There are a number of people who have seen the pandemic as a blessing in disguise; the perfect opportunity to take the leap of faith into freelance work; the chance to be their own boss, call the shots and pursue work they’re truly passionate about.
A large part of our community is made up of wide ranging freelancers. Going self employed is a dream for many and we’re glad to welcome such a diverse group of people and skills in The Northern Affinity. With this in mind, we thought who better to ask for tips for those going freelance, than those who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt.
Find a strong support network.
This is something that came up time and time again. Anyone going from a bustling company to go it on their own can miss the hustle and bustle and support of their colleagues.
‘It’s a lonely place so make sure you have a good support group around you’
It makes the world of difference knowing you have a diverse and supportive network of like minded individuals you can lean on for advice. You’ll also increase your likelihood of collaborations and also, you’ll just learn an awful lot about other industries outside your own. What’s not to love?
‘The freelance network is amazing – I feel like I have finally found a place I belong after years of feeling like an outsider. So much camaraderie, support, help, cheerleading and virtual brews (and biscuits). Prepare to be asked what your favourite biscuit is – it is a hot topic in the freelancing world.’
Us Brits aren’t always that transparent about talking money. But how do we know if we’re getting it right if we can’t discuss these things? First time freelancers have a habit of under selling themselves. Know your worth and don’t be embarrassed about charging what you’re worth.
There’s lots of useful guidance out there about calculating your rates. You might find an hourly rate isn’t actually suitable for you. Take a look at this handy article from the Freelancers Union.
Be open to trying new things.
Like with anything new, it can take a little while to find your flow. It might take some trial and error before you land on exactly what your offering is. You might even find that your freelance career takes you in a different direction entirely!
‘Try to avoid the temptation to just keep your head down, get your work done and get money in . Keep exploring opportunities to connect with others both within and outside of your industry, be open to reading and learning generally about business and marketing (not just your industry).’
In the first instance, you’ll need to be your whole business; the marketer, the accountant, anything! So it’s good to keep an open mind. Read as much as you can. Ask trusted colleagues and friends for advice. Don’t be afraid of exploring outsourcing opportunities. We can’t all be the bees knees at everything.
‘Be open to trying new things – it can bring a wealth of new opportunities you didn’t expect! For example, I have worked in industries and areas that I hadn’t before, written for an industry journal, do live interviews and broadcasts, and developed new services.’
Business communities and networking groups are ideal for budding freelancers. You never know who’s around the corner that could help you learn, grow your business or that you could work with in the future.
At The Northern Affinity, collaboration is at our core. We’re here to help you make those connections so you can do what you love to do. After all, love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life, right?
For more information on becoming part of The Northern Affinity, please contact us today.