Vicki Wallis, The Fashion Business Coach and founder of Freelancing Simplified, shares her strategy & toolkit on the most essential soft skills for freelancers to secure satisfied and returning customers.
One of the key parts of a freelancer’s tool kit is their soft-skills as they can help you to navigate the freelance world safely, collaborate with others and hold onto clients for a long time. Since these social skills have a tendency to degrade over time, the recent pandemic lockdowns have left a lot of us trying to remember how to interact with others again. While you don't need to be a master conversationalist or an organisational guru, there are certain soft-skills that every freelancer should have in their repertoire.
Do you struggle to motivate yourself when you work from home? Do you hate working long hours alone in your living room for days on end? Though co-working spaces were designed as a solution to these very problems, they can often get very expensive to use on a regular basis. If you’re trying to save a few pennies and can’t take the isolation of remote working anymore, working from a coffee shop can provide you with a similar experience on a budget - along with the added benefits of endless coffee and comfier seating!
Those pesky hipsters got it right. There’s nothing quite like being there “before they were famous” and getting to watch somebody’s career journey as they develop their abilities and confidence. For a lot of industries, it can be hard to demonstrate the progress you’ve made since the beginning of your career but at the Freelancer Club, your profile is a great way to visualize the evolution of your work.
After the last few years of pandemic restrictions, it’s understandable that people are feeling a little disconnected from each other. This separation can often have an impact on our creativity, and stifle the growth of our businesses, whether as a freelancer or a client. While some may think that hiring a freelancer is all about matching their skills to a particular task, it’s equally important to determine the kinds of personalities that you enjoy working with. Cultivating strong, long-term relationships with compatible freelancers will always produce better results for your business.
Late payments or none at all? It’s the bane of every freelancer’s life. Time spent chasing invoices whilst keeping clients happy, struggling to pay bills due to cashflow issues and feeling a growing sense of resentment having worked so hard on a project. All is not lost. There are people out there supporting freelancers and fighting back. Liz Barclay, the Small Business Commissioner and a well-known broadcaster, is one of them.
Whether you’re a photographer, model, make-up artist, hair stylist, creative director, or videographer, you ought to have your work visually displayed in the best possible light. The humble portfolio is often the most important aspect of a job application and goes a long way to determine whether or not you get the job. It's also notoriously difficult to critique your own work and separate your personal connection to the work from an industry-standard visual representation of your ability. Portfolio review expert and editorial fashion photographer, Dino Busch, offers essential tips on preparing your portfolio and reviews real portfolios live with the freelancers present to offer their thoughts.
Before I begin, let me tell you that I do not intend to intimidate or cause panic, nor do I use the word “entrepreneur” in a literal way. That is to say that us freelancers need to be tech geniuses who can pinpoint a hole in the market, launch a startup, develop an app, attract tonnes of users, then secure some lucrative Series A Funding and very soon see our names in a Forbes Rich List. No, I don’t mean entrepreneurialism like this. I’m quite content still being a copywriter for hire.