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Deep Dive Into Freelance

  • Publish Date: Posted over 5 years ago
  • Author:by Alaina Virag

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Applying for a new role can be a daunting process. Our podcasts are here to make the process as seamless as possible, by providing you with the information and tools you need to land your next dream role. Hosted by our experienced Australia, Hong Kong and UK teams, we aim to help you stand out and showcase your ability and experience. 

Listen to our latest podcast  - deep dive into freelance with Alaina

Following on from our previous podcast "ins and outs of becoming a freelancer" in this weeks episode, we are deliving deeper into freelance with Alaina from the become Melbourne team. 

We ask Alaina to share with us some of her industry insights:

What is the main difference between permanent and freelance?

  • Having a permanent role is definitely more secure, and it has structure

  • With freelance you don’t know where you’re working next

  • You could spend your week potentially at three different agencies/studios

  • There is lots of uncertainty working in freelance

  • Some people get the thrill from not knowing where they might be working next

  • Takes a very special type of person to do freelance

  • You may not know when your next pay-check is

Benefits of freelance?

  • Our freelancers have lots of flexibility 

  • They can choose when they would like to work and tell us when and where to take time off e.g. for holidays

  • Rate of pay can be higher for freelance

  • However, there is no sick pay or holiday pay

  • Great for those who are constantly busy and if you’re working consistently

  • We have had freelancers work with Become for 10 years

  • Opportunity to see and experience different studios and environments 

  • Stops from getting too stale going to the same place every day

  • Lots of variety of work 

  • You get to meet lots of new people

  • Exposure to different agencies and different approaches to how each agency works

What can a freelancer do to make themselves popular and increase their chances of staying busy?

  • Tailor a portfolio that has a lot of variety of work

  • More variety you show us, the more jobs we can run past you

  • A lot of clients may ask for something very specific

  • FMCG packaging? Put it into the portfolio. We may not know what you’re capable of doing without seeing your work prior

  • If your main goal is to stay busy, you can’t be fussy of what you want to do

  • You have got to put your hand in the bucket for as many things as possible

  • It is really dependent on what your goals are

  • Remember to keep an open mind

  • Usually you get booked for something you have done before

  • Clients want you to come in, get your head down and hit the ground running. They don’t have the luxury of time

  • Have flexibility in your rate and your availability

  • The more available you are, the more you are likely to be booked. Sometimes bookings may run over time. Be as accommodating as possible

  • Clients can underestimate on time on particular projects and want you to stay beyond the initial booking

How to best showcase yourself as a freelancer on your CV?

  • Being a long-term freelancer can be tricky to show on your CV

  • Have a little bracket to show the date. E.g. 2015 -2018 

  • Where were you freelancing? Specific companies? What kind of work were you doing? Marketing roll-out? Artworking? What skills were you using during those times? These should be clearly stated on your CV

  • What skills and responsibilities did you have during those times?

  • If you worked for great agencies, make sure it’s prominent on your CV

  • Sometimes your work speaks for yourself too

What do you think of Freelance portfolios?

  • Have a PDF portfolio

  • It’s a great overview where we can see instantly what you’re are capable of doing

  • Websites can sometimes take a bit too long to log in and upload

  • Poor user experience websites, may cause clients to lose interest in your work

  • PDFs, you can scroll through straight away

  • You can have both. PDF is a taste of what you’re capable of doing

  • Find out more about that designer through the website 

  • Having different tailored PDFs, definitely works for freelance, which encourages people to show lots of variety of work

  • Some folios may be tailored to show specific packaging work 

  • If you are specialising or have strong skills in particular skills, separate PDFs showcasing this is ideal

  • Increases your chances of getting booked by the client

  • If you are serious about freelance, you need to put in the effort at the start

Have you noticed any differences or trends across the New Zealand, Sydney and Melbourne markets?

  • Similar markets but different 

  • You can never predict when you’re going to be busy

  • Sometimes can be busy, sometimes can be quiet

  • You can’t plan out your year properly

  • You have to be okay with uncertainty

  • Trends? There are no trends

  • Australian market – all over the place, even on the permanent side

Any final thoughts and tips? What impresses you?

  • When I meet someone and they’re friendly and relatable 

  • Being assured that this person is able to fit in easily in any work place  

  • Remember to be adaptable to various studios

  • Being quite rigid is not good

  • Have a positive attitude 

  • Clients want some to come in to get the ball rolling

  • Being upbeat about it

  • Bad attitude is big no no

  • Be flexible and be open-minded - that’s what I look for in a freelancer

  • Do not be fussy or be demanding! That may not work in a freelance capacity

  • People like being around nice people

About Alaina Virag:
Alaina works in our Melbourne office as the freelance consultant. She started on the freelance desk, in 2013 with Become in the Sydney office and has also worked in New Zealand. 

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