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Posts Tagged ‘freelance designer’

Honing My Presence

07 Mar

I have hopefully already convinced you that you should hire a freelance designer to fulfill all of the design needs of your business rather than trying to create them yourself.  Now it is my job to provide you with the designer to do it.  Me!

So this week I took to the web and did my best to promote myself as a freelance designer in any new way I could come up with.  I first went through and added any related tags I could think of to previous blog posts in order to online presence more searchable.  I already have a LinkedIn profile so I created profiles on Elance and Creative Folks making myself more available  online for freelance design positions.  The sites are still taking some getting used to,  I found Elance a more cleanly designed and user friendly site, but both had their perks.  Creative Folks was similar to Facebook and gave you a bit more freedom on what you could include in your profile and search for in terms of jobs.  Elance only allowed you to add up to five skills, which you could then either self rate or test through a pre-made quiz.  At first I thought the quiz option was a helpful, unique idea, but I consider myself extremely experienced in After Effects and I only got a 70 on the 20 minute, timed, 40 question quiz.  This was actually still above average for the test; I think because half of the questions were worded oddly or about tools that you rarely use, but regardless I thought it was a neat feature.  The only thing that I was disappointed with about both of these sites was the difficulty for motion graphic artists, like myself, to upload reels or video files of our work.  It seemed like most of what was offered was all still image uploads.  There is still a lot of building and uploading that I need to do on these sites, and others to improve my online presence, but I think this week has definitely made a big leap in the right direction.

 
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Write Away

07 Mar

I took my own advice and decided to sign up for each of the sites I mentioned in my ‘Designer Facebook‘ post in order to follow through with my proposal about the need for companies to hire designers.  Now that I am getting settled into my full-time job, I am hoping to get back into freelance designing again with my free time.  Having previously freelanced solely through networking, I had not been introduced to an important part of the freelance world: writing a proposal.

Luckily I am taking a writing course right now because the second step listed under ‘how it works’ on Elance is ‘Submit a Proposal’.  If you were not lucky enough to have just finished the ‘writing proposals’ section of a class when realizing you may actually have to write proposals, there are a few online resources that can help you out.  Including a $24/month app that will practically write the proposal for you!  Now that I have experience and a better knowledge of proposals, I feel more confident to begin my online job search than if I had signed up for these sites a month ago.

 
 

Designer Facebooks

28 Feb

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living.-Bob Burg

When you think of social networking Facebook is one of the first sites to come to mind.  It is great personal source for keeping in touch with acquaintances, and promotional source for companies and groups.  LinkedIn is also a trusted site that many use, but does not have a lot of design related content.  As a freelance designer looking to promote yourself and your work these may not be the best options for you.  Sites like CreativeFolks, Behance Network,  and Elance may be better suited for your needs.  These are creative professional specific social networking sites directly connecting those looking for work and the clients.

With these sites you create profiles that act as portfolios to easily display your work to potential clients.  A variety of design jobs are listed in multiple formats. These sites give you options like applying directly to posted positions using your portfolio, submitting proposals directly to clients, or offering bids on posed projects.  From there the client can decide who they wish to hire for the job.  These sites also offer competitions that can earn you money, publicity, and recognition in the design world.  Bottom line, in this tough economy jobs are all about networking. To use social networking to its fullest potential you need to use the sites that will best suite your needs, and these are the sites  I suggest.

 
 

Proposal for Hiring a Graphic Designer

22 Feb

Nothing turns a consumer away faster than poor design.  Why risk losing a customer before they even have a chance to like your product?  By investing in a professional designer you have someone to help find a concept that will successfully promote your company and create a design that will stand out to consumers in a positive way.

Mister Fix It

Ask anyone.  Sitting through a commercial that you can tell didn’t hire a designer is torture.  It’s like a movie with bad acting, no matter how good the script may be no one wants to go see it.  Furniture and local car companies tend to be the biggest offenders in the commercial department.  If the customer cannot stand to look at your store on a TV screen why would they go see it in person?

Websites have made it even more important to hire a designer because online the consumer is in control.  Say they are looking for a dog training center in their area.  They Google dog training and four different websites pop up.  If there are broken links or errors in the site, the customer has trouble finding something, or if they just do not like the way your site looks, they are gone and on to the next company’s site with the click of a button.

The Solution

Websites allow you to keep track of the number of visitors you have to your site so progress based on a re-design can be tracked online as well as through an increase in sales.  If you want to re-design your website, or put out a new commercial, do it.  It will be worth it.  Just because you are hiring a designer does not mean you need to make a whole new place in your staff.  This is just what freelance designers are for.  A freelance designer is hired simply to complete a project, no matter how simple or complex your project ends up being.

I have been a freelance designer for eight years.  I have professional experience in motion graphics, typography, video editing, animation, print, and web design.  I have a Bachelors degree in Interactive Digital Design and have continued my education with a Masters in Interactive Communications.  I know design.  Whatever your design need may be I guarantee that I can take your project from concept to creation with an outcome that will make a difference in your company.

 
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A Cover Letter That Says it All

06 Feb

This is a sample copy of the generic cover letter I created and tweak for each position that I apply.

Dear Sir or Madam:

If you are looking for a designer who can take your projects from concept to creation with enthusiasm and skill then I am the designer for you.  My name is Alicia Chouinard.  I am a Quinnipiac University graduate with a Bachelors degree in Interactive Digital Design, credits obtained towards a Masters Degree in Interactive Communications, and experience in a variety of design fields.  Design is not only a career for me but also a passion, and although I have a deep love for motion graphics and editing, I am very well rounded and am continuously improving my skills in all areas.

I am a very responsible and committed hard worker as demonstrated through my college career where I graduated Magna Cum Laude while participating in a Division 1 college sport and working two jobs. Every one of my past coaches has selected me as a captain for my team because I always give one hundred and ten percent.  As a result of this team experience I work very well with others, but I can also handle the pressure and responsibility of a leadership role or projects on my own.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. The (position) at (company) sounds like a creative position that I would both love and excel at. I know that I will be a great asset to the company and I would love to meet with you to discuss a future within (company).  I have attached my resume and my portfolio site can be viewed at www.AestheticConceptions.com.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Alicia Chouinard