this was when Alias ran on Irix and getting your own setup meant SGI hardware, not something a recent grad could generally consider).

You might want to consider picking up Rhino instead for the time being, its only 1200 and is very similar in surface modeling.

I bought a Wacom pad and desktop replacement laptop for freelance. The wacom was a good investment. I could sketch anywhere. The wacom also came bundled with Painter Classic and Adobe Photoshop Elements. They are both very good for the budding freelancers.

I agree with purchasing Rhino. A lot of freelancers use it. It is not as fast as Alias but can get the job done. Solidworks is also a good option

Re: IBM and CAD - the field if industrial design is so diverse it really depends on what product area you’d like to focus on. For example, I’ve been working in housewares for years and found that CAD is overkill - I work in Illustrator/Photoshop, even for techs, and it’s enough. I was very excited when the Wacom tablets came out but have found them to be a waste of time (just my humble experience) and have never had a need for Rhino - my clients are more comfortable with hand drawn illustrations (they like the human/warmth/art factor) which, for this type of product, are faster too. In addition to basic software though, I’ve found Adobe Acrobat (the full blown software, not just the Reader) to be indespensible in this age of freelancing at home over the internet. You can create a presentation and turn it into an Acrobat file that anyone - clients, buyers, overseas vendors - can read. Owning a scanner is critical too. As you can see though, I work in a specific product area.

I guess I’d wait and see what happens - if you find you need an IBM ASAP you can always log on to Dell, purchase something and have it up and running in no time.

Good luck!

I guess I might disagree with Jjello on the Cad thing- I too am in housewares and find the 3d is valuable…but really only for proving out shapes etc. (we have some good rapid prototyping in house). it seems to rarely ever be used in tooling. But great for dialing size/proportion… I suppose it depends on where you are.

btw, doesn’t Rhino sell cheaper to Students? Pretty affordable as I recall.

If any one has a contract that I can modify or just look at please send or
post resouce site

i

IDSA student members get an additional $100 off Rhino, fully functioning version, not like alias personal learning edition (http://www.idsa.org/webmodules/articles/anmviewer.asp?a=122&z=49)

You get freelance work by referals. any networking you can do, and write off the expence at tax time. I have my portfolio samples in my backpack, printed, and on a USB memory stick to “give away” and on my Ipod. I always have business cards. Always be professional. The hardest lesson I learned entering the workforce was don’t just hit the list of deliverables. always raise the bar, give more than asked for while still hitting the “Minimum requirements” be ahead of schedule and under budget. don’t just render the idea for them, once you do what they asked for, ask yourself, what can I add that they will want. ask yourself what their end goal is and is there a better way to achieve it. And while your at it, get them everything they need to make the next decision a no brainer. cost comparisons, alternatives, your reccomendation and why it’s better.

Excellent advice! Those are the qualities in a freelance designer that keep clients coming back for more.

http://www.agreementsetc.com/contractor-agreement/

these have some good online contract builders…check them out.