Freelance animation is a fun and demanding career. As an animator, you can experiment and specialize in various fields, such as 2D animation, 3D animation, whiteboard animation, motion graphics, storyboarding, and more.
Before you start working as a freelance animator, you should keep a few things in mind. Here are our top six suggestions for launching your own freelance animation job.
Create an eye-catching showreel, portfolio, and website.
You’ll most likely apply for gigs and assignments as a freelance animator. Your showreel should be no more than 1 1/2 to 2 minutes long. Displaying your work on Behance and/or Vimeo increases your chances of being seen and contacted for animation jobs.
Keep your website brief and straightforward. Include critical information about yourself and your skills, such as your program of choice and your skill level. Include any design, illustration, or animation courses you’ve taken.
Finally, provide any animation industry experience, such as personal projects, freelancing work, internships, etc. Also, ensure that your website is aesthetically appealing and simple to use.
Remember to maintain your showreel, website, and portfolio up to date as you gain job experience and new talents.
Boost Your Work Experience
All animation studios, ad agencies, marketing firms, and enterprises require professional animators for their animation projects. They want to manage their money effectively and have high-quality projects completed on time.
When a studio has an imminent deadline for a significant project, it is safer and faster to engage an experienced animator. Some small studios are still hesitant to bring on fresh graduate animators until their company grows larger. This is because they do not have the same resources to devote to training new animators.
You must get animation industry experience and develop your talents if you want to boost your chances of being employed by clients as freelance animators. Watch TV shows, short films, and feature films that motivate you to experiment with new creative forms and approaches. You will undoubtedly enhance your drawing and design talents if you sketch every day.
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Reach Out to Animation Studios and Potential Clients
Investigate possible clients. You can locate clients by searching job boards and visiting the websites of agencies and studios you appreciate. Make a list of every agency, animation studio, and video production firm you might or want to work for.
Then, in a courteous and engaging email, express your want to work as a freelance animator. If they don’t have any open job advertising, you can cold email them and offer your skills if they need them.
Be humble about your work experience and accomplishments while writing emails, but also remind your potential customer why you are a good match for the job. Include a link to your reel and website so people can quickly examine your work.
After you’ve sent your emails, make yourself available to clients. Respond to their emails as soon as possible, but remember to set boundaries and not stay at your computer all day monitoring your mailbox.
Set a timer for responding to emails. It might be a few minutes in the morning or evening or a few times during the day. Determine the optimal times to email your prospects based on their industry and time zones. Work, family, and errands must be prioritized, but regular contact with clients should always be a priority.
You may also contact animation studios and other firms, such as advertising and marketing agencies, to inquire about employment opportunities for freelance animators.
Some people enjoy networking, while others become anxious just thinking about it. As an animator, networking daily is critical to get your name out there and having more business prospects.
Being shy or lacking in time are not valid reasons to avoid networking. If you’re just starting networking, maintaining in touch with individuals you already know, such as old classmates and colleagues, is a beautiful place to start. You may also network by participating in animation events and conferences.
Aside from networking in person, you may network online through professional websites such as LinkedIn. Connect with individuals in the animation business by requesting to connect with them and sending them a clear and professional message explaining why you want to collaborate with them.
You may also display your work by providing status updates. By regularly using and networking on LinkedIn, you will most likely find a studio or a professional who needs your animation abilities and expertise.
LinkedIn isn’t the only social media channel where you should be engaged as an animator. It is critical to be present on social media, particularly on platforms that include photos and videos, such as Instagram and Pinterest.
Spend time each day advertising your work on social media sites. Schedule your postings when your potential clients are most likely to view them. You may also share amusing memes and business news to ensure you’re consistently giving excellent information to your audience and boosting interaction.
A social media presence may help you network by allowing you to follow and be followed by others in the animation business. This can help you locate clients, new opportunities, and supporters through followers and friends.
As an animator, planning out your entire year may be tricky. But doing so will keep you focused and motivated as a freelancer. You can set short-term and long-term goals that will help guide you to where you want to be after a year.
Plan out what skills you want to develop and how you want to better specialize your abilities; consider classes you may want to budget for and time you want to put aside each day or week, so you can perfect your abilities. Know what you can realistically accomplish within a year.
Consider the different areas of your life, including your financial investments, livelihood, insurance, equipment needs, social media presence, and your specializations as an animator.
Why is this important? As a freelancer, under tax law, you may be considered to own your own business. Have a basic understanding of tax laws where you live, so you better know what to keep track of and what you can potentially deduct.
Also, since you don’t have an employer who takes your taxes from each paycheck, you’ll need to keep up with your income and know what percentage you should save to pay back during tax season. Putting aside money for taxes as you earn income will help ensure you won’t get a shocking tax bill.
But don’t just put money aside for taxes. Also, plan to save in case of emergency or if you experience a lag in work. Think about what you will do if you aren’t able to get any animation clients for weeks or months.
Don’t just plan your whole year. Also, plan your daily routine. To not miss out on any task, make a to-do list of the things you should do every day, whether the job is work-related or not.
When you’ve done everything on your list, you can reflect on it and feel a sense of accomplishment. You’re also planting the seeds to grow your business as you accomplish these tasks.