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

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6 Why do creative businesses hire freelancers?

The Creative Freelancers report (Easton and Cauldwell-French, 2017) asked more than 50 creative businesses ‘Why do you hire freelancers?’ and their responses can be summarised in the five points below.

Creative businesses need freelancers:

  • when specific skills are needed for certain projects
  • to increase capacity for specific projects or at particular times of the year
  • to access a wider pool of diverse, creative talent and up-to-date industry knowledge
  • because working freelance suits those they want to hire
  • because it’s a financially driven decision.
The word ‘opportunity’ spelled out

Simply Business (Delves, 2017) offers advice for any business looking to hire freelancers. If you look at this advice, summarised in Table 2, from a freelancer’s perspective, you can gain some useful insights.

Table 2 Advice for businesses hiring freelancers from a freelancer’s perspective
Advice for business (Delves, 2017) Freelancer’s perspective

Specialist websites that offer to match you with a freelancer (and a quick Google search will identify many of them) often pay low rates, so experienced freelancers tend to avoid them.

These sites can help to get you started at the beginning of your freelance career. Although it will usually be for low pay, you can add the work to your CV as evidence of your growing experience and this can help you to secure better paid work.

Use your professional network to find someone who comes recommended.

Build your network as this will get you work. You’ll explore this in more detail in Week 3.

It can be risky for small business and freelancers to work without a contract in place so it’s a good idea to have one signed before work begins or money changes hands.

Make sure you have a contract in place that clearly shows how much you will be paid, what work is expected and for how long.

Understanding the perspective of your potential clients can be useful when promoting yourself and your work – you’ll consider this in more detail in Week 5.