By Andy McArthur
The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
Creative, Inc is a little how to guide for freelancers, written by two knowledgeable freelance creatives Meg Mateo Ilasco author of Craft, Inc and Joy Deangdeelert Cho ‘Oh Joy’, a professional blogger.
Creative, Inc was first published back in 2010 (so some of you may have this one already stashed at home), however I have only just recently stumbled upon it, but once I did I quickly read it cover to cover. Stumbling through setting up a freelance business is interesting to say the least, with this book there is a starting point for you to know exactly what you are jumping into.
At first sight, Creative, Inc has been designed specifically for it’s demographic to pick up – it’s small, unassuming and beautifully designed with 2 colour illustrations throughout. The information is broken down into bite sized chapters with lots of interviews with successful freelancers scattered through for added insight (probably my favourite part of the book). It is written from a realists perspective and doesn’t use a lot of colourful adjectives. What it does give you are the facts you need to make it through the maze of freelance, if that’s what you want (assessing what you want is also written about).
From an organisation perspective some of the best advise I have read lately has been in this book. Right from Chapter 1 you are given small pieces of gold. Chapter 1 includes the 9 qualities a successful freelancer should have. Then there are useful tips about setting up your office/studio space and further into the book the topic of juggling children and freelance is briefly covered.
Creative, Inc is not just a read for graphic designers as there are a wide variety of freelancers profiled: sole proprietors, partners, a husband-and-wife team, agents, illustrators, photographers and even an accountant shares their experience about freelancing.
The great thing about the book is that it’s realistic. Yes, the hours are crazy and you’ll put in a lot, yes, the money juggling is a constant issue, but it’s also inspiring, reading insights into what can work for people and how they got their start.
Last word and impressions
Creative, Inc is a little pocket rocket full of freelance goodness. It doesn’t provide you with all of the answers so you will need to delve deeper into certain aspects and asking fellow creatives who are out there doing it is always invaluable and I think preferable to reading it out of a book.
As an Australian creative a lot of the business and financial information contained in the book is not relevant. But apart from this if you are a creative deciding if freelancing is for you I would highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy to start you on the road to freelance…
P.S. There is a list of great resources at the back of the book.
For more information on Creative, Inc: Chronicle Books
Andrea McArthur has a passion for all things visual and a soft spot for organisation. Type is her true love and goes weak at the knees over beautiful design. Andrea works as a freelance graphic designer in Brisbane by day and lectures in graphic design by night. You will find her sharing design related goodness via @andyjane_mcTags: book review, freelance
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