In an effort to promote the website FreelanceArtProducer.com, 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, Andrea Ricker, a Producer who has been on the agency side for over 20 years. To learn more about Andrea, her experience and how to reach her if you have a project, check out her profile on FreelanceArtProducer.com.
How long have you been freelance?
I have been freelancing since 2013. Prior to that I spent 20 + years working at large scale agencies, Hill Holliday and Arnold Worldwide among the few. My career spans working on a wide variety of global brands such as Volkswagen, New Balance, Bank of America, Bose, Novartis.
What made you decide to choose freelance?
It’s exciting to work with a variety of teams, and brands. My vast experience is valued at smaller firms and I am able to slide into a senior role easily at large agency. Each project has a similar process but the path to completion is quite different, that is the exciting piece of it. Even though I am freelance, not always in an office, I maintain a routine each day to stay on schedule with project, also inject a healthy work life balance.
As a freelancer, you see the inside of many different agencies. What one thing do you think they should consider changing?
Training the younger generation coming into the advertising business is an important basic foundation that the person can build on. Too often the burgeoning account person or Assistant AD is put into situations that are above their experience, in some of those situations they are day to day client facing, leading a production. I find I am a producer, educator on best production practices, and a mentor.
What do you think a freelancer brings to an agency that a person on staff may not otherwise be able to provide?
As a freelancer you are objective, neutral, not always involved in the deeper, behind managerial responsibilities. As a result, a freelancer can remain focused on the project. The Objectivity adds a positive energy to the team. The experience we have gained from working in other agencies brings a fresh perspective.
What advice do you have for someone just entering the freelance world?
Do something every day to build your brand. Networking with people in the industry; Art Directors, Art Producers, Production companies. Target clients that have in-house Creative Services dept. Meeting with other freelancers to learn how they manage their business regarding taxes, health insurance, business insurance, Workman’s comp, W-2 vs 1099.