On today’s Freelancer Spotlight we have Bruce Gilbert, who focuses his freelance work on web development, web design, and coding.
He has been a part of the community since early 2019 and we wanted to give you some insight into what his life as a freelancer looks like and some tips and tricks you can use if you are trying to get into freelancing.
Creative Allies: How did you get into freelancing?
Bruce: I had a lot of experience in the corporate world. I did a lot of networking and used different platforms like Upwork to get more freelancing work and it just kind of spread word of mouth. So, I worked mostly for smaller to medium-sized businesses. But, that’s basically how I got into it. When I started out in freelancing I gained a lot of experience in the corporate world, to begin with, and then I just kind of branched off from there.
Creative Allies: Which were the biggest challenges that you had to overcome as a freelancer?
Bruce: First, you need to do a lot of networking. You can’t sit up. Also, I had to find new clients. Once you do find clients, you really need to understand their business so you can help them out. And then, ideally, some clients will refer you to other clients and that type of thing. So you can get kind of in an initial industry if you want to. but I would say freelancing can be a feast or famine. Sometimes you are really busy and then sometimes you’re not as busy, so you kind of have to try to get recurring business from different clients. So not just like a one-off type deal. But, if you find clients that’ll help you keep you busy, then that’s the best-case scenario.
Creative Allies: What kind of support do you think you’re missing as a freelancer?
Bruce: When you’re doing freelance work, you kind of work on your own, so you might not necessarily have a colleague to bounce off ideas. It can be kind of independent work so you can be isolated sometimes. So, you might be missing to the social aspect of working in a corporate team environment. But there are different things you can take advantage of like coworking spaces and different networking opportunities for freelancers in this area. There’re all kinds of opportunities you can do to learn new skills even if you are just doing the freelancing. There’re meet up groups and different things like that where you can actually meet people that do similar work.
Creative Allies: And have you gone to, um, like events in the area that promote freelancing or networking with companies and things like that?
Bruce: I’ve been to a few, there’s actually a freelancer that working group up into a few times. I’ve been to some meetup groups that focus on web development. And then I’ve done some business-specific networks groups as well. So I’ve done all three of those things.
Creative Allies: You mentioned Upwork before, do you think that’s a good platform for people that want to start to do freelance?
Bruce: It’s a good way to gain experience. It can be hit or miss as well. And often times you have to take one work you might not necessarily find the most rewarding financially and creatively wise. But it’s a good way to get a little bit of extra income and develop a portfolio. Maybe it develops some new skills. So, I wouldn’t say Upwork is the best thing there is. You are probably better off networking and doing work with a local business. But, Upwork is a big platform, a lot and a lot of people use it, so it is a good way to expose yourself and gain new clients.
Creative Allies: Do you have any specific project that you consider that is your best work or something that you enjoyed a lot doing?
Bruce: Every time you do a project you can make up things you could have done better, but you also get to enjoy a window of satisfaction. I recently worked with Creative Allies for a camera’s solutions website. The clients seemed happy with that, so it was a good project. But you’re always looking to improve on your next project.
Creative Allies: Do you have any advice for someone that wants to start freelancing?
Bruce: I would say it’s not for everyone. and it can be isolating and you’re always constantly having to find new clients. But if you’re good at what you do and you do really good work, you can get a lot of good referrals. It’s really just about building up your client base and just getting a lot of clients. But, I don’t think I would recommend someone just starting out to do freelance. Maybe just part time, but not a full time because it’s really hard.
Creative Allies: Lastly, tell us more about what you do and where people can find your work.
Bruce: I’m focused primarily on web development. I do WordPress development, front end development, web design, and coding. My business is Inspired Evolution and my website is www.inspired-evolution.com. On Twitter @webguyNC. The best way to contact me is through email, and it is: webguyNC@gmail.com