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A freelance career in the creative arts
A freelance career in the creative arts

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3 Taking the leap

A silhouette of a person leaping from one rock to another with the sun setting in the background.

A freelance career can bring many benefits; however, it is also important to be aware of the potential challenges that you might face. Below are ten tips, largely drawn from Sten (2019), on how to achieve success and happiness as a freelancer:

  1. Establish your goals – know why you’re choosing freelance work and know what your goals are.
  2. Save up a financial buffer – anticipate two to three months without a regular income, or plan to maintain more regular employment alongside your freelancing to give you added financial stability.
  3. Have clients ready – try to have a couple of clients on standby for when you’re ready to begin.
  4. Plan your days – set real, actionable tasks that you need to complete.
  5. Find your niche – the quicker clients can understand exactly what you do, the faster they’ll know you’re the right person to hire or collaborate with.
  6. Make the most of friends and colleagues – if you can get your network to advocate for you (through word of mouth, business social media site, introductions etc.), you will see immediate benefits.
  7. Engage with online networks – find out where your potential clients hang out online and try to pitch in, perhaps by giving some free advice. You’ll also get to hear about their opportunities and learn about networks they are part of.
  8. Pay extra attention to recurring clients – the easiest way of keeping busy all the time is to keep the clients you already have.
  9. Play the long game – meetings don’t always yield immediate results.
  10. Learn to swallow your pride – sometimes you have to start a bit lower down the food chain.

Sten refers to social media platform LinkedIn as a useful networking tool. You’ll learn more about it in Week 5.