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Becoming A Successful Design Freelancer

Lesson 7 of 15

Sherine Kazim: Creating Your Online Presence


Becoming A Successful Design Freelancer

Lesson 7 of 15

Sherine Kazim: Creating Your Online Presence


Lesson Info

Sherine Kazim: Creating Your Online Presence

So, without further ado, I would love to welcome my very, very good friend sharing Qassim Um we've been friends for many years and she is the person that I ask. I run everything back sharing. Basically, I work for myself, but really I work for sharing, so I'm so happy to have her hair. So please welcome e you cool? Hello. How are you? Good to see you, everyone. Thank you. So I'm gonna reader bio doing Okay, So get about my head. You go. All right, Here we go. So Sharon is a user experience and creative leader for multi channel products within the digital and physical realms. She is also a consultant and adviser to startups and emerging tech companies. Prior to this, Sharon was VP of user experience at huge and lead the user experience practice at a cake. You in New York. Her background is deeply rooted in graphic and gooey design, and she's worked with several start ups agencies and Fortune 500 companies in New York and California. Strains experience spans the spectrum from creating in...

teractive retail environments to defining enterprise software micro transactions. Through her career, she has partnered with many forward thinking companies including Philips Labs, Friendster, E. A. Xbox beats Audio, Google and Twitter. And there's one were Paragraph, and it deserves reading As the leader of multi disciplinary creative teams, sharing strongly advocates for cross functional collaboration and enjoys exploring the intersection of strategy, UX visual design and technology, her human centric approach to design has garnered industry awards from Can Toe Webby and one show Interactive. You are fancy. It's really just a long way of saying I make stuff right, right? I know we all make stuff right, but I think your bio you are really impressive. But your bio is really impressive. And I think it's also really descriptive, right? Like we know a lot about you both coasts, the diversity of the industries that your award winning. I mean, like, that's amazing. Um, and I think it's absolutely, um okay, fine and wonderful for you guys to get to a place where you can write this about yourself and be able to say it publicly and talk about it. Right? Um and, you know, like I said, I work for you, kiddo. Uh, that that particular bio, I I love that you read it. You've certainly seen it before because I'm pretty sure you actually helped me with it. So and I think that's one of the things like to get to that place to showcase all that. Sometimes you have to ask somebody what you're good at and what you need to do. Because unlike a resume that you can tweak according to who you hand it to, where the portfolio offering? Ah, bio. When that goes up, like so you have to figure out a way toe, put it all out there and do a little bit of bragging. And it's OK, Yeah. And I think that asking somebody so, you know, find your trusted friends. You're called your co workers, your colleagues, you know, maybe it's a family member, but But we're gonna We're gonna review some of your materials today and give you the real talk about how you know, we think things could be better, but but it's really important, you know. You want to make sure that what you're conveying is is what you're trying to convey. Um, so I have some specific questions for you. Ready? Ready. Um, what first drew you to life in free boy? Uh, what drew me into a life of freelance. Um, I was working full time at a company, actually. Where I met you were both at walmart dot com. And Arianna was the person that I sat next to on my first day, and it was a nice gentleman. We were doing nice things, and I spoke with my brother, who was consulting at the time. He was five years older than me, and he had told me about this world of consulting and that maybe I wanted to get out there because you get to really explore and do new things and talk to new people. And I thought, What a great way to sort of expand from our creative team at Wal Mart, which I loved, but was only about 40 people to really an entire Valley of interesting people in diverse things. And so I jumped right in and Phillips Labs was my first client, and that was like a huge like, eye opening thing. And I went from creating marketing materials, which was great on and working on some some very walmart e things to doing something entirely different. And I got to see somebody wearing what I guess people would consider Google Glass now, But at the time that Philip slaps, it was like this massive contraption that came off the top of their heads and gave the poor woman a headache. But it was really interesting, and and I was hooked immediately. Was I scared? No, actually wasn't scared, but I think that's because maybe it's psychological, but I'm the baby of the family, and I think that when you're the youngest, you just always convince someone will take care of you in the process, and you just sort of go for it. But I also think it's a timing thing, though. I think that if I didn't, if I didn't land that first thing, I probably would have become scared. But I think because it happened so fast, and then it becomes like an addiction toe, like keep it going, keep it going because you've gotta pay rent, Um, that things just actually worked out beautifully. I think that when the market starts to change, um, you will see if you look at the pattern for my resume that I ducked for cover when I see, um, the work starting to slow up when you say when you in the market starts to change? You mean like right now is a great time to be a freelancer? It's just great. Like business is great. Um, you know, most businesses can't hire people fast enough, at which point they need this complimentary workforce. You know, um, for skills that either their team doesn't have or they haven't been able to find the right candidate. So we're in a boom, but it's not always that way. It's really not always that way. And, you know, when that market does slip up, you do have to go. So running into walmart was running for cover for me. Um, and you know, that later changes and you start getting more strategic as you get better, and you started honing in on your skills, But, uh, sometimes you have to do that. But when the going's good, get on out there, you might as well. And when you, uh, got the Philips Labs project, was that through your network of people that you knew it was? Yeah, it was my back to my brother. He was working with a woman who somehow got hooked up with this company and I walked in there and I had no idea what I was doing. No idea. Um, I think of the time I had barely memorized that, you know, we had to design for 72 d. P. I, like Wait, wait number. And then we sit down, sit down, and we're supposed to design for a television set. And they were 90 60 p. And I kept messing up in my photo shop over Figure it out. It was really frustrating, but it wasn't working. And actually, almost all of the gigs I get tend to be through a network. Yeah, same with me. So, you know, that's one of the things that we we are going to talk about. Maybe a little later. But where you find work? Um, like I said up front in the class, I don't recommend that you just dive into freelance cold turkey. I think that's only for the really brave, like the people who want to do an arctic plunge or something better part of a polar bear club. In my opinion, I think, you know, you're really We're gonna talk about your network and the people that you know, um, And how important that ISS, so Yeah, same with me. Same with me. It's very rare that I apply for a job or proactively market. My my, um, service offering. Yeah. Cool. Okay, So how much time do people really spend creating a portfolio? How many versions of a portfolio have we created? I think Well, I'm nurturing, like 15 eso you've seen at least a few months. You saw you saw flash version bad times. It was, uh how long do we spend? Quite a long time. I think eyes probably spend more time on my portfolio than I do my resume because I don't think people actually read resumes. I spend more time on my LinkedIn profile than I do my resume. So for me, like the Lincoln profile slash portfolio offering is probably the best way that I found to sell myself through and for people to get an idea of who I am, because by the time you get to the resume, that's when we're talking numbers, right? We're talking about P and l's and all that other stuff. It's boring. So I think the other stuff is a little bit more bite size of more interesting to look at in terms of, like, how often I go in there. It depends. I used to go into my portfolio, probably weekly, if not more, because we returning out work so quickly, depending on where we were working. Um, no, not so much, because, you know, as you as you sort of grow up in the industry, you're doing more and more. You get really picky about the stuff that you put in. And so I you know, I might work on something with a client for a year. And there may be, I don't know, 20 projects. And I may only one do you have, uh, like a rule that you set for yourself, You know, when and projects completed, you immediately put it in your in your portfolio, Or is it just like when the mood strikes? You are, um, you know, it depends how hungry I am. Yeah, I have much of a hustle. There really does. Because if if I think or perhaps I want to do more of that kind of work. So if there is, if I'm working on something for let's experiential design of big things, I want to do Maura, that physical stuff. You will see that I will try and get that into my portfolio as quickly as possible. Change the Lincoln thing to also start talking about experiential design and start rebranding myself for that particular thing. Right? And experimentation. Yes, it's all experimented. Yeah, I want you to talk about that more because I think you're you are a massive experimenter and pruner, So you're Oh, I feel like you are consciously taking control of the information that you put out about yourself and your business and the kind of work that you want in a really strategic way. And you try, you try a lot of things. You know, it's not like you're changing stuff all the time, but you're like improving it or your your finessing it. And I always I'm looking to you. I mean, I was telling everybody earlier I started claimed, So consult because you started calling yourself that. I felt I could sounded better. Yeah, I think I started talking about brand experience because you started talking about brand experience. It's true. I can hear Ariel please come out of Mel ball with. But it's true because I think that in this industry. New words are always coming up, right? Like one minute it's innovation that expanded its disruptive. And, you know, it's like I sometimes play with those words and try and leave them in to see, like, what's gonna vibrate with the community? Sometimes nothing vibrates with the community to see me. Scale bag. Um, sometimes it's fun just to play with the search engines to see what shows up according toe, like what you put in your linked in profile. And that's important, too, because, you know, we is experiential designers, like we should be testing like what we do. Like we we convince our clients to test all the time. Why aren't we testing what we put out there about ourselves as well? So that seems to work. Yeah, So we were talking about what? To call yourself earlier. You know how you how you are employed. So there's freelance. There's self employed. There's consultant and I had shared celebrate. You're and Jen has decided toe own solo preneurs. So you know when you were saying like, pick what vibrates with the community and pick up language that you know people are using, Apply it to yourself. See if it fits, see if it resonates. I think that's really, really true. Um, and a very effective strategy for for how to kind of narrow in and make sure that that you're drawing towards you what it is that you want. Yeah, Cool. Um, let's see. So, um oh, uh, what's the hardest thing about creating your online presence, like is linked in heart? Is portfolios hard? Like what? What? What's hard about that Putting yourself out there, being honest with what you're good at being really honest and knowing that and I'm going to say it out loud, I'll say publicly, I'll say it right here a terrible writer on. So consequently, if you if you come through my stuff. I'm really careful to say that even as a creative director, like, it's just I'm a visual and you explain, I rarely talk about copy, and I'm not afraid to own it on, and I think that's okay. I think that that's probably the most difficult thing is really sitting down, um, and admitting what you're bad at. And I also think it's difficult to admit what you're good at because I think for a lot of us and I don't I don't know why that is. I think for a lot of us, we're just a little bit afraid to say that. You know what? I actually am really good at this thing, and it's okay for me to be good at. In fact, you lucky dog. You get to take advantage of the fact that I'm good at this thing. Yeah, pay me money and pay me, and it s and I get toe Thomas. It's the best thing ever. Um, and, uh and it seems to work out. Yeah. Yeah. Um OK, so let's see. So I like I think you're amazing, Adlington. I put it out there. I'm bad at Pinterest. I also think your but But for Lincoln, Are there any any, like, real practical things about how use LinkedIn that that people could try and service of this experimentation? I tried one experiment on LinkedIn, so I had just left, um, being the VP a huge and it was something that I really love. I love huge of a great company. I love that title. And it was funny all of a sudden to go from being that back to a consultant I kind of thought, What does that look like? Like, how does it how does it work? So what I did for a while for fun was I still had my consultant title. But then in parentheses, I had, you know, I think previously VP old former before, like I'm stalking you totally stopped me, give a screenshot on 28 on So and so that was a really interesting experiment there to sort of see what was happening. I think some of it is I'm always trying to just really a malicious experimenting and trying to figure out what what to put in front of other people. And the hardest part of it is capturing what you've done at whatever project and doing it succinctly and quickly. And I think I have a max. If I bullets always them in my bullets. I have this weird thing where I don't like bullets to wrap, so I know it's weird eso and so to make it really shortens the sink because here's the thing. If you put the right words in there, you have the right title. You put down what project it was for whether was the site or an application or whatever. You have a client. That should be enough to get the hook in to whoever it is you want. If if you don't get the hook in, don't be sad. Try something else. Just keep trying until it gets out. Yeah, I really like that experimenting. I don't think I experiment enough. Really. I'm not the experiment. Tell me why. Oh, geez, um I don't know. I just kind of get set, like I think it actually takes me a long time to commit Teoh the language that that I'm using about myself and really get comfortable with it. So, um, having to do it again or add something to it is like a big It's a big deal. It's a big mental Eddie that I get into. Um, yeah, and I think it's just a personal sort of composition thing. I also happen to know you're fabulous and getting rid of stuff in your house. I'm like a holder honor, you know, like I have stuff that I don't need to have any more, but I think that you're you're just freer in that regard, and I don't know, I'm like, if I got there like I'm good. You know, I don't know if I want to do it again. Neither is better than the other. I mean, I would argue that, in fact, I had a conversation with Arianna last night, and we were talking about just on opportunity that has shown up. And I, uh, part of the reason why I attacked her with it. Um, I think when you cut through things and get rid of things as quickly as someone like myself might do, um, you forget the history of how you got there or the potential for the future history what it could be. And so, having people like Arianna in my network sort of makes me stop and say, Put down the machete. Let me take a look at what's going on. Let's are we looking at The entire thing is the whole Okay, now move forward. Now, make a decision. And that really helped? Definitely. Um, I am so glad that was, um So Oh, what advice? Would you give you a younger design self like, two years ago? Okay. No, no, I take some other The self. It was just starting. So, you know, um uh, you know as you were learning the ropes or things that you wish that you knew, Um uh, up front that would have made things get a little easier. I mean, there's the tactical advice that I would give, which is you may not have been the greatest coder, but you probably could have spent a little bit more time getting in their coats. That's the tactical stuff on Lee because of, like, the majority of the time that I spend tends to be with engineering or fabricators. Yeah, So can I just interrupt you say, I think that's really important. So, you know, if you are a photographer and your work begins and ends with photography, um, uh, you know, that's one way to look at your work. But But if your work is part of a larger collaborative exercise of creation of creating a thing, uh, you have to think about who's going to receive it, how they're going to receive it. And it's really good to know, um, at least a little bit about what happens next. You know what happens on the skill sets in the disciplines that air complimentary to what it is that you dio because it's gonna make you better at that. It's gonna make the people who you interact with better in this complimentary world. Um, think you're great and easy to work with and want to work with you more. They're going to refer you more and you're gonna develop, you know, like these these friendships and, um and colleagues that are gonna be really valuable to you. I feel that like we have a responsibility in the act of creating things you know, and in the act of collaborating with others, to know that it's great. I think, philosophically, the advice I might give my younger self would be you passion. I'm a passionate person. I'm going to argue to the death for what I want. Every time as I got older, I have narrowed the amount of words that I use. Instead of just sort of rambling on in my younger self. I was known to throw a chair or two if things got really out of hand. I know scandalous. Now I'm blazing and I know you. I know I make somebody else throw chairs. It's It's one of those things where, like trying to find that balance, is it's It's the journey that I'm continually on between being able to share with somebody. Like what? Why they need to do what they do and when they need to do it. Like now. The time is now, but also, like, sort of relaxing a little bit and saying It's actually okay if it doesn't happen this way, And that journey that I'm on is I was joking with you not too long ago. I wanted to change on and create a new title called Chief Contingency Officer because I feel like that's sort of what we're really going for, which is you might pick this particular path that you want to go one. But frankly, it's It's the end then what if And then what if thing that we're constantly dealing with? Yeah, and I think Teoh, especially when you're collaborating with group like with a larger group of your work kind of plugs in, Um and even in terms of managing your client, you're not gonna People are not gonna just automatically do what you expect them to dio want them to do or need them to dio right. And that's all about communication, setting expectations, you know knowing how to navigate some of these pitfalls. And I think zooming out a little bit right like, Oh my God, this person is not doing what I want them to do. And I need them to do this now, right? But if you like, kind of zoom out just a little bit and think, Okay, why is this person acting this way? You know what's motivating them? Teoh to do this. How can I? How can I think ahead of them like you always say, Right? Have empathy for that situation. It's not just empathy for the person. But I think you know, you are very empathetic of situations, whether that's a org's situation or some kind of shuffle that's happening in the corporate world, and that is really keep, you know, you may want something done. You may want this person to do what you were way. They may not want to do it your way. They have their own way. You know what you have to figure out is OK, Can I Can I drive with this? Can we keep our eye on the bigger prize? And what I always say is I'm not on my side I'm not on their side. I'm on the product side and that's the most important thing. Yeah, I think that's a really great thing to bring up. It reminds me of two things. One, Um uh, we used to call ourselves user experience. Designers or UX. People are information architects. Are you so many names? Right. But I was at an event about a year ago and the topic came up and, um, my friend Mina said no. You know, we call ourselves product designers because everybody is responsible for the user experience. Now. It's not just like I have this role, and that means because you're an engineer, you don't have to care about who's using your product or why everybody is responsible for the user experience. Now we all get that. But in the beginning, we had to fight. Way had to fight to say no, no, no, no, no. You're just not making a thing toe like solve a problem that makes money and like your business and put that out there in the world. But that thing is going to be received. It's gonna be received by people, and, um, and we have to bridge with our empathy, that gap between between this thing that got made and how people are going to use it. But, I mean, even in 10 years, the industry has changed. Now, that sure had it. It sure hasn't. I mean, I think if you think about the age of the, um of the user experience, just phrase it's adolescent, right? So they're going through an identity crisis. They don't know who they are. We don't know who we are, like, one minute where this woman or that call myself everything and look all calm us up, whatever it takes to get a seat at the table and get through the door. Frankly, you know, don't get hung up on that other stuff. You get in there, get in the game, and so I think that, like, we're still we're still experimenting with what it is. Andi. I look around at my peers to see what they call themselves on. Lengthen on, uh and yeah, they have their own sort of creative approach. It's just the only issue I have with the creative approaches. Just the search engine situation. Making sure you show up in that search engine. What can you talk a little bit more about that. You know, I think I used to get really cute when I was young. With with phrases. About what? Who I wasn't. What I did not know. They were bussed raises. I just didn't have enough experience to really call myself. I was embarrassed to call myself a designer because I didn't go to design school. I didn't go to decide simply. There it is not school Everybody out there. No, no design school way went to Harvard. Okay, on so and so because of that, I think I was always just afraid to call myself. Certainly. So I thought if I came up with something really creative and nobody would ever have Teoh worry about it. So I don't even remember some of the ridiculous things that I had, But even my site was ridiculous. Back of the day. It was just trying to dodge, um, who you really are and not wanting to have. And I was so young I didn't I didn't have somebody like everyone in my life actually back then. So somebody that I actually trust 100% with my own brand on dso you get scared in the process. Yeah. Just really scared. Yeah. Yeah. So does anyone have emotions for sharing? I'm kind of curious just cause I heard you did. I said often you've spent too much time, but do use Pinterest in terms of, like, working with your clients and getting inspiration and sharing things and stuff. And how do you do that? Do you want to go where I go? You go first. Okay. So, um, I I don't I use Pinter's for paper jum on, and that's only kind of a recent thing. Um, I don't use it to market my skills as, ah, as a designer. Um, I use it for I d ating on. Like I did a photo shoot for paper down. That was wonderful for that. But you're a photographer, and I think pin dresses really attractive for you. I think it could be a great place for you, Teoh, to showcase some of the work that you dio. I've been listening to different creative directors in different areas online, just just to get ideas about how they use. And it's just across the board, because it's still the people experimenting. Yeah, we are still express. I mean, I definitely use it. So with one of my clients right now, Twitter, we dio brand experiences together, right? We build these experiences that some of the events like CS can coming up all that stuff. Um, and it's really hard when you are talking about experience designed to talk with your hands and say, Well, I want to build this structure and its going to do this thing and everyone's looking at you because everybody immediately starts interpreting what that means. Pinterest is a level playing field for us, where we will go down a path and start collecting images that we think clearly communicate the type of structure we want to build, or perhaps setting the type of move that we want to do. Digital mood boards essentially is what it is but shared by many. Um, and people could go in there and edit and comment directly on the images on what they think which we love. But you would not make that public. It's a private That's right. Yes. Private. Yes. No, no. Anything about private boards. Until I started listening to Keio, directors are saying Yeah, yeah. So I Similarly, I have used Pinterest also as a private exactly. But for you it could be a public, you know, And And let's say that that, you know, you did want to continue with photo editing. Um, uh, pin dress would be a great way for you to express your point of view. Like if you were. If you specialized in bright, airy home photography or something like that, you could create the heck out of lots of boards that demonstrated that that you had the eye, right? So I think it's applicable for certain people. But But like I said, I don't use it to get business just because it's not totally put me. Yeah, Anybody else? No. You really wordy. When I'm trying to describe what I dio and I heard you say that you want it, you got a little bit more concise with that. Are there any, you know, pieces of advice you can give about getting myself to that place and really figuring out what I'm really good at and what so on the tactical level, give yourself a character count. Twitter, for all we laugh about Twitter and 140 characters is a magic. It forces you to really get down to the heart of it. And the other thing is, frankly, I've dealt with a lot of impatient executives in my world, and, uh, if they don't feel like listening to me, they're just going to shut down and walk away. And so it happened. Yeah, total thing. And I'm on the fence. I respect the thing. But then I'm also, like, really off. But you know, there is a theory out there that says we all have too many meetings, and if you are not getting any value in this meeting, it's acceptable. In some company cultures just literally leads true, but anyway, but there's a pecking order. They're like, I can't walk out on the executives. She is welcome to walk out on me, I But I think that, like, you know, that that old school advertising way of saying what your elevator pitch, what? Your elevator pitch while the catches. No pictures ever been done in an elevator. Okay, so let's just say that out loud. But the notion of it of saying OK, you have 30 seconds to get this thing done or in one sentence, who are you? I mean, there's so many ways you can go about that whether that's a free association or tapping that network, that you have your trusted colleagues, right? And this is where it gets tricky is finding the people that compliment you and not compete against you. Like the people that genuinely want you to succeed, to sit down with them and say, OK, what's the best way for me to promote myself quickly and you'd be amazed at what they come up with. I mean, I when I finally finally Arianna usedto uh, share a lot of her self with me long before. I think I actually got the courage to share myself with her. And I think it was through that generosity that actually helped me in the end. And because of that, I think, is why my LinkedIn profile is better less e to propose better than I know. But I don't know e no. But also when you were talking what what? What it reminded me of is, look at what Look at your peers and colleagues, right, golden lengthen and and, um, type in cinematographer. What are those cinematographers saying about themselves? Right? How are they describing what they're doing? You know, I think we mirror each other a lot and look at, you know, look at the things that we're doing. But I won't get other people to girl like, you know what I mean. And and I think that's a really great way. That's another thing that's so amazing about Lincoln. But But even agencies, if there's if they're, you know, other agencies that you really like, go see what they're doing. How are they talking about their business? This is applicable in the to the, uh, that proposals class to write. Like, if you want to know, how am I going to convey the work that I do? And like the design phase is, is there an agency that you love and admire? Go see how they talk about their work, right? Does that feel right for you and you're not gonna plagiarize and you're not gonna copy what they what they say. But you're gonna write something that feels right for you, and it's okay to see what people who are already doing it or businesses that are out there in the world. It's OK to look at what they're doing and use that, um, as a as a starting point for yourself. And also don't be afraid to share. You think that the one thing that we do is that we are extremely transparent with each other. Like if I find out something that I think is remarkable, whether that is the way a proposal was written or some sort of way that day rates are changing or whatever, like we do share that information. And what's nice about that is that eight and Stills trust right. It strengthens and network and B we come up, we come up together. It's not. It's not this doggy dog thing, which I just disagree with. I think that you end up strengthening a great network, and then when we move on, she's my number one call and like to think she'll call me if she's got a problem. So totally. And I think that's true. You know, we already talked about your what your hourly rate ISS, but I encourage you to find somebody who does what you do or a trusted friend that you're going to tell that to your going to tell that to that person because what you want is you want you want a friend that tells you it's not enough, right? Because I guarantee whatever your hourly rate is, it's already too low. I guarantee you. I told you guys that I'm clients for the world out there. Please don't listen to this. But I'm notorious for like, immediately discounting my hourly rate because because I'm so, like, uncomfortable about saying it. And I've actually I you know, after I'll have a client conversation, I might call Street and she'll say, How does it go? How did it go? I don't be like it was great, you know? I told him it was expert that I immediately told it was what It was blocked. And she's like, Why would you do that? But we do, though, right? Why would you do that? So So, um, you know, I encourage you to find somebody who could say, like, you know, what is this like? How does this sound to you? Like, you know, what do you what do you think about that? And if you can find somebody who's who's appear, who has about the same amount of experience you dio, or maybe even someone who could be a mentor to use a little bit further on so you can level set like, Oh, you make that like that's your hourly rate or that's how much you would charge for something. Okay, I know that you have a lot more experience than Ideo, and I know that my pricing came in at, you know, 30% of what yours is or 50% of what appears is or 75%. But you're gonna You're in a benchmark against that person, and I think that's going to reinforce where you are. But you definitely want the person that says Oh, no. Yeah, up it. You do. You do? Actually, I got an interesting a text today from a friend of a friend. I don't even know this person. And they really they asked me what I thought hourly rates were going for for X number of, like years and this type of company, and I sort of looked at it. And then I thought, Well, there's no harm in answering, right? Like, why not be generous with that invitation? This person who may end up going there, I need help Move my get ical. Yeah, And there are, um, the G eight does a salary survey. I think a quintas a salary survey, and I find that those numbers are not totally accurate. But at least it's a landscape toe look at you know what I mean? At least it's The thing is it's aggregated information. So it's averaging all these things out, and and we're all unique in our experience. You know, level of experience is unique and and, um and what we want to charge is it has to be fair, but But, you know, I find those tools instructive. But just because it says, you know, if you live in San Francisco and you have this much experience, you should charge block, I don't necessarily believe that That's entirely true. I agree. I think you have to go for what you want. You know, I also think you have to practice that number. We joke about it all the time, practicing and again and again. So you don't laugh at yourself like and you don't. Your voice doesn't sound weak When you you believe, though that that you're giving them. Yeah, and that's why we did. We looked at our hourly, really. Only we went through. We went through a step by step process to derive it. And I care less about the number and more about your confidence in that number. Why are you charging that number? You're charging that number because you have a business. Because the business takes money to run. Because as a business, businesses have a profit margin. And, um and you deserve Teoh, uh, create an opportunity where you're earning that profit margin for yourself. And, um and so it's not even, like a subjective question and anymore. It's like it's binary. I need this money. This money is is purposeful. It's your livelihood. Yeah. Yeah. You are your own accountant. I know. And like everything and everything else. Yeah. So, um, so that's totally amazing. I really appreciate your input. And, um, I appreciate so many things about you. So, um, so with that, we're gonna invite a couple of our students up, and we're actually gonna look at their portfolios. Awesome. We're gonna give them a little feedback, and we're gonna try to help them, maybe clarify what it is. They're going to tell us what they want to do. I think we're gonna try to Claire, help them clarify the information that they're putting out there and how to kind of get it. Maybe. Maybe a shorter bullet point. Just get it, Get it. I'm crisp. Ok, okay. Cool. Thank you so much. Thank you with us, everyone.

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.