- Be generous with your time estimates. When your client asks how long you will need to deliver, always add at least 50% of the time you think you are gonna need to the estimate. In fact, better double it. You think you need five days to design the website? Say you need 10! You estimate a total of two months for the campaign plan? Name three. do not hesitate to be liberal with your time estimates. you will bite your butt if you can’t deliver on time and need to call for an extension – that only makes you look unprofessional. The second benefit is that if you are able to do it in half the time you estimated, you will make a terrific impression. This can be most important for your success – paired with our fifth and final rule of personal matter:
5. do not try to be a ticket of ten
Especially when you start off as a freelancer, you will want to take every job that is available. You most likely do not have a solid client basis yet – but you need one, and you have to start somewhere, right? Well, not quite. You shouldn’t start somewhere – you need to start in your niche. As a designer, you are supposed to create identities. Why be inconsistent when it comes to yourself?
If you are a topnotch web designer, and you want to be a shining star in that field, you should focus on web design and not necessarily do flyers, posters and calendars. Many freelancers tend to spread their field too widely, often into areas they are not so good in, only to deliver bad work. That results in bad reputation. Remember our happy clients? They want solid work, and only if you can deliver that, you will be hired again – either by them or by the ones they recommended you to – because you made them happy!
So, instead of being a mediocre all-rounder, focus on your profession and find people to network with. If you know a killer identity guy, call him up and form a relationship! Send him the identity you get, and let him send you the web development jobs he runs into. Networking is key: Not only will it give you more jobs in your field, a better reputation and more awareness, but it will also make your clients happier because you can provide them with more options and resources. Plus, it will give you what you want and need: it will make you happy, simply because you are doing what you love to do. Tell me, how important is being happy to you?