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Going freelance - any tips?

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  #1  
Old 03-10-2011, 05:17 AM
Jon10 Jon10 is offline
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Going freelance - any tips?

Hi All

I've been a professional Mac artworker for over 20 yrs, and whilst in that time I've done a fair bit of retouching, I've only recently considered attempting to go freelance as a retoucher, which means I don't really have much in the way of portfolio images yet.

Can anyone offer advice on how to go about developing a portfolio of sample images, and the best way to start approaching potential clients, how much to charge (too little looks amateurish, too much without a reputation is too much, but do you star lower to encourage business and then put up prices as you get busier?), and whether to focus on any one sector? Would it be better to focus on getting work from photographers, or perhaps from advertising and design agencies?

I've already seen the Facebook posts by 'Godmother' which contain some really good advice. My concern is that there are an awful lot of people already out there offering retouching services - some are very good but a lot seem quite average, so how do you promote yourself in a way that really shows your commitment to high quality work?

From a technical knowledge perspective, this site is excellent with some really helpful people offering to share their knowledge. I'm just hoping that YouTube sort out their tech problems with the paysite, so I can can view all the tutorials here in the UK.

Cheers

Jon
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:43 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Going freelance - any tips?

Look at the business around you. Big cities tend to get the car, drinks, cosmetic accounts. The provinces get manufacturing, specialist 'unknowns' etc - still worthwhile but less budget. Make your bag relevant to your target market. No good showing skin work to widget makers. Just as important as talent is luck; who you know is vital also. Get on the phone and start pitching to art directors, photographers etc - make 10 calls and you'll get one break. That'll give you false hope. So make another 10 calls and you'll get an appointment. Now you're on your way! Price yourself on what you need to make a living and not on what someone else charges. Don't kid yourself by undercutting or you'll end up busy and broke. Good luck in your endeavours (but not on my patch!)
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:10 AM
Jon10 Jon10 is offline
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Re: Going freelance - any tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
Look at the business around you. Big cities tend to get the car, drinks, cosmetic accounts. The provinces get manufacturing, specialist 'unknowns' etc - still worthwhile but less budget. Make your bag relevant to your target market. No good showing skin work to widget makers. Just as important as talent is luck; who you know is vital also. Get on the phone and start pitching to art directors, photographers etc - make 10 calls and you'll get one break. That'll give you false hope. So make another 10 calls and you'll get an appointment. Now you're on your way! Price yourself on what you need to make a living and not on what someone else charges. Don't kid yourself by undercutting or you'll end up busy and broke. Good luck in your endeavours (but not on my patch!)
Thanks for the info - so I'll be turning up in Bristol to undercut you next week then!!! Naaaah - I'm in the West Midlands so it's a bit outside the area - plenty of agencies around here to keep me busy. How's business in general? The freelance artworkers that I know are pretty busy now (no-one want's to hire full-time in a recession) but does this translate to more specialised areas such as retouching?
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:05 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Going freelance - any tips?

Ooops - I was hoping you were in Cornflake, Idaho!
Still, Brum's a good market in it's own right plus the greater midlands area. This year has been better than last year so far but the underlying trend is recessive. There are more people chasing less work and retouching is, after all, a discretionary purchase. When budgets get hit, agencies don't like outsourcing work that their under occupied Maccies could have a stab at. There is always someone out there with a problem that you can solve so 'right place, right time' applies!
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:07 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: Going freelance - any tips?

Hey! My Mom lives in Cornflake.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:25 AM
angelique92 angelique92 is offline
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Re: Going freelance - any tips?

I think, you might find what your looking for at odesk.
And also just a little contribution: you should respect your soon-to-be-company's work philosophy. It’s crucial that your employee communicates your company's philosophy of work and communicate that to you as a prospective employee. Because if you aren’t willing to work in their world then he needs to figure out immediately regardless of how well suited you are for the position as it will only create problems in the future.
I hope it helps!
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