10 Qualities you need to be a Design Recruitment Agency freelance designer

– So up to this point, I
have been chatting about some of the introduction topics to Design Recruitment Agency freelance. Now we know what it is and how it works, it’s time to talk a
bit about what it takes to become a Design
Recruitment Agency freelancer. Now, some of you watching
maybe full time employed or solo freelance, and maybe interested in
getting into DRA freelance. So over the next two videos, I’m going to be discussing
the qualities and skills you will need to be
successful at DRA freelance. In this video, I’m going to
list some of the qualities. So if you’re interested
in becoming freelance, want to know more about Design
Recruitment Agency freelance, then check out this video. (upbeat music) Now to some who are not
freelance it may seem like a luxurious or even privileged lifestyle, but in fact it is quite the opposite. Of course, there are some serious benefits to being freelance. But those benefits are seriously earned. It’s not easy being a DRA freelancer. It’s hard work and there are
certain qualities you will need if you want to be a DRA
Freelancer and succeed. So here are 10 qualities you will need. One, you will need to be proactive. As stated in an earlier episode, a DRA freelancer will
be getting their work through an agent. Now for a DRA freelancer, sometimes the phone will
ring and sometimes it won’t. And when it doesn’t, that
can be quite disconcerting. That’s one of the uncertainties
of being freelance. So as a DRA freelancer you can’t sit back and wait for the phone to ring. You need to be proactive
and chase the agents. It will help to be registered with as many design recruitment agencies as you can. In my experience, I have been registered with multiple agencies at a time and over the six years
I have been freelance I have worked with many. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Pick up the phone and start dialing. Call as many agents as you
can, get on their books and maximize the chances of getting work. Two, you will need to be relentless. Now this is a continuation
from the previous point. You will need to be relentless
with your search for work, especially at the beginning
of your DRA freelance career. As you will need to put
yourself on the map. You will need to search for all the design recruitment
agencies in your area, call them up, hassle them. And if you cannot get
through the first time, keep calling until you do. Send follow up emails, and make sure they all
know you are available. You will need to put yourself
out there as much as possible. Three, you will need
to work under pressure. As a freelancer you will be on a contract getting paid a day rate and
depending on what you’re doing, the client may only have
you for a short time. Now you won’t be an
employed member of staff so you won’t be able to take lots of time, the client will be expecting results. So you will have to work under pressure to deliver your work quickly
and to a good standard. When I first went freelance, sometimes I would only have a few days to get a big job done. And that proved to be quite stressful. Though I would always deliver, there would always be a
certain amount of anxiety, which can be good as it’s
a source of motivation. It was hard at first, but it is something I’ve
come to get used to, working under pressure. Over the years, I have developed a process which I now follow, which
delivers good results every time. Four, you will need to
be highly motivated. So continuing on from the last point, as a freelancer, you
will be under pressure to complete a job quickly
and to a good standard. Now once you finish a job, you will need to chase the next contract. Another job with another tight deadline, more pressure and more anxiety. You finish that job, then
have to chase another, with another tight deadline,
more pressure and more anxiety. Now sometimes you can get
lucky and get a nice long job, but sometimes you may get a stint of lots of short contracts. This can be intense and
require lots of energy, so you will need to stay
motivated at these times. In my experience over the years, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag. When I first went DRA freelance, I used to do a lot of
short intense contracts. But as I have gotten more
senior in the industry, my contracts tend to be longer where I am involved in larger projects. So it helps to stay
motivated in the beginning while you are building a reputation. Five, you will need to be adaptable. Now this is a big one. As a DRA freelancer, you will be working on
all sorts of projects with all sorts of people. Every studio will have its own culture, with its own process of doing things. No job will ever be the same. For you to hit the ground running you will need to be adaptable. Sometimes you will work fast. Sometimes you will be given longer. Sometimes you will work on your own and sometimes you will work in a team. Sometimes you will work with senior staff and sometimes you will
work with junior staff. Sometimes you will lead and sometimes you will
need to take direction. It helps to keep an open
mind and go with the flow. To be adaptable and not
fazed by unpredictability will be one of your best qualities. Six, you will need to take direction. So once a freelancer accepts a contract and the rise of the studio, it’s up to the freelancer
to work with the client within the parameters of the
company, the team and the brief to carry out the creative task until it’s complete and
the contract is over. Now, if the freelancer accepts a contract with the design agency, then typically there will be
senior staff running a project or they may be a project manager involved. The freelancer will be expected to work within the structure of the company and take direction from senior
members of the creative team, project manager or even the client. Now it’s not always the case
a freelancer will get to work to a process they prefer or
have final say on a design. Each job will vary. But there will be a time when you may have to take direction. You will need to be able to take direction and handle it well. In my experience, this
has been a mixed bag and it all depends on who you
find yourself working with. Sometimes I have been left alone with the freedom to
execute my own process, and others I’ve had to work
to someone else’s direction and change work to their
design and personal tastes. This has been tough at times, but I have always found it pays to be respectful, tactful and patient. Now you want to avoid
getting into an argument as you may well not be
invited back or at worst, get some negative feedback. Often these are times
where you may get a chance to learn something from
someone more experienced. So it helps to have a
positive and open attitude. Seven, you will need to take
criticism and manage it well. So this is a continuation
of the previous point. If you find yourself
working with senior staff, or even by yourself, at some point you will
be putting your work in front of a team or the client. Now, I can guarantee that whatever you do, however good you think it is, the client, someone on the marketing team or a colleague will always
have something to say about it. So be prepared and don’t react
with emotion or be defensive. Keep calm, collected and talk it through. Try make sure that every
design decision you make has a good reason, which you can back up confidently should you be challenged
and need to explain. If you have a good design
and the other person only has an emotional response, then you will come out on top
because you have a good reason rather than a matter of taste. Eight, you will need to show initiative. Now as a contractor, you
will only be on a project for a designated amount of time. This could be a week, a month
or if you’re lucky longer. Now some studios will have a
high turnover of freelancers. So if you want to stand
out, get a callback or even stay at the studio, show initiative and go the extra mile. You will be earning a day rate and you will want to maximize
your days if you can. To do this is simple, just be really good at your job. Be proactive. Be a person people want to have around. Be a pleasure to work
with and get involved. Be sociable and be as
helpful as you possibly can. Have a really positive attitude, get into work just a little bit early and leave just a little later. Get involved in meetings and contribute where you’re not expected. Show you are really committed to the job and want to do the best you can. If staff notice this, this will
reflect really well on you. In my experience, I have been to studios with
high freelance turnover. I have been contracted for a week and ended up staying for four months because I showed initiative. By showing lots of initiative
and going the extra mile I have been called back,
asked to stay longer or even offered a job. Now I also have many peers who have remained in
some contracts for months and even years because they are
really good at what they do. They show initiative and prove to be a valuable
member of the team. Nine, you will need to
work well with others. Now more often than not a DRA
Freelancer will be working on location at a studio within a team. Each contract will be
a different environment with different people with
different personalities. One of the important things a
DRA freelancer will want to do is build a reputation. As well as being good at your job, it will help if you are able
to work well with others. This always goes a long way and makes a really good impression. This can help you get good feedback or even a good reference after a contract. Now if you want to be called
back by a previous placement, it pays to make a big effort
with other team members. And lastly 10, you will need
to be organized and diligent. Now a DRA freelancer will often
be expected to produce work swiftly and to a high standard
to meet tight deadlines. Now this can be a bit stressful if you don’t have a creative process, or your equipment ready to make progress. Over the years I have
developed a creative process, which I follow to ensure I
can develop ideas quickly. And depending on the time span, I can expand or contract this process. So before I start a project, I make sure that all my process is ready, and I have all the equipment I need ready so I can hit the ground running. In my experience, I find
that being as organized and prepared as possible ensures I can spend more time
and focus on being creative. Now organization does not just
apply to the creative work. A DRA freelancer will
also have to deal with their own admin. A DRA freelancer will be
required to fill out timesheets, invoices, consult with accountants and take care of their
expenses, taxes and VAT. So quite a few things to keep on top of, a freelancer will need
to keep an eye on things to make sure everything is
being processed accordingly and invoices are being paid. Things can be missed. In the past I’ve had to chase up invoices that have not been paid several times. So it really pays to stay organized. So to recap, qualities you will
need to be a DRA freelancer. One, you will need to be proactive. Two, you will need to be relentless. Three, you will need
to work under pressure. Four, you will need to
be highly motivated. Five, you will need to be adaptable. Six, you will need to take direction. Seven, you will need to take
criticism and manage it well. Eight, you will need to show initiative. Nine, you will need to
work well with others. And 10, you will need to
be organized and diligent. So those were 10 qualities you
need to be a DRA freelancer. Now if you have any questions regarding Design Recruitment Agency freelance, be sure to pop them in
the comment section below and I’ll be sure to get back to you. So in the next video, I’m going to list 10 skills you will need
to be a DRA freelancer. So see you in the next video. (upbeat music)

Stephen Childs

One Comment

  1. In my experience, when you have design backed up by good reason and the client have only emotions… The client wins.
    So far I've basically met only ignorant emotional deadlocks πŸ™

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