Freelance Art Producer, Nikki Di Franco, Gives Insight Into What It Takes To Freelance

In an effort to promote the website, we have started Freelance Friday.  The purpose is to promote the freelancers on the site so as to gain more attention for them and the others trying to get hired.  This week we welcome, Nikki Di Franco, a Producer based in Ohio who is fearless and up to any project.  To learn more about Nikki, her experience and how to reach her if you have a project, check out her profile on

How long have you been freelance?
This is officially my second go-around. The first time, I decided to go freelance a few months before Sept 11 and the initial dot-com bubble burst. Needless to say, it was not very good timing. I ended up being a ski bum for a season before I finally went back to work on staff.

This time around it’s been almost 2 years.

What made you decide to choose freelance?
I’ve always had thoughts of giving the freelance world another try, but I had a great position on staff so the desire wasn’t particularly strong. As is agency life, business changes, and I found myself ready to move on and then forced to move on due to a round of layoffs. At the time, I didn’t want to jump into anything permanent too soon so I took projects here and there. As the days and months went by I realized I was truly freelancing and I loved it.

As a freelancer, you see the inside of many different agencies. What one thing do you think they should consider changing?
Our industry strives for perfection. It can create tension surrounding how, when and what we put in front of our clients. Most of our clients want to be, and are on the same team with us. The more they are part of the process, the less they are reacting and the less chance of unpleasant surprises. To that end, being honest about an unpleasantness and having potential solutions to circumvent it goes a long way.

What do you think a freelancer brings to an agency that a person on staff may not otherwise be able to provide?
Freelancers are not as involved in the same frenzied pace as the agency staff is day to day. It’s the one person who actually has the time to consider potential better, more creative solutions. In my experience, (both on staff and as a freelancer,) it provides a sense of ease for the team knowing someone has their back on that project while they have to run off to another fire.

What advice do you have for someone just entering the freelance world?
There will be times the phone will ring constantly. There will be times the phone doesn’t ring for a couple of weeks. Both can be a bit unnerving for very different reasons. Take a deep breath and believe the universe will work it all out. If all else fails, go ski for a few months.

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