Course Description

Have you ever dreamed of breaking away from the 9-to-5 grind and becoming your own boss? How about escaping from your office setting—the endless meetings, corporate politics, and other irritations that fill your mind on a Sunday night? If so, have you ever considered how different life might be as a freelancer, or as the founder of your own design agency? Maybe, you’ve even wanted to do all that from the beach or from a trendy coffee shop in an inspiring urban landscape? The truth is that there’s nothing stopping you from doing any of the above. Going into business for yourself as a freelancer or entrepreneur can be a highly rewarding and exciting way to work—this course is here to show you how you can achieve that, and jump the fence that keeps all too many bright and motivated people trapped so tragically in the workaday ennui of being employees.

You are not alone in your desire to work in a way and location of your choice; freelancing is the most rapidly growing business market on Earth. Gone are the days of people’s perceiving self-employment as “not a proper job”; contractor positions are increasingly being held by the best and brightest in the industry through a phenomenon coined “The Rise of the Supertemp”1. In the United States alone, 34% of the workforce is freelance, and this will rise to more than 40% by 20202—and similar trends are being seen across other markets including the UK and Europe. It’s the way to work in many industries moving forward, and you can be part of it! Better still, it will give you a new lease of life which will leave you wondering why you hadn’t done it sooner.

Freelancers and entrepreneurs often get to choose where they work. By redefining the way you work, you can also redesign the way you live. Once you have the contracts, you can set up wherever you have your heart set on—be it Prague, Delhi, Koh Phangan, Cape Town, or Rio, to name just a few. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a ton of savings in the bank—tens of thousands of other freelancers built their freelance businesses from nothing. The founders of the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) can attest to this—Mads Soegaard and Rikke Friis Dam built the IDF while living in low-cost countries, traveling the world as digital nomads as soon as the internet would allow them to. This enabled them to focus on creating high-quality educational content while having low expenses. It’s an ingenious way of having the best of both worlds (freedom of work and seeing the world), all while keeping the wolves away from the door money-wise. In fact, most of the IDF employees and loyal freelancers now live and work as dedicated and hardworking digital nomads all over the world.

This course will show you how to create a freelance business from scratch—from overcoming your fears, to the practicalities of making a brand name of yourself. We will share knowledge regarding how you can start your own design agency or start working as a freelancer from pretty much anywhere, at any time. You will be able to live the life of your dreams while providing high-quality services and products for the benefit of your clients. We will introduce you to the best and most relevant research, as well as ideas and best practices, derived from others who were once in your shoes but who are now living and working the way they always wanted to.

This course is created and presented by one of the founders of the Interaction Design Foundation, Rikke Friis Dam. Rikke is Editor-in-Chief and in charge of IDF’s educational profile. She hires and works closely with highly skilled freelancers and entrepreneurs on a daily basis. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no reason for you to sit in an office, counting down the clock and taking orders unless you truly want to live like that. Your clients can be based anywhere on Earth, and so can you; it’s time to quit dreaming and start doing.

What you will learn

  • Whether freelancing or entrepreneurship is what you want to do
  • How to set up a successful freelance business
  • How to market and sell your business services effectively
  • How to handle all the day-to-day management of a freelancer’s and entrepreneur’s practice

Who should take this course

This is an intermediate-level course, and while a freelancing or entrepreneurial experience is not required, some form of professional skills is recommended:

  • UX designers looking to become freelance UX consultants and work on projects from anywhere in the world
  • Project managers interested in freelancing or building their own products
  • Software engineers keen on the freedom and rewards of being a freelance software developer
  • Entrepreneurs, UI designers, web designers, copywriters, photographers, accountants, etc. looking to set up a freelancing business

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

1 Jody Greenstone Miller & Matt Miller. The Rise of the Supertemp, Harvard Business Review, 2012

2 The Intuit Report, 2010

Lessons in this course

Note: Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week. Once a lesson becomes available, it is open for you forever — you can take all the time you want to go through each lesson. There is no time limit to finish a course, and you always have access to your classmates, course material, and your answers.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction – How to Build a Successful Design Business

Available anytime after Jun 26, 2017

Lesson 1: Are You Cut Out for Freelancing and Entrepreneurship?

Available anytime after Jun 27, 2017

Lesson 2: How to Plan Your Business

Available anytime after Jul 04, 2017

Lesson 3: How to Get Clients – Marketing for Freelance Businesses and Design Agencies

Available anytime after Jul 11, 2017

Lesson 4: How to Sell Your Business Services: Telesales

Available anytime after Jul 18, 2017

Lesson 5: How Should You Handle Your Business Clients?

Available anytime after Jul 25, 2017

Lesson 6: Entrepreneur and Freelance Skills

Available anytime after Aug 01, 2017

Lesson 7: How to Become a Digital Nomad & Resources for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs and Digital Nomads

Available anytime after Aug 08, 2017

Lesson 8: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

Available anytime after Aug 15, 2017

Industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn an industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course - even if you finish the course after the official end date. In other words, as long as you have enrolled in the course you will always be able to finish it and to get a course certificate. You will also have permanent access to the course material, your answers and the discussions.

Course Certificates from the IDF are verifiable and trusted by industry leaders. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

Our courses and Course Certificates are trusted by these industry leaders, who have taken up company memberships with the IDF:

Accenture Adobe GE Philips SAP