Freelance Advice: How to Level Up

Getting into freelancing is hard. It’s even harder to guarantee a steady stream of work, but following these four tips gives you an advantage in an increasing crowded marketplace.


I’ve talked before about how to be a good freelancer and I’ve also listed the ways you can kill your freelancing career, but I haven’t yet talked about how to level up as a freelancer.

Standing out as a freelancer is difficult. It seems everyone wants to design these days, but building a relationship with a specific publisher is a good way of assuring a constant stream of work. Publishers, after all, are (mostly) human beings who prefer to work with reliable, skilled freelancers. Building a reputation as a freelancer who goes the extra mile can only benefit your career.

Here are four ways to do just that!

  • Pitch Relevant Projects: I had a freelancer contact me the other day with a short list of projects he’d be keen to write. What was cool about the list was that he’d been through Raging Swan’s product directory and identified some holes in my product lines. He provided a list of relevant ideas that complimented my existing offering. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn, he got some work out of that list!
  • Be Active On Social Media: It’s a virtual certainty a publishing house has a presence on one or more of the big social networking sites. It’s vital you follow, like or sign up to the company’s page. This not only shows the publisher you are invested and interested in the company for which you work, but also helps you spread the word about the products you have worked on. Most publishers will tell you one of their greatest challenges is getting their products noticed in a very crowded marketplace. Any help you give them will be gratefully received.
  • Be Active On Message Boards: Gamers often ask questions about products that interest them on message boards. If you spot a question about a product you worked on, jump in and answer it! You are not only helping out a fellow gamer, but you are also helping the publisher – who can’t be everywhere and answer every questions asked.
  • Spot Errors: No one likes errors in their work and – believe me – publishers aren’t wild about discovering errors in their published materials. That said, in this age of digital publishing putting errors right is (mostly) easy. If you spot an error in a published product you worked on, drop the publisher a note. Speaking from personal experience, while I hate the fact the error got in there, I’m grateful for the opportunity to fix it.

Help Fellow Freelancers!

So that’s how I think you can level up as a freelancer. If you’ve got any more tips, share them in the comments below and help your fellow freelancers develop their careers.

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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