The Good + Bad When It Comes To FREELANCING
If you follow me on Instagram, then you've been able to see all the amazing things that I've been able to experience while being here in New York. My time here has been, honestly... a dream. After being here for 4 months, it still doesn't seem real. I feel like I'm on an extended vacation just out here living my best life. To be real, God has been blessing me since I touched down in Brooklyn on June 6, 2017 and I can't thank him enough or give him enough credit. He's shown me that when you work hard and put your mind to whatever it is that you want to do, he will open doors that you don't even know existed. From styling shoots for major magazines such as Glamour, People and Dazed to interning on an Alexander Wang and Adidas collab to assisting on the Bally and Swizz collab to working with major household brands like Dove and T.J. Maxx, and most recently I worked on the set of my first film. So all in all, my time thus far has been lit!
Through freelancing, I've been able to land some pretty dope gigs and I've meet some pretty amazing people. [Pause]If you don't know what freelancing is, it's when you work for yourself for a variety of different brands or companies offering a service. So for me, my services include: styling, blogging and social media content creation. The upside to being able to work as a freelancer is that you get the opportunity to work with different companies. So, no project is the same. Which is something I love, because everyday is different. Working with different companies , or stylist in my case, gives me the opportunity to see how people do things and gives me perspective on how to run my own business. Another thing I love when it comes to freelancing is that you get the chance to meet so many different people. Being that my industry is all about who you know, any chance I get to network is important.
Now, like every good thing there are some cons to freelancing. The main thing that has really been a struggle for me is the fact that you don't get your money right away. Coming from corporate, where I was used to getting paid every Friday or every other week, it's a huge adjustment to have to wait to get paid. In styling they have this thing called 'Net 30/60/90' which means clients have 30 and sometimes up to 90 days to pay you for your services. Crazy, right? For those who have consistent gigs it's not as stressful because they know they are bound to get paid from a previous gig that they've worked. Yet, for those just starting out, like me, it's difficult. Another thing I dislike about freelancing is that you have to stay on top of the client to make sure you are paid. I had one stylist who said she was going to pay me on a certain day and once I followed up, promised me another day. The latter date she promised had came and passed and I had to contact her yet again to remind her. Needless to say, I got paid 3 weeks after the payment was due. In a world where bills don't wait, that can be super frustrating.
Well, after talking with other freelance creatives, I've learned that this is the norm. They too have experienced a delay in getting paid or the annoying act of tracking down a stylist to get paid. It's a part of the job. Therefore, while it's not ideal, it's good to know that someone else has dealt with the same issues and overcame them.
As a creative, it helps to talk to others in your field about their experiences. It allows you to put things in perspective and it gives you the opportunity to learn from someones mistakes and/or situations. I'm a firm believer in the saying that "Everything Happens for a Reason". Therefore, I know that God hasn't brought me this far to fail me now. So, although I have some reservations about freelancing, I definitely know that the things I'm experiencing now are for a purpose and will one day be used to make me stronger.
To all my creatives out there, who may be experiencing a drought in gigs or who may be discouraged for whatever the reason, stay strong! The things you want in life won't be easy. But the fight will make it that much better once you achieve your goals.
If you're thinking of becoming a freelancer, be sure to check out "9 Things Every Freelancer Should Know" By Danielle Corcione, to get a better insight of how to stay on top of your game! I found them all very helpful and needed, so seriously check them out.
Till next time loves!