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

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6 Other business practicalities

As well as the important considerations already outlined this week, there are other practical issues you will need to get to grips with as your business starts.

Women on the phone looking at her laptop in a room containing crafts and flowers.

A key issue is deciding whether or not you are prepared to work for free, or at a reduced rate, particularly when starting out. The opportunity for exposure to the right audience could make it worthwhile, but you need to be sure that potential clients aren’t exploiting you. Many freelancers quote examples of clients asking for free work in return for empty promises of wider exposure or future projects. However, as discussed in Week 5, it can sometimes be worth offering a free trial or sample to build customer awareness, or you might accept a reduced fee if you are confident the work can lead to other things. For example, if the work gives you an opportunity to try something new and collect feedback or testimonials that can be used to attract other clients.

If you have access to a local small business community, you could potentially swap services with another community member. For example, a graphic designer who needs marketing assistance might offer to design a logo in return for the marketing advice they need.

If you can be sure you will gain something positive from it, which will enhance your business in some way, offering to work for free isn’t always a bad thing.

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