Whilst studying Fashion Management at university, I tried my hand at styling, costume design and copywriting as side modules. Although I studied all of these skills simultaneously, I didn’t realise that I could apply a similar structure to my future career as a multi-disciplinary freelancer.
A lot of people think that being a freelancer is a walk in the park – I mean all we do is sit at home drinking tea in front of the computer, right? Definitely not right! Although there are, of course, plenty of perks to being a freelancer, it’s not all Cappuccinos in our PJs and things can certainly get frustrating.
Brexit, the most important negotiations for the United Kingdom in a generation, and freelancing have nothing in common, right? Wrong! There are many similarities that freelancers will have noticed whilst watching Britain’s exit from the European Union, but there are also many competencies that freelancers could teach the negotiators on both sides. Here are my top 5 negotiating skills that politicians could learn from freelancers to make the Brexit negotiations just a little less frustrating.
Where do freelancers find work? Online jobs boards are a great source as is building up a solid network of potential clients and contacts. When there's an App for everything and an overreliance on tech, it's easy to overlook the opportunities that are on your doorstep. Building up an active local network of fellow freelancers and potential clients enables you to tap into a community who can help you find work, recommend you to others, be there for those all-important slow-day-coffees and add to your client list. But how does one find the right people to surround themselves with?
Freelance Advice. It's everywhere. Blogs, sites, books, people. Everyone is offering their 2 cents when it comes to freelance advice. Can you remember the moment you thought ‘I know, I think I’ll become a freelancer’?. I’d imagine a feeling of liberation coursed through your entire body. Then there is the moment that feeling of excitement turns to reality. Now is the time to start planning.
Do you consider yourself to be a creative or business person? Can you be both? The relationship between art and business has always been tenuous - many artists see what they do as an endeavour of the spirit rather than a means for capital gain and as a result, expressions such as ‘sell out’ are all too often chucked around.
The idea of spending money on a mentor, particularly when starting out or freelancing part-time may seem like the last thing on your shopping list but it may just be the one investment that saves you the most money in your career.
The idea of not setting an alarm in the morning and working in my dressing gown all day really aided in my decision to become a freelancer. But when my workload went from eight to nine to ten hour days and I was dragged from pillar to post by new clients wanting to meet in person before working with me, I soon realised that freelancing wasn’t going to be such a breeze. And there’s plenty of other misconceptions to being a freelancer, here are a few you may have encountered: