This post is born out of a daydream I was lost in the other day thinking about past projects and the types of types of freelance projects I have experienced.
All of us have worked with different clients, different projects and different experiences, here are the seven types of freelance projects I have encountered, I hope they have some resonance with you, tell me what others you have experienced in your time.
The one that cascades into more
Last summer I almost turned down a two-day booking to watch the London Olympics, yep, it was during my allocated summer downtime but decided to pick up a few £££ as my next couple of weeks after holiday were looking light work-wise. I ended up being asked to do six days on top of the initial two then they asked me to help them on another project for four months.
The one that defines you
Everyone has one project that has defined who you are, defined your love for what you do and defines how you will progress through your career. Mine was just one year into being a strategist, I had to travel the UK for five weeks sampling fish and chips for a national fish and chips chain’s rebrand and redefinition. I loved every minute of the 18-hour days whilst away building the new strategic direction for the brand and batting ideas between myself and a former mentor until the early hours when we cracked it.
The one you work out on the fly
Who here can say they’ve gone into every project knowing exactly how it will pan out or how to do the whole thing? I can’t. That’s part of the fun; learning, reacting, growing, failing and working it all out. My favourite example of this was working with a bingo brand to essentially rework the bingo experience for existing players.
The one that sucks your time
It seemed like a great deal, a fixed fee contract for relatively few days for a brand you have admired… Then it starts. 400 pages to read before kickoff, countless client calls, non-stop changing of delivery dates and even deliverables meaning you work all hours to deliver.
The one that stamps your passport
From nowhere you land a gig that is not only a challenge, but it means you get to travel to new and wonderful countries around the world experiencing amazing cultures. Result. I have landed some pretty awesome gigs around the world including five weeks in Madrid designing a casino, three months in New York repositioning an oil filter brand, five weeks touring the UK for a fish and chips brand, several visits to Scandanavia facilitating innovation workshops for a bank and four weeks in the Cognac region of France testing & designing a customer experience for a super premium vodka.
The one you keep on your mantlepiece
You get a call to work on a brand you’ve always wanted to work on them. Mine would be Grey Goose, Arsenal Football Club (despite being a passionate Liverpool fan for over a quarter of a century) and Coca-Cola.
The one that puts a strain on your relationships
Traveling and long hours are expected but sometimes it gets a bit too much when you go weeks without spending quality time with your partner due to flight times and the need for sleep. It really is tough. The glitz and glamour of business travels does have its limits.
Have I missed any? What types of freelance projects have you noticed and experienced?