The Business of Freelance by Sander van Dijk

The Business of Freelance

Take control of your career and reach the top of your creative game

Get access for $249


Are you a creative and currently considering a transition to freelance? Are you already freelance and seeking to grow your business? This course distills 10+ years of my experience—and five years as a freelancer—into actionable items that you can use to build your career. 

Each lesson is based on real-life experiences that I’ve had working as a successful freelancer working for companies such as Google Material Design. Google Education, IBM, WCS, NRDC,, Squarespace, Microsoft Hololens, GoPro, STRAVA, Headspace, Wealthsimple, Shopify, Classpass, and others. I want to help you take control of your career by sharing these vital business lessons so that you can do what you do best—create!

- Sander

Who is teaching this course?

My name is Sander and I’ve been a motion designer and visual communicator for over 10 years and freelance for half that time. Going freelance was an important personal and professional move, as it gave me more freedom to choose who I’d like to work for. Not surprisingly, becoming a freelancer also afforded me more time to work on passion projects — and was far more lucrative than my staff job, now that I could take control of my career. 

Curious about the work I’ve done? See a sample here.

What will I learn?

I know how important it is to get advice based on real-life examples. You’ll get solid, actionable information that will not only sharpen your business and communication skills — but will help you gain the confidence you need to excel at your career as an artist.

I know we all wish we could just create good art and call it a day. But the reality is that in order to make a living doing that, we have to also become savvy and smart at business. The shortcuts, situations, and case studies that I’ll share will not only help you learn how to think on your feet but help you streamline your business so that you can do what you do best — create!

There are many resources out there that only go over the hard skills of business, such as how to write a contract, how to find a lawyer, etc. But what are equally — if not more vital — are the soft skills of business, such as like learning how to talk and interact with a client, how to mentally prepare for a meeting, and how to manage the anxiety that many of us have as creatives. I address all of these because I know how integral that both skills have been in my life, both personally and professionally. 

Want to know more? Here’s a sampling of what the course offers:

How much is your work worth? How much is your time worth? Do you even know what your hourly rate is, how to calculate it, or even how to justify it? Did you know that you could (and even should) charge differently depending on the client? I’ll show you how you can build your rate from scratch, how you can charge based on different clients and situations, and most importantly — how to feel comfortable and confident with charging what you’re worth. 

New Opportunities
Maybe you want to figure out how to seek out potential clients. Or how to do more of the kinds of work you care about. What’s your overall strategy for handling incoming projects? Do you feel like you have the right language to respond to a client or to say “no” without turning them away? I will guide you step-by-step on how you can encourage your potential clients to give you all the vital details you need so that you can make a clear decision on whether you want to take on the project. From there I’ll show how you can set up the first exploratory call with a client, how you can lead the conversation and the questions you should be asking yourself to determine if the work is even worth your time. Once we accomplish that, I’ll go over a real client bid and what to consider when taking on a client. After that, I’ll reveal some email response strategies straight from my personal inbox, how you can spot “red flag” emails a mile away, and share real-life client conversations that resulted in successful portfolio projects.

What are the first steps you need to consider when starting a company? What benefits does having your own company afford you when dealing with clients? Speaking of which, how do you set expectations with clients so you don’t run into problems down the road? In this section, I’ll point you in the right direction to start your business; how to approach agreements; and will take you through a typical agreement, section-by-section so you know what you’re signing up for. What if the deal goes sour? I’ll take you through the tactics you need so that you know what to do even in the worst-case scenario.

Do you know how many hours you worked last year? What about the last several years? How long did it take you to complete your last job and how long do you estimate it will take you to complete this upcoming one? In this section, I will take you through how you can accurately estimate and track time on your projects. I’ll demonstrate some helpful formulas you can use to extract useful insights from a set of raw data. 

A freelancer’s income is like a roller coaster ride, sometimes money comes in and sometimes it doesn’t. How can you financially plan for unpredictable work? And how do you get an overview of your finances when you’re getting paid inconsistently? In this section, I’ll provide and demonstrate ready-to-use spreadsheets to track your finances and make accurate future predictions with them. 

What’s included?

  • 4 hrs+ of condensed knowledge delivered across one month
  • All lectures include audio recordings along with transcripts
  • Bonus videos in some sections
  • Manageable, easy-to-digest 10-min lectures 
  • Motivational emails delivered weekly
  • Template emails that teach you how to interact with clients in a professional way
  • Ready-to-use template agreements, including NDA, SOW, and Basic Email Agreement 
  • Ready-to-use spreadsheet templates to track time and finances
  • Summaries of every section
  • Valuable links and resources for every section.
  • A curated frequently-asked-questions page where you can submit questions about each section.

All information is highly organized so you can reference back to it later. Or listen to a recording right before you enter that client meeting or decide to take on that project. The material is based on personal stories to give context to every situation. I’m not going to tell you what to think, but walk you through the options you have and how I think through things so you know where to start on your own path.

What's included?

Video Icon 7 videos File Icon 23 files Text Icon 9 text files


📊 Let’s talk business
5 mins
How do you roll?
4 mins
Calculate your rate
13 mins
Charge based on value
10 mins
Understanding the value you provide
6 mins
How to negotiate with your client
6 mins
How to work for free without losing your value
5 mins
Passive income
3 mins
📻 Summary
9 mins
📋 Links & Resources
✋ Questions
New opportunities
Should I take this gig?
5 mins
Expressing interest first
11 mins
Decline a project and how to say “no”
9 mins
Get an assistant
6 mins
Set up a client meeting
5 mins
Understanding what your client needs
17 mins
Taking notes
5 mins
Budget a project
16 mins
Choose wisely and define your values
9 mins
📩 Red flag emails
💌 Real client conversations
📻 Summary
9 mins
📋 Links & Resources
✋ Questions
5 mins
Keep a secret
2 mins
4 mins
Statement of Work (SOW)
30 mins
Other types of Agreements
4 mins
Sending you Invoice
8 mins
If the client doesn’t pay
5 mins
📻 Summary
4 mins
📋 Links & Resources
✋ Questions
Tracking time ⌛️
13 mins
Spreadsheet Formulas
20 mins
Tracking finances 💵
16 mins
Wrapping up


Is this course right for me?

First and foremost: this is a freelance course for creatives. One of the things all arts have in common is the art of freelance. Although most of the content and context is written from my Motion Design perspective, this information will undoubtedly resonate with graphic designers, illustrators, animators, 3D artists, photographers, and cinematographers as well.

What do I need to get started?

It would be ideal if you have some freelance projects coming your way and have a portfolio up and running. This course focuses purely on the business side of freelance, not how to gain better creative skills.

What happens after I sign up?

After you sign up on the platform, you’ll receive an account where you can login and access the course from your desktop, tablet or smartphone. You will receive an email from me with the first section of the course. Every week after that you’ll receive the other three sections from the moment you sign up. The course consists of written text, links to helpful resources, audio recordings of the text, and video demonstrations.

How long will I have access to the course?

For the rest of your life! That way, you can reference the material whenever it's relevant to you. There may be paid updates in the future, but only if the content is upgraded dramatically.

What if this doesn't work for me?

Let’s say none of the content resonates with you. It happens. Sometimes you buy something and it’s just not the right fit. If, for whatever reason, this course doesn't give you what you think was promised, I'll give you a full refund provided that I can get some insight from you as to what I could do better to make this course work better.

Get new skills

My name is Sander — and over the last 10 years I’ve been working successfully as an artist. 
I was able to become the artist I am today partially through the guidance of others, and now I want to make my experience available to you.