Starting out as a freelancer can be tricky, especially the thought of the transition between externally employed work and venturing out on your own. In this blog we give you 5 helpful tips for starting out as a freelancer and making your move into the world of self-employment.
To begin with, make sure you’re taking this big step at the right time in your career. Take a look at the profiles of similar freelancers, how does your experience stack up? How much do you think you could charge; and can you make enough money to support yourself? Take a look through a few popular freelancer sites and benchmark your freelance hourly rate.
Many people forget, when considering a freelance career, that you are essentially becoming a one-person business. You will therefore need to practice many areas of business you may not have touched on before: insurance, contracts, finances, etc… Not to mention the paperwork involved in setting yourself up! Take a look at Shake for legal documents and Fiddle to set up you very own business model. On top of this, you’re entering into the complex world of tax – so consider hiring an accountant to help you get the most out of your new business. The team at Warr & Co will have plenty of advice and resources for you to take advantage of, so do feel free to speak to them.
You will most likely be considering joining various freelancer websites already, but remember, there’s more to marketing yourself than creating a few online profiles. Could you benefit from a website? Should you set up a Twitter account for your professional persona? Write a blog and show prospective clients that you not only know your specialist area inside out, but that you have a real passion for your work and give them an idea of who you are as a person.
To truly establish yourself, you’ll want to set yourself up as a brand; consider a logo, tone of voice and define your target client.
Start small and collect testimonials
Many new freelancers are asked to complete work for free in return for networking opportunities, positive reviews, etc… Don’t be tempted, these offers are rarely worth it. What you can do is to lower your fee for the first 12 months and collect clients, experience and positive testimonials by undercutting the competition. Once you’re established as a freelancer you can push your rates up – everyone has to start somewhere.
Connect with other freelancers
You’re about to join a community of lone-workers, everyone needs friends, so why not socialise in-person or on-line with people in a similar line of work? You’ll find that the competition can often be very supportive, helpful and generous with advice.
Some predictions have estimated that more than 50% of UK workers could be self-employed by 2020 with the freelance industry growing by 36% since 2008! Contributing an estimated £30 billion per year to UK GDP our predictions are that freelancing will be more in-demand over the next few years thanks to Brexit as companies become more cautious with their full-time hiring decisions.
If you’ve found our tips for starting out as a freelancer helpful, but you want to learn more, why not call our friendly team for a free no-obligation chat about what you’ll need to know to make your dreams of becoming your own boss a reality? 01614776789 / 02031741436