Just getting my start in freelance side gigs for graphic design & video editing in the UK - any advice from those with experience? How did you figure out how to structure your rates and services? Fiverr and Upwork seem really volatile - avoid?

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I transitioned from a corporate job to freelance consulting 3 years ago (have total 10 years exp in my field). I relied on Upwork primarily in the beginning and it was ok. You get better over time at identifying good jobs and writing proposals. I only landed 4 jobs out of ~50 proposals submitted. That’s an awful statistic but 3 of those clients resulted in repeat or long term projects. I also receive repeat business from local agencies I found through my network which pay way better than the average Upwork client.

My recommendation is to check out freelance sites to see if you like it. But definitely tell your friends and network you’re looking for side gigs because people are looking for creative work all the time.

And don’t undervalue yourself. If you’re looking at a fixed rate project, price it according to what value it brings, not just how much time it’ll take you. It might sound outrageous but if you’re not sure about pricing, find out what the clients budget is and then tell them that you usually charge double. They are likely quoting on the lower end and you’ll be able to negotiate the best rate for yourself.

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