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Do you want to start Freelancing as an Architect or (Interior) Designer? Here are 3 Tips for You!

24 May 2021

Do you want to start Freelancing as an Architect or (Interior) Designer

If you’ve always worked as an architect or designer at a firm – or even if you worked another job, deciding to become a freelancer can feel scary. But don’t worry – you’ll be fine! In this article, we give you three tips on how to start freelancing like a pro. Are you ready for it?

1.    Make sure you have a good business plan

Before you start freelancing, it’s important that you have a business plan. With that we mean that you have to have an idea of how many clients you need for ‘break-even’ and how many clients you need to actually make a profit. Break down your financial goals and write down the kind of clients you want to land. In the beginning, many freelancers say yes to any odd job just to make money, but if you want to be known for a specific style of design, for instance, it’s good to know which clients you want to target.

While you’re at it, map out how you’ll grow your business. Will you grow it through social media or will you give clients a small percentage off when they recommend you to another lead? If you’ve been in the field for some years – for example, you’ve worked at a well-known architectural firm for years, you probably already have a bit of a reputation. In that case, it might be a good idea to attend networking events in your area of expertise. Print some business cards (very old school, but it works!) that send everyone to your portfolio (see point 3). We know many people aren’t too fond of “schmoozing”, but it’s great to get your name out there!

2.    Make sure you have a collection agency on speed-dial

When you work at an agency, you barely have to deal with issues such as debtors that aren’t paying their bills. Unfortunately, as a freelancer, you don’t only have to deal with the fun parts of the job – such as designing or shopping for furniture, you also have to deal with the paperwork. And … with the stress if you send out invoices that go unanswered.

For that reason, it’s always a good idea to know which collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau) has the best reviews in your area. You might even want to add them to the speed dial on your phone! If one of your debtors isn’t paying, your collection agency will contact them. Often, debtors then realise you mean business and pay up. If that isn’t the case, they can follow up with sending a bailiff to seize their assets or help you bring your case to appeal (Dutch: hoger beroep). Of course we hope you don’t need a collection agency, but better safe than sorry, right?

3.    Make sure you focus on your website/portfolio

As an architect or (interior) designer, it’s super important to show future clients what you have done in the past, what you can do or what your style is. For this reason, you need to have a good website with high quality photos or designs. Anno 2021 social media is also super big, so it might help to make a Facebook account that you keep up-to-date with info or an Instagram account where you show off your designs or projects. And if you’re an interior designer, we also recommend you to take a look at Pinterest. Pinterest is often a bit overlooked, but there’s no better app to find inspiration. If you for instance excel at staging boho interiors, you can show your portfolio on Pinterest while using the correct tags. You can even advertise on the services you offer!

Good luck with freelancing!

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