Lauren Marinigh

How I Choose My Freelance Projects

By Lauren | May 30, 2016 | 0 Comment

As someone who works a full-time job, on top of the freelance work I do, I have to be “picky” on the projects I take on. I’ve always felt that if I’m going to be working outside of my 9-5, I have to love what I’m doing, so that’s the mindset I go into new projects with before taking them on.

But how do I actually choose whether or not a new project is something I want to work on or if the new client is someone I want to work with? Here is some of the things I think about:

What is the clients email etiquette like?

If someone emails me and their etiquette just seems a bit off, it’s likely that I won’t take them very seriously. Do they clearly explain what they are looking for, who they are and where they’re from? Do they have proper spelling and grammar? Do they sound serious about working with a freelancer and paying freelancer rates? An email says a lot about a person and could really make or break a potential relationship.

Is this a longterm project or short-term?

When choosing projects, I look at the length of time the project will take me. Since I work full-time and have current clients that will usually outweigh new ones, it’s important to know the time commitment the project will take and if I’ll have the ability to take it on. Believe it or not, I also like having a life, so I don’t want to take on projects that are too much for me to chew.

Does the client know what they are looking for?

The biggest thing I find with clients is that they don’t really know what they are contacting me for before they contact me. Often my clients are small businesses, so they don’t really know where to start. This can be okay if they have realistic expectations and are open to your advice on next steps, but it can also be infuriating. I have people contact me that want everything! Someone who can do all their marketing, social media, and public relations, oh, and they’d like to appear in all the mainstream media publications. Those are the people I kindly send off on their own way because this is enough work for a small agency, not one person who freelances part-time. Plus, they usually have impossible goals and visions anyway.

What will I get out of it?

Since I’m not freelancing full-time, I have the luxury of being a bit picky. I’m willing to take on clients in different industries and fields if I have the time, but clients that I’m especially interested in will outweigh just anyone. For example, if I was offered a freelance gig in the travel industry, or for a company I admire, I’ll find a way to clear my schedule to fit those gigs in since they are something that I already know I can be passionate about.

Will they pay? 

I’m a bit flexible with companies that I’m very passionate about, but I also know what I deserve to be making for projects. Many people don’t realize how much freelance work can cost, and I think it’s important to know your worth, or at least leave wiggle room in your quote so if they want to negotiate it’s still worth it for you.

Working freelance part-time is a whole other ballgame, and since you may be doing this work during your “free time” outside of your 9-5, it’s important to be a bit picky and make sure that you are enjoying what you do. Do you have certain things you look for in freelance projects? Share below in the comments!


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