Freelance Success For Artists #2: How to Find Your First Clients | Kristen Palana | Skillshare

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Freelance Success For Artists #2: How to Find Your First Clients

teacher avatar Kristen Palana, Professor, Award-Winning Artist, Digital Do-Gooder

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Welcome and Introduction to Freelance Masterclass For Artists (Part 2)

    • 2. Do This to Start Getting Your First Clients

    • 3. How to Use Fiverr and Other Websites to YOUR Advantage

    • 4. Thank Your For Taking This Course. Please Review

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About This Class

Are you a designer, filmmaker, illustrator, or multimedia artist looking for simple and effective ways to earn money and build your reputation doing what you love?

I'll show you tried and true best practices for finding and keeping happy, repeat clients, and how you can best build your portfolio, reputation, experience, and income the quick and easy way.

This course (divided into several smaller courses) will help you create a successful and sustainable freelance business built on a simple but powerful mantra, "Respect Yourself. Respect Your Client."

By the end of this course (Part 2) you'll confidently be able to:

  • Harness the power of free online tools to get your name, portfolio, and services out there for future clients to see.
  • Know the most effective ways to find new clients and turn them into happy repeat customers.
  • Use Fiverr and sites like it to YOUR advantage. Don't be exploited ever again! 

I'm a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and the Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome in Italy and a practicing award-winning multimedia artist. As of July 2016, I'm currently based in Yangon, Myanmar and serving as a Visiting Associate Professor of Digital Media at American University Myanmar.

I have over 16 years of experience teaching students all over the world using my tried and true custom approach (turning complex information into something simple, memorable, easy-to-understand in as short amount of time as possible) to ensure that you get the most important, relevant, and useful information that can be applied immediately to your art, work, and everyday life.

Are you ready to get started learning new skills that can help you move forward more confidently into the future? Enroll today and join our growing learning community. See you inside the course!


Meet Your Teacher

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Kristen Palana

Professor, Award-Winning Artist, Digital Do-Gooder


My goal is to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

I'm an award-winning artist and educator helping empower ordinary people around the globe to communicate effectively and tell their own extraordinary stories through a variety of media. I have created dynamic content for clients including UNICEF, The United Nations Population Fund, The World Food Programme, Children International, The Aid Myanmar Society, The B-52s, and The American University of Myanmar.

I have 19+ years of experience teaching digital media and creating innovative programs and courses for secondary, undergraduate, and postgraduate students as well as adults and children with no formal education in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I've also been teaching tens of thousands of onl... See full profile

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1. Welcome and Introduction to Freelance Masterclass For Artists (Part 2): welcome to this easy to follow best practices course that will help you lunch or jump star a successful business as a freelance designer or multimedia artist. This course is all about boosting your communication skills so you can become a client whisperer. It doesn't mean you'll never encounter another difficult client ever again, but this course will give you the tools you need to best understand all your clients and deliver work that meets their needs and desires. Remember, happy clients turn into repeat clients, so let's get started right away. My name is Kristen Polana. I'm an artist, educator and author, teaching thousands of university students around the world. Since 2000 I've also been teaching online since 2014 to tens of thousands of students. I specialize in helping ordinary people do extraordinary things through simple, clear explanations and baby steps building upto larger things. How can I help you today? 2. Do This to Start Getting Your First Clients: Okay, now that you figured out what services you'd like to offer and possibly even how much you expect to be paid, it's time to be sure to let the world know that you are available for hire. Where to begin First, I think it's safe to say that you need to show what you can dio. Whether you plan to woo future clients in person or online, you'll need to display your work. You could walk around with a small album of colored prints if you will be meeting people in person. I actually got my first painting show in Dublin, Ireland, using the very tactic, but that was back in 1998. That was a long time ago. So actually, having an online portfolio is really a must for today's art and design. Freelancer. I made my own website using WordPress. However, if you don't have Web design skills, you can sign up at wordpress dot com for a free blogged that is pretty intuitive to use. You could also go to squarespace dot com or adobes portfolio platform. Be hence, I think I'm pronouncing that right. Make sure your content is high quality, relevant and clear do you also make sure that your images, the best representation of your work are not pixelated or distorted? Obviously, you want to have contact information so people can easily find you. If you're a video or animation person, you may also consider starting an online portfolio on Vimeo Plus or on a filmmaker page websites such as Film Freeway or Without a Box. I do recommend you at some point, get your own online portfolio, even if you plan to freelance on Web sites like Fiverr, E Lands and others, it's more professional, and you call the shots on your own website. Do make sure it's clear that you are available to do work. I only have this info on my services page on my website because I actually already have a very busy schedule, and I don't rely on freelancing as my only source of income. But if I did, I'd make it very clear right away on the home page. So once you have a site, I personally recommend you tap first into your own network of family, friends and acquaintances, especially when just starting out. This helps you build your portfolio and experience more quickly because you are dealing with people who already know and like you and your work, presumably use the glowing testimonials you get from family and friends on your website or your pages on the freelancing platforms like fiver, he lands and others to build up social proof. Showing people that you have done work for existing happy clients will go a long way in getting you your very first clients that you've never actually met before in real life. Don't done strangers. Most people try to get started appealing to strangers online first. But this is backwards. In my opinion, you need to first start with yourself the inside out approach by setting up your portfolio and online pages on Fiverr. If you're using sites like that, then get your immediate circle to support you and get the ball rolling. Finally, after building up some social proof, strangers will start to come on board. This is true for also for crowdfunding. For online teaching platforms like you to me or skill share or anywhere else, or building an online business. It's pretty much true in anything that you dio Finally, another great place for finding clients is in Facebook, Google and linked in groups where your target audience tends to hang out. I personally have a lot of online instructor friends who also need design help so they run their own businesses. But they may not be designers, so they need things like images. Book covers, that sort of thing. Now don't go joining a Facebook group and spamming people After joining just five minutes ago, you should go and be a good group member by participating in discussions offering help, etcetera, for a pretty decent period of time. Then, after people get to know you, you can drop a special promotion where you offer your services. You may even offer a special discount from members of that particular group if you so feel inspired. I've gotten many repeat clients this way, and the bonus is that they go and sing your praises online if they like what you did, and this is free advertising. So this build strong client relationships. End leads to even more clients when you get positive, glowing testimonials from existing clients, so I recommend that you should not rush the process of getting lots of clients. Be patient, try to do it the right way. Take your time and find the right. First. Clients also have a look at. The resource is in this course to help you find websites where you can find new clients. I hope this helps and see you in the next lesson. 3. How to Use Fiverr and Other Websites to YOUR Advantage: Okay, so let's go to one of the most popular websites for freelancer, and that is fiver dot com. Now I love fiber, especially as someone who sometimes needs to outsource tasks that I don't have time to do. So, for example, I was able to find someone to move two of my websites over to a new Web host. Um, I was able to get an SSL certificate, a security certificate from my husband's tea blogged, because I was, I didn't have time to do it. Eso fiber is a great resource, and you can see many, many different categories for people essentially doing all these different jobs as freelancers. So this would be a non option if you didn't have your own website or weren't doing your own freelance business from your own website. So let's say for whatever reason, I needed an illustration done. You go over to the illustration category, and there you will see all the various gigs. Now you're probably already familiar with fiber on, def. You're not just have a look at it, but you'll notice now This is actually showing me a different currency here, but the gist of it is that most of the jobs are starting at $5 a pop. Now, in my previous lessons, I really do warn against doing work where you're not paid properly for your time and talents. So one thing I will say about fiber is, um, if you're going to use it is try to find things that you're going to offer that don't take you a lot of time. So basically, people use fiber as a bit of our Louris. If I click on this one, I will design super awesome flat illustration and it starts at $5. In theory, okay, you'll see that there's a basic price here, but then the trick to using fiber is you have a whole bunch of other add on services that costs a bit more so you can look at any, um, practicing illustrator of real Answer on fiber and you'll see that they've set up a page where they have something that does not take them a long time. It all, I mean, preferably if you're going to get paid $5 for something. It should be something you can do in about 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes, right, so do not offer services on fiber and get paid $5 for something that's going to take you one or two hours, right? So my personal recommendation, if you use fiber is set up your page, make it look attractive. Use good text, Use good imagery, show your portfolio and set up your services. Set up what you will offer for $5 something that doesn't take you a long time It all and then you can add all your other services as well in charge. Whatever you want. I showed you this in my own pricing strategy on my own website. I have different rates that I charge, based on how much time I think something's going to take. So that's my recommendation for five. Or the other thing I would say is there many websites actually like fiber out there? My recommendation for a beginner is, don't spread yourself too thin. Don't try to go and be a hero on every single one. Just pick one or two sites at the most to get started and really work on building. You're following on whichever site that you choose. So, for example, for fiver, they have a community of sellers forums, question and answer support, etcetera. So really do spend your time figuring out what it will take to get people to pay attention to your page, because most people will set up a page and then wonder, Why is nobody hiring me? And it's because, unfortunately, for almost every site, including the online teaching sites and crowdfunding sites, it really is an inside out approach. You have to start with yourself. So start by making an awesome page step to start with the people closest to you. Tell your friends, Tell your family, Tell your Facebook connections that you're on Fiverr. Give them a link to your page and get them to hire you for your cheap. You know, $5 basic package so that you can start having clients so that other people will see that you've successfully completed work for others, and they'll hopefully leave your good review, etcetera. Build from there and then I promise you, the acquaintances and the strangers will come on board, and before you know it, you'll be a fiver success or whatever platform you decide to use. So I hope this is helpful. See in the next lesson 4. Thank Your For Taking This Course. Please Review: thank you for taking this course. I hope you found my tips and tricks helpful, clear and easy to use for yourself. Please Remember, you can always ask me a question by starting a discussion or by contacting me through my website or Facebook page. If you did find value in this course, please do take a moment to leave a rating or review. Your feedback helps me best provide a high quality course experience for you and your online classmates. Thanks so much for being a student in my online classroom. I hope to see you again soon.