Working for yourself in the Creative
Your Guide Today
Communications pro: corporate and freelance
Author, blogger, Speaker, Entrepreneur
-Building your Brand
-Finding and Keeping Customers
- Keeping your Sanity
What is Freelancing?
Your time and your talent… and your
Ann’s Rules of Business
• Rules you must follow
• Rules you can tweak when you freelance
– think, create, inspire – the fun part
• Once you think you know the rules, they’ll
Building a brand
• Business brands
• Personal brands
• As a freelancer, they are intertwined
• What do you want to be known for?
• In person
• Social media
• Creative networking (the stuff you may not
have thought of)
• Cold calling
• An important distinction: always promoting
vs. always selling
The Non PIA* Approach to
• Give (volunteer, mentor, help)
• Active listening
• Be human
• Sell yourself, but don’t sell your soul
• Laugh (especially at yourself)
*pain in the ass
Client Care and Feeding
• How can I help?
• Communication – do it their way, not yours
• Understand generational communication differences
• Active listening (What I heard you say…)
• When problems arise, be honest – provide options for solution
• Get testimonials/recommendations
• Thank you, thank you, thank you…and thank you again
Dealing w/ Unhappy Clients
• Document everything
• Never respond in the heat of anger
• Offer discount or freebie
• Never speak negatively of any client (even if they badmouth you!)
• The bright side: use the experience to verbalize what you don’t want
and to help hone the vision of your perfect client.
Who is my perfect client?
• Small/big business?
• Communication style?
• Type of work?
• Tell your perfect clients what you love about them.
• Write it out – visualize it every day – tweak. Lather, rinse, repeat.
What am I worth?
• Evaluating jobs – what’s in it for me? (may not be $)
• Industry/geographic standards/experience
• It’s okay to say no even when you’re financially
• Ask questions on social media and locally
• Trading/barter: when to say yes and when to run
away as fast as you can
Keeping Your Sanity: Freelancing vs. working for
• No judgment
• One or the other (or a combo of both) may work at different times in your life
• Find mentors/coaches – surround yourself w/ honest support (other than mom/dad/friends)
• Hang around w/ people who do it better than you, but be yourself
• Be open and flexible. Embrace failure. Be awesome.
"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.“
~ Sir Winston Churchill
Keeping Your Sanity: Self care
• 24/7 (social media and email vacations)
• Family first
• Focus/willingness to branch out or change direction