I was once employed (started 2 years ago) for a company producing Architectural Visualizations. That employment ended in a surprise last October when my boss was waiting for me at the door with a box of my personal things when I arrived in the morning. I decided to go on my own (which I was planning on doing anyway, just not yet), to start my own 3D animation company (focusing less on Archi-viz, and more on technical/engineering type animations). Since then, I have had only a few jobs. Money is very thin. I’ve never really been into sales, and I get discouraged. I’ve called a dozen or more companies in the last week, and emailed as many more. I’m advertising on facebook and google AdWords.
I’ve decided to expand my service offerings to include web design - which includes me learning more in-depth design, php/mysql stuff (and gaining experience) from what I already know. But I don’t foresee another check in the mail for quite a while yet.
Are there any of you out there who can give a starving dad some ideas and suggestions?
Lately I’ve also been feeling like ge-force, who posted earlier in this forum about not feeling like getting into 3D much anymore. But at this stage, it’s more than a hobby - it’s my job. and I have a wife, daughter and house that are depending on me.
I don’t want to be another start-up/small biz failure…but all things seem to be pointed that way.
that’s the problem…my Area is lethbridge. The only other 3D company was the one I got canned from. Calgary is the next closest city, definitely with more opportunities. But I moved from Calgary 2 years ago to get out of the big city hectic lifestyle. I took a self-employment training program which, among other things, allows me to still collect some EI (employment insurance, similar to welfare), while at the same time being able to rake in whatever I can on my own. But I can’t work elsewhere until that program is complete (next month).
The hard part is finding the side projects to work on. It’s the business/sales end of things I’m struggling with…
I wish I could give you some advice, but I have been looking for side jobs for the past 4 months with no luck. Web design isn’t a good area to get into at the moment because the competition is ungodly. It’s impossible to get jobs because of all the bid wars, and when you do find a job not taken, someone bids so low that it wouldn’t be even worth your time for working for say, 200 dollars (I’ve seen them go that low too). Isn’t there any game companies around you? Since you did arch. vis., maybe you could look into environment artists? I know some companies will let you work remotely. Check out bighugegames.com and apply for art contractor, I know a few people that did some models for them and made bank (for models anyway)
The most important thing to have is contacts. I already had contacts when I started as a freelance time ago, not too many of them, just two or three good ones: I got to know them in the place I was working as a employee. As times passes by I get new contacts and I loose old ones too. I also keep contacts from the day I started, and I keep a couple of asleep contacts in case I need them. Contacts, contacts, contacts.
Also you should be good in what you do. You don’t need to be the best, but your work should be above average and your clients must know it and they must talk with other people about it. Add value to your work. A freelance is a genuine problems solver. Know your market and your competition.