Happy New Year! Have you started any of your resolutions yet? Like many people, I'm trying to grow my freelance business while still working at my day job. I like my job, but I also want to pursue lettering as a side hustle. Here's my plan for how to do them both at the same time.
Don't publicize your day job if it doesn't relate to your freelance business. If you're trying to promote your freelance work, you want people to see those skills and not what you do at your day job. Show the work that you want to do more of — the work that you want to get hired as a freelancer to do.
For example, I work at a magazine during the day. That means I have tons of publication design that I could showcase in my portfolio. However, my side hustle is lettering. If my portfolio were full of layout designs, nobody would know to hire me for lettering. I'm not looking for another publication job, I'm looking for lettering commissions.
Sure, I could post both lettering and publication pieces in my portfolio, but I want the focus to be on lettering. People will get confused if you show off everything you can do. There will be too many things for them to remember you for, so ultimately they won't remember you for anything. Visitors need to look at my website and immediately think, "She's a letterer."
If it's possible, try to work your freelance skills into your day job. It could actually result in more opportunities with your current employer. If your end goal was to quit and pursue your freelance career, you might not even need to do that anymore! Instead, you could utilize your passion skills at your company. Even if that doesn't happen, at least you can include those pieces in your portfolio.
I heard one example (can't remember who!) of a letterer who was a waitress. She started jazzing up the chalkboard signs at her workplace, and it soon became a routine request from her manager. I think she still ended up quitting to freelance full-time but while she was at her day job, it helped refine her lettering skills and get her work out there.
In order to overlap your freelance work with your day job, you want to promote your freelance skills and use them whenever you can. Update your portfolio to reflect the work you want to get hired to do. See if you can incorporate your freelance skills into what you're already doing from 9am-5pm every day. With any luck, we'll get our freelance careers off the ground in no time!