So, I’m not an expert. I’m very far from that, I’ve only started in freelance very recently. This is what I’ve learned so far though:
- Set up a contract early and be clear with your terms/the client’s terms.(Is what you’re providing for personal use, is it for print, is it a brand identity, consider what its for)
- Do NOT undersell yourself. I’ve made this mistake already, and it’s rubble under the bridge at this point but I’ve cut myself far too much. Remember that your time is worth something.
- Learn to work in low passion, high ‘work’. You probably won’t be passionate about every project you take on, at least not all the way through. If you are, kudos to you. But if you can work well in 0% passion, 100% work, you can survive a lot.
- This being said, if you are working 0%P/100%W - Don’t put out shoddy work as a result. This has to be one of the hardest things I’ve encountered, if I’m not into something it’s tempting to have my work reflect that, to just take a little shortcut here, a shortcut there. So, do your best, even if your passion gauge is low.
- Take a day to relax for yourself, if you’ve spent 5 days in a row on client stuff, take a day for you. Draw/create/build/whatever you want to do that day. Recharge your batteries.
- Communicate! With the client and everyone else around you.
- If you do per chance, take on way more than you can chew — chew fast. Honestly, I don’t really recommend taking on the entire brunt of someone’s project but I have done it. For what it’s worth, I’ve learned to work much faster as a result, but I’ve also become very stressed and have been sleep deprived for the last 3 weeks.
- Celebrate small victories. Do it. You completed 1/16th of the project you took on? Celebrate it.
- Meet deadlines. If you say you will have things done by a certain date. Do what you can to meet it.
(Reposting from my tumblr to here, I think this is good advice even with it being my own.)