Setting up as a freelance Creative

Written by Daisy Osborne 

Ever imagined being your own boss, selecting your own projects with the flexibility to travel whenever it suited you? Who hasn’t! Freelancing has the potential to be extremely lucrative with the freedom to work remotely whilst managing your own work schedule. Here’s how to get started…  

Compile a portfolio 

Having a portfolio is essential for securing work. Employers want a feel for your creative vision to decide if you are suitable for their project. It is important to include samples of your best work at a high standard, make a digital copy accessible via your Linked In. Showcasing your talent will increase all employment opportunities. 

Define and differentiate your brand 

It is impossible to be the best at everything, so find your niche. Offering expertise in your specialism will build a loyal client base and limit your competition. Define your clients to guarantee that suitable services, prices and messages are being delivered. To understand your market from a consumer/client perspective identify your competitors. It will also help identify areas of improvement, opportunity and threat. 

Marketing 

Creative marketing strategies will capture your audience’s attention making you stand out, be recognised and retain clients. Build an online presence by incorporating the vision and values of your brand identity. Social media is a free tool for marketing that enables direct access to the consumer. Up to date content will keep you relevant and continuous engagement will encourage the relationship to grow. Classic marketing can still be successful but not as cost effective, most interactions will be via social channels such as Instagram account or a professional website. Remember that content is king and first impressions count. 

Network 

The age old saying ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know’ comes into play. Developing relationships within the industry can support your growth in confidence, skills and status. Attend and enjoy industry events, following up on new connections afterwards. Memberships can allow likeminded creatives to share their talents and bounce ideas off of each other. ‘The Coven Girl Gang’ is an online community with +950 business founders and freelancers to make friends, build connections and learn from each other in business workshops. Never underestimate the power of networking, they may be the contact for your next project!  

Finance 

Determining a rate can seem daunting when starting out. Most rates are worked out on experience but can be propelled by demand for further insight research what your competitors are charging. It is better to bill for services rather than time and don’t undercut rest of industry or it will drive the rates down. You won’t want to work hard for little in the long run. When deciding your worth remember factor in expenses, insurance and memberships to unions/professional body’s. Failing to do so may leave you falling short.  

Getting clients  

Freelancers do not have the guaranteed security of work like an employee. Pitching for projects against competitors will be the new norm. Echo the client’s desires, beliefs and fears. Confirm your value in their investment and emulate confidence.  When negotiating agree your fees, availability and deadlines. Get all proposals signed off to avoid any issues later. 

Keeping clients 

A steady stream of reliable income stems from repeat business. In the beginning be available, keen and dependable with your time management. Reputation is everything. Keep in touch with clients after a project finishes and don’t be afraid to ask for appraisals to use as references.  

Get Started 

Above all else consistency is the key to success. Start a business plan and finalise the legal aspects. Organisation will maximise your efficiency allowing you the freedom to live your dream career with no regrets. Now you have the know how’s, the rewarding life as a freelancer awaits you… 

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