Lessons from My Years of Freelancing

Read about our founder and CEO’s journey from a freelancer to an owner of a small video production house.

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 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.

So how did it happen?

The first thing that I focused on was honing my animation skills. You really need to be good to be selected by clients on Elance. I have learnt 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 not only was I 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 towards outsourcing. This allowed me the opportunity to work with global market leaders through Elance.  One reason due to which 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 now 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 but in fact, hire them for specialized skill sets. This worked for me because when it comes to animation, my company is now ranked #1 on Elance.

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 Elance where I too faced similar situations.  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 towards what the client is looking for, and not something less relevant like “I’ve got an experience of 16 years” etc. Only if the potential client is hooked after reading your first couple of lines, they would be interested enough to read the full proposal.

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 come forward with great results.

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

Posted by MotionCue

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