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How to Freelance for Nike, Spotify, Stripe and Other Big Clients

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In This Episode

As a freelancer, getting to work with major brands like Nike, Spotify, and Stripe may seem like a distant dream. But Kate Mrozowski Lim has turned that dream into a reality. This motion graphics artist has spent the past 14 years building an impressive portfolio of animated work that’s caught the eye of some of the biggest names in business.

In 2023 alone, Kate’s client roster included Twitch, Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, Stripe, and several projects for Nike. She’s come a long way since starting out in the industry, grinding away at studio work. Today, her focus is on securing consistent gigs with agencies and production partners, allowing her to focus on the creative work she loves.

In this episode of Freelance to Founder, we check in with Kate (who joined us about a year ago on the show) and learn how she has booked work with such impressive clients.

From crafting a stellar portfolio to conducting personalized outreach, she’s cracked the code on attracting exciting projects. In this post, we’ll dive into the specific strategies Kate has used to build a freelance career that top brands can’t ignore. All the details are in this post and podcast episode.

Kate, the Motion Graphics Freelancer

To understand how Kate has gotten to where she is today, it’s important to know a bit about her journey as a freelance motion graphics artist. She’s been in the business for an impressive 14 years, honing her skills and building a reputation for outstanding work.

In the early days of her career, Kate focused primarily on studio work. This meant long hours and a lot of grinding, but it allowed her to develop her craft and start making a name for herself in the industry. However, when Kate had her first child a couple years ago, she knew she needed to make a change.

As a new mom, Kate no longer had the flexibility to commit to the demanding schedule of studio work. She needed to find a way to continue doing the work she loved while also being there for her growing family. This realization led Kate to start focusing more on freelance projects with agencies and production companies.

Making this shift wasn’t without its challenges, though. The year 2023 brought a major slowdown to the entertainment industry, with advertising work drying up and many studios struggling to stay afloat. Kate found herself needing to pivot quickly and find new ways to secure projects in a tough market.

Despite these hurdles, Kate remained determined to keep doing what she loves and provide for her family. With a commitment to delivering high-quality work and a willingness to adapt as needed, she’s managed to build an enviable client list and establish herself as a go-to motion graphics artist for major brands.

The Power of a Good Portfolio

One of the key things that has enabled Kate to attract high-profile clients is her stunning portfolio of work. Over her 14-year career, she’s amassed an impressive collection of motion graphics projects that showcase her creativity and technical skills.

Kate’s reel features a wide range of animated content, from explainer videos to social media ads to title sequences for TV shows. Her work is characterized by clean, modern design and fluid, eye-catching animations that bring brands’ stories to life.

Some of Kate’s standout projects in recent years have included animating the graphics package for Jessica Alba’s Honest Company TV show, creating social media ads for Nike, and designing presentations for major Stripe events. Each of these projects demonstrates Kate’s ability to craft visually striking animations that effectively communicate a brand’s message.

When reaching out to potential clients or agency partners, Kate lets her work speak for itself. Rather than getting bogged down in lengthy emails or proposals, she keeps her outreach concise and directs people’s attention to her website and reel. By letting the quality of her work shine through, Kate is able to quickly capture the interest of busy creative directors and producers.

Kate also understands the importance of tailoring her portfolio to the specific type of work she wants to attract. For example, when she was keen to land more home renovation show projects, she made sure to highlight relevant pieces in her portfolio that demonstrated her experience with that genre.

By continually developing a strong body of work and showcasing it effectively, Kate has been able to build a reputation as a top-tier motion graphics artist. Her impressive portfolio has opened doors to exciting projects with major brands and established her as a sought-after talent in the industry.

Taking a Targeted Approach to Outreach

While having an impressive portfolio is essential, Kate also understands the importance of proactively reaching out to potential clients and partners. However, rather than blasting out generic emails to every studio and agency, she takes a highly targeted approach to her outreach.

When Kate identifies a brand or project she’s particularly interested in, she does her homework. She’ll watch the company’s existing videos, research their creative team, and look for ways her specific skills and style could add value to their work.

Armed with this knowledge, Kate crafts personalized outreach emails that demonstrate her genuine interest in the brand and her understanding of their needs. She keeps her messages concise, quickly introducing herself and her work, and expressing enthusiasm for the opportunity to collaborate.

One great example of this targeted approach is how Kate landed a gig creating graphics for a home renovation show. She loved the show and could see how her skills would be a great fit, so she watched the credits carefully to identify the key production team members. She then found them on LinkedIn and sent thoughtful messages expressing her admiration for their work and her desire to contribute to the show.

By taking the time to research and personalize her outreach, Kate has been able to cut through the noise and capture the attention of key decision-makers at the companies she admires. Her targeted approach has led to valuable relationships and exciting projects with major brands.

Working with Agencies and Production Companies

While Kate occasionally works directly with brands, much of her freelance work comes through agency and production company partnerships. This model allows her to focus on the creative aspects of the job while the agency handles the client relationship and project management.

Some of Kate’s most high-profile projects have come through these types of partnerships. For example, when Twitch needed animated graphics for their conference, they turned to an agency Kate had worked with previously. The agency brought Kate on board to handle the motion design, knowing they could count on her to deliver high-quality work.

Similarly, Kate’s work on Nike and Stripe projects came about through production company relationships. By establishing herself as a reliable and talented freelancer with these companies, Kate has been able to land consistent gigs with major clients without having to pitch them directly.

Working with agencies and production companies has also enabled Kate to take on bigger projects than she could handle on her own. With the support of a larger team, she’s able to focus on her strengths in motion design while collaborating with other talented professionals to bring the client’s vision to life.

Kate has found that nurturing these agency and production company relationships is key to keeping a steady stream of exciting freelance projects coming her way. By consistently delivering great work and being a team player, she’s become a go-to partner for many of these companies, leading to ongoing opportunities with top-tier clients.

The Power of Building Strong Relationships

Beyond her targeted outreach and agency partnerships, Kate also attributes much of her success to the strong relationships she’s built within the motion design community. She understands that people like to work with people they know and trust, so she makes a point of staying top of mind with her network.

This means regularly checking in with past clients and collaborators, even if just to say hello and see what they’re working on. Kate makes an effort to personalize these interactions, referencing specific projects or shared interests to demonstrate that she values the relationship.

Kate also prioritizes attending industry events and participating in online communities where she can connect with other motion designers and potential clients. By consistently showing up and being a friendly, knowledgeable presence, Kate has built a strong reputation that often leads to referrals and new project opportunities.

Knowing Your Worth and Ideal Projects

As Kate’s freelance career has progressed, she’s become more strategic about the types of projects she takes on. In the early days, she was inclined to say yes to every opportunity that came her way, even if the budget was low or the project wasn’t an ideal fit.

However, Kate has since realized the importance of valuing her time and expertise. She’s become more selective about the gigs she accepts, focusing on projects that allow her to do her best work and provide a fair financial return.

Part of this shift has involved moving away from small one-off projects in favor of longer engagements. Kate has found that committing to just a few key clients for extended periods allows her to produce higher-quality work and build stronger relationships, while also providing more predictable income.

Kate has also become more confident in setting her rates based on the value she provides. By having open conversations with clients about budget expectations and being willing to walk away from projects that don’t meet her needs, Kate has been able to build a sustainable freelance business doing work she loves.

The Future of Video Content

Looking ahead, Kate is excited about the continued evolution of video content and the opportunities it presents for motion designers. While the rise of streaming has disrupted traditional television models, Kate believes there will always be a demand for high-quality animated graphics in video storytelling.

In fact, Kate sees the proliferation of digital platforms as an opportunity for motion designers to showcase their skills in new ways. From social media ads to explainer videos to immersive web experiences, brands are looking for engaging visual content to capture attention in a crowded media landscape.

Kate is also keeping an eye on emerging technologies like AI and virtual reality, which have the potential to reshape the motion design field in the coming years. While she believes there will always be a role for human creativity and craftsmanship in video content, Kate knows that staying adaptable and open to new tools and techniques will be key to long-term success as a freelancer.


Throughout her 14-year career, Kate Mrozowski Lim has demonstrated what it takes to build a thriving freelance motion design business and attract high-profile clients. Her impressive portfolio, targeted outreach approach, strong agency partnerships, and commitment to building relationships have enabled her to land projects with major brands like Nike, Spotify, and Twitch.

By sharing her strategies and experiences, Kate hopes to inspire other freelancers to dream big and go after the clients and projects they’re passionate about. She believes that with hard work, strategic thinking, and a willingness to adapt and grow, any motion designer can build a successful career doing work they love.

Kate’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, creativity, and relationship-building in the freelance world. As the media landscape continues to evolve, she’s excited to continue pushing herself creatively and discovering new opportunities to collaborate with top brands and talented colleagues. With a strong foundation and an eye toward the future, there’s no limit to where Kate’s freelance career can take her.

Episode Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated and may have grammatical errors.

Preston (00:01.038)
Hello and welcome back to another episode of Freelance 2 Founder. My name is Preston Lee with Millo .co and this is the part where I would normally say that joining me on the air is Clay Mosley, but unfortunately, Clay is sick again today and unfortunately can’t be here with us. So we miss you, Clay, but I am joined by a former friend of the show, well, still a friend of the show. Kate, you’ve been on the show before. Welcome back to the show, Kate. Yeah.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (00:26.945)
Hi, thank you. Yeah, I can do an intro myself. My name is Kate Mirzowski. I’ve been a freelance motion graphics artist for 14 years in Southern California. And I was on the show two years ago. I had just had my first kid and I was wondering what my career was gonna look like coming back as a new parent and with like a much different schedule. And you guys were able to help me through.

all of that and give me some good advice on returning to the workforce.

Preston (01:02.126)
And I remember, I remember looking at your portfolio and just thinking, wow, she’s so talented. Um, clearly going to go places with, with the talent that you bring in. Then it sounds like you’ve had a pretty good year. Part of the reason I wanted to have you back on the show was because, um, you sent me an email. Um, and let’s see if I can pull it up real quick. Uh, okay. So you said, um, you were just sort of checking in with the new year, which I think is a great sort of thing to do in your business, right? Drum up some new business, check in with.

former clients, build your network, stay in touch with people. And you were just kind of giving me a summary of how your business was doing. And you almost nonchalantly or maybe, I don’t know, maybe it just came off. I mean, it came off perfectly is what I’m trying to say, but it was just like, yeah, 2023 was great. I animated two events for Stripe. I did some work for Jessica Alba. You were much more eloquent than I’m sort of summarizing.

You did Twitch, you did Spotify, you did two Nike events. I mean, I was just like, every line, every line I read, I was just like, oh my gosh, oh my goodness. Wow, she’s working with some really big brands. So I wanted to have you back on the show to chat a little bit about how you have connected with those brands and, and how, you know, just how your 2023 went and see what maybe I and the listeners can learn from your experience last year.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (02:14.241)
Yeah, thank you. It was funny because last time I talked to you, I was like, oh man, I didn’t reach my income goal. I was kind of like down on myself. And then you started saying, I was like, oh, actually, yeah, I did have a lot of work. I had some really awesome work. But yeah.

Preston (02:34.092)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (02:35.105)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So last I’m I’ve been like freelancing motion graphics for a long time. So I was really used to the studio kind of system. And then like after after I had my daughter, I had it kind of changed the way I worked. I had to like find somewhere that would be more flexible with my hours. So I was looking for smaller side clients. And we can talk a little bit about where my thinking is on that in a bit. But um,

Preston (02:40.438)
Yeah, with really cool companies and I mean, these are real like resume builders for you, right? So I love it.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (03:05.249)
this past year with that kind of model, like the studio model, like everything just kind of like for motion graphics, it was a really, really, really rough year. Like a lot of the studios didn’t get advertising work like they were used to because of the strikes, the TV strikes, and there were a lot of tech layoffs. And then I also do some work on television. So.

all of that work went away. So I kind of had to pivot really quickly into doing events. So I had a friend who has been working for an event production company for a long time. So she pulled me into do motion graphics and I did actually end up doing some keynote design too, which I was able to kind of get up on pretty quickly. So we did that for Stripe, like two internal Stripe events. And then I…

Preston (03:36.566)
Mmm, yeah.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (04:03.137)
I got booked with another motion graphic studio and they were the ones who took on the graphics for TwitchCon. So that’s where I did that. I also worked for a television production company that was doing Jessica Alva’s Honest Renovations, which is on the Roku Network. So I did all the graphics that go on that show. And then yeah, had a few other side projects and kind of was able to stitch enough together to like, you know,

Preston (04:11.982)
Oh yeah.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (04:32.801)
Pay all the bills this year.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (04:45.217)
That’s right.

Preston (04:50.682)
Yeah, I what I’m hearing that maybe I can take away and listeners can take away from this is is like you you didn’t go out and try to pitch stripe right like that. Yes, you know you you worked on stripe projects, but you didn’t go out and try to pitch stripe and maybe maybe depending on how familiar listeners are with stripe or not. Maybe they’re not the best example, but like you didn’t go try to pitch Jessica Alba or Nike or Twitch or any of these like you you worked.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (05:18.465)
That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, it kind of go, I’m trying to figure out too, like what, what my business life is going to look like now. Cause I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to have my own kind of mini studio type of thing, and then go after these bigger clients, or if I wanted to stay with this kind of studio model, but like I’m finding that I, I am not so excited to do all the like,

Preston (05:20.174)
with these agencies that already had those contracts, already had those relationships and was able to pitch those and win those relationships. And then you were sort of a piece of that bigger picture, right?

Kate Mrozowski Lim (05:48.033)
do all the outreach that’s involved and write up all the quotes. I’m more interested in just sitting down and doing the work, which in this case, I have to change the way I’m doing things in LinkedIn outreach and stuff like that.

Preston (05:57.678)

Preston (06:10.862)

Preston (06:22.99)
Hmm. Yeah. But I think that rings true for so many freelancers, particularly creative freelancers. Like we just want to sit down and we want to do the work. Right. And, and, um, you know, this, the other stuff is sort of a necessary evil for a lot of people, the pitching, the managing, the client relationship, all of that stuff. Although to some, to some extent you’re still doing all of that. You’re just, your client isn’t, you know, Jessica Alba, your client is the

Kate Mrozowski Lim (06:48.993)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, the project. Yeah. Oh, sorry. Yeah, I was just gonna say that I didn’t mention that before. But the project I did for Nike was for a company that was doing the event for Nike and I did the social media marketing for them. Yeah.

Preston (06:52.302)
production companies, maybe an agency, even the production company is higher. Like you’re just a few steps removed from, you know, we might say you did a project for Nike, which you did and it’s awesome, right? But you weren’t like reporting to Nike CEO or anything like that. So, yeah. So I wonder, oh, go ahead.

Preston (07:20.014)
Yeah, yeah. And so on the one hand, like I really love this model that you’re talking about. On the other hand, I’m curious, how much client relationship or client follow up or client communication did you actually have to do with these versus maybe a client where, you know, it’s a mom and pop or something and you’re working directly with the business owner or you’re working directly with even like a mid level manager or something at the company as opposed to working with an agency. Have you?

Kate Mrozowski Lim (07:33.313)
Yeah, so the way I’m going about doing it now is like, I really had to get over the like, Oh, like, I don’t want to email that person, like, I don’t know what they’re gonna say or, but then like the email that I sent you is like a good example of just kind of like getting over it and just like compiling all my work, compiling it in like a really easy to read list and then sending it out to people. So like reaching,

Preston (07:47.98)
you had both of those kinds of experiences and what’s different there?

Kate Mrozowski Lim (08:01.281)
reaching out to studios is less of a cold email. If I have work attached to it, so if I have a portfolio link, I feel like it’s a lot easier than if I am just writing. If I did some other different kind of work and didn’t have a portfolio, it’s a lot easier to reach out to, especially to studios who are used to getting.

Preston (08:05.294)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (08:30.849)
lots and lots of freelancer emails all the time, they know the deal. Like this is an email with their availability, their rates, and a link to their website. So I don’t know.

Preston (08:31.116)

Preston (08:53.152)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (08:57.889)
Honestly, I don’t know if I’m doing it the right way, but the way I do it is like just really try. Yeah. Yeah. I just try and keep it as like short and sweet as possible. Cause I know that they’re just funneling through tons and tons of emails. So I want to get them on my website as fast as possible. And then, and then like the proof is in the pudding there. They just go to the website and they watch my reel. Then they know what I’m capable of. Um, and so also like, Hey, like, Hey so -and -so, how you’re doing? Like, um, like.

Preston (09:00.366)
And so when you’re sending those emails, so let’s say I’m listening to the show and I’m going, wow, I’d really like to try what Kate’s doing and that is connecting with agencies more. What do you normally put in that email and how do you stand out from the hundreds or thousands of other freelancers that are emailing them over the course of the year?

Preston (09:22.894)
Well, something seems to be working, so…

Kate Mrozowski Lim (09:27.329)
And if I already know them, I’ll kind of be a little more personable or talk about something we’ve talked about before. And then I just want to let you know, I have some availability, here’s my link. And that’s pretty much it. So an example of, I love home makeover shows. And I was on a mission to do graphics for a home makeover show.

Preston (09:31.886)

Preston (09:54.86)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (09:56.353)
And I was able to do it. And the way I went about it was I watched the show and then I waited for the credits and then was like looking out to see like who the editors and who the post producers were. And then I found them on LinkedIn and then I messaged them on LinkedIn. And then like three months later, like one of the editors got back to me and she was like.

Oh, like, thanks so much. You know, I wrote a message, you know, like, I love your work that you on this show. This is what I do. I love to work with you. And so she gave me the contact for the post producer. So then I emailed him and then basically same thing. Love the work. I really want to do work like this. Here’s my reel. And then they had, they ended up having work for me and that’s how I got connected with them.

Preston (10:20.416)

Preston (11:11.182)
Wow, I love that. I mean, this is cold emailing at its finest in my opinion. Like there’s the kind of cold emailing where you just gather hundreds and hundreds of email addresses and you kind of throw it all out there and hope that something comes back. Or, and this is my preferred way of doing it too, you really take the time, like you watched through to the end credits, you picked out of the credits the names of the people you connected with them on a personal level, they connected you with someone else. At that point, it’s not as…

Kate Mrozowski Lim (11:30.305)
Yeah. And I mean, it depends too on whether somebody needs to have like a really big number of clients or leads as opposed to me where I really only need like one to three clients every month. So, so like I, I can, yeah, I can put like this amount of work into like reaching out, but I did that. I probably did the same thing with like five different.

Preston (11:40.27)
hold of an email, it’s a little warmed up, right? And, and then and then it eventually led to some work. And I just think there’s a lot for freelancers to learn here from you. And that is like the personable nature, the the putting the extra work into really sending the right email to the right person, not making it sound, you know, canned or just a copy paste, like you really were genuinely interested in their show, you had watched their show, you were familiar with it, like there’s that extra effort matter as it pays off.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (11:58.433)
similar production companies and I got answers but they didn’t turn into work. So probably like one in five work, but that’s a really good ratio in terms of like cold emailing. Yeah.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (12:13.353)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (12:23.969)
That’s right. Yeah.

Preston (12:26.606)
Hmm, yeah, that makes a big difference. And there’s…

Preston (12:34.028)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (12:35.297)
Yeah, and a lot of the studios will book a whole, like they’ll book for a few weeks. They won’t just book like one day or like one little animation or one little project like they want. So that particular TV show had probably like eight episodes. So I had to do the graphics for every one of those episodes. So that took a couple months, like two months. Yeah.

Preston (12:49.558)
Oh yeah.

A 20 % conversion rate on cold emails is incredible. Yeah. And then, so do you only need one to three clients just because your work is a little bit higher ticket or, okay. Yeah, cause I know some freelancers are listening and going like, man, if I only did one project or three projects a month, I’d be in trouble, right?

Kate Mrozowski Lim (13:05.377)
Yeah, and I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Like you guys on Millo, you had like an email recently that was something like a minimum like engagement cost or something. And that the article was explaining that like, like you, like you spend time, like even if you have like a little project or a big project, like the time you spend on a little project, it takes up

Preston (13:23.854)
Hmm. Hmm.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (13:35.265)
from the time getting the big projects. So I noticed that like a lot of last year, I was like hustling a lot because I took on a lot of small projects, whereas I could have just like taken away like three of those projects and turn it into one big project. So I’m starting to think about like, okay, like I wanna, I don’t wanna just take a project that has like a one day booking or like one little like animation. I need it to…

Preston (13:40.044)
That makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. They want everything to match. They want to work with the same person on all of it. Um, yeah. So that makes a lot of sense.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (14:04.257)
I need them to like book at at least a week. And that’s also good because I mean, like I can give them more value. Like I can put more of my intention into their projects. So like they’re getting more out of me, but at the same time there’s clients that do need the long -term attention on a project as opposed to somebody who just needs like a one -off.

Preston (14:20.366)

Preston (15:10.67)
That’s really interesting to think about like that opportunity cost or in that that engagement cost or even yeah, just the full like conversion cost of getting a new client and and you know Identifying because it’s gonna be different for you than it is for me and then it is from all the people listening but where that tipping point is right of like You know, what what what is the right amount of time? Excuse me time and effort to spend on getting a new client before?

Kate Mrozowski Lim (15:19.883)
Yeah. Yeah. And it’s like a, it’s such a huge hurdle, like, especially with like last year, like, every, like, you know, everything going awry in the industry. It’s like, you know, like in the back of your head, you think like, oh, I should, I should just take anything I can get, but it’s, it ends up being counterintuitive.

Preston (15:38.99)
it’s not worth it or before, you know, I’ve spent too much for this one client and, and I could have spent it somewhere else. That’s all like something it’s very hard to nail that down. Mathematically, you almost have to like, it takes a lot of trial and error and a lot of just learning the hard way by booking the wrong clients or spending too much time on a client that you kind of maybe in your gut knew already, they were going to say no a long time ago. Like that’s, that’s a real art, right?

Kate Mrozowski Lim (15:49.651)
14 years.


Kate Mrozowski Lim (16:17.671)

Preston (16:23.692)

Preston (16:27.214)
Yeah, yeah, that’s true. You know, we’ve talked a lot on the show about remind me how far into business you are, Kate, like how long you’ve been doing this.

Working for yourself 14 years? Yeah, I love it. So, cause I think, I think I can tell, I could tell that you, you’re, you know, in it quite, quite a long while because freelancers, and I think this is okay, but freelancers who have only been in it for a year or maybe two years, it is very much like, I’m just going to take whatever I can get because I need to pay the bills in it, you know? But everything comes with that opportunity cost.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (16:43.199)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (16:55.123)

Preston (17:02.35)
And every minute that you’re, and you know, we talk about how great it is to just work on your projects, and that’s true, but not if your projects are not paying well, and that means it’s heating up time when you could be, you know, promoting yourself, connecting with other clients, getting bigger projects. Everything has a cost. And I think when you’re as far along as you are in your business, those costs are very real and make a lot of sense to really prioritize like, well, I’m not gonna waste my time on this little client.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (17:11.937)
Yeah. The other day I got somebody, somebody wanted me to do like just spend three hours on something. And I’m like, you’re like downloading the, like getting the right files, downloading the files, making the invoice, delivering the files, like all of that, like that’s a full day’s worth of work. So yeah, like I felt, I felt really bad because I really wanted to work with that person. And like, I think, I think they are going to like get, continue to get bigger and bigger projects, but like at the, at the moment it’s not, it’s not a good.

Preston (17:27.31)
Maybe when it’s earlier, I’d hate to say that’s true for everybody, right? Cause I think a freelancer who’s much younger in their business needs to probably take some of those and just get some experience and get some build a network and like build a portfolio and all those things and just pay the bills frankly. But at some point you have to say, I’m not just going to take any client anymore. I’m not just going to take any project anymore. I’m going to be selective about it. And I’m going to weigh the opportunity cost of everything that I take on.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (17:42.017)
option for me just to take or like I’m I’m also just trying to experiment with like okay if I if I stick to this will this work you know like I have to kind of prove it to myself that that this concept is for real you know.

Preston (18:10.636)


Kate Mrozowski Lim (18:28.819)

Yeah, lots of time wasted for me over the years. Lots of rabbit holes gone down that didn’t go anywhere. But I mean, they say that these are all valuable lessons learned.

Preston (18:35.126)

Preston (18:41.806)
Yeah. Yeah, we were just talking about that last episode last week with with Diana, I was talking with her about and this hasn’t aired yet. So Kate, you won’t have heard it. But but we were talking about like, as you as you experiment with business models and marketing models, you have to do what works. But you also have to like give give things time to work. You have to experiment and then say like, Okay, is this working?

And as those things work, you incorporate them into your business and as they don’t work, you stop wasting time on them. So.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (19:17.279)

Preston (19:20.206)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (19:24.257)
Yeah, and the, I like a lot of, I mean, if I was listening to business advice about like growing a studio, then it would be much different advice to somebody who’s just freelancing. So I keep hearing advice that’s geared towards studio owners or agency owners. And then I’m kind of pulled in opposite directions and pulled in the way of like, should I start my own agency or studio or?

Preston (19:30.862)
It’s one of those things that it’s really hard to teach someone else, right? Unless you’re like there over their shoulder helping them check their email, it’s really hard to like teach someone like, my gut says this thing’s not gonna really go anywhere and you’re gonna spend lots of time trying to make it go somewhere and it’s just not gonna work out or it’s not gonna be worth the pay in the end or whatever. And then you start to develop sort of this intuition and think the longer you’ve been in business. And it’s kind of nice to just be able to say like, one year freelancer me would have,

Kate Mrozowski Lim (19:54.593)
Because clearly, you can reduce the amount of time that you’re working, and then you can hire people out to do the stuff that you’re doing. But for me, I’ve just been so comfortable doing the work and helping the studio owner. I’m so used to it, and I’m not sure if that’s a mental hurdle I need to get over. It’s like, this is just how my career is going to be.

Preston (20:00.878)
been like, what are you doing? Why are you turning this down? But you know, 10 year or 14 year freelancer me is going, no, this is not this is not worth my time.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (20:21.665)
like going on like this and I like I’m leaning towards like that. Like this is what’s working for me, which is funny because like we do like the survey, you know, on the questionnaire. It’s like, where do you see yourself into? Like, where are you? I’m at a one. And I’m like, where do you see yourself or where are you trying to go? A one.

Preston (20:23.182)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (20:42.049)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (20:49.417)

Preston (21:07.948)

Preston (21:19.18)

Preston (21:30.03)
You’re like, I’ve arrived, I’m there. You know, we have talked on a few episodes though, like that’s okay, right? As long as it’s a conscious decision. You don’t, you know, this is obviously, this is the show generally is obviously focused on like going from a freelancer to being a founder and sort of building systems and processes into your business. But, you know, it’s not a requirement to grow every year and it’s not a requirement to hire people every year. And it’s not like that’s…

Kate Mrozowski Lim (21:41.537)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (21:45.121)
Yeah, I’m freelancer to freelancer. Yeah.

Preston (22:00.078)
if that’s not what you want out of your business and out of your life, then that’s not something you have to do, right? I think there is this danger of like hustle culture and growth, growth hacking culture, where it’s just like grow, grow, grow, no matter what. And I’m, I’m kind of like you, I’m in a very comfortable place in my business. Some people would say like, well, maybe you’re getting lazy as you get comfortable, but I’m just comfortable and I enjoy it. And I have plenty of time for all the other things that I like to do as well. Cause to me, work isn’t everything. And so I think, I think, you know, I think that’s a,

Kate Mrozowski Lim (22:06.049)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (22:10.785)
Yeah, I mean, I’m not sure. Like, I feel like I’m at the point in the past week where I’m like, okay, like, I think I’m, I think I’m buckling down on, okay, I’m going full freelancer, like, like approaching the studios, approaching the agencies. And then hopefully, hopefully that some of the TV shows will come back because, because I worked on Emily in Paris before. And so that’s supposed to come back. So that’s going to like change.

Preston (22:28.418)
maybe a healthy way to look at it if I’m being honest. So you’ll have no shade coming your way from me on the staying at a one or anything like that.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (22:39.905)
That’s going to change my trajectory again. But yeah, I think like the marketing like routes have been going down is I put like a lot of focus into LinkedIn. I haven’t done that like cold outreach again, like I did before the warm cold outreach. So I could probably do that again. And just like staying on top of regularly emailing the people that I do now and just like kind of hoping to.

Preston (22:41.454)
There you go, we’ll start a new show, yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about where you are headed though and what I know you mentioned you maybe have a couple questions you’d like to brainstorm together, maybe get a second pair of eyes on some of the hurdles that you might be facing, even if you’re not going from a one to a five or anything like that, but what can I help you with as you come up on your next year of freelancing?

Kate Mrozowski Lim (23:09.217)
catch them at the right time. But yeah, like, what do you do like if there’s like, so like this, this past month, lol, like, has been like, okay, now I like I have like an income goal. But now I’m like thrown off on the income goal, because there wasn’t really any income from January. So I don’t know, do you do you believe in income goals or?

Preston (23:59.446)

Preston (24:35.054)
That’s a good question. I used to be like the three month, 12 month, five year, three year, five year goal setting kind of guy. And I’ve, I don’t know, I’ve just, and this is maybe easy for me to say because my business is clipping along, my family, we have three kids and we’re just, life’s just kind of moving for us, right?

Kate Mrozowski Lim (24:40.969)

Preston (25:02.734)
But I don’t set nearly as many goals as I used to. And particularly in my business, I…

So I guess if you ask if I believe in them, I think they can be powerful in some settings and for some people. For me, particularly like an arbitrary, like I want to make six figures or I want to double my revenue or I want to, depending on what it’s based in, I think it can be really helpful or really unhelpful. And I think when it’s unhelpful is like, let’s say I made $100 ,000 this year. And so I’m like, next year I’m going to make.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (25:12.713)
Oh yeah.

Preston (25:41.9)
200. Right? And there’s no basis for it. There’s no, there’s no like, what am I going to change to accompany that? It’s just like, I’m going to set this goal. And, and while I admire like the shooting for the stars sort of thing, and I think there’s definitely power in that. I do worry a little bit when people set arbitrary goals, just because we’re like, we’ll have lots of people who it’s like, in my first year of freelancing, I just, I just want to crack six figures. I just think it’d be so awesome in my first year of freelancing. And it’s like, well,

Kate Mrozowski Lim (25:43.009)
Yeah, yeah. And, and like, how much of it, like, I could kind of see that, that even though the industry was super slow, like, I was kind of able to kind of pivot into or like, find, find work and other types of industries. I guess there’s always that fear of like, it’s not gonna work again, you know, or like, am I?

Am I going down the right route? And I get off -tracked a lot because, and I guess like this is a question that I have is, so I have so much experience in TV, but now it seems like television industry is like changing so much and like, like is TV going to be around forever? Like are we going to, is everybody going to be watching YouTube or is everybody going to be on their phone? So I’ve been thinking about like learning some more.

Preston (26:09.23)
Do you need that much money? Right? Is that like, what’s that based in? Is that just, you just want bragging rights on LinkedIn to say in my first year of freelancing, I made a hundred thousand dollars. Like I think if goals are rooted in the right thing, kind of like we talked about with the size of your business, right? If it’s rooted in the right thing, then I think that can be really powerful. If it’s rooted in the wrong thing, like vanity or an arbitrary number, I think it can be really painful because your business can be doing fine.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (26:36.733)
UI for animation, but is that like too much of a sidetrack, you know?

Preston (26:37.23)
And yet maybe your goals are off now because your January was a little slower than you expected, but maybe January is always like that, right? So there’s just lots of factors to it.

Preston (27:12.11)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (27:13.057)

Preston (27:47.534)
Yeah, this is like that question of, of like, how much do I invest in the future versus what’s working now? But I think, I think in your field and take this with a grain of salt, because you know way more about your industry than I do in terms of like TV, movies, entertainment, all of that. I don’t work in that space. But, but I think like, you know, you ask, is TV going to be around? Well, I mean, arguably TV hasn’t been around. It hasn’t been the same for the last 15 years.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (28:00.801)
And that’s video content for TV or video content for marketing.

or both.

Preston (28:17.038)
Maybe, you know, like ever since Hulu came on the scene, maybe was the earliest like real disruption to TV. And now, you know, it’s not the same as it has been. Everyone has their own app. Fewer people have cable. You know, YouTube TV is now a big thing. And like, there’s just like all these elements to consider. But I think the core offering that you provide, which is like, I’m going to offer animations for these shows. I think shows will exist. Whether they exist on a

Kate Mrozowski Lim (28:40.553)
Yeah, yeah.

Preston (28:46.766)
a box on my living room, you know, console or whether they exist on my phone or they exist on my computer, whatever, they’re going to be there. And so the core work that you offer, I don’t think is going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, I think video content is growing. I know video content is growing. Um, so I don’t know.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (29:07.411)

Preston (29:13.486)
Hmm. I think I think video content in general is is growing. Yeah, I mean Again, you would know better but but it seems like it just kind of to me it kind of depends on how you define TV right because you know, mr. Beast Puts out a video and and it’s it’s on YouTube obviously and it gets millions and millions of views more than most television shows and yet You know, he still needs tons of animations done on his work

Kate Mrozowski Lim (29:36.513)
Yeah, and there’s like that human touch to it that it’s gonna, I mean, I don’t doubt that probably one day video will get good enough to where they can do AI, but I don’t think it’s coming in the next couple of years at least.

Preston (29:39.854)
So is that, and it’s a half hour, 45 minutes long, is that considered TV? So to say, is TV gonna be around? I don’t know, but certainly content creation, video content, I actually think with the proliferation of written AI content, I think that’s going down really quickly. I think video’s really gonna surge because video is…

Right now AI can’t generate really great fake video, whereas it can generate really great fake written content. And so I think content creators, I’m getting into the weeds so I apologize, but I think content creators who used to do a ton of writing might start doing more video because then you can prove that it’s authentic, it’s real, it’s really my voice, I’m really here with these ideas. Like thought leaders for writing anymore, it’s gonna get hard.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (30:11.135)

Kate Mrozowski Lim (30:27.041)
Yeah, I think I would still, personally, I would still hire a writer or like a copywriter to like help me with this stuff. Cause I like, I can’t do it. And then if I just put it into, into chat GPT, like write a thing of this, like it sounds so weird to me. I’m like, this is nothing like what I would write.

Preston (30:36.942)
because it’s like, well, AI might’ve written that or a real human being might’ve written that. But with video, it’s a lot harder to fake that.

Preston (30:47.118)
Yeah, exactly.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (30:50.313)

Preston (30:53.902)
Oh, absolutely.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (30:59.457)
Yeah, I mean, like that’s kind of I’m wondering if like at some point people are going to get over even if for like a temporary time get over the hustle culture because I think that that’s a product of it like how fast all of the technology changes and progresses. I wonder if at some point everybody’s gonna be like, okay, let’s chill out for a minute, you know.

Preston (31:01.294)
Yeah, I mean, there’s already like decent stuff, you know, it’s crazy what they can do with like talking head videos and things like that. And obviously CGI paired with AI, but like, I don’t know, I just think there’s an authenticity to video still that is hard to fake. Whereas writing, it’s getting very, very easy to fake that. And so if you were a writer and you were saying like, should I be worried? I’d be like, yes, you need to adapt now.

It’s maybe a little bit longer of a runway for you, but things change really fast, so who knows?

Preston (31:47.852)
Yeah, yeah.

It’s for sure not, it’s not 100 % yet, but it’s getting very, very good at it. And yeah, it’ll be really interesting to watch over the next few years, because it’s just like moving at lightning speed right now.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (32:06.505)

for sure.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (32:13.665)
Yeah, yeah, you do. I think that’s pretty much it.

Kate Mrozowski Lim (32:26.177)
Yeah, if you would like to see my work, my website is www .blendingmode .com. It’s B -L -E -N -D -I -N -G -M -O -D -E .com. And I’m always on LinkedIn. So it’s Kate Mirzowski -Lym. And I’m probably going to have to put my name in the show notes for the audience.

Preston (32:27.534)
I don’t know. It’s hard. It’s hard to know. Cause like every new generation that comes up, right? If we’re training them that like, you know, the hustle culture is the way to go. Plus when you’re plus when you’re younger, you have way more energy and like the hustle. I used to think the hustle was fun, right? But now, now I’m a little bit older. I got three kids. I got a family. I’m sort of like, yeah, other people can hustle. I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna steadily work on my business. Um, and don’t get me wrong. I work hard. I have long days every once in a while, but most days are pretty chill. I just,

Kate Mrozowski Lim (32:54.369)
Yeah. Thanks so much, Preston. Thank you. You too.

Preston (32:56.92)
work on my business, I maintain it, I grow it. So I don’t know, yeah, it’ll be interesting to see over time. I know there’s a lot more conversations happening in the entrepreneurship space around like mental health, not burning out, not hustling and grinding at all costs. So those are important conversations I think to be having.

Preston (33:18.286)
Well, what else is on your mind? Anything else today, Kate? It’s been a lot of fun chatting with you, catching up with you, hearing about your projects.

Preston (33:27.342)
Well, great. Let’s wrap it up there then. I really appreciate you coming on the show. Why don’t you update people on where they can connect with you if they want to hire you or learn more about your work?

Preston (33:58.636)
I’ll be sure to do that. It’s a lot easier to spell blending mode than to spell Kate Mirzowski limb. Okay, we’ll do that. Well, thank you so much. Yeah, it’s been a pleasure. Have a great day. Thanks everyone for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.

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Hosted by Preston & Clay

'Freelance to Founder' Podcast

Freelance to Founder is a unique call-in show helping real-life freelancers grow their businesses and escape the feast-famine lifestyle. The podcast is co-hosted by Clay and Preston, two former freelancers who have started, built, and even sold six- and seven-figure businesses of their own. Catch the Tuesday Q&A episodes, dive deeper with Thursday's call-in episodes, or join us on the air and take the next step on your journey from ... freelance to founder.

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