Those of you seeking the life of self-employment have come to the right place, This Is It! will take you through the procedures of becoming your own boss.
Before you decide to say goodbye to the workforce to embark on the joys of self-employment, you have to declare your decision to the old Gov through HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It’s simply a way to regulate your conducting business above board, that means no cash in hand or doing a Wesley snipes (tax evasion). The government needs to keep tabs in order to combat an underground economy(unreported earnings), so make sure you start off your new life as a freelancer in compliance with the law.
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing is simply an exchange of a skill for payment, in exchange for your skills a client commissions work, said work can come under an array of fields. Payment is usually received by the hour, day or a deposit is payed upfront and the rest on completion of the project. Most freelancers typically hold a short-term contract with their clients. The origin of the word Freelance is an interesting one, it derives from the word ‘Free Lance’ a term given to Knights during the middle ages, who had no commitment to a lord.
You are essentially a one man band-a solo company, that means you’re the receptionist, administrator, accountant and the service provider all rolled into one, having a rounded skill-set is very important in the life of a freelancer. In a market saturated with self-employed creatives, standing out from the rest of the crowd can be a very difficult thing to do. That’s where branding comes into play, in order to standout and give yourself a good running chance of succeeding, you must execute perfect brand aesthetic. Keep in mind these important questions:
1) Who is my target audience and intended market?
2) What fees should I charge and what budgets can I realistically work within?
3) How many clients can I take on at a time?
You should not only rely on a social media presence to drive in custom, marketing in person can be hugely effective, if not the best way to get brand recognition. People tend to enjoy one-on-one interaction, networking gives you a platform that allows you to let your personality shine through. You are your brand and nothing can represent you better than yourself. Through networking, potential clients are able to make inquiries and receive direct response straight from the horses mouth. This allows them to gauge if you’re the type of person they want to work with. Present the best you possible, a few “yes darlings”, “fabulous observation” and “have you noticed the subtle nuance…” wouldn’t go a mess.
You are ultimately branding yourself so a perfect place to start developing your brand elements is through brainstorming. Break down your brainstorm into 5 sections then branch off e.g Skills-social skill, digital skills, etc. Make sure you stay consistent throughout your brand identity, listed below are staple brand elements.
Note: A major thing people seem to forget is the appropriateness of their email addresses. Babylove91@gmail.com just wont cut it, it’s time to upgrade, find something more appropriate for the professional world of business.
Sites to get started on
Peopleperhour: is a particular favourite, they have a system set up that keeps both freelancer and client happy. You don’t have to wait for a client to find you, you can do the leg work and hunt through client proposals.
Freelancer: uses a bid system, potential clients post a project and you bid against other freelancers for the job.
Getacoder: for tech head freelancers Getacoder is the perfect middleman to find clients on.
Envelop: if you’re a dab hand at illustration or photography, Envelop is for you. They offer an online print-on-demand platform, you upload your images and choose from an array of materials to print on.
Trendy Office space
Google campus: is located in the heart of London’s art scene. Google campus offers not only a work space but a constant flow of networking and speaking events.
Office Club Peckham: offers Incubator space in London’s new hotspot, the new hipster hangout, Peckham. If you like up-cycled furniture and local street food this office space will be just up your street.
UK Jelly: is a workspace event, you can find a jelly event in your local area and if one doesn’t exist there is an option of setting one up. Jelly events offer free WiFi and parking with small charges made for food and drink.
Dukes Studios: This northern beauty is both cosy and super contemporary. If the website doesn’t scream cool and on trend, the office interior sure does.
Ziferblat: is one of the quirkiest spaces on this list, at 3p a minute it’s also the cheapest. The brain child of Russian artist Ivan Mitin, this coffee/workspace chain is a winner, a rare space where everything but time is free.
Fruitworks: is one of the fastest growing work spaces in the South East of England.
Central Working-Deansgate: offers flexible renting with no hassle of a lease, Central working also have four offices in London.
CampusNorth: is a Newcastle based hub dedicated to helping the growth of digital startups, they have a varied membership package.