Being a creative freelancer is an on going balancing act between excelling at your art, and running your business. Although this may sometimes seem impossible, in reality, balancing your art with smart business just takes some focus and effort.
So many freelancers balk at the mention of business acumen. But in order to run a successful freelance business, you have to be able to see business as another area that you can apply your creative thinking to. Similarly, some may get so caught up in the business side of things that your artistic side begins to feel neglected. In order to be a successful creative freelancer, you need to figure out how to balance the two.
Set your goals
Create lists for your creative goals and for your business goals. This will highlight how both kinds of goals will help you achieve overall success in your freelancing career. It also helps you to prioritise activities so that you know what to work on and how much time to spend on each task.
Structure, structure, structure
Spending too much time on one type of task is never a good thing, but bouncing between the two disciplines is a waste of energy and doesn’t work in the long-term. Build a daily plan that balances the time given to both the art and business aspects of your work and stick to it. Some people are most creative at a particular time of day (or night). Spend some time getting to know your creative and business habits, and work your schedule around these to optimise your output.
Breaking the mould
As much as structure is essential, you also need to know when to prioritise one component. For example, if you’re heading to a client meeting where you’ll need to argue the value of your work to their business, you’ll need to be sure to be professional and business-minded. On the other hand, you sometimes you need a creative burst to deliver on a deadline. Whichever the case, being a good creative freelancer means knowing what is important for each occasion and being able to deliver on these.
Nobody is good at everything. That’s why having peers, mentors or employees who excel in places where you lack is so important. It’s essential that you build relationships with people who help you fill the gaps in your expertise.