It is no secret that animation as an industry is on the rise, and it is improving even more due to the adoption of new technologies. Other than that, many companies are now seeing the value of the unique skillsets that animators provide, and freelancing is becoming a more attractive working prospect for animators because of the flexibility it provides.
With that said, you cannot escape unique challenges when you decide to become a freelance animator. It always helps to be on top of things though in terms of your business practices, while remaining creative at your work. Through these tips, you can succeed in both instances and make a comfortable living from your work.
Create a beautiful portfolio
Even if you have a set of regular clients, or your business is pouring in with many prospective projects, it is very important for an animator to have a solid portfolio and reel that is extensive and up-to-date. This portfolio is not just a set of drawings – it represents you as an artist and what you are good at, as well as showing you as a serious professional who has a high work quality.
On your website, place new work and projects, and make sure you are as professional as possible. Other than that, ensure you place your contacts (there should be no typos) in order to allow clients to access you whenever they need you to do a job for them.
Making cold calls
This can be among the most dreaded activities that freelancers have to face, because they do not like this practice at all. It can be really nerve-wracking, and the last thing you may want is to be a nuisance to your clients or anyone else. However, you are missing out on new business if you do not want to do it at all – especially as a freelance animator.
The good news is that you can always start slow if you do not feel comfortable enough calling businesses suddenly – you can begin through references. After delivering pleasing results to the customer, inform them that you would not mind them recommending you to their friends, family, and colleagues. This will allow you to gain a starting point. However, if there are no referrals coming in, you can still call prospective clients and tell them the companies and individuals you have worked with, which increase your reputation and they will likely call you back.
Make sure you network
Networking is not an activity that is universally loved – some people hate it. However, it will not go anywhere, even if you dislike it. In fact, animators need it when they decide to go freelance, so always make it a point to go to networking conferences, talks, and events.
This will ultimately increase your chances of finding new business chances, and others in the field will know you. If offline networking events are unavailable, use online platforms like LinkedIn and social media, and keep in touch with old classmates and colleagues who worked with you or studied with you in animation school. This is a softer approach to networking, because you are interacting with people you know, and you will have a chance to thrive eventually.
Be in touch with social media
Like we said before, social media is a great networking tool. It also makes use of your tech savvy skills, since you are an animator anyway – and with that knowledge, there is no excuse to lack a social media presence.
It is essential to use social media platforms and know them well, as each platform has its own advantages when it comes to marketing yourself and your work. The best options are the image-heavy platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, and you can also use other platforms like Twitter and Facebook to brand yourself.
Aim to spend a few minutes marketing you in social media. While you do not need to spend several hours daily on your accounts, it is still important to emphasize your presence. People coming across your pages will also expect you to be creative, so use these platforms to unleash your creativity.
In conclusion, these tips should help you get started on the freelance animator sphere, and give you a better idea of attracting clients and loyal fans of your work.