Freelancer Guide

What to do – What not to do

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As a freelancer or an independent artist receiving a new brief from a client can be exciting, some-

times confusing or even worrying. Evaluating it to see if it matches with your skills or desires is key
to decide whether you are going to take the piece of work on, or let it pass to another artist. Under-
standing the implications early on is critical for financial and creative success, for both the client
and yourself. Over estimation and over excitement can damage your reputation and next time client
will think twice about hiring you for the creative role to put your eorts in his project.

There are some points to follow after getting complete brief from client. Sitting down and discuss-
ing the brief with client would imprint your positive image on the client. What you need to think
about any new job is;

  • Is the client new or ongoing? 
  • What is the challenge and scope for this job? 
  • What actually the Client is asking for? 
  • What are the long term goals?
  • Does the brief offer the chance to gain experience in a new sector?
  • Is it a kind of work you were looking for? Is it fresh? or it’s old same execution process?

It’s very important to understand what you are getting into, and then think about how to take the
conversation further on with the client.

Having Q&A session with the clients is very important part to establish better understanding about
the project. With the most brief of a reasonable size and scope you will need to go for desk research
and internal interview to understand the many levels of information and complexity behind that
brief. You can make strategic recommendations to the client that will form the foundation of the
creative process. Don’t overdo the recommendations.
Make sure that you are clear about the challenge, the background, the objectives, the deliverables,
target audience, scope, consumer insights and mandatory, plus timings for each phase of the
project and any other critical dates or key milestones. Extra information that will help you work
effectively includes; your client’s business strategy and top line, plus any potential obstacle to
watch out for along the way. Make sure that you smooth the workflow by identifying who the key
decision-makers are and their intended process for signing-off the project.
Many times assumption is the key of many issues, so don’t assume anything and be sure to clarify
everything. If you feel that the brief needs decoding in order to reveal its more intangible aspects,
reach out and audit of your client and its competitors can help build a bigger picture of what the
client may need, but might not have clearly express. On the other hand, it’s quite possible for brief
to be too detailed. Distil it down to one or two pages for the creative work, as anything longer
becomes dicult to refer to. Keep additional documents, such as those containing research,
documents available as background reading, all the critical points from these, put them in the brief.

I strongly believe that the briefing to the creative team is the most critical stage in the process of
achieving great design or groundbreaking work. If a brief is given to a creative team by someone
who sees it as a process, rather than an opportunity, then nine out of ten times they will get exactly
what they asked for. Have someone inspiring to give the brief, and the end solutions will usually go
way beyond the limitations set down in it.

It’s not necessary that client always come up with perfect brief. A brief can be challenged and built
upon. Creative individual is there to not only solve client’s problems, but educate them and take
them on a journey to avenue they could never have imagined at the beginning. They may like what
they have seen before, but uncertainty breeds fear and ultimately restricts the creative output.
great work comes from a great relationship between creative and client. so be open and honest
about any issue early on will help prevent some major issues later when it’s all a little too late.

Author : Mohammed Naveed Khawar

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