Freelance Advertising Jobs: What to Expect

Freelance advertising can be a dream job when you’re getting the business. This is the true form of advertising work, and it’s more fun than anything when you get it right.

The Work Environment

Fortunately for people doing freelance advertising, freelance is now the market’s choice of sourcing materials. Freelance is the most flexible way of approaching a market where everything is wanted yesterday or the week before.

This is all business. Remember that and stay on target. Whether you’re doing your own advertising accounts, copy writing, promos, media or layouts, delivery is what matters. This is an industry where getting the job done is the big yardstick, and if you can provide what’s wanted on time and on budget, you’ll get more business than you’d believe.

Your employers are either freelancers with accounts or agencies. You’re effectively a contract worker. This work is done at home, in your studio or wherever. You’re given a brief, and you’re expected to run with it and achieve good quality.

This is the modern ad hoc agency approach, and it works brilliantly. Many advertising people who have their own accounts prefer this option. Overheads are almost nonexistent, for all concerned. Agencies like it because their costs are slashed and they don’t have to run a conventional standing business with staff waiting for work. That’s expensive, and it eats money in other ways, using up time and space.

Freelance Advertising Skills

Apart from your professional skills, there are three primary skills you’ll need to develop:

  • Communications: Good exchange of information and ideas is absolutely essential in this line of work. You must be able to work with clients on a clearly understood basis. If you’ve ever done a job and discovered the client wanted something entirely different, you’ll know why. Don’t get into that position.
  • Relationships: Clients are people, too. Some know nothing about advertising but know what they want. Others know a lot about advertising but nothing about advertising production. Work with your clients, not “at” them. Ask questions, be tactful and stay focused on a healthy working relationship.
  • Problem solving: Following from the level of awareness of advertising issues comes problem solving, both your own and the client’s. Communications are very important here, too. Express yourself so the clients understand the problems and the solutions.

Getting Freelance Advertising Jobs

The name of the game for freelance advertising is getting jobs, plural.

There are many ways of getting jobs:

  • Online freelance sites: A good site for freelance advertising jobs is ifreelance.com. This is a big US site, devoted entirely to freelance work. It covers everything from logos to freelance writing, web design and media. It’s a bidding site, where people give quotes for jobs.

(Very important: Note the requirements for qualifications, especially in graphics, web design and media. These are real industry standards, particularly when outsourcing for agencies.)

 This site is a good picture of what’s wanted, and a browse through your own category of work is like doing a market survey of what’s wanted. It’s always useful to check out the freelance sites as a reference to market rates, too.

  • Networking: The classic advertising job hunting tool, and one of the best, if you’ve got a network in the industry. Create your network as part of your freelance advertising work. You’ll find you get work from friends and associates of clients.