The Ultimate Freelance Guide

Get a decade of my freelance experience for less than your day rate


10 years (and counting) of freelance creative work—here’s everything I’ve learned and how you can develop the tools and confidence to become your own successful freelancer.

“The course isn’t peddling success, it’s demonstrating behaviors you need to be successful. It’s not something that’s ‘magical’, it’s something that requires work. But if you do the work then you should find success.” —Greyson

What Clients Really Look for in Freelancers

You might be really skilled at Animation, Motion Design, or Graphic Design. But that’s only one half of what the best clients are looking for.  

I've worked freelance with a range of clients, from run-of-the-mill studios to super pro, highly demanding bigwigs. But no matter who they are, they've all vented to me about the same frustrations with a lot of the freelancers they’ve worked with. And it has to do with the second half of what they’re looking for. 

They want to hire people who are great Freelancers (capital “F”). Specifically, those who know how to be professionals who are easy to work with, able to communicate clearly, and don’t need their hand held.

That’s a heck of a lot more than just being good at your craft. 

The Ultimate Freelance Guide will teach you how to be the kind of Freelancer the best clients will want to hire. 

“The course isn’t just stating information, which is radically boring, like just watching Lynda videos… it’s like, alright, this guy is also doing these things that I’m considering doing as well, and he’s a very credible source.” —Joash

I’ll use real-life examples and ask the pros

I’ll use real-life examples from my own job experiences. Given this is my own perspective, I also interview successful freelance pros who open up to share their tried-and-true techniques.

Second Perspectives from Claudio Salas, Kelli Anderson, Ian Sigmon and Aaron Kemnitzer

This course will teach you what you need to know to have a successful, sustainable freelance career. For example:

  • Are you mystified about how to price your work? I’ll tell you my method for stating my pricing to prospective clients without flinching, and when you could be flexible without degrading your value.

  • Have you spent hours writing and rewriting cold emails to clients you want to work for? I’ll share email templates with you and show real emails I’ve sent that have gotten me in touch with the right people that eventually led me to huge projects.

  • Maybe you’re annoyed to death of getting screwed by a shifty client, irritated by never-ending changes and revisions, and even not following up what was agreed on legally? We’ll go over what you need to know to protect yourself, your wages, and your sanity.

  • And much more. See the Course Topics below to see a comprehensive list of what we’ll cover.

This is the course that your dream clients are chomping at the bit for you to take… because they have a sea of expert creatives to choose from, but a shallow puddle of great Freelancers they actually want to hire.

Hey, I’m Your Instructor, Sander van Dijk 👋

After freelancing for a decade all around the world (and still going at it), you start to get a pretty good idea about what keeps clients coming back for more. 

I’m a Motion Design artist by trade. But that’s only about half of my job. Knowing how to sustain myself financially, make clients happy, and keep them coming back for more is the rest.

And I’ve found that it’s that latter half that a lot of prospective Freelancers (and many actual freelancers) have told me they’ve struggled with. 

So I’m using my experience to help you transform into that rare caliber of Freelancer that your dream clients are looking for. Because in the fiercely competitive world of freelance, your skills alone won’t guarantee that you always have work. You’ll land more contracts, please more clients, and enjoy more rewarding projects by learning to be a professional Freelancer.

My Portfolio and What Clients Say About Working With Me.

Select Clients: Google Material Design. Google Education, IBM, WCS, NRDC,, Squarespace, Microsoft Hololens, GoPro, STRAVA, Headspace, Wealthsimple, Shopify, Classpass.

Select Production Studios: PlusOne Amsterdam, Filmmore Amsterdam, BUCK NY, King & Country, Giant Ant.

People say

"Back in February Sander was kind enough to meet up with me when I was visiting NYC, to answer some questions about freelance. Though the meeting was short, it left me deep in thought. When he reached out to me a couple months later, I couldn't be more excited to start his first course. The course is very clearly communicated, easy to grasp, and insightful. Just from these concise segments in the lectures, I've revisited some of the things that took me months of asking around. I also learned just as many new principles because of its comprehensiveness. I'm really excited to get into the other courses as my freelance career unfolds!" — Joash

"The paperwork section is AWESOME! I had doubts about certain terms and what they meant and now I feel more confident to move forward and deal with clients in a more professional manner. Now I actually understand what some of the terms are for. The approach in the course is simple and effective. The organization, summaries and links provided in the course saved so much valuable time!  Next to the paperwork section, I found the real examples of red flag emails, and how to determine my rate section to be most useful. Just this month I was negotiating with a client and did a review of the course content to make sure I was on track." — Guilherme

"I just finished up this course and have a ton of new tools and a much stronger idea of how I will manage my business going forward. I have used many other resources on freelancing, but I feel I have gained the most confidence from going through this course. It's more specific, better organized, and contains information and resources that I haven't encountered elsewhere. I think the most helpful section was on rates; I wasn't confident in telling others my rate before this course since it felt as if it were a number I pulled from thin air, but now I have the knowledge to calculate it on my own based on the project and other factors." — Erin P.

Course Topics

This course will help you whether you’ve never done a freelance project in your life or if you’ve already been at it for years. If you’re just starting out it will give you a solid foundation, including the tools and confidence, to be a respected, in-demand Freelancer.

  1. Become Your Own Boss 🕶
  2. Attracting Clients with Your Quality Work 🔥
  3. Building Relationships and Being Likeable 🤝
  4. Knowing Your Value and Pricing Your Work 💰
  5. Responding to Job Invitations 💌
  6. Getting the Information You Need from Clients ☎️
  7. Determining Realistic Deadlines 💎
  8. Understanding Contracts and Protecting Yourself 📑

1. Become Your Own Boss 🕶

Feeling a little nervous about the wage/work/sanity roller coaster of freelance and running your own business? There’s a way keep yourself and your finances secure, and you’ll learn all about it in this section. 

I’ll tell you my own simple approach to managing my finances as well as share how myself and other freelancers have successfully transitioned to being our own boss. We’ll also let you in on what we’ve found best motivates clients to eagerly hire you.

👉 Preview the Calculate Freelance Cost Lecture for free!

2. Attracting Clients with Your Quality Work 🔥

Your personal “passion projects” may not always pay the bills, but they can still be valuable because they demonstrate to your potential clients what you’re capable of—without them having to take the risk of hiring you to find out. In this section, you’ll learn what potential clients are looking for in your passion projects, as well as how to present your work professionally, solicit invaluable feedback, and get in touch with people whose skills you look up to.

3. Building Relationships and Being Likeable 🤝

There’s no way around it: you’re interacting with people. And when you’re a freelancer, you need to know how to work well with a variety of different personality types and positions of authority. In this section, you’ll learn how to establish a healthy, mutually beneficial working relationship with anybody from the start—whether or not you’d be good buddies outside of work! You’ll learn to be likable and make lasting impressions so you’re at the top of clients’ lists when they need to hire a freelancer again.

Sending out carefully crafted cold email after cold email is exhausting—and getting zero job opportunities from them is depressing. So stop! I’ll show you how switching your mindset from “desperate starving artist” to “confident, valuable professional” changes your entire approach to—and supercharges the effectiveness of—your interaction with prospective clients. 

You’ll learn how being more proactive will bring in much more opportunities for work, rather than blasting clients with emails and praying they’ll reply. I’ll give you real-life examples of how I created opportunities that lead to paid client work.

In addition, you’ll learn the way to expertly write your emails that will flip a clients’ perspective of “this pesky rookie I can’t get rid of” to “accomplished pro I can’t let slip away”. You’ll also learn how to build a strong network that will keep you busy into the foreseeable future.

4. Knowing Your Value and Pricing Your Work 💰

You know your work has value… but how much money is that value worth? Here I’ll teach you how to price your work without you—or your clients—second guessing your value. You’ll also learn how to handle a persuasive negotiator and stand your ground or how to come down in price without losing your value.

👉 Preview the Calculate your Hourly Rate Lecture for free!

5. Responding to Job Invitations 💌

The longer you freelance, the more job opportunities will come to you. When those client emails show up in your inbox, you’ve gotta know how to get all the information you need in order to decide if the opportunity is right for you. This section will teach you exactly that. We’ll also take a look at some real client emails and I’ll show you which red flags to look out for from clients that are more trouble than they’re worth. 

6. Getting the Information You Need from Clients ☎️

Clients may be paying your wages, but working with them should be a harmonious and rewarding collaboration... not a master/slave relationship! Here you’ll learn how to lead the conversation with a client to find out all the information you need to do your job and solve their problem. You’ll know how to structure a proposal and put together a budget with confidence.

7. Determining Realistic Deadlines 💎

Want to make a strong impression on your clients so they’ll keep you busy with more work? Be vigilant about meeting deadlines on time. Show clients that you respect their time and they won’t forget it. But estimating how long a project will take you feels like trying to predict the weather—especially when you’re first starting out. So how do you work out a deadline that works for both you and your clients? And what do you do if you can’t deliver on time? You’ll learn all about it in this section.

Part of being able to deliver on time is the quality of your communication with the client. In this section, you’ll also find out how to set clear boundaries for the scope of your responsibilities, and which questions to ask to understand your clients’ expectations. You can avoid a lot of pain, hair-pulling, and sleepless nights by knowing this.

8. Understanding Contracts and Protecting Yourself 📑

One of the most uncomfortable situations in freelancing is when a client expects you to do something you didn’t originally agree on. In this section, I’ll show you how I structure agreements and contracts so that expectations between both parties are crystal clear. That way you’re protected in case the client demands work outside the scope of the agreement. You’ll also learn how to make sure you get paid for the work you agreed on—even when a client turns out to be a bad apple

Clients are looking for more than your skills—enroll today to become the kind of Freelancer they really want to hire

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a freelancer in the creative field. Is this course right for me?
Yes! First and foremost: this is a freelance course for creatives! Although most of the content and context is written from my background as a Motion Designer, the information in this course will help all types of creatives (graphic designers, illustrators, animators, 3D artists, photographers, and cinematographers, etc) who want to launch their freelance career. 

Do I need to have any freelancing experience to take this course?
This course will help you whether you’ve never done a freelance project in your life or if you’ve already been at it for years. If you’re just starting out it will give you a solid foundation to be a respected, in-demand Freelancer. Or if you’re struggling with your freelance career it will help answer a lot of questions about what it takes to be a successful, sustainable Freelancer that loves their job.

What happens once I sign up for the course?
Immediately after signing up, you’ll get an email with a link to login to the course from your desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Once you log in you’ll have immediate access to the entire course. You can follow the linear progression at your own pace or jump to specific sections you’re most curious about.

Will I have access to the course forever?
Yes! There’s no time limit. You can learn the material at your own pace and come back to it for reference if you ever need help during your freelancing career. I’ll also give you a heads up by email if there are updates to the course.

What if this course doesn’t help me with freelancing at all?
Not a problem! Just shoot me an email at letting me know you’d like a refund. I’ll refund your money in full, but I’ll just ask for a little feedback on what you feel the course was missing and what would have better helped you.

What's included?

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👋 Nice to Meet You!
How to Use This Guide
1. Become Your Own Boss 🕶
Calculate Freelance Cost
Going Out on Your Own
How to Find Clients 📌
2. Improve Quality of Work 🔥
Passion Projects
Learn From The Best
How to Present Your Work
Ask Help, Advice & Opinion
3. Build Relationships 🤝
Start Interesting Conversations
Follow Up Over Email
Building a Network
Open Doors & Be Resourceful
Good Practices
4. Price your Work 💰
How Do You Roll?
Calculate Your Hourly Rate
Charge Based On Value
Understanding Work Value
How To Negotiate With Your Client
Work for Free & Maintain Value
Alternative Income
5. New Opportunities 💌
Expressing Interest First
Should I Take This Gig?
Decline a Project, How to Say “No”
Choose Wisely and Define Your Values
Automate Your Response
📩 Red Flag Emails
💌 Real Client Conversations
6. Meet your new Client ☎️
Setup the Meeting
Prepare for The Meeting
The First Meeting
Arrive on Time & Be Present
7. Deliver Quality on Time 💎
What's Important to a Client?
Client Communication
Project Time Management
Budget a Project
8. Paperwork 📑
Set Expectations
Confidential Information
(SOW) Agreement
Other Types of Agreements
Send your Invoice
If the client doesn’t pay
That's a Wrap!
Updates & Feedback
Extra Content
Full Second Perspectives 🎙

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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.