This is our second interview for the Freelance Five series – our collection of quick interviews with freelancers from around the world.
Today we have Amber Weinberg from Nashville, Tennessee.
I’m 23.9 years old and a lover of books. I’ve been building websites since the 6th grade, where I built a bunch of anime fan sites. I went to college for Graphic Design, but I hate designing for other people so I actually don’t offer those services anymore. I’ve always been more of a coding geek anyways. I’ve been freelancing on and off for 5 years now – my secretary is a Bichon Frise and my inspiration music is Punk Rock, mainly My Chemical Romance and The Used.
www.amberweinberg.com (Portfolio + Blog)
1. What area of the creative industry do you work in?
I’m a front-end developer. My speciality is providing validated and semantic HTML and CSS services, and recently I’ve also specialized in WordPress implementation. There are too many terrible developers out there, and high quality, semantic developers are in high demand right now. I base my business on offering super clean coding and a normal turnaround time of less than a week. My prices aren’t the cheapest, nor the most expensive, so I’ve been able to find plenty of great clients.
2. When and why did you become a freelancer?
I first started freelancing in college, and most of the time I’ve freelanced on the side. I officially became a permanent freelancer almost 3 months ago. I have no plans on going back to a full-time job. Work was slow at first, but has been super busy ever since. After a month or so, I realized I hated what I was doing : designing for clients. I decided to niche my business into front-end development, which means my client base had to change as well. I’ve been freelancing for agencies ever since. I love that I don’t really have to “sell” my services, since agencies can tell quickly if my work is good or not. I also love the fact I don’t have to worry about non-paying clients or competing against a million other designers or developers.
3. What do you enjoy most about freelancing?
Freedom. I can wake up at 8 am or 11am. I can take as long of a lunch as I want. I get to work on the kind of computer I want, I can choose the clients I want and the work I want to do. Of course, this comes with bigger responsibilities. I can’t take super long breaks and never work; otherwise I can’t pay the bills. It’s on my shoulders to find and provide the work, to bill correctly and to deliver.
4. What do you think is the key to success as a freelancer?
Persistence. I went almost a full month with no work and no money coming in. It’s tough, especially when you’re young and have student loans, college loans and a mortgage to pay. It takes a lot to get up every morning and stare at the computer, wondering what to do, when you have no work.
5. Do you have any advice for new freelancers?
Don’t believe in the “recession” excuse. In our industry, there’s ALWAYS work to be found. It may not fall into your lap and you may not get paid as much, but there’s always work to be found, and always agencies that are overloaded. Don’t waste your time on freelance bidding sites like GetAFreelancer. There’s too much competition and the rates are
Many thanks to Amber for taking the time to answer our questions.
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If you are a freelancer in the creative industry and want to send us your answers to these questions, you can. Please include a little bit of background information about you, a small photo or avatar (optional but recommended) and one or two links. We will publish the answers regularly but if we have too many we will aim for the most interesting ones – so make them good!