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

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2 What support do I need?

In Week 2 you started to look at the personal skills you will need in order to develop a successful freelance career, and you carried out a skills audit (Activity 2) to help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses.

A sign with directions to: Help, Support, Advice, Guidance, Assistance and Info.

This week, you’ll identify sources of support to help you address any weaknesses you want to improve on.

Activity 2 What skills do I need to develop?

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Look back at your personal skills audit from Week 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . In the box below, list all the skills and attributes you identified as needing development, or where you have no experience yet.

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Now decide on the ones you want to prioritise. There might be some skills that you can focus on a bit further down the line, but there will be some that you want to build on now. List your top three priorities in the box below.

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Discussion

What did you choose? Did you focus more on self-development, e.g. self-awareness and self-confidence, or were you mainly concerned with developing some of the more practical skills, e.g. financial skills or use of technology? Could you do with boosting a specific area of your skillset, such as your written communication skills?

Having an idea of your main areas for development will help you to identify the right organisations or individuals to support you in the next stage of your self-employment journey. For example, there might be business courses available within your local area that could address some of these needs.

As well as personal skills or attributes, it’s important to have good knowledge of the practices and processes involved in setting yourself up as a freelancer. This knowledge may include, for example, how to set yourself up legally as a freelancer or how to market your business idea. You may feel your understanding of these practices and processes is limited in these early stages. The next short activity will focus your attention on those practicalities.

Activity 3 Knowledge gaps I need to fill

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Use the box below to outline any gaps in your knowledge or experience that you can think of and which you need to fill before you take the next step in setting up as a freelancer.

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Discussion

You might have included knowledge about a range of practical issues, including:

  • tax returns
  • premises
  • insurance
  • sales
  • marketing
  • social media
  • personal finance, e.g. managing your finances or organising a pension.

This course will offer you guidance and support on where to start with many of these topics, but there are websites and individuals who can help you with each of these things too. You must ultimately decide whether you want to undertake them yourself or pay someone else to do them for you. For example, an accountant can help you work on your tax returns, or you may plan to take the ‘self-help’ approach through reading books, using specialist apps or undertaking online courses.

In the next section, you’ll focus on some of the organisations that can help you develop further. There may even be other OpenLearn courses to help you!

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