Some surprising truths about being a freelance professional brochure designer
Freelancing is a tough way to get ahead. Whether you are a professional brochure designer or a television cameraman, you are in for some difficult times. Once you have made the decision to go freelance full time, you are in for quite a ride. Feast or famine, rain or hurricane, you are responsible for your bills and putting food in your belly. Not quite sure about quitting your 9 to 5 job yet?
Sally is a professional brochure designer who works for a large advertising firm. She takes home a comfortable salary and enjoys reasonable job satisfaction. But what most people don't realize is that Sally could be making a nice chunk of extra change by supplementing her income with freelance brochure design work.
When you think of a professional brochure designer, you may imagine a dull office environment with little financial returns for the many hours spent manning the cubicle. In truth, being a professional brochure designer can be wonderfully rewarding in more ways than one. Read on to find out more about what it's really like to work as a professional brochure designer and why you might want to think twice about becoming a freelancer…
For Sally, working as a professional brochure designer wasn't exactly her first career choice. "I always wanted to work in a field where my artistic talents would be used on a daily basis, but also make a decent living." And at her current company, she certainly does well! "I've always been pretty realistic about the realities of growing up and looking after myself financially, which is why freelancing has never been my main priority. I know that I need medical cover, a retirement plan and paid vacations. So many of the friends I studied with have gone to freelancing full time and I can see the strain it puts on them."
From the outside, it may seem as if freelancers have it easy. But the truth is, its hard work even getting people to realize you are a professional earning a living. David is a full time professional brochure designer who works from home. "For me, the hardest part is convincing loved ones that I am at work. It becomes all too easy for well meaning friends and relatives to pop in unannounced or even to suggest that I get a 'real job'
As a freelancer in any profession, the onus is on the freelancer to provide everything for themselves. No more paid vacations or calling in sick. "As a freelance professional brochure designer, I work much harder than I ever did in an office environment!" But for David, the benefits far outweigh the hours of grueling work and shameless self-promotion.
As a freelancer, a professional brochure designer is a particularly hard working individual by nature. There are so many elements that need to be taken care of for every single brochure design that the mind boggles at the thought of one lone individual taking care of all the necessary details.
For a professional brochure designer, a brochure design agency provides a solid support structure. Having a team of professionals can mean the difference between making a deadline and missing it, especially when it comes to brochure design.
As a freelance professional brochure designer, you are responsible for a number of things. The typical freelancer preparing a brochure for a client goes through the following steps:
Advertising your skills and availability: Expect to spend at least an hour daily on this time consuming and exhausting task.
Meeting with clients and discussing needs and wants: Once you have them through the door, you need to share some great, creative ideas for brochure design.
Creative brainstorming is much harder when you are alone! There is no one to bounce ideas off, it's all up to you.
You are also responsible for gathering all pictures and copywriting, in many cases you will have to write the copy yourself.
Once you have completed these steps, it's finally time to get down to the business of graphic design and making the brochure.
Of course the work doesn't end here, running your initial design past the client should be your next step before organizing the mass printing.
Printing hundreds or thousands of brochures can be easy once you have established a working relationship with the printers.
By this stage, you are most likely sick of the project and looking forward to spending the cash, but invoicing timeously isn't always a guarantee that you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The sad truth is that paying professional brochure designers is often at the bottom of the list of priorities for companies. Waiting 30 days before taking harsh action can be a difficult rule to observe when the bills are mounting.
Chances are, you will be working on more than one job at a time, as a single workforce, you are responsible for every aspect of the brochure production and meeting deadlines is a big part of this responsibility.
One aspect of choosing a career as a professional brochure designer is the impact of the increasing technological sophistication on the available work. More and more people are choosing to make their own brochures with one of the many nifty free brochure makers online. This is why you should have experience as a professional brochure designer in some kind of organization. Your experience is useful in more ways than you could imagine!
As a professional brochure designer, you have a world of opportunities. Advertising in general is undergoing huge developments every day. To keep up with developments in the field you will need to invest some time every day reading, learning and exploring the cutting edge ideas and concepts in brochure design. Chances are, you have already made the decision to either freelance or work in an agency as a professional brochure designer. Hopefully this article has helped you to consider some of the less glamorous aspects of freelancing.