Sometimes I think we all like to reminisce, and when times are tough in your current situation — let’s say freelancing — it becomes easy to remember all the fun things about your old jobs, and less of the reasons why you left them all in the dust to blaze your own trail. I’m sure Sagmeister can totally relate.
So I’m giving the FreelanceSwitch job board a trial for the next month. You have to pay a low dollar sum to take part — well, you can read but not apply for free — whereas the job posters themselves get to toss them up for free. There’s a sort of logic at play here which they express on their site: encouraging low-budget clients to post jobs for their audience by not charging them, and weeding out amateurs and aggregate services by charging a fee to their users. They also offer, via their blog and twitter, a handful of articles on how to win at applying for these posted gigs. Mainly these tips amount to “cut to the chase” and “make your subject line stand out.” The first tip you can do via their application form, the second you cannot. The application form gives a basic “you just got an application for job XXYY from FreelanceSwitch” header that you have no input on. So I just imagine you’re Low-Budget Client on the other end of these things, and you get 50 to 100 e-mails a day, all with the same header, and no indication without reading and checking cross-links in each one whether or not any person is going to be a good fit for the project. I shudder to think that some people might actually include prices in their applications — creating a tidal wave of undercutting and lowest-bidder design wars that ultimately sink the entire ship. If I land a gig through it, my opinion may change. We’ll see.
On a more positive note, I did receive a review-copy of 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers (from the fine people at Rockport) yesterday, which I already believe will yield better results for my career than the aforementioned.