How to start a freelance design business | With Black Bear Creative | Justin Marchant | Skillshare

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How to start a freelance design business | With Black Bear Creative

teacher avatar Justin Marchant, Owner/founder Black Bear Creative

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

10 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Introduction - Class Overview

    • 2. Financial Planning & Risk Assessment

    • 3. Software

    • 4. Hardware

    • 5. Accounting

    • 6. Legal & Business Structure

    • 7. Branding & Positioning

    • 8. Portfolio

    • 9. Social Media

    • 10. Networking

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About This Class

Want to jump into the freelance life and be your own boss? But not sure how to get started or what are the basic requirements of a freelance designer? Come join Black Bear Creative’s Justin Marchant for a 50-minute eye-opening class on how to start your own freelance design business. Each lesson is packed full of tactical advice and tips from a real-world designer that created a home-based design studio from scratch. Learn how to avoid the mistakes and seize opportunities from Justin’s experiences of running his own creative studio.

Using tactical advice provided in these lessons you will be able to:

  • Plan your finances and minimise your risk associated with the cost’s of starting up a freelance business
  • Know the main software programs used for graphic designers
  • The importance of accounting
  • How to set up your business structure and work agreements
  • How to brand and position your business to get your ideal clients
  • Create an effective portfolio
  • Market yourself on social media
  • How to meet people through networking

This class is meant to be an overview, laying the foundation for the startup process. So let’s get started and see you in the 1st lesson!

Meet Your Teacher

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Justin Marchant

Owner/founder Black Bear Creative


Hi there!

I'm Justin from Black Bear Creative, I run a creative studio based in Australia and I want to share my tips and advice that I missed out on when starting my own business. Hope you find the classes useful and feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions for classes you want to see.

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1. Introduction - Class Overview: everyone, it's Justin, graphic designer, owner and operator off BlackBerry Creative. I've been a graphic designer for over half a decade and side of my own home based design studio back in 2016. So got a quick question for you. Are you a young designer? Recent just graduated, which no job prospects. Ah, and no job opportunities, but one. A taste of that freelance life. Or do you want more control over your work life? Or are you a season pro working in the print industry and wanting to transition into the digital world in a branch out, stay or in business and be your own boss? I'm here to help craves just like you, to avoid the mistakes I made and give you the best advice possible from my experience creating my own freelance business, transitioning into a studio on managing multiple projects and team members. So come on a journey with me, and I'll teach you some real world tactical skills on how to start and had a succeed in your freelance business. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started and check out the first listen. So welcome everyone to the first class, which is how to start a freelance design business with black decorated. So in his class, you will learn the initial financial planning and Reese assessment. So pretty much the basics off how to set up your financials. Um, before you even think about getting to into the freelance game. Um, just making sure living teen your risk so you don't get broke. Fundamental software requirements. So the basic design software that you will need, and all other institutes of what software we use when we started up that have the basics to make your life easier, managing projects and stuff like that. Hardware requirements. So these are the physical products that you should have within your studio, where you're working out just to make your life easier and to sort of prepare yourself for BIGON client projects to the next one's going to be basic accounting requirements. So we'll go through some tips and tricks on how Teoh invoice sending estimates and had to keep truck of your accounts, initial branding and positioning tactics. So this is pretty much how you should be branding your business or your freelance business trying to find your ideal clients portfolio set up. Overview So this is premised the basics of how to set up your portfolio, what should be in it and how you can use it to track the right top of clients. The next would be essential legal requirements. So the zones are very, very important and is often overlooked when you're starting out. So and this is just going to go through the basic sort of legal contracts that you should be having, um, to protect yourself and to particular clients, Social Media overview. So pretty much we're gonna go through how we can use Social Media to promote your work and try and get in your clients and networking. Overview. So what you can do to physically meet new people, get new leads and some tips and tricks on what basically what I you did when I first started and how that help may. So don't forget to download you'll startup launch plan. It's just a pdf all basically run for the checklist. Make sure you leave, um, covered everything within before you start doing your freelancing business. Once you've done that, price it up on the project gallery and I'll give you some feedback if you have any other questions. Feel free to let me know in the discussions, and I'll do my best to answer your questions and give the best advice. So if any of those things interest you go and watch that next listen, I'll see you there. 2. Financial Planning & Risk Assessment: Okay, so the first lesson is going to be financial planning and risk assessment. So this dive bean So first thing is, how much savings or assets do you have to write at your startup period? I can guarantee that as soon as you set up your freelance business, there won't be everyone knocking on your door. You won't have a inbox full of emails from the money at you. It's going to be a slow grind. It's gonna take a while. It's going take a couple months, so you need to be mentally prepared and need to also be financially prepared to ride out that that quiet period. First off, how much savings you have in the bank count How long without last you. If you get no projects in the next, that's a free five months or years. Even so, you really need to think about that, And how will you afford your everyday living expenses? So you really need to sit down, calculate, do better maths and calculate How much does it cost you every day for your living expenses with you pay rent, food, um, utilities, car payments. Whatever you have, you need to take that in consideration. So you know how much you need to earn within the and to find out how much you need in the we can dio basic formula mind You are really good at maths, but is pretty simple. So pretty much what do you need within the pick a number and divide that by 52 weeks in the year. So let's say, for example, you need 45 k per year to survive and t live a little. You know, this may change depending on your cost of living for the everyone's different, but for the sake of this formula will call for you. OK, so 45 k per year divided by 52 weeks equals 865 in 39 cents. So every week, obviously he you need to be making that much. So from there now, divide your weekly wage by the average 40 hour work week. Mind you, you more than likely gonna have to work more than 40 hours a week. But this is just a give you a basic understanding off the average work week, you know, into five so divided by 40 and you get $21.63 per ella. So by no means is this what you should be charging. This is just the bare minimum that you should be charging. So this was given an I. D off. What you sort of need to cover your costs gives you a rough graph. God, Um, so exact. But it gives you something to start with, so don't forget, you know, you might want to go on holidays. Um, have you can see that How much time off you can take during the? Because if you're not working, you know, getting paid. So don't forget that it's very, very crucial. And also, remember, you are a human being. You will get sick at some stage. You better hope you have a good immune system, but you will get sick, therefore, can't work. So take that consideration when you're when you're doing the maths and make sure you have enough to cover yourself for those periods as well, just in case. So once you figured out how much you need to be earning, then you need to find out how much you want to charge. So that's gonna be reflected, obviously with your costs and then we can dig deeper into how much to charge. You know, that's a whole another hold of, ah, class in itself. So I'm going to go through is just pretty much the basis of what you need to be charging bigger your costs. And, yeah, there's multiple things you need to consider where you live, How much you competitive charging. But you need this. You have some servant idea of the bare minimum. And also, once you calculate the costs for the yield for the month, create a budget and stick to it. So there's no nicely surprises at the end of the year when you realize, Oh, no, Why did I spend you know, 3000 on extra desktop, which I didn't need, you know, to create their budget and make sure, like I said, to stick toe 3. Software: It's a software. It's I think it's this is the one that I constantly get asked for, but it's pretty simple. So that's that's dig into software what you're gonna need to do your projects and what sort of the standards in the industry to design programs. There are many different companies that offer design programs. You've got Adobe you've got, um, seen any prey. You go, Curro. Droll. There's a lot of them. There's no exam real, right? Correct. One is this Jesus. Examples are gonna be the ones that I use currently using. I used in the past. I think this is purely based off my experience. So we use the dough BCC They'll be cloud. It's is considered the industry standard. Nearly everybody that we know on our clients use adobe every products. So it's just easier to keep things consistent and compatible with coins marking team their designers. If they send something to us, we can easily open a romeyer and make the edits send it back with no problems. They compatibility probe problems. So that's what we use. So Adobe Illustrated. So these are the ones you're gonna the court need to start that it will be a lot helpful to start with, so w illustrates really good. Mainly full, uh, look, a design, any victor use heavy vector content and also the I print job here and there. It's really useful. See it? This is This is the main one you should have or something equivalent to it. So the next one's adobe in design. So we do a lot of print publications so heavy, like make magazine spreads things. If a lot of pages of requires a lot of layout design, Adobe in design is the one that we used for those types of projects, so it's very, very useful, and he's one of our main go to and also photo shop. So for social is really good at photo manipulation, whenever you're doing like digital ads and stuff like that, it's very, very useful. We wouldn't use Photoshopped to say to design a logo able to design a publication or anything. It's just no really built, for. That is the reason why you can't we can build them or anything, but it's a lot faster to use the right program for the right project. Say you could do a big publication. You've seen illustrator, but to set it up for print and to a lesser stuff, it would take you half the time if you did it correctly in Adobe in design. So taking consideration the project that you're doing and match it to the right, um, program. So client communication client communication is, you know, the top of software he's sort of overlooked. But no matter how good your design is, if you can't send it in the right former. If you can't communicate with your client efficiently, then it sort of pointless, really. Client communications Super super important gives good customer service and keeps coming back. So what we use is Google docks. So this is really good, because all online we can use the way every are wherever we are in the world. And it's very compatible with clients what they use. So they'll send for us Ah, doc a word document or excel on Google Dogs, and we can just quickly translate that put in the into the creative and yet, and it's easy back and forth the next one's Google hangouts. So whenever you doing video conference cause you need something where obviously you can talk to our clients in another country, but you don't have to be in another country. You can just have a meeting by, uh, video meeting and have even had multiple people at the same time from different locations in the world, but still communicate at once as if you were in the same room. So it's very important that have some sort of video conferencing software. We use Google hangouts, but you can also use Skype. Scott's just as good were also you, Scott as well. So similar to Google docks you've got office free 65 or something to the equivalent you. Pretty much this is important. When your clients that are sending you text documents, you need something that already has the same format freaking quickly. Just copy and paste into the creative. So if you haven't nothing using like the standard text, uh, up in your liver using Mac or PC, then you don't have the same formatting. You might be able to open the word document that you quiet sent you, so it just makes things a lot harder and communication. Um, look, just cause a lot more things that go wrong, so make sure you have something that's equivalent. What you're quiet or using pretty much doesn't matter what it is that if your clients are using word you use would if you quietly is in another program matchup with same program. You know, it just makes it a lot faster for for you for when you're creating, and also it's a stressful your corns will. So the next thing is time tracking. So when you start, you need to have some sort of an idea of how long things take you. And this tech comes with experience of doing multiple projects, and it makes it easier for you to estimate pricing or how long things will take you. Therefore, you know how much to to charge you charging by the hour makes things a little more accurate . So, Tom, checking these very, very important, especially if you have managing multiple team members. It was not just you. Then you need to know what they had there. Tom is being optimized, and how long things that taking so the best one is, well, not the best one. But we've used total before. The talk was really good. Just set up an account track. Individual projects individual tasks. And at the end, when whenever you get into the mind for end of the week, you can export the data, Um, or the breakdown of what you did during that time. And, yeah, you can just uploaded and saying You know what? How much to invoice, How much, Tommy you've logged its very, very useful and highly recommended. So project management. So even if you are just a one man being, you still need to be able to manage multiple projects it gets, especially when you start getting more and more busy. Yet more more projects, more more quiets. You need to be able to know the progress of each project where it's something is in review . Something has been approved. Something's waiting on approval. You need to know it all stages. What's going on? So what? We use these trailer? Um, this has been really great. I'm looking good for how to use it. Let's look it up. Research it pretty easy to understand but super useful and just keeps us up to date on what's happening with what project. I can even delegate Teoh. Um, other staff is well, and you can communicate. Send messages, send content through there as well for approval is hates of functionality that that is very useful. So the last one, he's pretty obvious, but it's email, and it's not that hard to do. But just make sure to make it professional. Don't make sure your email doesn't have you know anything inappropriate in an email address ? Make sure if you made it back when you were 15. Make sure it doesn't say anything rude or inappropriate. Just keep it professional. Doesn't have to have the business. If you come a business name, it doesn't even have to have it at the end. Um, what you can do that for? Like Jay Sweet can set up a business email in multiple of ways as well. But just honest, keep a professional, simple professional because that's them anything they're gonna be interacting with every time you send an email message to them, they're gonna say they madras, you know, so that that also positions you and sort of like your brain in his will keep it official. And the best thing about these particular ones they free. You don't have to pay for him. Won't have, like, a crate troll account, But it's free. You don't need to spend any money, keep costs down and be able. Teoh, manage your time in major projects. 4. Hardware: so welcome to the next lesson, which is on hard way. So this is pretty much all the products you know will come a very, very in handy when starting your freelance business. So the one that's a no brainer is pretty obvious. Is a reliable desktop. A laptop doesn't really matter which one, because both had that. You know, you can both get good quality ones with the right juice to power all those graphic design programs. But whatever works for you, if you're on the go, you like to travel, obviously, a laptop. If you work at one location, then you can use a desktop. But there's no means you can still use Ah, laptop. If you're working in one place, it's whatever works for you the best. But the key word is reliable Concerts is enough of being in positions where I had old laptops that I've had since uni working on client projects and even a it's a couple months of four. It starts playing up a little bit. It's not working as fast as it used Teoh doing weed things like turning off and on. And, of course, finally I had a client and a dead lawn. Important deadlines had teammate. And what happened? Do you know one turn on that day on enough? Nothing was happening. So and what I have to do. I had to go out for work out $3000 getting you desktop just so I can get the project on time So you don't want those Nazi sort of surprises. Eso make sure you have Ah, you know you're getting second hand. Make sure it's reliable. If it's playing up, you know, keep it, keep it up to date and ensure that all your tech is working 100% and is always up to date. Make sure your software is up to date on dust. Make sure there's nothing plenty going on, especially if you go to older machine. Um, just yet. It's very, very important to keep in on it. So this stuff. So also make sure your devices enough ram and processing power to run in design programs with ease. Like Frances de Adobe products use a lot of juice. Um, but yeah, if you even with the basic free, it's you know it does require a bit of processing power, but if you something, why uses, Ah, court call freaking good CPU and eggy Graham. That's just what I use. If you wanna go real specific, you can actually go on the adobe site and each each particular program has around specifications. But that's that's sort of what I use. I'm not the best person to talk about, you know, just just all this tech side of your equipment, but hopefully that gives you an idea what to aim for. So the next thing you've got is the external hard drive. So you need something somewhere to store all your client data or the products you work on. It needs to be stored somewhere. You can't store on your your desktop or laptop because I can guarantee is gonna fill up and your machine's gonna run really slow, and you're going to have a hard time using using. So invest in a good hard drive. Um, I personally used both See Gate and Western digital. I'm not re fussed on the brand. Just make sure it's just, you know, it's high quality. Um, has maybe even a manufacturer's weren't. You know something? Just go hard quality and make sure has enough memory to store your clients projects. Um, I think one terabytes. Good. It's like officially sign. It's plenty you can go unless you don't have to go one. Terrible. But I find that it happens quick. You start to fill it up real quick, especially if you go multiple multiple projects. So just make sure you have enough for your needs. So ensure you also have a way to back up your hard drive died up, de things will fail. Thes hydro's will fail and they're always fell at the worst possible time. So you can't just rely them, rely on them to just sort of story a data. Best thing to do is to offer every so every mom for something every week is back up your data on their on a on a cloud server. Um, we use dropbox, and we also use Google drive. But at least that way, you something happens with the hard drive itself. It doesn't want to turn on or you drop it. It breaks. If you've backed it up the week before, then you haven't wants all that dialer. You can just get obviously get another hard drive and put it back on there. But you need somewhere else to to store it because these things do fail. Um, and once it fails, most time is something you can do about it. You can't retrieve it unless you know someone that's real handy with them, but yeah, So make sure you back it up on some sort of cloud drop. So another one that's really overlooked. And I ever looked. This is well, when I first started is Ah, good seeding. Like I said, it's often overlooked because it's it is just a safe. But when you think about it, you're sitting on a for all aquatic. A lot of hours dream during the week. So and you feel that you feel it. Um, once I invested in a good state, you could tell the difference by the end of the week. Look, you still gonna be soul and be the pain, but it's a good investment just to protect your your back. Um, have some sort of good lumbar support, hopefully prevent a lot of back problems in the future because, you know, if you really calculate the hours that you're doing sitting down in this scene, it adds up, so make sure you get a good seat and a lot of them You can see if they're rated for over eight hours of use. So anything over 80 hours definitely recommend. Definitely. Definitely. Invest in a good say, Finally, that improves productivity. So you feel more comfortable, you know, in pain. Obviously gonna be ableto work more. Um, we're in furious state. By the end of the workday, you back might be aching and just pain. And that might limit you that for another, you could maybe stop you from doing other to to frame extra hours. So you give yourself the best environment is propped possible so you can get the in the most productivity. Edit yourself. Like I said, it prevents long term back problems. Um, if you're hunching over your screen the whole time, it will, you know, cause issues down the line. So just think about your health and, yeah, don't shape out on a good sake 5. Accounting: So in this lesson, we're gonna go through one of the least popular topics I think for creatives, and I find it very boring even back. The first start didn't even now, but it's very still a very, very important component off the freelance in life. So accounting, Ah, so accounting software when you first start or when I first started, um, we're using in design. We're documents to produce invoices and stuff like that. But it just got really hard to track what was going, um expenses as well, because you re spending money Teoh to run your your friend this business. So we needed a way to sort of track or that, and we had to sort of find some sort of accounting software. So first thing before even do that. Just make sure you set up a separate business account. When you have a clean division between your personal spendings and the business spendings, it's just gonna make your life so much easier because you're not gonna get mixed up with what? No. Oh, your grace, that what you spent on the groceries on what you spent on the business and it would just make your life easier. And also your accountants life easier when you need to do your tax return. So set up a separate business account in only four, obviously, game payments and your business spendings and try and listen Good accounting software. We're lucky. Like we found what wave? APS. It's free. Uh, and think any charges you in a client pays? Why, credit card or the phase of a very minimal, um, that you don't even notice. But this is just helped us so much in order to keep up to date with things, and it covers all the basics. So invoicing estimates, transactions and financial reports. So these air the core things you need to know you need to be able to invoice your clients. You know, had that option Teoh to pay by credit card and have you will have your bank details. Eso Is there confusion? You can see when your clients of senior invoice or seeing your quote and you can send automatic reminders so you don't have to keep handing them to get paid a door for you. Um, and also your transaction. So if you link it to your bank account, you'll link or everything you spend on your business. It will show you who will be linked there for you to sort out yourself on also financial reports. So these air, just the fundamentals that you need to be, have won't be able to use, um, you know, to run a business If you don't know if you're making a profit, then you don't know you have being business the next week. So very, very important and also makes you a professional. You have us set out. Um, you know, if you send just a basic boring word document as an invoice, you know, it's what's the difference between that and sitting a proper city out, Um, invoice or estimate its comes into brain ing again. So makes you a professional, and it makes you run more professionally. So keep that in mind. And the most important thing. Like I explained before, it's kids track on money owing and expenses. So you always know who owes you what? When is it? When is a drew when they you do for a payment? When do you know your bills? When it when are they your subcontractors and anyone you're using outside the business? Whether there were those bills, Ju just keeps you accountable for room 6. Legal & Business Structure: So the next lesson is legal and business structure. So this is one of the crucial things that if I could go back in time, I would definitely make sure I did. From the get go. And I notice a lot of newcomer freelancers and designers totally forget about this, and they end up game burnt by bad clients. So really, really important guys. So make sure you include this river, everything you do. So this advice is gonna be purely for people in Australia because I don't know anything about sitting on businesses overseas in America or any other country. So this is purely based. What I know from Australia, you're gonna need a nee bien Australian business number. This is mandatory. If you're gonna do any business with any, um, business in Australia, you need one of these. Uh, it must have. So it created under a sole trader structure. So this pretty much means you've ever you can never do is a company or a sole trader sole traders. Just the easiest way, unless phase involved, um, a lot faster to to you can just do it online. I think I might even have a link on the form to take you there to the actual page to set it up. So it's a farce is easy and easiest way, but you are responsible for the whole business. So I do recommend checking with your account inal or legal professional to find out what the best is for your needs. Um, if you're just starting out, you know, So Trey is probably best view. But if you got bigger plans and want to set up a company that might work better and in terms of your respective and just remember, you would need to pay tax, that's the No matter what you do, the taxman's always gonna come out the palms out, one in their cut. So you're gonna have to pay tax. You're gonna have to write, you know, do all these things she wanna be taken seriously on. Do things correctly under the little. And don't forget to Eddie a bientot, invoices and estimates as well. So this is probably con stresses. Enough, Please, If you don't listen, no this than anything else I say today, just make sure you listen to this, So if you're just starting out, make sure you have some sort of work, agreement or contract are highly recommend. You use contracts before you start any project, especially for a new climb that you've never met before. You don't know him from bar soap. Make sure they sign a contract before you start anything. Um, before any payment before anything, make sure you have some sort of contract that you can use pretty much the whole purpose of it. It protects both parties and ensures you have a set project scope. So everyone knows every both party. You on the client know the the actual overall scope. Who's doing what? Who's responsible for what, what the payments are. You know, everyone knows the rules of the game so no one can cheat and no one can do something. That's that's no on the contract. So make sure is very clearly and a case everyone happy. So no contract increases the risk of a bad, quiet taking advantage of you. So we've had issues in the past where we felt like lead to find scope in an article in a ironically contract. Where it happens, it will happen. People will take advantage of you, you know? What do you do? You know Can we get another revision? Can we get more revisions? Can you also do this? Add this to the website. You don't have no leverage. They have had a contract. Full stop. Um, if a client runs off from you, not pay you after you do a project and in an aside contract, that's your own fault. You should have always have a some sort of contract particular and your coin you can sign up for. Hello bonzai dot com There might have afraid. Can't. I'm not sure they might have a free trial and just use their generated template and just copy and paste it. Change it up to suit you. Um, but I think this probably heaps of other ones online, which you can use to just copy and paste and change. You know, any contracts better than no contract? I can't stress that enough. Um, you know, you might not be the best, but it's something that's how we started. Now we have a proper contract that we've paid for to get done by professionals. So But when we first started, we didn't have the luxury of that. So that's what we did. We're just going off the net changed it up a bit. Make sure it covered all the bases and that was how we started. And this will clarify payment terms in project scope for both parties. So it just makes It is very clearly on what your expectations are. With payment. It's 50% upfront, 25% up front, 100% for payment in need that needs to be in the contract. So there's no confusion, and the client knows what's expected of them. 7. Branding & Positioning: so welcome to the brain ing and positioning lesson, and it's very common to see how even Logan is on as people within that working the bringing space, forget about it for themselves. And this is why you tend to have, you know, lower level clients or clients that you don't like working with because you haven't really fought about what have a client do you actually want to work with? So first thing is, you need to decide if you want to be a one person band or looking at creating a team something bigger in the future. So if you want to create a bigger team in the future or wanting to sell the business, would you know you're probably best of coming up with a separate name? Says Don't Call it your own business. Don't call it John Smiths Design business. If you're playing to sell it in the future, you tend to he that, you know, if you if you're looking to sell, you know, get someone to buy you out. You know in the next 20 years, then come maybe coming up with a different separate name. He's probably the best way for you, but If you just want to be a one man band and, you know, work for yourself work by yourself and couldn't care less, then you know there's nothing wrong with calling with you by our name. Just remember to keep it short and sweet. Uh, thes is short authorities, and the easier it is to remember the better. Just don't make a long winded name that you know you that people forget what people mispronounce research online and make sure that the name is not in use. So check it you is any competitors with very similar names Stay away from that Because the last thing you want to do is gain to legal hot water, getting to copyright issues. So tried. Do do your due diligence and make sure that, you know there's nothing sima that could cause problems and that denim line. So once you figure out your name, go and buy the domain ASAP. Don't wait. Don't hesitate the cheap and all that expensive, but just by its right away, because I can guarantee you if you leave it, someone else will buy it. And you have to come up with something that second best that you're gonna hate. So once you figure out the name, go and find your domain address ASAP. So one of the most important things with branding is you need to find out who your ideal customers are. If you don't know who they are, then you don't know who you're selling to. Then you know you're more likely position yourself correct and correctly getting the wrong top of customers. And you're just gonna not gonna be happy. You get in the wrong top of projects, so you need to find out who these people are. So what we do is create free to four customer boys. So from there, this is an example of one of them. So we need to know the client name, the gender, the age description. So good. John Smith, male 45 owner and founder of still Cope as a family of free, loves building materials and runs free other start ups. So remember, this isn't a real person, but this is based off real clients that we work with, and we enjoy working with, and we want more off, so but it just gives us a starting point and makes into a person. So we're not trying to target everybody. Anybody and everybody were being very focused and very specific now, and it starts building a story of this person. So their owner, their founder, the you know, their family, man, they they love building materials and they're very busy that running free other start ups. So you know, they don't got time Teoh research and stuff of that. They got team members that do that for them, but that's crucial information that you need to know. So once we have stubbed the shoe, they are. We then break it into four quadrants. So story, demographic needs and how you can exceed then needs so in story. So we need to find out. Where are they at in life, what has happened in their life that has affected their buying decisions. On what stage are they at in their business? So this is crucial information to sort of gain the headspace off your ideal quiet? Yeah, they recently just being married had just gotten divorced. Ah, you know, obviously that sort of stuff is going to affect their buying decision and are they start up ? Are they established business? You know, they're all the things that you need to know. So in demographic, we need to find out. Where do they live? How do they live? And is there anything in there? Varmint that will affect their buying decisions. So, do they live remote? Do they live in the city? You know, do they live a luxurious life? You know, these are the things we need to know. We need to know what their mentalities, you know, because people from obviously from the city a different from the country in rural areas. So then we go into their needs. So what are their pain points? What causes these issues and what are they trying to achieve? So these this is very, very important. We need to know what are the actual problems they're having within their business, where they're trying to do, you know, other sales down the team? Not motivated. Do they have terrible customer service? What is the actual problem that they're having? And then you can sort of figure out OK, what are you trying to achieve? We want to increase, increase profit or we want Teoh, you know, increase brand awareness. We need to find out what they actually want. What's actually issues and what are the needs? So the final one is how to exceed their needs. So how can you help them exceed their goals? And how can you solve their problems and go above and beyond? So, pretty much this way, your services, your product, how can it, you know, solve the issue but a go above and beyond? How can I go that extra mile? How can you know your product? Do solve the issue, but just blow them out of the water. And this is going to help you sort of figure out your your unique positioning and also, you know, find out ways where you can do more than what your competitors are doing. Then you know you can start creating your logo. Your your brand collateral, your business cars or you're Floyd is and all that sort of stuff your website because once you know your ideal customer, then you can make better design decisions. Teoh, engage with that top of climb that you want so you're more focused. Your mawr, you more narrow in terms of your targeting and yeah, it's just better than typing everybody because you can't tell you everybody you can't keep everybody happy, so you might as well, you know, focus on you know what you're actually your ideal customers want and just going above and beyond. So this way you need to show it within your within your design work within within your marketing collateral. So I created a basic website with a dragon drop system. If you don't have a code so you need a website from just assistant. Fundamental is just the cost of entry. So if you don't have a code, you know, you just use one of the dragon Drop website provided. So you've got now we use web fly and you also got weeks as well, so they're very easy to use. Ah, especially if you're in. You know, you are designing yourself very intuitive and you don't need a developer that help you do this. Just keep it simple. Use one of the templates, changed the logo, change the colors and just add your content in and you have the basics of a website there. Use that domain connected and so you look more professional and it's just better in terms of went for search results. And people are actually looking you up on Google 8. Portfolio: so welcome to the next lesson off portfolios set up. So if you want a hope of getting any sort of client, you need to make sure that you bring your a game to the portfolio. This is the mandatory that every creative designer needs toe have. It needs to be able to show. So don't be afraid to spend time on Croft in your portfolio. Other than we referrals and word of mouth, your portfolio is gonna be your pretty much when your main selling tool. So it's crazy to think if you're going to spend, you know, 10% of your time on creating a you know your portfolio. You crazy to think that you know any decent client is going to pick that up and be wowed by it, You know, I mean, so each project you do, I doubt you know, you spend minimal effort on you spend a lot of time when he spent a lot of energy, you know, making it perfecting that, so don't ruin. That'll buy just slapping something to give up, spend time, create a good portfolio, good layout, you know, take this much. Thomas. You took creating the projects. You know we feel pull fall there they even beyond beyond putting extra time. Whatever you think you time, you need to create your portfolio. Double it. Spend more time on it. You know, don't be a perfectionist and put nothing out. But I spent a good little time on that. Really think about what you're doing to make it. You know, you know that extra bit special because you got to think there's 100 other designers out there and it's we're in a visual medium were in a visual industry, so you need to be up to par, and I forget. I only put in your best examples. If you don't like a certain project that you didn't hit the Markle, you know, you just weren't happy with. You know it, you know it's really bad compared to the other work. Don't put it in there. It's not. It's not necessary, you know, doing any favors. You know, it's it's It's not quantity over quality. It's quality over quantity. So put your best work, make sure it's right. The first thing they see is your best work, and the other thing is focused on including the top of work that you love doing and what your ideal customers want to see. So don't put up work that you're not really specializing. If you're not animator, then put any shitty animation stuff on there. Just putting stuff that you love doing that you love creating And what your ideal customers which you, um, found out during the bringing positioning lesson. What did they want to see? See, there's an overlap. If you got an overlap there, could that stuff put that top of working there? You're only gonna attract the top of work that you put up. So if you put up project what you didn't like, you didn't like the subject matter, you didn't like the client. You're gonna attract that top of person because that person is gonna look at previous examples you've done. And if you hit the mark call, this is called this person that they did a good job leader in a similar business. They can probably replicate that for us. You know, say, if you don't, you know, like the top of work in a particular project. Don't put it up. Then put it up to show instruction your portfolio. So it tells the story about each client or your design process, so structure it also. But each client going Teoh each project going, talk about you know where they started. What what happened during the design phase? What were the ambitions like in handed you? How did you achieve something for him, or if you if it's not really client based to show, show him your design process from the start to finish. So you can't when you conceptualizing things, sketching things too, when Ukraine a digitally and the final product, show them trauma logical process off how you do your work. And if you're doing a lot of clump based projects, then show what goes you achieved for that client? So show the results show obviously gonna show how beautiful your designs were, how amazing they were. But if you can show the actual real world results you achieved for a client that's even better, you know, you say you know, You know, I only did you create this beautiful masterpiece, but it actually affected their bottom line. You actually increased sales or whatever they go was showing how you it actually achieved it and upload to be hands triple Pinterest and anything you can think of. Put it off. If you don't put it up, no one's going to see it. So wherever you're at Instagram or wherever your clients are just posted out wherever your ideal clients are, what are they? What social media app. So they're using, you know, just post it, the more you post the better and always think it back to your website as well. 9. Social Media: So in this lesson on a show you the basic of social media, we've seen your freelance business. It's topic. We could go even more for vine strangers and had had a do it and all that sort of stuff. But this is just the basic fundamentals. So when you're using social media, just make sure you create and upload where your ideal customers are so used to shoot social media platforms on where they're looking. Where are the eyeballs? You know, for instance, L l client John Where where would he be at, You know, based off what we know off that client is the top of person to be on linked in, um, you know, instagram Facebook. We can't really say because of his age and anything is going to be on Snapchat. So when I'm gonna put content there, we're gonna put content on the ones where he's actually on and looking at. So be aware of your ideal customers and focus on those channels. Teoh, When you create content, just focus on posting up. You know where the eyeballs a rat be consistent for it or your visuals, So make sure whether you design something, make sure looked like it came from the same person or the same business. You know, branding is very, very important, but it needs to be consistent. You know, that's how it works, constantly posting up a certain stall. Then you're gonna be known for that stole. That's part of your branding and start training content that helps your ideal clients. So when you creating things, keep him on your do clients. If you you there's other ways you can sort of reach out and build a relationship with them . So if you create helpful PdF guides or helpful videos, tutorials, whatever is going to help them give it out for free, place it up posted up on the social media on a block when your website, you know, you know, build that relationship, you know, and show them that you know what you're talking about. And you know, this is why I should trust me. Yeah, I have this free guide on how to increase your foot followers or dis a designer good logoed here, have it, you know, and just constant produced that content and provide that value for you know, your next possible quiet in showcase your new work, so this is pretty obvious. But don't hide your new work. You know, deep down in your hard drive and you will never see the light of day. Once you finish your project, get your clients involved. Showcase industry, case everything. Showcase what you're doing. Showcase your process, Um, document what you're doing. But you don't ever hide your new work. And another helpful tip is joined business and design groups with fruit, Facebook and LinkedIn. So there's plenty of design groups on Facebook where you can join, learn new skills, learning, communicate with people and, you know, possibly get referred. New projects. I have had a couple referred from just people, other people in the group. So it's a great way to, you know, Len, you things. Getting possibly new leaves for new projects. Andi joined the conversation So green business thing. Dean Group joined the conversation. Be a part of that community as another way you can build trust with new prospects and, you know it might end up with a leading up to a new coin 10. Networking: so welcome to the final Listen, how to set up your own freelance business. It's the final essence is networking and love. Credit types don't really like this part because I know I personally, I still hate networking. I'm not a outgoing person, but when I first started, it really helped. You really helped set up this first few clients and get me those referrals, so give you a basic overview off. You know of networking, so find local business events. So just look up on Google on a lot of those events. Sites off things that are happening in your area. Ah, business events, business, networking events. Just have a look and see. There's any specific topics that interest you so and in less is that way you can get a loan and you get to meet like minded people and then don't forget to pack some business cards and just chat, talked up and start building relationships. The person you talk to might not be the next client, but they might know your next client. They might take your business card and then next week they have a friend that comes boy and hey, I need a design on its own to help me with this. And then they've got your business card. They remember you. They like juice. The next thing you know, you get a phone call from their friend about a possible lead. So it's funny how it all works. But it's one of the best ways to get the brand out there and, you know, find new leads. The majority of design clients will come for referrals, so remember that that's very, very important. So the more ways you confined to get your name out, the better. So we'll be done. Awesome project that will lead to that. You know more good referrals to new possible clients. So if you just started and you don't really have that social proof and you haven't done many haven't done that many projects on your belt, this is a good way to get out there and get your name out and stop least building a relationship building a foundation and just to hopefully get those couple first few projects. Teoh help you start you off. So the next thing is your elevated pitch. So before you go into these networking events, it's good to have like a short, succinct. Um, pitched, you know, or spiel that you have 30 seconds, Max. They explains what you do. I explains what you do. What benefit do you give your your clients. So because you will be asked that question, you will be us. Hey, so and so what? So what do you do? Why are you here? So you need to be prepared for that. Um especially if you're not a natural born, you know, outgoing person. It can be very intimidating. So prepare. Prepare yourself. Practice in the mirror. No, your pitch. So when you get asked that question, you can hit it on cue. So get out, then start. So download the worksheet and get your plan ready. So once you take off everything off that list in your startup launch plan uploaded to the project gallery on, I'll give you some feedback. You have any questions or anything putting into discussions, and I'll do my best to give that this baby is possible from my experience. And I hope you enjoyed the class and go a lot of valley out of it. And I dont Hopefully I'll see in the next class, so yeah,