You Freelance! Now What?

Clarissa, Hi! I came across your portfolio and wanted to talk about some possible work. I’m working on expanding my new company, Company ZYX, and need everything: logo, business cards, a website, and maybe even a blog design. A bit about Company ZYX: We’re a small fashion styling company working with local clients really looking to expand nationally. We’ve styled for local celebrities such as Sally Socialite and Nancy Newscaster and even styled some models during Fashion Week. We’re looking for something fresh and classic yet want to stand out. I’d love to talk with you more about collaborating with you. 

Thanks so much, Eager Ellie

You’ve probably received an email like this and got your hopes up, right? Because why not? Someone sought you out, said they loved your work so much that they want you to create the face of their company.

You respond, trying not to computer chair twirl in your email, and keep it professional:

Eager Ellie, Thank you for your email. I’m a fan of Nancy Newscaster on our local news and love her gala event photos. She’s always dressed so elegantly. Is there a time and place we can meet? I’d love to hear a bit more about what you’re looking for. 

Look forward to meeting with you soon, Clarissa

You arrange a meeting and talk. You two seem to hit it off with ideas and the vision she wants and what you can create. You send a quote, give the client time to look it over before sending a contract.

Eager Ellie, It was great meeting with you and discussing what you want with Company ZYX. I’ve attached the quote sheet, breaking down each charge for the overall price. Contact me with any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them. 

Look forward to working with Company ZYX, Clarissa

I don’t know about you, but sending a quote makes me nervous. I know the quality of my work and I know how long things take so I know my pricing is fair (which is another post in and of itself). I should be OK, right?

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Once you're over your nerves, you send the quote and time passes. After a week of nothing, I like to send an email to see if they haven any questions and reiterate that I enjoyed talking to them.

On a good day you might get a response from them saying: They’re still trying to work with their budget


“Thank you but we’re going to look elsewhere.”

The second response is rare because they know that you know that it’s about price and no company wants to outright say, “We’re too cheap to use your services.” Most of the time you won’t get a response. They’ll float into thin air and it’s like you two never talked.

So what do you do when this happens? Quit? Keep going? Beg?

Don’t quit. This happens more times than not, especially in our DIY culture. I look at it like this: a lot of people are worried about the economy so if they can buy a logo for $100 rather than pay someone to customize it, that’s what they’re going to do.

Keep pursuing clients, keep your eye out on Facebook, Twitter, etc that might need your services. You can always tailor how you market yourself, what you provide and how you provide them.

I’m learning to do more research and broaden myself/brand as much as I can.

I’d get all TLC and say, “I ain’t to proud to beg!” but no…don’t beg. Well, I wouldn’t, because it seems unprofessional and that you don’t stick to your guns.

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You will get more noes than yeses in the beginning. It just is. If you feel the need to walk away, walk away and breathe. Journal, do an unrelated project just to get your mind going. For me I run and bake because it's something else I enjoy doing. Watch really bad reality TV like “The Real Housewives of Whatever County” just to make you laugh, then get back to planning on making yourself successful.

Until next time,