In “Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business,” freelancing pros Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho help those who want to figure out how to work for themselves in a variety of creative fields. Before you boldly go out on your own, check out their tips for a smooth transition.

Perfect your elevator pitch
While the “elevator pitch” may seem like a schmoozy Hollywood term, it is important to be able to concisely describe the work you do in a matter of minutes. You never know who you’ll meet and if they or someone they know needs your creative skills. Spend some time practicing what you might say to total strangers about what you do.

Keep an online portfolio
Your website will be your No. 1 marketing tool. It’s out there making connections with people near and far and working around the clock, even while you sleep. Use this workhorse to its full potential by keeping it up-to-date with your recent projects, the type of work you’d like to be hired for and your contact information.

Engage in social networking
Social media like blogs, Facebook and Twitter are effective ways to stay in touch and sharing recent projects with your clients and admirers of your work. Use the platforms that you enjoy most. If you don’t know what you should tweet or post, think about what you like when you read blogs or your news feed.

Create your own projects
Freelancers sometimes complain that they’re not producing the type of projects that they want to do. If you feel like you’re being pigeonholed into a certain style or type of work, break out of that creative rut by pursuing self-driven projects. You’ll be able to show the type of work you are capable of and would love to produce for others.

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