Tell everybody you meet what you do for a living, hand out business cards to everyone you meet, speak to people and network face to face. Physically being in front of someone immediately cuts out the competition.
It's also your chance to make a good impression on somebody too. If they like you, they'll remember you.
I get a few bits of work from my blog but the vast majority of work comes through recommendations from people I know or have met face to face.
Thanks for that, also what would you recommend for starting a portfolio as I am self starting. Would making mock up logos and posters etc be good? Or would clients not take to that well as its not real life situations? Do you find it easy to keep a steady flow of business whilst making a good income?
A lot of people don't put any description with their work (which I think is bad) so there's often no way of knowing if work is for a real client or not. It doesn't really matter though, most clients are interested in the final appearance of work anyway so I wouldn't worry about putting personal work in there.
I don't advertise for work much at the minute as I don't have the time to juggle my existing work and my uni projects. I have a main client who gives me work on a somewhat regular basis. The work is normally part of a much larger project, so they often return with new bits and bobs that need doing. Work does fluctuate though. One week I can have many requests for work, plus work for my regular client to do, other times it can be really quiet. That's just the nature of the beast.
That's very useful to know. I think I will do that to start with and then once I build a portfolio done for clients I will add a description. Would you say its easy enough to make a living or is it always a constant struggle to keep work flow high? I guess what I mean is, is it a job you can feel comfortable in when it comes to making a living?
Yeah that's understandable and the same with any self employment. Is it easy enough to get work if your motivated and keep on top of it would you say? If you get a couple of big contracts I suppose that's the best way forward?
It's easier to get work if you're motivated, professional and good at what you do than if you're lazy and produce shitty work (people hire crappy, unprofessional designers all the time though, simply because they're cheap). I'm no expert though, and each persons experience of finding work is different.
Sometimes it's better to have a lot of small jobs on that you can get done quickly, and be paid for immediately. When I work with my regular client I book time hourly when I work on their projects, invoice every couple of weeks or so, and then get paid at the end of the month. It's nice knowing when a chunk of money is coming in, but having to wait 3 weeks for it when you need it now can be infuriating. You need to plan ahead, put a little aside and keep out-goings to a minimum.