Taking the plunge to do freelance work can be quite an exciting thing to do. It’s the opportunity to do something entirely by yourself, for yourself. But freelancing isn’t just necessarily business related – It’s also any side-projects you make any money off.
First things first, set yourself up as self-employed. There are numerous options within HMRC. But ultimately even if you earn £10 a week (on average) from something, you need to do it. It simply covers your back here. Now don’t worry, there isn’t a crazy rush to do it – The Gates of Hell won’t descend upon you after 1 day of earning self employed and not declaring it. But do it as soon as possible.
My family’s full of self-employed people, actually, it’s a rarity when they aren’t. So here are some tips.
When you first pitch to a client, it’s honestly so exciting. But there is something obviously unstable about freelancing.
Pitching your clients is exciting. I could do a whole guide on pitching for freelancers but I’m just going to say the basics – 1. Be Honest 2. Tell them your skills honestly 3. Set Goals & Expectations for you and the client (you can come back to these in the future!).
I do like to think that most employers value freelancers, but some ultimately don’t and won’t pay. There are a few things you can do about this – The obvious being getting a lawyer or solicitor involved. It depends how far you want to go, but if it’s an expensive job you’ll want to do this. And the next step actually safeguards you from this happening.
There are a few things you can do to prevent being unpaid. Whether it’s long-term work (i.e. Social Media) or short term (a graphic) create a contract between you and client, outline exactly what either of you expect from each other. You don’t necessarily have to do this for every client, there are some I don’t have it with, but if you’re worried or unsure, it safeguards you a bit. Often times, you’ll find that when you do something wrong for a client, it’s a communication problem – It’s nothing personal. If you create a contract, it covers your back legally. They don’t have to be necessarily long so it’s worth it if you’re unsure.You can find more about this here.
I’ve written much more about this on my blog and to be honest, there’s loads I could say. I actually am going into full-time employment soon, but I will still be continuing with my self employed work. Being self employed is and was fun, so hopefully this provides you with a bit more security.