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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Introduction and guidance

This free badged course A freelance career in the creative arts lasts 24 hours and is comprised of eight weeks. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete a further study week. The eight weeks are linked to ensure a logical flow through the course. They are:

  1. What is a creative freelance career?
  2. Spotlight on me
  3. Identifying my support network
  4. Identifying my audience
  5. Promoting my offer
  6. Investigating investment
  7. Business structures and other practicalities
  8. Making it work

You will be able to test your understanding of the course through the weekly interactive quizzes, of which Weeks 4 and 8 will provide you with an opportunity to earn a badge to demonstrate your new skills. You can read more on how to study the course and about badges in the next sections.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the highs and lows of self-employment, from winning that first contract to filing a tax return
  • reflect on the skills and strengths a freelancer needs, and identify where to find additional support when required
  • understand the practicalities of running a small business and know where to look for sources of investment
  • recognise the value of audience segmentation, market research and targeted marketing
  • develop a business plan, identifying next steps and strategies to manage both setbacks and success.

Moving around the course

In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each week, you will find a link to the next week. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Full course description’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.