Freelance architects enjoy the freedom of work, projects, and clients. Freelancing has unique advantages, opportunities, and challenges working remotely and independently. In recent times, freelancing is undergoing a rapid transformation, adapting to flexible working hours unlike full-time employment. It is a way of self-employment and gaining financial security at one’s own risk. Freelance work also results in establishing an own business and becoming an entrepreneur. According to a survey conducted by Americans, an increasing number of Americans are choosing to be self-employed.
Here is a list of 10 tips that may be helpful for freelance architects.
1. Prepare Yourself before you Get Works
Freelancing mostly requires working on your own without supervision. Be prepared with unique challenges, problems, and ways of dealing with clients. Considerable challenges for freelance architects are – finding clients, communicating, understanding their requirements, charging your clients, handling them effectively when a problem arises, meeting deadlines of the work, setting up your work ethics, work-life balance, etc. All these have to be handled independently. Excellent communication skills, work ethics, proficiency, the efficiency of work, dealing with clients in a positive approach, and self-confidence are some of the strengths one has to gain before one obtains work.
2. Excel in any of the Skills depending on your Personality and Passion
The field of architecture is not limited to a single skill and is associated with various skills – designing, drawing, software skills, architectural writing, architectural photography, mentoring, model developer, rendering skills, researcher, interior designer, arts and crafts, etc. Enhance and excel in any of them where your versatility is hidden. Choose wisely according to your passion and personality. For instance, if you are good at communicating and your interest is in teaching, then you can start developing courses and excel in it. If your compassion is in writing and researching, you can enhance your skills in architectural writing.
3. Be Creative and Unique in your Niche / Specializations
Creativity and uniqueness are one of the major aspects for architects who possess great potential. Architecture is an amalgamation of distinct niches/specializations, such as residential architecture, commercial, interior designer, sustainable designer, urban planner, landscape designer, conservation architect, etc. Choosing a particular specialization and excelling in any of them progressively attracts clients. Works that are distinct and a way of problem-solving helps in achieving professional growth and recognition.
4. Create a Design Portfolio
A portfolio is an essential tool for freelance architects that contemplates the type, size, and scale of projects. It reflects your knowledge, hard work, creativity, and any other skills you possess. Create a well-defined and organized portfolio so that the client understands the style of your projects without misleading them. Choosing the correct formats and templates, organizing your projects appealingly, presenting with sketches, photographs, layouts, writeups, etc., using current trends of technology, demonstrating your key skills, are necessary for better presenting skills in a portfolio.
5. Showcase your Works / Portfolio on Freelance Platforms
These days, there are a lot of freelance platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, WeWork, Workana, Behance, LinkedIn, etc. Having a high-quality profile on these platforms can show the clients your knowledge and skills in what you are capable of. These platforms not only connect various industry experts and freelance architects from their home country but also connect across the globe. Creating a profile and uploading your portfolio on these platforms increases your chance of obtaining projects/works and the clients collaborate with you if your skills match with their requirements.
6. Market your Skills
Market your skills either by word of mouth or reference (friends and colleagues) or by using social media. Social media is a beneficial resource for Freelance Architects to share individual works. Various social media networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn are great tools to connect with potential clients. Instagram – based on photos, Pinterest – image sharing visual style pin boards, LinkedIn – for building professional networks and developing careers, Facebook- for connecting people – each one of them is distinct in its style and gives credibility to showcase and market your skills.
7. Grow your Network
Growing your network is an essential factor for freelance architects. Gaining knowledge in your relative field with practical experience and marketing skills is crucial. However, individuals who want to be successful on the road of freelancing require escalating your network within your profession. A satisfied client will recommend you to their friends and colleagues. Various methods to enhance your network are by word of mouth, advertising, maintaining a fair relationship with your past clients, reaching out to your friends and colleagues, communicating by email, etc.
8. Be Competitive
The challenge freelancers face today is the enormous competition between them. There are a vast number of individuals competing even for a single project. Be competitive enough and raise your work style standards adequately so that the clients themselves collaborate with you. One can also take part in different competitions to get recognition.
9. Set your Freelancing Charges
Freelancers have the freedom to set their rates, however, it becomes difficult to find potential clients who pay adequately. Setting your charges for freelancing depends on your valuable work, understanding market value, location, demography, the time you dedicate, demand of the skills, etc. If you charge too high, you may lose clients and in the same way, if you charge too less, the value of work decreases, so choose and set your rates accordingly.
10. Keep Learning
Never stop learning. Develop a habit of reading and updating your knowledge with the latest technologies. Read various books, magazines, publications, newsletters related to your industry. Reading books not only refines your knowledge but also helps in increasing your potential to solve the problems arising while designing and executing your projects.
Reference for Portfolio Design course: How to Design Architecture Portfolio | Online Course – Eduwik