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Freelance Advice from a Creative Director

Freelance Advice from a Creative Director

Sean Miner | Creative Director, Monster Worldwide

Monster Creative Director Sean Miner’s Secrets

As an award-winning Creative Director with over 13 years experience, I have tons of tales about “when things go wrong.” Rather than pick one, I thought it’d be helpful to share some pointers with those brave souls who dare to freelance:

Be Creative at Business

Creative work can be fun and interesting, plus it sounds cool when you tell people you’re a “designer,” but if you freelance, you need to be a designer last, and a pro at sales, business, HR, advertising, marketing and banking first. You may think that because you know how to design, illustrate, animate and copywrite better than anyone else, that you somehow share blood with Superman, but the truth is there are thousands of people who are as good (or better) at creating than you are, but only hundreds who know how to work with people, time and money.

Translate the Idea

Every creative project starts with an idea, and it ends with that idea being turned into something real. When you take on a Client, keep in mind that they’re paying you with their time and money to execute their idea in a way they can’t – with images and words. In a sense, they’ve hired you to be their translator. Since you’re dealing with one or more people who may not be right-brainers (or who may think they are), it’s probable you could get stuck with endless edits, tweaks and revisions until that idea looks (or reads) just right. Avoid this by translating the idea onto paper or into a creative brief with your Client before you start any creative work. It’ll help keep both of you on track and serve as a record of your conversations.

Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk

Potential Clients are everywhere, and the Client you already have could become a long-term source of revenue. So play the part of the designer who dresses great, speaks well, and is ready for new (or repeat) business. To do that you need to be prepared to make that lasting first impression. Always carry really great looking business cards with you. Maintain your online website and portfolio – every month. Don’t feel like you have to wear a suit and tie, but don’t wear dirty clothes or smell anything other than great. Be ready to meet new Clients wherever you are. And most importantly, be friendly. Being kind can translate to more money and more gigs.

Hope that helps and, as the Creative Director for Monster, you can quote me on that!

-Sean Miner, Creative Director, Monster Worldwide

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