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Hey Guys,

The problem:

I was told my 4 day a week salaried job as a designer/illustrator for a contract company in Coca-Cola is going to be cut to two days a week, or possibly to completely just freelance.

The streams of income I have so far:

I recently totally by God's divine planning come into being a freelance designer in my spare time for Shane's Rib Shack, designing national campaigns as well as smaller projects for them, though at this point it is not likely to be enough to replace my more full time gig.

I'm also halfway finished with illustrating a coloring book for a local city about MLK snr. Not huge pay, but it's good experience and a great piece to show future possible customers.

Being a firm believer in Dan's multiple streams of income, I also teach painting classes from my home studio. That stream of business is either huge or totally dead though, it all depends on time of year. Though Bridal shower and birthday paint night parties are pretty regular now.

I'm almost independent, not on purpose.. but that's where things have been leading I guess, so...

The Questions:

How do I get more business like Shane's, how do I give my soon to be completely freelance income some stability.

Ideas for getting more work teaching painting or designing adds/illustrating?

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Hi Heather, 

You didn't mention if you have a company for your independent efforts. If not that would be a first step in creating a brand for you to market. A sole proprietor would work initially. 

If you do have a company, why not start a simple marketing campaign under the guise of "Why not let the same people who help Coca-Cola, Church's Chicken and Shane's Ribs connect with their customers do the same for you!" 

Let the low hanging fruit cash flow the business while you reach out to client base you truly want to serve. That will frame this wake-up call as an opportunity for growth, rather than bad news about some j-o-b.

Thanks for adding this conversation to the JUMP Group!  
  -Alan

This is great advice. Currently I just file any contract business or class money as extra earned income on my taxes. But I was thinking I probably need to become a business , I have an identity I created branding myself... But why not go all the way now! Thanks :)

 Heather,

To get more business like Shane's I would get out there and network.  That is a huge asset in the ATL. Places like Ponce City Market are big trendy spaces that include social and business activities.  For the painting you might want to connect with some home school associations in your area.  And if you haven't already, let it be known in the Write It Forward group that you are an illustrator. People there are always looking for good ones. Good Luck!

Thanks!!! I hadn't thought of ponce!

Any progress to report, Heather? I'm sure oodles of ideas have flooded through your mind, so which ones look the most promising right now?

Yes, thanks :) I'm still thinking on the forum members suggestions, as well as prepping my portfolio to include my book illustrations and Shane's BBQ art. I made a list of people I know who might know someone who'd need my design assistance. I've contacted a major art supply company that I have a contact at informed them I'm available to create sample art for new materials for they're print purposes along with giving them samples of my paintings, and tonight after I teach a birthday paint party in my studio that will be 10 kids painting at $25 each, I then will do what Dan says.. make a list of 30 companies I'd like to do business with!

Heather,

Like Alan mentioned, you'll want a platform (ie business) to be able to effectively market your business. Seek out similar businesses to the ones you have had success with. Do any of them appear to need your services? Reach out to them directly.

Assuming you don't know them already, do a series of emails to start to introduce yourself. Don't hit them the first time with a "you wanna buy my services" type of approach. Connect with them wherever they are on social media. Get to know something about them so you can better align your approach.

Brian Richardson
www.thecompanyproject.com

Heather,

Just realizing I'm late to the party on this one, but have you checked out freelancing websites like Freelancers.com or Upwork.com? There are always hundreds of people looking for good graphic artists on those sites. Personally, the stuff you have in the attached file is better than what I've gotten once or twice using those sites for my own work. If you're looking to make some fairly fast cash to cover bills between other gigs, these sites may be a good option.

Jonathan

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