Does Freelance Mean Free?
In starting out as a freelancer you might find that you have to volunteer a lot. This didn’t bother me as I really enjoy the work. Contributing can be enjoyable and it means that you can gain a lot of experience while bulking up your CV. It’s a great opportunity to gain contacts and to get a feel for your chosen industry too.
But where is the line between getting experience and getting taken advantage of?
A lot of freelancers starting out are also working a full time job as an employee. This will take up a lot of time, which means spare time is spent working as well, but with no financial return. I assume that this is how it goes for all freelancers starting out, in all industries?
It is understandable that as a freelancer you have to prove yourself as you don’t have the backing of a big name or well-known company and I think that the idea of contributing is a really good one. It means that you get a chance to prove yourself before contracts or money issues get in the way of the most important thing: the product or service you are providing. But how long should you provide your services for free before asking for payment? Will asking this question cause you to lose contacts/experience?
How do you break into full time freelancing? You need to be sure that you are earning enough to cover the bills before you can break away from any other employment you might have, if this is your goal.
Do you have any advice for freelancers starting out in relation to giving their services for free and in how to get paid for work?
I think you have to build relationships first by showing your interest and dedication to your chosen field. If you can do a good job and are reliable then employers/clients should come to you, as long as they know where to find you!