Gina Hessburg On the Life of a Freelancer

This week’s Freelance Friday features our friend Gina Hessburg who talks about what it’s like to be in the freelance industry, what that industry has allowed her to perceive in the various industries she’s worked with, and gives advice on how fledging freelancers can succeed. 

How Long have you been freelance?
I have been freelance since college minus a 14 month stint in 2009 where I took a job teaching English in South Korea.

What made you decide to choose freelance?
It wasn’t something I chose, more or less, I fell into one facet of the industry and then another all through freelance work.   It  has sustained me so I have never sought out a full time job, however, I do love being freelance and it would be hard for me to settle down in one place.  I love the variety, learning different processes, and all the different people I get to work with.

As a freelancer, you see the inside of many different agencies.  What one thing do think they should consider changing?
I would encourage all agencies to save money and potential frustration by engaging an art buyer.  

Many times I have come into agencies where I have had to back track on projects where an art buyer was not engaged and discovered liability issues after projects were live.  Utilizing an art buyer when appropriate protects agencies down the line. An art buyer’s area of expertise is invaluable. 

What do you think a freelancer brings to an agency that a person on staff may not otherwise be able to provide?
A freelancer’s livelihood depends on networking and having and maintaining good relationships.  A company or agency can benefit from a freelancer being able to leverage those relationships for project needs.

Working for multiple clients and on various types of projects a freelancer generates a large list of resources that internal employees may not be aware of are out there.  Also, experiencing many workplaces and cultures can bring insight to efficiencies and better processes.

My end goal is brining value to my client.  My varied experience on projects and with different vendors has given me the ability to approach projects with a lot of problem solving skills.  

What advice do you have for someone just entering the freelance world?
I would say save as much money as you can before you make the leap.  This will allow you to seek out jobs or the type of work you want to be focused on. Take the time to talk to anyone who will listen about what you want to do.  You never know where any opportunity make come from.

Thank you Jimi Stine for help with the post.

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