LFS data suggest there are an estimated 1.91 million freelance workers in the UK. There’s an element of freedom and convenience in going freelance that makes it an appealing lifestyle change for many, however, it does come with a bit of apprehension. Being a freelancer is a whole new lifestyle and being organised will help you be proactive in selling your skills and getting those contracts. We have some tips to help you become a better, more successful freelancer.
1) Market yourself and network
Learn to market yourself and to network—these skills are key to being freelance. Think of yourself as a business, because you are. Set up your personalised email, website, business cards and get a virtual office address to create credibility for your business. Get in touch with all your professional contacts and figure out ways to meet more of them, attending lectures or networking events and request introductions. Many contracts, jobs, and assignments in the UK happen through contacts rather than advertisements.
2) Use social media
Social Media is free and a great way to connect with potential clients, especially Twitter and LinkedIn. Get to know these platforms and use it as part of your ‘brand’. Your profile on social media is an extension of your CV and often the first thing that a commissioning editor will check out.
3) Get paid properly
When you’ve sold that article or agreed on that freelance contract, discuss a fee which reflects your knowledge and experience. You can always pitch high, and then agree to a lesser amount. But remember that it’s 40% cheaper for a company to use freelances as they aren’t responsible for providing sick pay, holiday pay, maternity leave or national insurance.
4) Don’t be afraid to say “no”
The worst thing about taking on everything that comes your way is that your plate may end up full, but with all of the wrong commitments. You’re stressed, anxious, and the worst part, now you’re left with no room to take on that golden opportunity. You can’t say yes to your ideal client if you never say no to the wrong ones.
Next time you get a project, don’t just reply with a yes. Really consider the opportunity, ask yourself those questions above, and proceed with a conscious decision for your future and wellbeing.
5) Time management and time off
You might have to work long hours sometimes. Other times it will be very quiet so use that period to plan for the future or relax. Worrying about an irregular income can dent your confidence in going freelance.
Are you a freelancer in South Wales? Or are you considering starting your own work-from-home business? Then a virtual office is a great place to start. Workbench’s virtual office service is ideal for businesses wanting a registered Cardiff address for a more professional image, rather than using a home address. It allows you to establish a Cardiff presence without the expensive office rent costs and the professional image can help you win more business. Call us on 01656 868 545 for more information.