We’re seeing a shift in working behaviours both from employers and employees. In a world where working from home is now the norm, it begs the question, are we better off freelancing for lots of different companies? Especially with the uncertainty that lies ahead, is it better to have multiple revenue streams rather than just relying on one company? If you’re considering freelance but don’t know where to start, we’ve put together some tips for you.
Reach out to your contacts and connections
Never underestimate the power of your contacts and colleagues! You will have most likely gained experience in the industry you’re looking to freelance in. Think about who you learnt your skills from or connected with during your experience, can they help with advice, give you a reference or even recommend you to businesses looking for support? Don’t forget the power of LinkedIn either, posting information about your new business could potentially be seen by thousands. We recommend that you reach out to all the relevant people you feel that can help you, you never know what they can offer you, unless you ask!
Setting up your business
If you’ve never run a business before it might be worth partaking in a course to help with this, Natwest offer some business support tools for people seeking to set up a new business. It’s worth doing your research, setting up your details with HMRC and using an app like Quickbooks to set your accounts up. This will all be easier to keep track of the earlier it is set up.
This then leads on nicely to picking a suitable rate for your services, this can often be the trickiest bit. It’s good to do some research about what other freelancers are charging in your industry, also take into account their length of experience compared to yours as this can often increase the cost. Don’t ever price yourself too low, you will end up regretting it and it could lead to a bad relationship with your client. Another way around this is to create a hybrid costing model, if you’re looking to go into marketing freelance work, you could look at charging a higher amount for strategy and branding and then a lower rate for things like social media. This is all completely up to you, but always have a reason for your costings and try and create a portfolio of your previous work to help.
Building your brand
Now onto the exciting bit, how are you going to build your brand?
This is when you can decide what you will call your business. It’s good to get an idea of what kind of look and tone you’re going for. You can quite easily get this across on social media so ensure you set up or update LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. It would also be an idea to get some business cards created to hand out at events.
Onto events, make sure you attend anything relevant to get your name out there. Networking is one of the most powerful tools and is an easy and low cost way of getting work. In these times, actual events may be few and far between, but you can sign up to relevant virtual events.
Making a plan and routine
Although you may have got used to working from home over the last few months, it might be hard to motivate yourself with setting up a business in the first instance. It’s extremely important to develop a plan of how you’re going to get yourself off the ground. Prepare a list of priorities and make a timeline of what you want to achieve and when by.
It’s also important to set up some structure to your working day at home, as it can be difficult to motivate yourself when it’s just you. Ensure you’re taking regular breaks from your desk and have a start and finish time to your day. It’s also important to eat well to ensure your energy levels are consistent throughout the day and you don’t face an afternoon slump. Create a dedicated work space if you are working from home, this will help you differentiate between work space and personal space. You can find more work from home tips here.
Never stop improving your skills
To stay relevant, ensure you’re constantly keeping up to date with the news in your industry and any new advances in technology. This is exactly what your competitors will be doing so you want so make certain you don’t fall behind. It will also mean that you can offer better products to your clients which may help you win pitches.
Starting a business is never easy, but that’s the good thing because not everyone will do it! If you have the skills, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t go freelance, especially in a time where more and more companies will be looking to hire freelancers over employing someone on a permanent contract. If you have any questions about setting up your marketing freelance business, please contact us here.