The world of freelancing is covered with myths. Developers are said to live in darkness and work throughout the nights. Consultants are said to charge ridiculous amounts per hour or two of work and relax the rest of the week. Designers, on the other hand, are perceived as creative hipsters spending whole days in Starbucks. Some myths are funny, some a little less. What is the reality and what are the facts you might not have known about freelance designers?
The influence of a designer
Designers, no matter if freelancing or full-time working ones, are sometimes perceived as creatives whose job is to make things look pretty. And not much beyond that. Hence, their job is important for creating and improving visuals, but it isn’t the most necessary task out there to invest in.
Designer’s job, however, is way more than that. Their designs take under consideration the functionality, the marketing and potential sales effects, competition, nature of the business, etc. The skills and experience of the designer and, therefore, the quality of the delivered design, can make or break your business.
Let’s take brand identity as an example. Great visuals that represent the business in a professional and consistent way across all stationary, merchandise and platforms, will have a tremendous final effect and how the target audience perceives the company.
The additional benefit of hiring a freelancer is that these individuals, theoretically, should have worked on many different projects. Hence, their skills are broad, their portfolio is extensive, and they have experience working with a variety of different clients.
New generation of designers
Freelancing only became a hot topic relatively recently. Is it because of the young generation entering the workforce? Party, yes! Although freelance designers can be found in every generation and age group, the highest percentage of them consists of millennials.
And why is that? Simply because of all the technology advancements millennials were exposed to when growing up. New technology allows easy online communication with multiple clients at once and makes remote work realistically possible. Moreover, it works both ways. Employers find it more convenient to hire employees working remotely as this way they can save on multiple assets, such as office space.
Odd working hours?
Freelance designers only work a few hours, most probably at night and then sleep in until noon, correct? Plus, it’s more of a part-time activity rather than a full-time job, right? Wrong! First things first, freelancing is a project-based work style. The idea of it has little to do with the choice of working hours.
Because of the ‘being your own boss’ freedom, a designer can, of course, work anytime. However, in reality, freelancers work approximately 36 hours per week. That’s comparable to a traditional full-time job. But since one month can bring more projects and the next only a few, the workload and the working hours, aren’t equally distributed. Sometimes designers spend day and night trying to meet their clients’ deadlines and earn enough in case the next month isn’t fruitful in new assignments.
But does one need to choose either freelancing or working traditionally, as a full-timer at an office? No! That’s another myth about freelance designers. They do not face the choice of one or the other as both options can be peacefully combined. Actually, as much as 50% of freelancers continue to work at their traditional jobs and complete the extra projects on the side.
Natalia Raben takes care of content marketing at DesignBro. Lover of design, photography and the arts.