Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quick How to Get Freelance Guide and a WIP/

A lot of people have been asking me lately - Leisha, you charismatic Goddess, how do you get so much darn freelance?!

I reply simply, Darling Peer of mine, you must carry yourself with the same dramatic presence as I do, and it will fall at your feet like chocolate rain.

Basically what I meant, and I promise this won't be a tl;dr article, is that you have to maintain online presence, and here's some quick tips how:

1) Get on as many online "gallery" sites as possible; by this I mean, have a blogspot, a tumblr, a deviantart, as well as signing up for portfolio sites like Behance and Wooshii. The more people that know your name the better. Maintain at least one of these religiously.

Quick tip, don't change your name across these sites, have your user name be your real name - and use it universally. People googling you will have a much easier time. 

2) Be cordial, but casual in your outgoing letters to possible clients. Too many times do I see people writing e-mails that are far too casual, or far too formal. Maintain a conversational presence as you would in a face to face interview, this way you don't come off as too intimidating or too unprofessional. But you have to gauge who you're speaking to as well, speaking to a large company versus a single client can vary the level of casual you can get away with.

Here is an example of something conversationally cordial, for a small-time client. I have blotted out names for obvious reasons.

Right. So. I realized that was probably the most shit  not the best  example I could have used. Here is a much better one, without name dropping, and I Don't have to bleep everything out either. As you'll note in the comment sections, a good friend of mine pointed out that I go nutters with exclamation points. That's a good thing to avoid.

Hello ████

I recently received an e-mail from ████████ concerning ████'s upcoming series, and their need for story artists and Flash Animators. I am a graduate of Sheridan College from 2010, and I am interested in applying for the position of Story Artist. 

As you will see in my resume, I have experience working on as a Flash Animator for television, so I have a very good idea of the television pipeline. As well, I have Feature Film experience - where I prepared concept art, and storyboards for the Director and Director of Photography.

My story portfolio is online at ████████████, and I have attached my resume. My phone number is ████████, and I hope to hear back from you.

Thank you for your time!

Leisha-Marie Riddel

And here's a response letter that worked quite well for me.

Hello ████,

It would be my pleasure. I am available currently - and I can work full time (So up to and around 40 hours weekly). The only time I would be less available would be the week of Christmas, where it would only be 20 hours. 

I understand, I know words mean very little but I work very fast. I would say my hourly rate would be around 25/hour, but I'm willing to negotiate. I'll attach my resume for you to take a look if you would like to. 

Thank you for your time.

Leisha-Marie Riddel

3) Be careful in how to ask for money. Money is a large issue in freelance, and I see too many people lose opportunities by demanding too much.

Quick tips: When asked what your hourly wage is, instead of saying, I expect to be paid 25/hour and no less than that! I might say: I usually charge around 25/hour, but depending on your budget I am willing to negotiate.

If they are paying you in the "deposit, and final payment" method, clarify what your budget is, and how much you are getting in a deposit. 

4) Contracts, in the end, mean very little. You must demand one to show you're serious, but try and uphold one in court and let me know how much it costs, so you have to be very sure that this person is legitimate.

5) Own a smartphone. I'm so serious. If you don't right now, you should. If you can't check your emails all the time, you're at a disadvantage. I get freelance because I pounce on it.

6) Speak to your old professors, they'll often have jobs for you that they themselves don't want or can't take.

7) Don't forget your peers. You might think this sounds crazy, but if you don't talk to your peers, they won't give you jobs they can't take. There are a few people who've cut contact with me, who could have easily taken jobs that I rejected, but I gave them to more, well-deserving friends of mine. <3

8) Craigslist, and Kijiji. There are a lot of postings there, that are totally illegitimate. But there's a few diamonds in the rough.

Your best bets are old peers, or professors, as they'll find someone legitimate and filter out the illegitimate clients.

Good luck!

Here is a WIP I was working on, then stopped because I have to pack for Montreal.

1 comment:

  1. Leisha, you write with such eloquence and clarity! Despite not being in your field of work, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and surprisingly, found the majority of your advice somewhat generalizable to my own discipline.

    The only thing I found disagreeable, would be the liberal use of exclamation marks in your email correspondence. Although your punctuation conveys enthusiasm, I thought it was a bit much.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this. It was a really fun read. I look forward to your future posts.