Freelance work gives you freedom and flexibility to work at different companies and on diverse projects and brands without committing to one employer. But it’s not for everyone - it is a career choice without the guarantee of a monthly salary.
Freelance is also a great choice if you have been made redundant or don’t feel sure about where you want to work. You can ‘try before you buy’ and your employer can try you before they buy you, reducing any risk and increasing the chances of a happy employment marriage.
Tips to make freelance work for you:
- Chat with people who are successfully freelancing, pick their brains and jump up the learning curve, learning from their mistakes and successes
- Get some solid experience and credibility behind you. Having some well-known names of employers and brands helps to give you a sound foundation
- Create a clear and impactful CV or portfolio and have some business cards printed which ooze quality and don’t say ‘cheap’
- It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is a commonly used phrase. Create and build a network of contacts. Phone them regularly and support them and they’ll be more likely to remember and call you when they have a need. Phone them and tell them about your last freelance project and ask them if there’s anything coming up that you can help with
- Have a good support system with other self-employed freelancers who you can meet up with socially so that you don’t feel isolated and network with and through them. This is especially important if you are freelancing from home rather than in the office
- Attend industry events so that you can see and be seen by key contacts
- Read the trade press and keep an eye out for new business wins and moves so that you can take a targeted approach to potential projects, flagging up your relevant sector experience and specialist skills
- Be efficient with your invoicing. Send them out promptly and keep chasing to keep your cashflow healthy
- Set up a savings account so that you build up a buffer for the quiet times
- Choose not to worry about getting work. You want to enjoy the benefits and freedom of being freelance, not be shackled by fear and uncertainty of where your next project is coming from
- Begin making enquiries about possible projects before your current project comes to an end
- Keep your CV or portfolio up to date and create case studies that you can mail or email to current and new contacts
- Take time out to reflect on what projects you are doing, any lessons, and update your skills and knowledge via continual professional and personal development. Don’t work back-to-back all year and get exhausted or, even worse, ill
- Always be professional, smart and do a good job. You are only as good as your last project
- Remember that you are paid for your time, so remain focused and productive, don’t waste time
- Make an effort to be friendly with full-time employees as they could be a future commissioner of you
- Collect business cards along the way and add to your database
- Make sure that you have a good and mobile information system so that you have everything at your finger tips as you move around
So why wait? Begin you search now for the latest freelance jobs in PR.