Thinking of taking the step of getting into freelance work? You aren’t the only one. According to IPSE the freelance sector in the UK has grown by more than 25% in the past decade, generating around £109 billion a year.
The freelance lifestyle may have garnered a somewhat unfair reputation for being predominantly one of pyjama-wearing, being messy-haired, and often unshowered, but for companies like Google and ASOS, over 50% of their team in the UK are freelancers. Clearly, professional freelancing shouldn’t be underestimated, and here are list of just some of the work you could take on from the comfort of your own home:
- Editing and article writing
- Graphic Design
- Data Entry
- Virtual Personal Assistant
- Business Development
- Data Analyst
- SEO/PPC/Social Media
- Make up artist
Before you start looking for freelance work
So, you’ve decided that the freedom of being able to set your own timetable, work wherever you like and the chance to choose which work you do is exactly what you want to do full-time. Or, perhaps you are looking for a little extra income on top of your day job, and want to seek further professional development opportunities and greater overall fulfilment from life. Well, first things first, before you do anything else you should really consider the following.
Map out your lifestyle
The world of freelancing requires preparation. If you are considering leaving your job to become a full-time freelancer, it’s incredibly important that you map out all the commitments and financial responsibilities you have that are non-negotiable. Freelancing work is known for many things, and unfortunately this includes its propensity for work irregularity and uncertainty. You need to ask yourself: would you be able to afford your mortgage or rent if you had a few slow months of work? Do you have savings that could help you if things got financially difficult? Difficult questions, but ones you need to answer.
Set out a routine
Yes, you could very well decide to wear pyjamas all day, and lounge on the sofa eating cereal out of the box whilst freelancing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you might find that this is not particularly conducive to getting into good working habits.
Write down what your working hours are, get up and dressed as if you were going to the office that day, make sure your working area is clean and tidy, and stick to your routine as much as possible. You will feel both mentally better for doing so and most importantly, you will achieve the work that you want to. Structure is essential for freelancing.
How to get freelancing work:
Before starting your job search, it’s worth considering if you have any previous clients or personal connections that might be helpful. They could put you in contact with someone about freelancing work. They do so it’s not what you know, but who you know after all! Additionally, using social media resources such as Twitter by signing up for updates and following freelance accounts, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook are good ways to get going with freelancing. Who knows what will come of it!
Upwork is one of the biggest freelance job sites in the world, having grown in size since emerging with two other smaller freelance sites, Elance and oDesk. The site now has over 1.5 million clients, which has both its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, there is an enormous variety of freelancer jobs available to you across different sectors and dependent upon level of experience. There are both short and long-term projects available as well, giving you greater flexibility. However, its huge client base means there will be plenty of competition for jobs, and pay per job can differ widely.
PeoplePerHour allows you to search easily and quickly for jobs that can start immediately, with some even just being one hour positions! Similar to UpWork, there is considerable range and flexibility of freelancing jobs. This could be anything from doing a logo design for a coffee shop, to Spanish medical translations or blog writing, the opportunities are endless! There is also the option for designers to pitch their work to clients.
Consider looking at specialist websites
Sites like Upwork and PeoplePerHour are excellent if you are just getting started, or want to work on a variety of different projects. However, if you can specialise in your field of work it’s likely you’ll be able to make more money. The best and better paying clients are more likely to use specialist freelance sites as opposed to ones for the mass-market. Here are a couple worth considering:
Keen to find freelance writing and editing jobs? Contently might just be the site you are looking for. Contently bridges the link between brands looking for content writers and eager journalists, and rates tend to be fairly high if you nab a position.
If you are looking for IT freelancing work ,Elevate is definitely worth considering. With clients including Audible, Bupa, The Met Office and Johnson and Johnson, Elevate puts you in contact with clients quickly and efficiently, with no recruiters involved.
More creative ways
Try posting on social media and ask if anyone is looking for freelance work. Facebook and Linkedin are going to be great here because you are essentially opening your services up to several hundred or thousand of people for free. Plus, friends and relatives are always there to help and you will be surprised how many people will recommend you or put your services forward.
It also positions you as a freelancer or expert in that industry, making people remember you for the future. So consider posting updates on your social pages too as a reminder to people who you are and what you do. Consider posts like:
“Is anyone looking for a copywriting freelancer? Tag below”
“Tag someone who needs copywriting. Thank you”
If you are feeling bold, you can also go the door-to-door route, especially if your services appeal to the masses. This includes the likes of photography or web design, you can certainly knock on doors of companies on your high street or in the area who may be in need of your services. Plus, there is a bit camaraderie if they see that you are locally based and available.
This door-to-door approach can be multiplied with the use of flyer and leaflets. Whether you do a ‘drop’ into local stores or put them through letter boxes. This has been effective for the likes of personal trainers, gardens and those offering personal finance services.
If you need freelance work, consider going through an agency. The only beef is that you will have to pay them a referral fee. But sign up with enough and you will have a steady flow of jobs coming through. Other than recruitment agencies, try find agencies that offer complimentary services. For instance, if you know some web designers, ask them if they need graphic designers or SEO people. They can send you work and you can send them, creating a neat partnership.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can get going with freelancing and find a job you will absolutely love, so why not start looking now? If you want to work with us at GuarantorLoans.com, we are always looking for freelancers! Feel free to get in touch.