Finishing Strong

Before your freelance job is over, do you know how you’ll know when it has ended?  It’s possible that you were contracted to work for a certain number of hours, or that once certain pieces of work were done, you are released.  Before you can be done, you need to know when you’re done.

Love Me Do Photography nails it every time, don't they?

Love Me Do Photography nails it every time, don't they?

That being said, sometimes it can bode really well for you if you agree to do some extra work.  A last minute arrangement needs to be made, or cleanup is still in progress.  Depending on who you are working for and what your personality is, you’ll know whether or not you should give a little bit extra.  There can be big rewards for going the extra mile, and not just monetary rewards.  I think it’s pretty safe to say that to freelance successfully, and to be a great employee/contractor in general, be willing to do a little bit more than what people expect.  After all, how exciting is it when someone does a little bit more for you, or gives you that superb service that might be notch above what you’re used to? 

If you’ve finished the job and there is time to snap a few photos, I strongly encourage you to do so.  It can be really challenging to obtain photos of the work you’ve done from photographers, especially if you were brought on the job for one or two days only, doing mostly behind the scenes things.  It can also make me feel super awkward, because sometimes it feels that I don’t truly have a right to those photos.  That’s another blog post completely, though.  [Alyssa, remember to write a post about how you view “your work” under the umbrella of “working for someone else.”]

I created this bouquet during a bouquet workshop at Little Flower School in New York.  I think the way that Sarah Ryhanen captures flowers in photos is truly special.  I'd love to learn how to improve my own skills.

I created this bouquet during a bouquet workshop at Little Flower School in New York.  I think the way that Sarah Ryhanen captures flowers in photos is truly special.  I'd love to learn how to improve my own skills.

To me, this is common sense, but send a thank you email or note to the person who hired you.  As the oldest child of three in my family, I had the best handwriting first, so I became the default thank you note scribe, and my siblings simply signed their names to the words.  It was engrained in my head very early that a formal thank you is not only appreciated, but necessary.  As I understand, this is a custom that’s losing popularity in our increasingly digital age, but I don’t really care.  Send a digital thank you then.  Just do it.

Asking for feedback on your performance is another way to get the most out of your freelancing experience.  I’ve taken feedback really seriously in my former career as a teacher, and continue to seek feedback in my floral design work.  You don’t necessarily have to agree with the feedback, but upon thoughtful consideration, you might see exactly why you received certain critiques.  It’s not productive to grow complacent in thinking that you must be doing an absolutely superb job all the time because there are always things we can improve on.  Getting some insight into what others think you can work on might bring to light a deficit that you didn’t know you had, or a strength that you’ve failed to recognize in your skill set. 

For my fellow freelancers out there; do you have anything to add?  I’d love to hear what someone else’s thoughts are on the process.