freelance questions


#1

I’m sure some of you have realized by now that working for others can be a real pain and headache and with that being said some of you are now working for yourself. I am moving in the direction of self employment and I have some questions I would like to have answered from experienced freelancers. Your advice will be appreciated.

-do you have a contract that you present to a client before accepting the job offer especially if the client is from out of town? What form does this contract take and do you ask for a downpayment prior to starting the project?
-what is a good daily/weekly rate to focus on as an experienced 3D artist?
-after completing a clients project do you keep a copy for yourself to use in your portfolio?
-is there anything that you look for with a potential client that determines whether you will accept or reject their job offer?
-when accepting a job offer do you give the client an exact delivery date or a rough time frame in case of technical issues that may arise?

I’m not sure if there is anything else I should be taking into consideration so if you can offer any other suggestions then please feel free to share.

Thank you.


#2

You’ll get a lot of responses. Your best thing is to get out there and do it and have you ass handed to you a few times along the way. You get back up and keep at it!

Also, I’ve been on and off freelancing and back at hitting it again. The content from Chris Do and his team at The Futur has helped me tremendously!
Check out their YouTube channel and the podcasts. It’ll answer many of your questions and a few you haven’t thought of yet. It’s focused on design work, but he has a team of designers, 3d content creators and graphic artists. The concepts apply all around as far as the business side of art.


#3

Hi
Thanks for the post. I’ll go have a look now.


#4

-do you have a contract that you present to a client before accepting the job offer especially if the client is from out of town? What form does this contract take and do you ask for a downpayment prior to starting the project?
i usually don’t do contracts. i tend to rely on my guts and except for very few occasions (exactly 2 in 17 years of freelancing) that worked out pretty well for me. i would consider it though if it would be a really big job (like several weeks/months of work) for a client i never worked for before. when i do stuff for clients from other countries for the first time i usually ask for a downpayment upfront. of course that also depends on who the client is. if a major tv station for instance from another country hires me i wouldn’t. if it’s a studio or company i never heard of before then yes, i request some money upfront. they usually understand.

-what is a good daily/weekly rate to focus on as an experienced 3D artist?
depends on your skill level and area you live in… i live in germany and i charge a daily rate of 400 - 800€. it also depends who you are working for. studios and advertising agencies here rarely pay more than 500, if you have bigger companies as direct clients you can usually charge a bit more.

-after completing a clients project do you keep a copy for yourself to use in your portfolio?
what do you mean by keep a copy? of course the project data remains on my drives. the client usually gets the final output, sometimes they want source files as well, but why would i delete them after sending them???

-is there anything that you look for with a potential client that determines whether you will accept or reject their job offer?
yes, to me it’s very important that my clients are decent companies/people. i would never do any work for companies that don’t match my personal moral compass. if they pay very well i’m a bit more tolerant, but only to a certain extend :wink: … also there’s of course the fun factor. some jobs i tend to decline because they are just too boring and/or tedious, others i just can’t refuse because they are too much fun. i also tend to vary my rates a little depending on that factor.

-when accepting a job offer do you give the client an exact delivery date or a rough time frame in case of technical issues that may arise?
erm, most of the time you will be GIVEN a time frame, it’s called deadline. and usually that deadline was yesterday :wink: jokes aside, i rarely worked on any job where the client asked patiently when i think i’m going to be finished with it. they usually come to you with a rather unrealistic time frame and from there you have to try to talk some sense into them. and yes, if it’s a complicated task with a lot of variables i tend to plan in something extra. how much of course depends on the job.


#5

Hello Everfresh

Thank you for taking time to reply. Your advice is very useful and appreciated.

When I asked about “keeping a copy for myself” I may have been on the tired side when I wrote that. My intention was to ask if any client has ever asked you to refrain from using and displaying the work you created for them on your website, facebook etc? When you complete a project I will presume that you have the legal right to use it for your own business promotion even though it was a contract job for a client?

Lastly, when being paid, what method do you use? For example, pay-pal?

Thank you.


#6

no pay pal, i write a regular invoice to get the money wired to my bank account. my book keeper likes everything neat and tidy. and btw, if you’re not really good with numbers and dealing with your taxes (like most artists) i recommend you get someone that deals with your paperwork. i spend around 300€ per month on book keeping, and it’s well spent money, takes a lot of pressure off and you can focus on your work.

regarding using stuff for your portfolio: it’s your right to use it for your own portfolio as long as there’s no contract which states specifically that you are not allowed to do so. but i’ve had clients who kindly asked me not to use it and explained their reasons, and so i didn’t, even if i could have.


#7

Hi Everfresh

I just found your reply and wanted to say thanks. I wasn’t ignoring you, I simply lost track of time and I’m now catching up.
You mention that you don’t work with PayPal. Fair enough. I’m curious to know what your reason/s may be? I’m not trying to debate but I am trying to weigh all the pros and cons. I can understand having somebody transfer funds to your account which also makes sense. Does paypal charge for every transaction? Do they charge a monthly fee? I have no idea so that’s why I’m asking.

You made an interesting point about some clients not wanting their work posted in your gallery. I would like to know what some of their reasons may be? Can you share an example or two without getting into specific details?

Thanks