Setting Yourself Up As a Freelancer

For many people, freelancing is a golden ticket to achieving a perfect work-home-life balance. Each person chooses to freelance to achieve different goals – some want to travel as much as possible, whereas others want to be their own boss and be in charge of their own workload. However, setting yourself up as a freelancer can feel a bit overwhelming.

As of 2020, there were an estimated 2.2 million freelancers in the UK with around 1.56 billion freelancers across the world. Each year, more and more people choose to take the freelancing leap and if you’re contemplating whether going freelance is for you, you are in the right place.

But how do you know if freelancing is actually for you? There are many factors to consider before deciding whether you want to freelance full-time.

Problems you may face as a freelancer

Like anything in the marketing industry, freelancing as a marketer is highly competitive and you should establish some sort of niche before jumping straight in head first. Here is a short roundup of problems you may experience being a freelancer.

  • Finding clients

Finding and maintaining clients is one of the most important things when it comes to freelancing. There are sites like Upwork and Freelancer that can be your best friend when looking for clients initially. 

  • Maintaining motivation and productivity levels

Freelancers within the marketing space often vocalise the struggle to motivate themselves working alone. Before you transition to freelancing, make sure you are aware of this and consider some boundaries and motivational methods you can prepare to put in place.

  • Difficult clients

As a self-employed one-man band, you will be in charge of everything from client introductory calls to content creation. For some people, this might be music to your ears but for others, it can be quite intimidating. If you are unsure of whether freelancing is for you, try and take the transition slowly and try it out part-time before committing yourself fully. This way, it’s easier for you if you decide freelancing is not your cup of tea. If you are dealing with difficult clients, seek help from other freelancers in your niche and decide how to deal with them based on others’ experiences. As you become a more experienced freelancer, it is likely that you will (hopefully) not have to deal with as many difficult clients as you could afford to be pickier with which brands you choose to work with.

The steps to setting yourself up as a freelancer

So, now you know the problems and barriers you may face, how do you actually set yourself up for a successful freelance career in marketing?

  •  Build your personal brand

Personal branding is on the rise, there is no doubt about it. Within the marketing industry, we are seeing more and more people building their personal brands and shouting about the benefits that have come with these efforts. Brainstorm what you would like to be known for in the marketing industry and base your personal branding strategy of these things. These topics can act as the content pillars for your personal posts.

  • Create a portfolio for your freelance projects

With freelancing can come a lack of job stability, which is why a freelance portfolio is important. As a freelancer, you are likely to juggle a lot of marketing campaigns at the same time so you ideally want a place to store all your success as a freelancer so you can show off your work if you need to build your client base. We have a portfolio template in our member’s area that can be used to do this. 

  • Register yourself as self-employed

Not knowing exactly how to register yourself as self-employed is one of the biggest barriers that people have when thinking about freelancing. It is so important to do this correctly. An accountant is a great investment and can help with tax returns and other legalities relating to freelancing. Whether you are considering freelancing on a full-time or part-time basis, you should look into how getting an accountant would benefit you.

  • Set your rates/packages

One of the huge barriers that prevent marketers from exploring the freelance world is setting their own rates. There are two main ways to price yourself as a freelancer in marketing – project-based pricing and hourly rates. There is no right or wrong way to price yourself, do whatever works for you and remember that you can always switch up your pricing strategy in future if needed. 

  •  Work out when and how you work best

Most people don’t fit the typical business boss stereotype that instils that you must be on your laptop at 5 am for twelve hours every day to be successful. If only success was that straightforward, right?! Consider when you work best and how can you set up your workload to reflect on these working habits. Online quizzes like personality tests can help you establish this and help develop a working schedule that may work best for you. Being your own boss is one of the most significant benefits when it comes to freelancing so definitely make sure you take advantage of completing work on your own terms if possible. 

Overall, freelancing is a great opportunity for marketers to explore new avenues and be in charge of their own workload. However, it is not for everyone and do not feel the pressure to ditch the 9 – 5 if that’s where you are happiest. Do whatever works best for you!

Want to find out more about freelancing? Head over to our podcast and listen to Fiona Bradley’s episode on Setting Boundaries as a Freelancer.