Freelancing is a great option for you as an architect if you are looking for freedom and flexibility in your work. Although freelancing has its share of drawbacks, using specific strategies can help you overcome the uncertainties and challenges of being a freelance architect.
According to a 2019 study, there are 57 million freelancers in the U.S. who constitute 35 percent of the total workforce. These freelancers contribute as much as $1 trillion to the nation’s economy.
When it comes to succeeding as a freelance architect, the importance of professional liability insurance cannot be stressed more. This type of insurance protects you against claims filed by your clients for alleged or actual errors, omissions or negligent acts while providing architectural services. Claims also arise as a result of the high standards that are expected out of architects or the client’s misunderstanding of the scope of the project. Whatever the reason for filing a lawsuit, the cost of defending against them can place a huge burden on your finances, particularly when you are starting out as a freelance architect. Check this website to opt for professional liability covers that are specialized and tailored to meet your specific needs.
Freelance Architect’s Scope Of Work
The type and nature of work you do as a freelance architect may not be different from that of a full-time employee in an architect firm. Some of the duties you will handle include:
- Resolving design problems
- Managing project resources and budgets
- Creating building designs
- Developing highly detailed drawings using specialized software and by hand
- Coordinating with construction professionals
- Working closely with civil engineers, surveyors, government agencies, building service engineers,
- architectural technologists
- Applying for permissions
- Presenting proposals, reports, applications and contracts
- Optimizing building materials for the project and budget specifications
- Ensuring adherence to schedule and budget
- Team management
Tips To Be A Successful Freelance Architect
Create Affiliations And Relationships: The best way to get new clients is through connections, networks and affiliations with construction companies, builders and architects. Nurture your existing connections with former co-workers, fellow interns and join professional associations. You can also look at partnering with other architects for new projects.
Determine Your Charges: One of the common mistakes freelance architects make is to undercharge for the services they provide. Ensure you enter a contract where you get paid independently irrespective of the project development as most construction projects take many months to complete. In the event you are committed to the project completion, you can explore charging a monthly fee or an instalment-based fee. You can also bid for projects on portals and when you are starting out, it is a good idea to bid the lowest.
Augment Your Income: Creating alternate streams of income is a smart strategy that can help you support your career as a freelance architect. You can explore options such as podcasting, blogging, creating digital products, learning material or teaching to ensure you have a steady stream of income while your freelancing career picks up.
Advertise Your Work: As with any other business, freelancing as an architect also entails marketing. There are many low-cost ways to advertise your work. You can utilize professional design and architecture portals to showcase your designs, projects or ideas while also connecting with potential clients. The other ways to market are to create a professional website, blog and dedicated business profiles on social media. Regular articles, tips and design solutions posted on these sites can help increase visibility.
As a freelance architect, it is important to create a stunning portfolio apart from a polished website that will impress your clients. It is also necessary to update yourself with the latest industry trends.