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How to: work with agencies as a freelancer

As a freelancer, Agencies are often your biggest client. Retaining the relationship with some of the world’s biggest brands; the more you can work collaboratively with agencies who do good work, the more likely you’ll be able to work on campaigns that you love and earn a living that works for you.

Freelance Australia’s Cam Rambert gives us his top tips for how to manage the subtleties of working with agencies as a freelancer.

Respect the process

Each agency has a different style of working and you are just one part of the process. Enter every new agency experience with perspective. Be open to new working styles that may seem a little different to your own. It can take some time to get used to, so be prepared for that. Agencies have likely developed relationships with brands over years. They have history together. Even if agencies work in a different way to you, respect they have developed this working style over years.

Keep the freelance perks on the DL

Bragging about how good the freelance life is to salaried workers or the agency you’re working with won’t always end well. Remember who your audience is: salaried workers who get paid to turn up every day. In one on ones, you can deliver the benefits to your employer of retaining you freelance (cost effective, can focus on bigger picture, deliver results); but for your day to day – keep that low key.

Be clear on what you’re actually hired to do

Agencies are so busy at times that it’s not uncommon to find yourself working on tasks or projects that lack a clearly defined brief. Sure, you’re marketing yourself as a specialist in a given skill or field. While that may have secured you the gig in the first place, often you will be asked to deliver something that’s a little different. It’s better to feel stupid asking questions than explain why the job isn’t done.

Be really clear the expectations of your brief early in your working relationship and what is required of you based on your speciality. What precisely do they want you to deliver? Nobody is going to actively look out for you – take it upon yourself to ask the right questions to deliver your best work. Be clear, assertive while being respectful of the culture and personalities involved to deliver your best work (and get paid.

What matters in your time freelancing at an agency is the quality of work you deliver and the impression you leave.

Make it your business to get clear on the deliverables, be respectful of your colleagues and delivering your best work.

Learn more about Freelance Australia here.