Making it as a freelancer means you’re going to need to strike a balance between doing what you’re passionate about and still having food to eat and a place to live. It can be hard to keep this balance, but since few of us have the option of throwing caution to the wind, here’s a few tips on staying afloat.
Still In School? Still at Home?
If you’re young and still living at home, now is the time to hone your musical skills. I mean, how much time does high school or college really require from you? The fact that you don’t have to pay rent and don’t have multiple things competing for your attention means that a summer locked in your room with your instruments can put you far ahead of your peers or those who are getting a late start. You just have to have the discipline to treat it like it’s the first steps of your future career and not just a hobby.
Backup Plans and Non Artistic Work
It’s definitely worth having something to fall back on if things don’t go so great as a musician or freelance artist. I’m a firm believer that having several plans will help lower your stress and help you enjoy your creative outlets more than hoping every day that things will go perfectly.
Here’s a few sites you can find additional work on:
eLance – You can find part time/full time work that requires nothing but an internet connection and a decent computer in almost any field on eLance. Don’t limit yourself to just audio work, you can find easy article writing, data entry, QA jobs with little or no experience, you can also make good money translating (if you know more than one language) and even doing boring stuff like sending emails.
Textbroker – As I mentioned in the “first year as a freelancer” article, my original backup plan was writing for Textbroker and other sites like Content Authority and iWriter. There’s a huge need for writers and although the topics aren’t always super exciting, you might find that its another sort of creative outlet you can get paid for. You can work as much or as little as you want with no penalties, so it’s a perfect “fill in the blanks” style of work.
SoloGig.com – Another great place to find stuff to fill your pockets while still leaving you time to pursue your passions.
Those with a background in programming, web design, graphic design and other computer-related fields will have few problems finding freelancing work.
Sticking To It
Not every freelance job is going to be your dream project working for your dream company’s greatest game of all time. You can find tons of work doing boring stuff like editing podcasts, cleaning up audio files and recordings. Don’t be afraid of this work, since many of those skills come in handy later on. For example, learning how to do noise cancellation and removing hiss from recordings its not very exciting, but you might need that skill one day when you are using a dirty sample or trying to clean up a certain irritating frequency from a synthesizer.
A famous American writer William James said, “If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.” Take that attitude toward your music, don’t be afraid to put in the annoying legwork and you will be able to get your sounds out there.
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