So, you want to become a freelancer…

Luan Wise - Blog ImageReading Time: 2 minutes

 

 

I’m often asked for advice from people researching a freelance career, so I thought it was time to put my answers into a blog!

Back in 2012 I was lucky enough to included in The Drum’s Top 50 Creative Freelancers (unfortunately they haven’t produced this listing since). As part of the feature they asked some great questions, including:

What are the benefits of being a creative freelancer

What are the biggest challenges of a freelance career

More recently I was asked about the lessons learned from being a freelancer and it was here I included my top tip – network, network, network.

My network is the most valuable business asset  – I treasure it and value it highly. When I started freelancing (September 2011) I informed my network, received a referral and had my first new client within 2 weeks.

I work hard to regularly stay in front of my audience – no matter how busy I am. (All too often you find people networking when they have gaps in their diary… then they disappear as soon as they get busy… and the cycle continues.)

Face-to-face networking takes times, and the opportunity needs to be maximised. Don’t forget to start your networking before you go, and follow up afterwards.

I use social media daily – as a source of information. If you’ve heard me speak, you’ll understand that I affectionately use the term ‘professional stalking’ 🙂

By ‘listening’ I know what’s going on in my marketplace and my network. I also use social media to share content I think my audience will find of interest, and to share the content I find valuable (and in turn hope my audience will too).

I believe that one of the keys to being a successful freelancer (and marketer) is to keep learning. I always have my head in a book and I’ve constantly got a bunch of pdf downloads on my desktop to read.

My top reading recommendations right now are anything by Seth Godin (I attended a live Q&A session with him November 2015) – he’s an inspiration.

Godin also has an excellent Udemy course for freelancers.

I would also recommend The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister et al and Business Networking by Will Kintish.

What other advice can I share?

Finally, this video from Crunch Accounting (another great freelancer resource) highlights a few things that most freelancers wish they’d known from the start. It contains some really great advice.