Back to Blog Index

Freelance Advice with Jordan Bergren

No items found.

Going freelance can be a nerve-wracking decision. That's why we're asking a panel of incredibly talented freelancers for their tips on how—and when—to take the leap

Jordan Bergren took his passion for film and pursued it in all aspects for more than a decade. Along the way, he found a new love of motion design, adding a number of tools to his belt and becoming a more well-rounded creator. As a Motion Design Generalist, Jordan can take a project from concept to completion, putting individual care at each point along the way.

ArticleJordan 1-.jpg

We were fortunate to talk with Jordan before our live panel this week, so grab some popcorn and dive right in!

Interview with Jordan Bergren


I’m a remote freelance designer and animator based out of the midwest. I’ve been freelancing for two years but have been in the video industry for 14 years now.

There’s multiple goals I’m working toward.

On the freelance side: I set a personal goal for myself to figure out some way (while living in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA) to be able to watch my work on a streaming service while my wife and I have our nightly “ramp down TV time” together…

In the larger scheme: To build and grow Simplate into a thriving creative marketplace in which animators and designers around the world are able to develop a solid flow of passive income by selling quality video templates for ANYONE to use.


While I TRULY believe almost anyone can learn the skills needed to become a successful freelancer, I think it’s particularly enticing for those that have a touch of entrepreneurial interest. To me that simply means having the desire to be a self-sufficient professional that’s in control of their creative and financial future.


Without a doubt, those that are just starting out in motion design should hold off or look at other alternatives. In particular, finding a studio is ideal. However, like myself, I did not have access to any animation studios. So, even working with a video production company that needs some supplemental motion design is a great place to be, especially if it’s small. You might not get the hands on, one-on-one time with seasoned animators and designers, but that’s ok because you get to learn the process of creating video from the ground up. And of course, there are AMAZING resources online to learn the craft… you know like, what is it… School of Motion??


This is hard to speak to, as I’m really just a baby in the freelance world; two years isn’t a very long “professional” time. However, I could try my hand at it.

  • This isn’t sexy in creative and artistic terms, but having time to explore the business side of things has been super rewarding for me so far. To loop back around to the first answer—being able to confidently “guide your own ship” financially and strategically—is the number one positive that has come from my time freelancing so far. That’s knowledge and skills you can take with you the rest of your life, and are particularly handy when you, say… start your own company.
  • It’s been very interesting working with many amazing animators and studios. One of the things that has fascinated me is how everyone has their own production style and approach to creating a piece. There’s little nuggets you can take away from almost any booking you have. It really fills your creative arsenal with approaches and techniques, allowing you to (over time) figure out what works FOR YOU.
  • Again this is a business facing answer. Learning how to navigate, and network in this crazy virtual world we live in has been absolutely invaluable for me professionally. To think that you can go after your dream clients and work with your heroes without living in a major metropolitan hub is absolutely AMAZING, and quite frankly was not possible for a remote artist to accomplish not even a decade ago. This is another general skill that’s applicable to the rest of your professional career… whatever industry you might find yourself in.


Much of what has sustained me financially during my freelance tenure has been creating social media marketing videos for businesses. After many long, monotonous hours of making tiny minute tweaks and addressing change orders for clients, I thought there’s got to be a better way! So, I wanted to create an online platform where anyone (particularly non-video professionals) could easily create, iterate, and automate video online without sacrificing quality. This has all evolved into a plan for a full blown marketplace where motion designers, like myself could create expansive and well designed work to sell DIRECTLY to businesses, which would generate a stream of passive income. Yet another thing that I would have fully embraced when I first jumped into the freelance pool.


  • Number one issue - Balance: Balancing professional and personal life, paid work vs personal projects, creative vs business, and—in my situation—building a business in tandem with furthering my freelance career. I’m not sure optimal balance is ever attainable for ANYONE, but I do believe it’s possible to minimize the tilt in either direction. Balancing the scales when it skews too far in either direction is difficult enough, but keeping it up in perpetuity...THAT’S the toughest part.
  • This might seem silly if you haven’t spent any time freelancing, but one of the more difficult things I’ve had to adjust to is actually saying NO to work. While that is an AWESOME problem to have (when it happens), there’s definitely the constant nagging thought, “I shouldn’t turn this down, who knows if things will dry up in a month or two?” While some more seasoned freelancers than myself say that feeling never goes away, it has been a real challenge for me to tuck my worry hat in a drawer. In short: worrying and overthinking… it’s a b***h.
  • Being vigilant in always keeping your mind set on the future. This has historically been an issue for me as I tend to stew on past failures, but it for sure falls into the “constant and never changing category” of challenges.


Personal Projects. Personal Projects. Personal Projects.

Strive to find a balance that works for YOU on juggling personal and paid work. Out of all the things I’ve learned from Joey Korenman, I have found this to be the most empowering... you cannot wait for the perfect client.

If you dedicate your time to progressing your creative and artistic boundaries, it will come back to you tenfold as your career progresses. Many of the amazing opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to fall into, have been a direct result of me either putting in extra hours (when money is tight) or pushing off client projects to follow through on a personal project that’s in line with the kind of work I want to be getting paid to create.  

Freelance Panel

Did you enjoy this interview? Check out our Freelance Panel with all of our incredible freelance guests: Jazeel Gayle, Hayley Akins, Leigh Williamson, and Jordan Bergren.

Dive into real-time 3D with our Unreal Engine beginner's course by Jonathan Winbush. Master importing assets, world-building, animation, and cinematic sequences to create stunning 3D renders in no time! Perfect for motion designers ready to level up.

Explore this Course

Unlock the secrets of character design in this dynamic course! Explore shape language, anatomy rules, and motifs to craft animation-ready characters. Gain drawing tips, hacks, and Procreate mastery (or any drawing app). Ideal for artists seeking to elevate their craft.

Explore this Course

Elevate your freelance motion design career with our guide to client success. Master a repeatable method for finding, contacting, and landing clients. Learn to identify prospects, nurture leads, and develop a thriving freelance philosophy amidst chaos.

Explore this Course

Rev up your editing skills with After Effects! Learn to use it for everyday needs and craft dynamic templates (Mogrts) for smarter teamwork. You'll master creating animated graphics, removing unwanted elements, tracking graphics, and making customizable templates.

Explore this Course

Stand out with Demo Reel Dash! Learn to spotlight your best work and market your unique brand of magic. By the end, you'll have a brand new demo reel and a custom campaign to showcase yourself to an audience aligned with your career goals.

Explore this Course

Illuminate your 3D skills with Lights, Camera, Render! Dive deep into advanced Cinema 4D techniques with David Ariew. Master core cinematography skills, gain valuable assets, and learn tools and best practices to create stunning work that wows clients.

Explore this Course

Master After Effects at your own pace with Jake Bartlett's beginner course. Perfect for video editors, you'll learn to create stylish animated graphics, remove unwanted elements, and track graphics into shots. By the end, you'll be equipped for everyday AE needs and more.

Explore this Course

Revolutionize your Premiere workflow with customizable AE templates! Master creating dynamic Motion Graphics Templates (Mogrts) in After Effects to speed up your team's work. By the end, you'll craft easily-customizable templates for seamless use in Premiere Pro.

Explore this Course
Your download is in your inbox!!!
Check your email (spam, too) for the download link!
Please check the spam folder if you don't see the message within a minute or two. Google likes to hide your downloads, sometimes.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The freelancer’s guide to finding, booking, and keeping clients.

Drive your freelance motion design career to the next level with a repeatable method of finding, contacting, and landing clients. You’ll learn new ways of identifying prospects and nurturing leads, plus how to develop a freelance philosophy that keeps you thriving through chaos. See this system in action so you can implement it yourself!