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Becoming A Successful Design Freelancer

Lesson 14 of 15

Freelance Deliverables: A Job Well Done

Arianna Orland

Becoming A Successful Design Freelancer

Arianna Orland

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Lesson Info

14. Freelance Deliverables: A Job Well Done

Lesson Info

Freelance Deliverables: A Job Well Done

The next thing is a job well done, right? So eso things to think about. We've talked about managing your time. You're your own project manager, but you want to help. You want to have you as a happy employees, right? So you know, you don't want yourself working nights and weekends, and you want to be making sure that you know your business financials, air healthy, and, um and like I said, this is a muscle that you're gonna learn how to exercise, and and you're gonna manage. You're gonna manage your time as if you were managing the asset of a business, right? Setting deadlines. I think deadlines are really important. And I think that that's one way that you can manage time, right? You know, I'm gonna have these three things done by by Friday, and that's it, you know, And, um, if you don't meet those deadlines for yourself, just kick, um, so, you know, but setting those deadlines, it's a really healthy tool. And it's also important for your clients, right, because work could have a tenden...

cy to atrophy like you just can't. This project just will not finish. Um, and so setting those deadlines although they may even be artificial, um, is a way Teoh to create a framework that you're working against. So you know, a deadline? Israel. It's called a deadline. It's not. It's not a milestone. It's a deadline. It's something that you're gonna meet for yourself. Um, stick to your deadlines. Always. Dictator deadlines. I know that life happens. I know that as a freelancer, especially when you work for yourself. It's really tempting. Teoh, you know, move things around and take advantage of that flexibility. And I'm not saying that you that you shouldn't do that. Um, but I am saying that this is a job and it's good to have some strictness with yourself about that. Um, so that's for you. But for your clients, I I will never not make a deadline. Um, I I think that, um, that that's a reputation thing, and that's a commitment thing. And, um, you know, um, other people may think differently, but But I really believe in setting deadlines and stick into them. And if if I know I'm not going to for any reason, I let the client know way, way, way in advance, you know, like I know We've talked about delivering this on, you know, the 17th. But But, um uh, you know, uh, I don't know. I've had a family emergency or whatever that is, and it's gonna have to go until the following week or whatever that is. There is a slight way around that which we also sort of talked about before, which is being not being quite a specific with the deadline, right? So I'll have something for you. End of week? Could be Thursday. Could be Friday. Who even knows? Some people might think Sunday's end of week, you know, end of day, little bit slippery there close of business or by four PM that's specific. You know, I have definitely had moments where I need a little bit more time, you know, and maybe a three even. I'll say, like, I know I thought I was going to get this to you out for, but it's gonna be more like six or whatever it is. I think that's OK, you know, But But if you're going to move a deadline, you're gonna be, you're gonna communicate about that is as quickly as you can up front. Oh, deliverables. Um, so what What is the deliverable? Is that a word that you guys know where understand? Or something that is like it would? No. Yeah, yeah. Totally finished product. Your work product. Right. Um, it might not be finished. Maybe you're gonna send over, like draft, you know, dropped at it or something like that, but Yeah, totally. Um, So you are gonna establish, um, a repository for your work. And you might only do this for yourself. Like you put everything on Dropbox. You might put everything on an external hard drive. You might put everything you know in your own on your own machine, but especially with a client like, how are you gonna deliver those files? Right, So we talked about establishing communication guidelines, but this is about how we're gonna transfer files, you know, independent, I'm sure. And video. And maybe even in photography. Um, your files are big. And then print. You know, your files are big, right? So, you know, let's not have any hiccups about that down the road. Let's just, like decide that at front. Be super professional again. That's the kind of service side of things who file naming. So don't name your files like idea one or, you know, like stuff, too. Name your files with with your client name or what it iss right, Because if you're sending over those files, they're going to get forwarded, they're going to get downloaded to people's desktops, and, um and I think it's really good Teoh have that stuff like already thought about for your client. So it's like, Oh, you know, so easy to work with like Kourtney is amazing because it's just it kind of adds to their perception of you and how they think the project is going. Um uh oh. Live files. So do doesn't want live files are what I say when I mean that. What? I mean when I say that back worked on both Yeah, so that might be one way to think about it. I'm using that to mean layered files. Maybe I should have said layer files, but as a designer who's making things right, um, whether your files are layered like whether the client can go in there and extract certain pieces of it or not, is a conscious decision that you're gonna make right. So you're gonna decide, like maybe maybe you're quite told you actually know a little bit of photo shop. Would you mind sitting over layered file? It's like, No, I don't think so. You know, our, like, we've got some designers over here, like, why don't you send over, like, your layered files on, But it depends on how you've established the relationship with them. But you may not want to do that because you're that you were hired for this project, not this internal team. Or you might say, You know, even though I was hired for this project, I understand that, like, there's another there's a design team there and my works plugging into their work. And I want them to be able to take my stuff and use it. But you're gonna decide that. So if you decide to give over live files and you can even negotiate this in your terms like I'm only giving you flat, um, you know, J pegs and like that's it. I'm only giving you low rez. I'm not giving you high rez, right, Because if you want my resume be pay more money. I don't know. But with the live files, make sure your files are are really well organized. Not only don't call your files like stuff, too, but don't don't have extraneous layers and their stuff that isn't being used. Broken links, all that stuff. I don't know if you've ever received other designer files from other designers, but isn't it great when they're well organized? Your like, Oh, I love this person, right? It's like, this is so easy. Um, so, yeah, so think about that with live files. Oh, and the last thing is adding suffixes to your files on descending over J pegs. So there's two things there. One is when you are sending over, um, like, let's say you have a complicated job. Let's say you're designing a book for, you know, as an example, um, you want to send over the in design file, you want to send it with funds you want to send over all whatever that stuff is. But maybe your client is actually gonna send that to a printer. Um, and they don't even have in design, you know, like your client isn't somebody who is a designer. So I like to send over J pegs or a pdf so they can see So the person who is responsible for reviewing the work or sending the work along can see what it is that that your that you've created don't assume that they have the software that you have, Um, and also for people on PCs. Sometimes the Mac doesn't add the file extension, and then someone will tell you like I can't open your file, and it's usually just that you need to put a dot jp g your job a dot pdf on the end of on the end of that file.

Class Description

You need more than technical skills to make it as freelance designer. You have to know how to land projects and keep jobs over the long haul. Becoming a Successful Freelancer with Arianna Orland is your guide to managing the logistics of freelance life.

Arianna is a freelancer doing business in the saturated market of San Francisco and knows exactly what it takes to get and keep clients. In this class, she’ll cover the tips, tools, and strategies you need to have in place to be successful as a freelancer. 

This class covers:

  • Branding: Guidelines for creating a design language that’s right for you
  • Collateral: A roundup everything you need – website, business card, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Clients: Building your client list and keeping them happy
  • Finances: Keeping up on taxes and budgeting
  • Management: How to stay on top of your projects and time

Freelancing gives you the flexibility you won’t find in a 9-5, but it comes with a whole range of responsibilities. Find out how to prepare for those in Becoming a Successful Freelancer with Arianna Orland.


Will Vu

I watched the free live and can't help myself by purchasing this class. It's a valuable lesson from a humble and humorous Arianna. I love your presentation very much. Wish u the best. Thanks or bringing us this course, CreativeLive. !

Cherice Pope

Arianna gives real advice on deciding if the freelance lifestyle is right for you by describing what it's like, business skills you will need to learn, doing a gut check with yourself, how to get clients and promote yourself, and discussing a variety of experiences with other designers. She also goes in depth on differences between working at a company versus working with a company as a business. Her information is clear and wonderful. I greatly appreciate the time and effort put into making this valuable course.


Thank you Arianna for an informative course. Its heartening to know that there are other designers like me that don't come out of design school :) Your guests were a wealth of information as well, specially Peter's bulleted list.