Recently I change my life.
Two weeks ago I change my job title at LinkedIn to UX & UI freelance. Life changing right!? When pushing the save button in profile settings I had huge hopes but nothing really happened, I didn’t felt anything special and I just got a few likes. This change required more work.
In this post I will talk about how I have started as a freelance UX & UI designer, why I did it and some insights. Maybe I can inspire you and give you new perspectives.
How I started as a UX/UI freelance
First let me tell you that I’ve been freelance for two weeks so I’m not done with my start period, I’m still running the but I felt like sharing my experience so far.
Current situation: home office with desk, plant and computer. I’ve been to two meetings and gotten my first project.
So how did I start?
Saved some money, researched the area, created a new website/portfolio, quitted my full-time job and wrote a post in a Facebook group. These steps make it sounds really straight forward and simple but as everything else it wasn’t.
I saved so I had money that could cover five months of life expenses, which made me skip certain events and prioritise things around me. I emailed some people that was in the industry as freelancers with questions and I read everything I could find within the topic, I wanted to be as prepared as possible. But it was hard to find Swedish UX & UI freelancers and articles regarding the business and industry in Sweden and I started wondering if it was because it didn’t existed a huge demand. But I had my goal, point B, so I kept going.
When the time had come to start freelancing I had a new website ready to be published, LinkedIn and other designer platforms was up to date.
I thought I was ready, but no I wasn’t.
Actually I was not ready. After the first week of emailing and stalking people at LinkedIn I had no answers in my inbox. I know, it was only one week but anyway I felt that my strategy didn’t work so I needed to make changes. Iterated as we UX designers like to do and tried a new approach and then took a look at my website again, did some changes. I wrote a post in a relevant Facebook group with my website and then the ball started rolling. People reached out and meetings were booked. My emotional curve went from the bottom to the top in a few seconds.
Freedom and variation, yes please.
I’ve been an UX designer employee at two different companies. Both times I’ve found myself feeling hooked, trapped in a life situation that someone else had created for me. I knew that when something isn’t feeling 100%, I shouldn’t keep going that way rather stop and see how I can change things. Because the 8 hours a day is also my life not only the weekends and the vacations. I knew that I wanted to have control over my life, full-time.
Another part is the variation of project, different people that I can meet and work together with as a freelancer. Also I want to have the possibility to work from everywhere. I think the remote freelancer is the future, it’s my future.
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After these two weeks I have some insights to share.
#1 Star at your portfolio — I mean it. Compare it with others that you will be competing with. You need to be at their level or above otherwise the client won’t be choosing you.
#2 LinkedIn is not number one in finding freelance work in Stockholm and Sweden. There are a lot of full-time job ads for UX & UI designers which I tried to email anyway, it didn’t gave any result. And think about it. The companies spend time and energy on writing that ad and probably don’t have the budget to hire a freelancer.
#3 Be prepared. If someone call for a meeting be prepared on what you want to offer. What you want to do and be comfortable to talk about your work and your process.
Today I feel like my life is changing each day and I’m the one in charge. I do actions which makes me feel more alive and motivated.
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Thanks for reading!
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