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The 6 Freelance Animator Job Responsibilities You'll Face

Creating entertaining and to-the-point animations is just one of the many animator job responsibilities professionals need to manage. 

You may find that your workday as an animator is unpredictable and not very easy to set to a schedule. 

This may be because you aren't fully aware of all the animator job responsibilities that fall in your court. This means that key tasks you need to be doing are creeping up on you instead of already being factored into your day-to-day work. 

Yes, studio animators may get a bit more guidance up front on what they’re expected to do as part of their job. But, keeping up to date on animator job responsibilities is important for both studio animators and freelance animators. 

This is because animation work is varied and animator responsibilities can change from project to project. You’ll become better at picking up on what matters quickly as your animation work experience grows. 

But, because there’s a lot to learn when working in animation, getting up to speed as soon as possible is the best thing you can do. 

a freelance animator soaking in all their job responsibilities

GIF by Masterchef via Giphy

That’s why we’ve taken the time to compile a list of the key components you need to have covered to keep your animation work afloat.

In this blog post, we share with you the 6 fundamental animator job responsibilities that every professional animator needs to know about. 

We’ve broken them down into general animator responsibilities and additional freelance responsibilities that need to be covered by freelance animators.

General Animator Job Responsibilities

General animator job responsibilities refer to the main tasks that any animator—whether they work in a studio or freelance animation jobs—will have to do at some point while working in animation.

Here’s a look at the top 3 general animator job responsibilities you need to be aware of.

1. Creative Animator Job Responsibilities

Think of all the things you love to do that made you become an animator in the first place. 

creative job responsibilities for freelance animators

GIF by Carlotta Notaro via Giphy

Tasks like conceptualizing, creating storyboards, animating, and editing animations are all part of the creative animator job responsibilities that’ll be part of your every day as a professional.

Read our blog post titled 13 Steps in Making An Animation Production Pipeline for a more in-depth look at all the creative animator job responsibilities you need to be familiar with.

2. Record-Keeping Animator Responsibilities

As a company employee or a self-employed professional working in freelance animation jobs, you’ll need to keep track of your progress to make sure you’re sticking to the schedule. 

This is why keeping daily, weekly or monthly records is an important practice that you need to master.

freelance animator job responsibilities such as bookkeeping

Image by Anete Lusina via Pexels

You could jot down the task you’ve ended on for the day and keep it in your workspace as a reminder of where to start the next day. Or, you could have a much more organized system and make use of an admin app or online spreadsheet. 

Regularly updating your records will make it easy for you to submit them when requested, without having to put in the additional work of thinking back and catching up!

You may also be required to keep a record of your work hours. Having the right forms and contact details available is key in managing these types of records, so be sure to request these as soon as possible. 

Record keeping and processing can take up a lot of time, so this is one of those animator responsibilities that many freelance animators recommend outsourcing

For a quick breakdown of the animator job responsibilities you could outsource as a freelancer, take a look at this video by Smart Hustle: 7 Tasks Your Small Business Should Outsource.

3. Networking Animator Responsibilities 

Whether you’re working as a studio animator or taking on freelance animation jobs, you’ll need to know how to network.

Networking is a core component in generating more business and getting your name out there for everyone to see.

You’ll need to be able to connect with colleagues and companies, open up new channels of business, and perhaps even find funding for passion projects that can add to your business's success. 

freelance animator job responsibilities also cover networking

GIF by BYDN via Tenor

Studios may hire a marketing company or have a marketing department to do this for them.

However, smaller studios and many freelance animation businesses will need to do a lot of the networking themselves. 

This is because those working at the company know best when it comes to the business's brand and target market. 

Also, freelance animation jobs and work done by small studios often have a smaller budget, which is another reason why outsourcing these types of animator job responsibilities may not be practical. 

Freelance Animator Job Responsibilities

The fast pace at which freelance animators gain creative animation work experience can cause them to zoom straight past some of the more business-related animator responsibilities.

We’ve delved deeper into the top 3 freelance responsibilities you’ll need to cover so that you can have a clear view of what you need to do. 

4. Financial Freelance Animator Responsibilities
a freelance animator must consult with their budget

GIF by Mrs. Dow Jones via Giphy 

Freelance animators will need to have a much better grasp of administrative animator job responsibilities.

This is because freelance animators need to manage their business’s finances on top of the general record-keeping animator responsibilities. 

You may only need to manage finances for a short time before you hire a financial administrator, outsource the task, or find a financial management tool that does most of the work for you. 

Even so, having a clear idea of all the financial freelance responsibilities you need to consider will ensure that you do a good job from the start. 

5. Marketing and Sales Animator Job Responsibilities
an animator needs to figure out how they sell their animation services

GIF by NickRewind via Giphy

In keeping with the Jack-of-All-Trades hustle that many freelance animators find themselves in, you may need to do a good amount of marketing and sales yourself. 

While you don’t need to be an expert to start your business’s marketing and sales strategy, it pays to do thorough research and eventually hire an expert. 

You can prepare for a solid start in marketing and sales by reading our blog posts: How To Make An Animation Content Marketing Framework and The Evolution of Marketing Animation Through the Decades.

6. Client Relations Freelance Animator Responsibilities
a freelance animator needs to tend to their client as part of their job responsibilities

GIF by Power via Giphy

Client relations may be one of the freelancer responsibilities you feel least prepared for. 

But don’t think you need to be a social butterfly to succeed at this essential component of business operations. 

All you really need is a structured approach to managing these types of freelancer responsibilities and our guide, 5 Ways Animators Can Deal With Difficult Clients

Client relations can add to your success working in animation if done correctly. It can also hamper your business’s growth if not managed well. 

Take a look at our blog post, the Best CRM Tools For Animators, to find the CRM tool that works for you.

How to Conquer Freelance Animator Job Responsibilities

Now that you know about the general and freelancer responsibilities that matter most, you can make sure they’re covered in your business’s operations. 

You can read more about organizing your animation work experience in our blog, 6 Tips For Organizing Your Animation Business.

Delegate tasks wherever possible so that you can put your time and effort into the creative animation work that sparked your passion for working in animation in the first place.

the difficulty of balancing responsibilities as a freelance animator

GIF by Djemilah Birnie via Giphy

Find even more information on animator job responsibilities and how to manage them by taking our free masterclass, downloading our free marketing handbook, and reading our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!

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