For 6 months I've been a freelancer, time goes fast. I wrote an article two weeks in (Two weeks as a UX & UI..) and some things have happened since then. In this article I’m writing about the demand I’ve seen, meetings, important questions to ask for a new project and how I improved my sh*t.
When I started I had no idea if there was a demand for UX & UI freelancers, but I wanted to give it a shot. There was a lot of full-time ads but very little about freelance gigs. Now, when being in the loop for some months I’ve gotten a clearer picture and I have definitely seen a demand.
I’ve also discovered that it’s quite a process to land a UX project. A lot of people are in the loop to find a freelancer and sometimes it’s like finding a job with CV, interviews/meetings and other things. Of course this depends on the client, the bigger client the more formal steps, and on the project length.
There have been three ways of getting project inquiries. Through recruiters, agencies or a direct from a company sending me a mail or LinkedIn message.
The first contact was usually through mail or LinkedIn, either with project specifications and meeting invitation or an invitation for a cup of coffee and to talk in preventive purpose. First, I thought that it was a great way to network but after a while I got tired of running on meetings that did not lead to something concrete. I started to think more about the value of time, both mine and others, and how I can decrease the coffee mails and increase the inquiry mails.
I reviewed my internet present, my website and how I could improve it. January this year I updated my site. Actually since then I’ve gotten less coffee mail. I like coffee though, I just want to be efficient with my time.
In a meeting it’s important to be honest with answers, always listen active to the question and answer it straightforward. Clear communication is key. If they ask something that I’m not sure of or never done before I’ve learned to say it but that I can give it a try and that I’m always doing my best in trying. Honesty gives a secure vibe.
When having a own business the most important thing when entering a meeting is to be clear about own needs. Before I go to a meeting I think through what I want from it and make sure that those questions gets answers.
When starting a new project there are some things to clear out to avoid a uncomfortable situation.
- Which date do I start and end?
- How many days a week and which days?
- What do I get paid?
- What should I do?
These questions may seem simple and obvious but with my own experience it’s good to have them with.
When having clear answers it’s about consider the inquiry. If yes, ask for a agreement/contract. In one of my projects I didn’t have a clear start date, I was told start asap but the project got delayed for a long time which forced me to turn down other opportunities and worrying about the project being off or not. It was frustrating and it was my own fault because I had not demanded clear answers.
How I improved my sh*t
After some time I took a look at situations, emails, phone calls, meetings and other business related stuff and reflected. What was working/not working? And how could I improve? I actually made a journey with interaction points to analyse pain an highlights (UX freak..)
This is what I found out:
- My online present needed to be tight. I looked over my present online, photos, bios, and material. Did some cleaning and made it consistent, it needed to be really tight and trustable.
- The easy part is doing the job, the hard part is the business aspect of it. This is something I realised after some time, the craft is not the problem it’s the art of selling it. I’ve started to study business and a great source is the episodes from The Futur
Changed from hour to day rate. I started off by charging per hour. I changed that, today I say per day. By charging per hour I put myself in a losing position of not being efficient with my time.
- Stop making the life hard for myself. Always focus at one thing at a time and do that thing really good. See failure as a learning and don’t beat myself about it.
- Have patient and be physiologic strong. It can go weeks, months with nothing really happening. Be prepared of that mentally and financially. To be mentally strong I workout and eat healthy, physic and mentality is for sure connected.
- Communication skills. I wanted to improve my communication skills so first step was to be aware how I talked or reacted to people. I started to record myself. It felt super uncomfortable listning to myself but I am so happy I did. By facing my flaws and work with them — I can create better self.
• • •
Thanks for reading!
Follow me @ Medium if you like what I'm sharing.