Even if you’re a designer, writer, illustrator or website developer working for a company, I’m willing to bet that you’ve done some freelance work on the side. I’ve yet to meet a creative person that didn’t have numerous projects going at once. It typically starts with a friend or a former colleague interested in getting just a few things done and before you know it, you’re working nights and weekends on it. Often the best part of freelancing is that it is completely different from your regular job and diversity is the heart of designing.
Your first “friendly” freelance job probably did not include a contract or proposal. You were hired and a price agreed upon with a handshake. Unfortunately, you didn’t realize the job creep that would be involved and you vowed next time to put it all in writing. Setting up boundaries through written proposals is a great way to keep a positive relationship with your clients.
Ilise Benun, co-founder of Marketing Mentor Toolbox and founder of Creative Freelancer Conference has developed, “Proposal Bundle for Designers: 25 Resources for Project-Winning Proposals,” a guide to preparing proposals specific to graphic design, logo creation, book promotions, marketing and rebranding collaboration and more.
In addition, Benun provides a pre-proposal checklist that includes following up on potential projects and what to do if you are not chosen.
There is also a bonus section on responding to RFPs (requests for proposal) and a webcast where Benun discusses proposals that get noticed.
To learn more about this incredible bundle, visit MyDesignShop.com
by The Creative Group, excerpted via HOWDesign.com
If you frequently find yourself getting passed over for premium gigs, despite having similar skills and experience as your colleagues, it’s time to boost your visibility. You might think your strong work speaks for itself, but in more cases than not, you have to toot your own horn to gain recognition and move your design career forward. Here are some tips on getting noticed and securing choice assignments:
1. Step up to the plate. Develop a reputation for stepping up when others stand back. Be the first person to throw your hat in the ring when the boss needs someone to assist with a difficult new project (like rolling out a new collaboration tool), even if it falls beyond the scope of your job description.
2. Make your voice heard. Your bright ideas won’t help your employer—or you—if you’re unwilling to take risks and share them. If you have a plan that could trim expenses or attract new clients, go public with it. Also, stay on management’s radar by regularly pitching potential solutions in staff meetings and brainstorming sessions. Companies prize innovative thinkers and confident communicators, not wallflowers and shrinking violets. (You don’t have to yell the loudest in order to be heard)
3. Highlight and quantify your contributions. Quietly hunkering down and doing a good job behind the scenes is commendable, but it’s not enough to further your design career. Don’t assume your manager is keeping track of your contributions. Instead of waiting for your annual review to roll around, apprise your supervisor of your most notable achievements on a regular basis.
4. Network internally. Many designers think of networking in terms of developing outside connections for job-hunting purposes. But expanding your reach internally is just as important to your career. Try to establish strong relationships with colleagues in all areas of your organization. Sign up for cross-departmental initiatives, attend company-sponsored events, and generally aim to be an outgoing member of the team.
5. Keep growing. Ambitious designers who demonstrate a commitment to learning have a distinct edge over those who stagnate. Make it known you’re always looking for ways to expand your skills. From brownbag lunch seminars to e-learning classes, take advantage of the professional development opportunities your employer offers. Join professional associations, read trade publications and attend business and design conferences, like HOW Design Live, to keep up with the latest trends. Then, share insights with your boss and coworkers.
Ilise Benun will be a keynote at HOW Design Live’s Creative Freelancer Conference. Register Now