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12 July 2011

Miscellaneous

The Difficult Life of a Freelancer

Most people in the creative industry have an idea that one day they will be their own boss either owning their own agency or working freelance. The thought of having no-one to answer to and waving goodbye to the office politics is all too tempting, but the reality of it all can be a different story.

Everyone knows the good points to going freelance but at the same time it can be a lonely business. Working on your own, in your own time could lead you to work late into the night and without people sat next to you and working as part of a team; you may begin to feel isolated. And not only is it a lonely business it’s now a sparse one.

In the 1990’s there was a boom in freelancers; many people decided to take the plunge into freelancing as the freedom that welcomed leaving the office environment offered. 

Being your own boss can be stressful, a lot more stressful than being a employee in a design agency, the protection that the agency offers cannot go unnoticed. Unless you have built up a huge portfolio of clients and have a lot of repeat business freelancing can be a difficult task.

So, what happened? By going freelance and essentially offering a cheaper service people were beginning to undercut design agencies who offered higher fees but a more rounded service. Since the grip of the economic recession took hold freelancers have been struggling more than others because looking for that business has become so much more difficult.

Was it worth undercutting everyone else for the chance of making a quick buck?

That’s right; when the going got tough they all ended up creeping back to the design agencies they once despised because they were in need of work to see them through the hard times. 

Just because going freelance sounds exciting and the perfect job, it doesn’t mean that it always will be. Obviously, there will be some cases of copywriters, designers and web developers being successful going it alone, but in reality it’s more likely they will struggle and have to seek future work of design agencies like FDC, a group of creatives who have stuck together and worked their way through the hard times and are now reaping the awards.

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