Potential Problems of Being a Freelance Animator

The idea of ​​being a freelance animator or designer may seem like a dream; you are your own boss, you set your own hours, you create your own work environment, you never have to leave home, and best of all, you can do your job in your pajamas, and no one is breathing down your neck about dress standards corporate. But many people who go into self-employment are unaware of the pitfalls that come with being their own boss, only discovering them when they head into some pretty massive and daunting roadblocks.

While working for yourself can be extremely rewarding and highly convenient, you should always be aware of the added responsibility and obligation that comes with it, and any difficulties you may encounter that you need to plan for. The points I’ll cover here are things I’ve learned from my own experiences as a freelance artist, animator, designer, and writer; I hope they help you too.

Time management

You’d be surprised how easy it is to find yourself running out of time when you’re working from home. The problem is that it’s too easy to get distracted; In the middle of work, you will remember that you have to clean the living room, or you almost have no clean socks left. I know I have days where it’s almost impossible to resist the siren call of the PS4, or I’m tempted to sleep all day if I want to, because hey, the only one who cares about my time is me, right?

Not if I want to get paid. When a client hires you to work for him, he would like to see you in time; while they’ll usually understand if you have multiple clients and are juggling workloads, they’ll be less forgiving if a two-day project takes two months to complete because you were distracted by all the bright and fun things in your house. Even with the conveniences involved, you’re still working ; that implies a sense of responsibility and discipline. You have to be responsible enough to set a work schedule, and disciplined enough to stick to it; Otherwise, your self-employment “easy vacation” will soon run out of funds.

Building a customer base

When you start out on your own, chances are you won’t even earn enough to support yourself. You may have a customer, or two, but customers won’t just come flooding your door. You have to build a customer base; draw your name, announce yourself and ask questions. Don’t forget to keep in touch with existing customers; polite and regular emails will serve to remind them that you are there to meet their needs without being intrusive.

As you progress, your customer base will help build itself; If you make a good impression on your first customers, they will not only come back to you as needed, they will also refer others, who will come to you with high expectations. But this can work both ways; if you leave too many dissatisfied customers, they can easily ruin your reputation and reduce your customer base to almost nothing. It’s true, there are some clients who are impossible to please and who will look down on even your most Herculean achievements; these are rare, however, and most clients will be happy with you if you meet the agreed-upon requirements, give them proper attention (give your smaller clients as much consideration as your larger ones), do the best job that I can, and it is pleasant and professional to work with them. (They don’t need to know that you’re sitting on your couch in your underpants, and your attitude doesn’t need to reflect that. Your work attire says “nap time.” The tone of your emails and phone calls should say “office at casual but professional home”).

slow periods

Oh, you’re going to have them. You’re going to have a lot of them. When business is good, it’s booming, but when it dries up, you’ll be as thirsty as a dust demon falling down an Arizona ravine. Self-employment is rarely stable; Because your clients will contact you when needed, it’s hard to predict when you’ll be working and when you won’t be. For that reason you should always budget your income; when i get that contract