We creative people have many opportunities to work freelance. Designers, photographers, copywriters and musicians are only a part of the professional spectrum. As diverse as the creative characteristics are, we are united by the high standards we set for our work and ourselves. While others are already asleep, we perfect details, read professional articles and look for new sources of inspiration. Everything for a great portfolio, everything for self-realization and ultimately everything to be successful.
The missing components
As freelancers, we need a good portion of passion, courage and discipline as well as the same elixir as any company. I am talking about money.
Money should not always be the primary motive of our work, but it is also a fact that our success as freelancers is determined by financial means. Great references and a top styled business card do not help much in paying our monthly liabilities. A smart business concept, strong sales, an excellent network and a positive cash flow are much more helpful.
Curricula in schools, colleges and universities often omit modules on these fundamentally important topics. In most educational institutions, the focus is on teaching professional qualifications. This situation is particularly convenient for companies looking for qualified employees. But we freelancers also need a commercial basis to be successful. Specialist books and seminars for business start-ups only close this knowledge gap to a limited extent. A lot of information is very theory-based and generalized. For example, the knowledge imparted is often equally valid for bakers, doctors and mechanical engineers. Without a strong reference to professional practice, these important contents search in vain for a firm place in our consciousness. As a result, the professional qualification then becomes our most important quality surrogate as a freelancer again.
Quality, qualification … there’s more
There are certainly some restaurants that offer better quality burgers than the big fast food chains. But who sells the most burgers?
This small example from outside the industry shows us that there are many other factors besides quality that determine our success. In addition to the training of our technical skills, we must also increasingly deal with commercial issues and regularly optimise our business concept in order to work profitably. Unprofitable orders push us into strenuous days with many hours of piecework, which exhausts us not only physically. They destroy our most important capital. Our creativity.
How important is professional qualification for your creative business? Which business areas do you find at least as important?