Looking at the who, what, when, where and why of freelancing.
Written by Rose Scanlon-Jones for Flair
What defines a freelancer?
Well, Wikipedia’s definition is “‘A freelancer or freelance worker is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term.”
But, alas, you don’t need to drop your full time work to enter the freelance lifestyle. Many people keep their full time jobs and pick up odd freelance jobs alongside. There’s a difference between the Gig Economy and The Freelance Economy. But one thing that ties them together is the empowerment of the individual. You get to choose when you work, most of the time you get to choose how much money you make and what kind of work you’re going to do.
Before we get into the nitty gritty you may be wondering who I am and why I’m qualified enough to tell you all this. I’m Rose and I’ve been freelancing for many years, I’ve worked with a variety of different clients across London from tech startups to non-profits with the creative industries. My work has mainly revolved around marketing and helping companies build a solid community around them. I also do a lot of work with other freelancers and advise graduates on their future career paths.
Over the few months I’ll be writing for Flair on how you can empower yourself, beak away from the 9/5 work model and share your skills with others.
So let’s get down to it! The Who, What, When, Where & Why of freelancing!
Who can be a freelancer? Who can make the best out of the gig economy? Anyone can! You can even start doing odd freelance jobs alongside your full time job.
You may be curious as to what kinds of jobs are most common for freelancing?The most common ones are centred around work done on your laptop;
Writer / Journalist / Content Creator, Web developer / Coder / Programmer, Virtual Assistant, Marketing / PR, Social Media, Designer / UX Designer / Editor, Copy writing / Proof reading
What do you need to become a freelancer? An email address and a robust portfolio / website. You’ll also need a good business plan as you’ll be working for yourself — you are now your own business — treat it that way. Get a rough outline of what services and skills you can offer. You’ll also have to work out how much you’re going to charge for your skills. One way to ensure you’re charging enough and knowing your worth is by seeing how much others with your skills charge, but bare in mind daily rates change depending on your location and experience.
When is the right time to start freelancing? Whenever you please! If you’re looking to get some more income whether it be on the side of your full-time job; or just fancy branching out for a side hustle, you can become a freelancer at any time.
However, if you are looking to do freelancing alongside your full-time job, have an open discussion about it with your current employer. There may be some legality getting in the way of your freelancing and this new work could eat into your work time. Some employers are more open minded than others, but there’s a huge demand for employers to allow their employees room to breath and learn, part-time freelancing or having a side hustle could be the answer to reducing stress and boredom at work.
This will depend on what type of job you’re doing; could be a workshop, office, car…. most freelance jobs nowadays revolve around a laptop. If this is the case for you then you have many choices for where to work. Coffee shops, coworking spaces, quiet public spaces, your home.. anywhere with a good wifi connection and plugs basically.
Because you can break away from your boring 9-to-5 job. It offers you more freedom to find a work-life balance that suits you, allows you to network and grow your skills a lot quicker and better. There was a recent study done in America looking at the correlation between freelance work the growth of the economy. There is strong evidence that freelancers = happy workers who work hard = booming in different industries = economy booms.
Any last tips:
If you are thinking about taking the jump from full time job to freelancing make sure you do the following
- Don’t sever any ties your have to that company — one day you may want a reference from them or to return working for them. Just make sure when you leave to be professional and thank them.
- Have work lined up! The last thing you should do is jump into being fully freelance and not have any clients or work lined up. You’ll end up being miserable and broke.
- Make sure you have a rough idea of companies / clients you’d like to work for. Or at least keep any eye out for people who are hiring people with your skills.