Lessons from My Years of Freelancing

Whenever I tell someone that I have studied electrical engineering in a four-year study program, the first they ask is how come you are running a video production house?

Motion graphics was something that I grew interested in when watching brilliantly crafted videos online. After working on experimental projects for a year or so I decided to try my luck working as a freelancer.

With some early success in freelancing, I decided that I should pursue my passion and convert this hobby into my full-time job.

One misconception that I brought down very early in my career was that Upwork (previously known as Elance) was only targeted towards clients that had low-budget work, or for individuals that don’t have a full-time job.

But for me, this presented an opportunity to create a video production house where I now employ full-time motion graphic artists and collaborate with the biggest brands of the world. Here’s how it happened.


My journey from a freelancer to a video production house owner


Honing my skills

The first thing that I focused on was honing my animation skills. You really need to be good to be selected by clients on Upwork.

I have learned that the most important thing is to be the best at what you do. Being excellent at a skill that may not be the most trending is much better than being average at the most wanted skills/jobs out there.

So I started to take less work compared to other freelancers and tried to offer top-notch quality to my clients.  Through this measure, I was able to earn more as I was able to create business relationships with my clients that valued my hard work and dedication to quality.


Shift towards outsourcing

Working for the past six years, I have observed how big brands are moving toward outsourcing. This gave me the opportunity to work with global market leaders.  One reason why I was able to work for them was my relationships with clients.

Through word of mouth, I was recommended to clients that ranged from global brands to startups needing mind-blowing animated videos.

The thing is that there are different freelance platforms available to everyone. This helps clients to choose from a pool of freelancers.

However, in the end, it is the skill of the freelancer that makes him stand out from others.

Clients don’t hire someone for multiple skills. They hire them for specialized skill sets. This worked for me because when it comes to animation, my company is ranked #1 on Upwork.


Proposals that stand out

One thing which is clear to every freelancer is that the client will not be paying attention to every proposal from the dozens of offers they receive.

Over the course of many years, I had to hire people myself on Upwork I faced similar situations, too.  I would only read a few lines and decide about the freelancer and his work.

Additionally, the most important thing I would consider is if the freelancer is interested in this particular job and understands my requirements. Therefore, make sure your first few lines are directed toward what the client is looking for, and not something less relevant like “I’ve got 16 years of experience” etc.

The potential client will only be interested to read the full thing if the first few lines hook them.


Enjoy what you do

Love what you do and while doing it, enjoy it. Only then you can deliver quality results. If you are hesitant to go the extra mile to achieve better results, you will not be able to get repeat customers or produce something remarkable.

After some success, as a next step, I decided to start motioncue and hire talent that I can work with to continue doing what we’re good at—making amazing videos 🙂

Check out some of the work my team and I have done on our YouTube channel.

Posted by MotionCue

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