How to escape the freelance trap?


As a freelancer of 7 years I still have HUGE problems with the feast/famine cycle.

I just cannot beat it.

How do you freelancer pro’s keep work consistently coming in?


-get an agency interested in your work

-find other fill in work to stop up the dry periods

-when you have time sell your services like one possesed


The best way to get out of any trap is to chew off your leg.


with the feast/famine cycle

Quality at reasonable price keeps people knocking on your door.
Work hard when there is a lot of work, work less when things ease up.
Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket


I agree…
Except when your head is in a noose.


get used to wearing kneepads


And they say professional experience on CGTalk is dead. Bah! :smiley:



I chewed off both of my legs some years ago, and my upper portions aren’t in great nick either. See:

Thanks for the sage advice.



I don’t know your situation, but I think that after years in the same situation, you may have seen your pool of potential clients shrink somewhat. You may need to really focus for a bit on getting yourself seen by people who don’t currently know you are available for work.

The best freelancers I know are shameless self promoters, I mean really shameless, but they seem to always have tons of work. Good luck!


find a niche

Best thign that ever happened to me was being a TD in a software where there currently aren’t a lot of TD’s As the softwares been growing so has the demand from places for someone who knows it well and since there aren’t a lot, clients are all to willing to fly a canuck in short term for projects in the states.

can’t all find a niche like that of course, but maybe you excel at quick but quality produc shots or seomthing.

most of all networking is as importnat as the working itself. Tradeshows are expensive no doubt, but siggrpah alone is where I"ve met a lot of the clients I"ve had, or even had to turn down.


My advice.

Leave the west country. I’ve only ever met one producer here and worked at 2 companies.

Clients love freelancers who they can talk to face to face… most my Uk clients are in london. Makes the whole world difficult living here!


also register on hehe :stuck_out_tongue:


yeah - I think I’m about to leave the west country as well.

I know brizzle has a few tv and film things going on… but only one or two games companies and some defence conractor stuff (but you don’t wanna go down that route my friend!)


I was just thinking the other day 'It’s a shame there aren’t more people in London…’

Come and live the dream in the Big Smoke - it’s fantastic! The streets are paved with silver! (they had to sell the gold to help fund the NHS deficit…)


best advise I ever heard for breaking the feast/famine cycle is to not slack off promoting and advertising when you are in a feast cycle… Since most projects take time to get started, gain approval etc… waiting till the work load is lighter to spend time on those tasks is a killer.


This is coming from a freelance writing perspective, but freelance is freelance, so it might be useful.

When I first hit the freelance world, an editor I worked for gave me some excellent advice. She said that as a freelancer, you have three things you need to keep an eye on - work you’re trying to get, work you’re doing right now, and work you’re trying to get paid for. The only way to minimize the highs and lows is to make sure that you’ve got equal amounts going on in each of those three areas. That means that if you’re going great guns for a while and you notice that your pile of work you’re trying to get has dried up a bit, you can be sure there are some tough times ahead. Likewise, if there isn’t enough in your “trying to get paid” pile.

As a freelancer, you have to do everything you can to be sure your pipeline for work is always full.

Just my 2¢.


There’s too many people everywhere, not just London. Although being a Londoner myself, if I do go back, I will simply be reclaiming my rightful position :slight_smile:


Yep, you’ve all made some interesting points.

I suppose to have a continuous workflow one must be continuously marketing.

Perhaps that’s the only answer.

Thanks to all.


If I do, can I sleep on your sofa? :smiley:


Of course - in accordance with the standard market value of a London sofa, the monthly rent will be £800 per calendar month (excluding utilities). I also have a superb range of closets that just beg to be viewed, in a really up-and-coming area…


Speaking of which, you don’t have a homepage? It sometimes helps to post your portfolio online.
BTW, always factor in the famine periods when budgeting and pricing your work. Freelancing is somewhat luring because of high rates, but those rates are justified if you look at the periods in which you don’t get work. Of course, from the client’s perspective, what matters is the quality of your work. Do not sell yourself short, promote yourself, improve your skills.
over and out :thumbsup: