Freelancing in Fashion
Updated: Oct 9
Do you profoundly admire fashion but are tired of working around the clock? Need a break? Want to be your own boss? Lucky for you, the freelance industry is thriving like no other, whether you want to make it your one and only or simply a side-hustle. With the booming economy and the fashion industry now contributing to over 668 billion dollars worth of revenue from online platforms, freelancing is the way to go! With this big of an industry, a gazillion opportunities are created throughout the year. This means that you can definitely test the waters and find out if freelancing in fashion is working out for you or not. Here are some of the noteworthy options for someone who is looking to explore a freelancing career in fashion.
1. Fashion YouTuber/ Fashion Instagrammer
Consider this as an informal educational role in fashion. A fashion YouTuber or Instagrammer is someone who is using that respective platform to spread their knowledge and educate fellow aspirants. Here, you could form a brand identity as someone who is qualified to guide your audience and create informative content that helps, inspires, and sends the audience in the right direction.
Source: Photo by Hannah Morgan on unsplash
2. Fashion Content Writer
A fashion content writer is someone who pens down fashion-related content across various verticals, forms, and genres. This writer produces and curates content for marketing, education, or entertainment. Although it may seem quite easy to you, it is important to know that just a simple combination of writing and an eye for fashion is not enough to succeed in this profession. It takes a lot more than that. It takes relevant education, skills that are beyond writing like research, practice, and of course, experience. 3. Fashion Illustrator
A fashion illustrator is a person who can visualize, design and communicate ideas related to fashion through a series of sketches or paintings. As a fashion illustrator, you get to work with digital media and the fashion industry and you must be skilled in drawing, sketching, painting and even technology to some extent. With the sudden boost of fashion and lifestyle-related industries in the 21st century, fashion illustrators are in high demand and will be for a long time. If you’re equipped with an interest in this part of fashion and want to explore it as a side-hustle or more, it’s best to start with a short course like this one - https://designershala.kartra.com/page/wixc2c1 4. Fashion Stylist (Wardrobe Consultant/ Stylist)
A fashion stylist is someone who puts together head-to-toe looks for clients. They are someone who styles people, in simpler words. Most people think that it’s the easiest job in the world, but that’s a common misconception. A fashion stylist is professionally trained in fashion and knows all the styles and trends better than the masses, and they use that to present impactful yet personal looks for their clients. 5. Fashion PR/Publicist
Fashion PR is the promotion of fashion clothing, accessory labels, or brands through various media channels such as print and online media coverages. Any and every fashion brand has a public relations professional/team or an agency in place, that helps the fashion industry reach the right kind of audience through media affiliation. Having connections is one of the most important assets for a fashion PR.
6. Fashion Buyer/Merchandiser
The role of a fashion merchandiser is very fascinating. One may think of designers playing an integral role when it comes to buyers actually buying the product, but it’s actually the fashion merchandiser who plays an integral part here. A lot goes behind the scenes of a fashion store and that’s where these professionals come into play with their strategic analytical insights, marketing skills, and managerial skills. All in all, a fashion merchandiser ensures that the products make minimum wastage and are sold to maximize profit. 7. Fashion Educator
If you have studied fashion and are looking to impart and pass on your knowledge to fashion aspirants, then a fashion educator can be a great freelancing opportunity for you. Mentoring and teaching fashion to aspiring fashion students at fashion schools or academies can not only help you keep your passion for fashion alive but also keep you updated on the latest trends of the season.
Source: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on unsplash
How to Get Started? 1. Networking
Ever wondered how freelancers survive? What is their secret of survival? Well, networking is one of the integral factors for the steady and consistent survival of your freelancing career. It plays a very important role for any and every type of freelancer out there. Being a part of networking events and clubs is a great starter for any professional, and also for a freelancer. Needless to say, building and staying put in your own community will always be fruitful to you in some way shape or form.
When it comes to building your network online, LinkedIn is a great networking resource if used correctly too. It’s a significant platform to connect with your mentors and prospective or even cold clients. You can even find and join various LinkedIn networking groups that fall under your area of interest to stay connected and updated at all times. Engaging with their content by liking, commenting, or sharing, hence, uplifting the fashion community is a sure-fire way to get the ball rolling. Another key to successfully building your LinkedIn network is constantly keeping your own profile up to date. It allows the right set of clients to reach out to you. Oh, and having a good up-to-date profile also leaves a good impression when you cold email/message your fashion inspiration/mentor there.
So, in case you haven’t updated your profile already, now is the time! Better late than sorry. Now, if you are in a situation where you don’t know the individual personally or professionally, then cold email is another great technique of reaching out and expanding your network. A cold email is a personalized, one-on-one email/text targeted at a specific individual. Cold emails are usually sent in order to get into a business or a work-related conversation with that particular individual, and it does not focus on promoting any products or services. But, before you head over to your email and try it out yourself, it’s important to get your basics right. Let’s start with an easy question. How many times have you received a response from people you’ve sent a cold email to? Well, 90-95% of the cold emails go unanswered! The only way to get attention or a decent response is by personalizing your message in the most unique way possible. If your cold email happens to be a copy straight from the internet or a standard template, you are definitely not hearing from them.
2. Building Credibility
If you want to build on your freelancing career and want to be recognized as an established freelancer, building credibility is a must! Once you gain consistency in your work, it’s time to step up and build the right credibility for yourself. But how does one work on building credibility? It’s simple! Here are some of the ways – Create your portfolio website, ask your clients to share their testimonials for your website, use your social network like YouTube and Instagram to educate your audience, and always help your audience and fellow freelancers by connecting them based on their requirement. Building credibility can be a slow and steady process and believe it or not, it takes time and effort. It’s always an ongoing process.
With work, there comes great responsibility; however big or small that work opportunity may be. Over time with work experience, you as a freelancer will understand the client requirement better. You will respect timelines and constructive feedback more than you used to when you were a newbie. With experience, you will get better in every aspect including your skills. If you are just starting out, internships or working with agencies is a viable option. The benefit of working as an intern is that you are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. You also get the opportunity to learn the skill set from your seniors who are much more experienced than you. Working with agencies will help you work with different brands simultaneously which will, in turn, give you a fair idea of what it’s like to work as an independent freelancer who works with multiple brands.
Creating a distinctive yet easily accessible portfolio can also help cover the ground for your career. It’s a game-changer if presented correctly. Of course, beginners can design their portfolios themselves. It could be in a PPT, a PDF, or even a website. Creating and designing a new website reflects credibility as your portfolio website is a testament consisting of your work, experience, and client testimonials. 3. Consistent Efforts and Upskilling
Be it any profession, we always need consistency. Consistency and self-analysis at regular intervals can do wonders for you. Once you understand the magic of the whole process, it will make your life a lot easier and much better, of course. And, who doesn’t want that? Strict routines, reminder apps, motivation, a vision board, networking and keeping in touch with like-minded freelancers can definitely help you get going and make your journey worth every effort you put in.
Constantly working on improving your existing skills is as important as learning new skills. Learning has always been and will always be an evergreen process. It can never go out of style. In fact, coming from a creative industry like fashion, we are left with no choice but to keep up with the new trends and learn new skills. So, make self-analysis and introspection a priority from time to time, and identify if that aspiration is a momentary one or a sustainable one. The key here would be to take your time identifying the above and then pursue it with a full heart.