How to understand if you're ready for a freelance?

Next year I’m planning to end school and go to university, so I’m probably gonna live on my own, need a new laptop etc. So I recently started thinking about monetizing my favourite hobby. I imagine that freelance is the thing you’re not allowed to touch until you’re an advanced 3D modeler, but how advanced you should be? I’ve been modeling for 1,5 years mainly everyday items and furniture (I know, very poor choice of a starting area), organic and car modeling turned out to be a nightmare to me. And I’m kinda afraid to take my first assignment, what if I fail? Would it ruin my reputation on a site?
And how customers usually react to the incorrect grammar? I’ve never seen people discussing it, but as a non-native speaker I’m a bit concerned

If someone likes your work and is willing to pay you, then you’re good enough to freelance.

1 Like

Pretty much this. Just charge relative to your experience. No matter how n00b you are, there’s someone out there who doesn’t have the budget for an artist that’s more skilled than you are.

1 Like

Regarding your final point: If you hadn’t said that English wasn’t your native language I’m not sure I would have guessed. The only giveaway maybe is typing 1,5 instead of 1.5 - Your actual English grammar is fine. Don’t let that concern you.

1 Like

You will have to break your plan into three stages. And you will have to spend significant amount of time in each one. 1 Stage if the worst but is unavoidable to get warmed up and get tuned into working with customers - communicating and interacting are more important that getting paid. However stage 1 won’t get you somewhere you will have to study there and switch to stage 2. By the time you get to stage 2 you will have certain portfolio and certain contact list, chances are that you might have acquired lots of skills and experience and achieved a steady flow of income (best case scenario).

If you reach stage 3 it means that we will ask you for help instead. :slight_smile:

  • Pro Noob: Just getting started… Always underpaid, giving away the work almost for free…
  • Pro Intermediate: I have done it a dozen of times, I can do it anytime…
  • Pro Mastermind: Hello Mr. Spielberg thanks for contacting me for your new project…
1 Like

Everyone who says this writes english better than 90% of my home country and English is the only language we speak.

1 Like

Blame laziness. Some people do not put even the least effort when communicating. This most has to do with the ability to break down the thought process and explain rather than “not knowing” the language by doing spelling and grammar mistakes. Most important is the outcome. :slight_smile:

The technical stuff is the easy part, and what you’ll get the most of in practice and taught in class. Where almost everyone falls short is the business side. There’s more to running a business (and yes, that’s what freelancing is) than running the software. You’ll have to handle marketing/sales, budgeting, accounting, legal, and a number of other factors. For example:

  • Sole proprietor or incorporated? Both have drawbacks and advantages.
  • Taxes. Don’t forget the taxes!
  • You’ll need to draw up a basic contract. Don’t expect clients to provide one. And if the client wants to change parts of the contract, know which ones you can and which ones you shouldn’t.
  • How much are you charging? Are you accounting for things like software licenses, hardware replacement, paying off existing debts from the business? How much are you paying yourself (you should always do this).
  • Are you going to take international work? How are you going to handle various restrictions, taxes, payment, contract enforcement, and so on?

As far as the non-English speaker don’t forget that can be an advantage too - being able to work with others in their native language. You can also find yourself operating as a go-between with English-speaking clients and local/regional work.

1 Like