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Some of my observations as regards to freelance work.

Do not use Pirate Software. If you perform your " freelance work " with pirated or educational versions of software, the legal status of your finished work is compromised. If you can't purchase legal software, earn enough from this to cover costs and make a profit, you are not really a freelancer.

Most of the freelance jobs have come my way, through the client having seen my work in the past, or by having been recommended to clients by a previous client. There are many out there wanting to break into freelancing so it can be difficult to get your first few jobs. When you take on a project you have to be certain you are capable of successfully completing it and you know exactly what the customer is wanting from the finished project. You can destroy a good reputation by taking on the wrong job.

If you are looking at taking on any FEA, Fluid Mechanics simulations and charge for these you need to be quite experienced and certain of the validity of your results. With many CAD products now having a significant FEA, and simulation component there are many out there that think, with all these awesome new features they will be able to do all of this type of work as well. A quick look at GrabCAD questions will quickly show how little is really known about this side of our software. To get results that can be relied upon in the real world requires a detailed and complete knowledge of how these tools work, you only get the correct answers when you ask the correct questions.

When I take on a project I will give the client a fixed quotation for the job. This quotation will cover the exact specification and scope of the work to be done along with a fixed price for this work. If I get it wrong and the job takes longer, that is my problem, equally if it all goes better than anticipated and I do it quicker, that is my bonus. Clients like to know up front what a project will cost, they need this to work into their costings for a project, they don't like it when you come to a project that has been a shambles, gone around in circles, then you send the a big bill at the end for your work.

Another tool you can use in promoting your skills to prospective freelancing clients is to put some effort into your GrabCAD profile, fill in some details of your skills, experience, education and place models and details on your profile to showcase your abilities. If you wish to attract some freelance work every small thing you do to promote yourself is important. as long as you can produce what you claim you can.