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#freelancelife might be the most misleading hashtag on Instagram. Invariably, it accompanies images of coffee and a great view, or cosy PJs on a cold Monday morning. However, being a freelancer isn’t an easy life – the reality is that, while you don’t have a boss or the requirement to show up to an office every day, it’s a lot of work and can be a huge risk. So, how do you make sure you succeed at it?
Being successful at freelancing means ensuring that there is actually a market for what you’re offering. There are currently some 4.8 million people in the self-employed sector, according to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE). 42% of those are freelancers. Freelancers make up around 6% of the total UK workforce. So, if you’re thinking of going freelance you’re not the only one to be trying to make a success of it.
Over the past decade, the fastest growing sectors for freelancers have been healthcare, artistic, literary and media, as well as sports and fitness. However, it’s possible to freelance in almost anything today, thanks to more agile working styles, as long as the market is there.
If you’re assessing the top careers on a financial basis then freelance lawyers, investment consultants and software developers top the tables with average salaries of £40k – 60k. However, a freelance yoga instructor can make as much as a freelance business consultant (£37k – 38k) and also the same as a web or interiors designer. For those looking at lifestyle desirability as a way of judging the top careers for freelancers the situation is slightly different. Photographers, musicians and actors tend to top the desirability polls, followed by architects, designers and landscapers.
If you’ve identified a market for what you can offer it’s crucial to begin developing the necessary skills if you don’t already have them. Anyone considering employing you on a freelance basis will want to see:
You’ll also need to ensure that you have everything prepared to start your first job, such as any key equipment and a space where you can work. Many freelancers start out working on their sofa or kitchen. However, there are a range of options if you’re looking for something more professional – or with networking opportunities – such as co-working spaces.
To get the work you need you must make yourself as visible to as many relevant people as you can:
Then consider an unsecured loan from Selfy Loans: a loan company dedicated to helping those who are freelance, self-employed or are sub-contractors.
You don’t want your success to be short-lived. This is your personal business so treat it as one and apply these rules:
Being freelance takes guts and hard work. However, if you do manage to establish a life like this it can be a great way to live, as well as very rewarding.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read about Alex Hartley
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