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Be a Successful Freelancer by Focusing on Your Strengths

Focus on your Strengths to be a Successful Freelancer.

I remember the day when being a print designer could get you a job. If you could create a print advertisement and you were good at it, you could land plenty of jobs locally. Being a web designer or a logo designer could’ve been completely separate. In our day and age though, it is almost expected to be a jack of all trades. Just knowing print design won’t get you a job. Locally, I’ve not seen any jobs that requested a print designer only, unless they were a print production professional. I’ve also seen job posts where they were seeking an expert at running a printing press. Even these two fields are completely different. It’s expected that designers know how to handle print graphics, web graphics, logo design, branding, and specialty printing. While it’s a good idea to be diverse in your skills, it is really important to become excellent and one or two particular areas. Have you ever heard the expression “I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none?” This definitely applies to the design field. If you are a freelancer, it is a good idea to specialize in your strengths.

No one loves mediocrity. I’ve never heard anyone ever say “Hey, I I really want to boring logo that won’t stand out.” I’ve also never heard anybody say “I would love to have a bland web design that won’t give me any visitors or conversions.” I’ve never heard anybody say that I just wanted to blend in with the competition. So, that’s why it’s important that you specialize in one or two different skills. You can’t be a master at every skill. It just isn’t possible. Think about the leaders in our industry. Saul Bass was a master at typography and title sequences for movies. Paul Rand was a master of corporate logos. I don’t ever remember seeing Paul Rand try to create a movie intro, and I don’t ever remember Saul Bass trying to dominate magazine cover design. While it is important to be diverse in your skills, it is even more important to focus on the skills that you excel at, in order to make the most money.

Be a Successful Freelancer – Do What You Love: It Will Show

You usually excel at what you enjoy. If you enjoy making beautiful logos and crafting and fine-tuning brands, then that should be your main focus. If you are good with the technical side of web design, maybe your focus should not be on websites. Think about a different industry. Just because a mechanic is an excellent mechanic, it doesn’t mean that they are excellent at painting a car or upholstering the seats on the inside. Usually, they will contact a specialist in that area if this needs to be done. Just as people take pride in their cars, they also take pride in their business and their brand. It is much better to build a team around you of the best at what they do, than to try to solo everything and fail miserably. The business would much rather hire somebody that is the absolute best. They will pay that freelancer much more, because they know they’re getting the best, than they would if they were hiring someone who is mediocre at everything.

One way to be a successful freelancer is knowing your strengths and networking with others who fill in the gaps. The reason that this model works so well, is because you can focus on what you’re the best at and you can hire out the parts of a project where you’re weak. While sharing some of the income from a project is not always ideal, there is a very good advantage to doing this. When that designer that you brought in on that project comes across a project where were your expertise comes into play, they will be much more likely to call you for the job. When you network with numerous designers that are excellent at their trade and have found their niche, you will actually end up with more work. This is because everyone focuses on what they’re good at and they work together. They also end up doing what they enjoy, and outsource everything else that they don’t. This builds up everyone’s reputation (and their bank accounts too.)

It is a common misconception to think that you can be the best at everything. While this is a nice thought, it is far from the truth. Besides causing yourself more stress trying to figure out how to pull something off that you’re not very good at, you’re also ruining your reputation. It is much better to be known for bringing the best products to the table and having a satisfied client, than being able to do every thing and having it be mediocre. Unfortunately, our profession does not warrant mediocrity. Our job is to make our clients stand out, head and shoulders above the crowd. The best option is to choose what your best at and refine it constantly, until you’re the best that you can possibly be. Never stop learning how to improve your skills in a certain area, and market those skills first and foremost. It is okay to offer other services, but one of the best ways to be a successful freelancer, is to be known for being the best in one certain area.