Our team chatted with Adriano Reis to hear about his secrets to success with his freelance business!
Tell us about your Independent journey!
I’ve tried to freelance many times before I would always only have a client here and there and take a long time until I found another one. This was mostly when I was less experienced and I just wanted extra cash but it was extremely hard to get clients and build meaningful connections because I didn’t know how to market myself(still struggle with that btw!). Or maybe because I was using tools like Fiverr 👀 and Craigslist 😅
⏩ Fast forward a few years when I had been working as a product designer for Eko, a tech startup in NYC; I had been learning Webflow at the time from Flux Academy, and one day, my coworker mentioned her best friend from LA needed a site. I took that on and they ended up being great clients and we did some incredible work together. The scope turned out to be a logo and a website design. It’s the “Klein Kitchen” project on my Contra account.
They absolutely loved it and later came back for another project, they also recommended me to a friend of theirs and that’s how my new freelance side hustle journey started! 🚀
How did you get started with Framer development?
I really love trying new tools, and am often signing up for beta products. I knew Framer before they pivoted to sites and when I saw a promo video about their site creation tool on Twitter about a year ago I knew I had to jump on it fast and that it was going to be a game changer!
TLDR; Laura & Leor Klein from Klein Kitchen reached out that they needed a new site for their new business. I told them about Framer(and Contra!) and they said they trust me and so I brought them over to Contra and built their new site “Leora” in Framer.
How do you use Contra?
I discovered it on Twitter as well and it couldn’t have come into my life at a better time! Contra is currently my mean lead source, I use it to apply to opportunities, respond to potential client messages, to generate contracts, to list my services, and also as my portfolio!
TLDR; Contra is my one stop shop! 💛
What is a Contra tip you have for others?
I’d say keep posting your work on social, even if it’s personal projects, but only post and add to Contra the type of work you want to attract!
When you land a job, do your best to go above and beyond, let clients lean on you if they need it, make suggestions to improve anything you think could be improved. Essentially, show that you care‼️ It’ll build stronger relationships with your clients and they may return and/or recommend you to their friends.
What project did you land on Contra that helped you grow as a freelancer?
I was really surprised (and excited!) when Ry from Contra reached out for me to build the Contra for teams landing page in Framer. I had a blast and it was a great collaboration which generated repeated projects later on, it also brought more eyes to my profile!
What are your must-have tools as an Independent?
Honestly, besides my tech stack as a designer, the only tools I use that is not a design related tool is Contra and Twitter(I use it as a tool to network, generate some traffic and share work)!
Here’s my tech stack (Unsolicited but if anyone is interested):
- Arc (browser)
- Loom (for quick tutorials and async communication)
- Screen Studio (amazing screen recording tool to showcase your work beautifully)
- Setapp subscription apps I use daily! (no BS):
- CleanshotX (Hands down best screenshot app!)
- PixelSnap (measure anything on the screen)
- CleanMyMac (Speed up and declutter my machine)
- SparkMail (Awesome email client with AI)
- Paste (Clipboard history management)
- Amie (Beautiful and functional calendar app. Invite only!)