table from the top with an opened laptop, coffee cup and eyeglasses
All photos: Cup of Couple

In the wake of the pandemic, many of us had time to sit and contemplate our career choices. While working as a regular employee has benefits such as social security, holiday pay, and others, it can also be incredibly limiting. Permanent or full-time employees may have difficulty maintaining a healthy balance between work and daily life. They also lack freedom when it comes to schedule flexibility and vacations.

Currently, there are around 4.2 million self-employed individuals in the UK, many of them considering themselves freelance contractors.  This status allows freelancers to move from client to client, from one gig to another, with the possibility to accept or decline any proposed contract. Working as a freelancer allows one to experience something new, leaving their work hours flexible and open.

Sounds quite tempting, right? To each their own, of course, but the benefits of freelancing for most free-spirited people outweigh the drawbacks Not only are you given a larger deal of agency and autonomy over your work, but you are free of the shackles that bind you to a specific location or even time of day. Fancy moving to a new country and working four days a week? Or are you more of a night person and prefer to work in the evenings? As a freelancer, you can do it. Of course, the hardest part of any freelancer’s career is getting started, which is why we’ll be helping you out below with a few top tips for getting started. These are the tips that helped me become a self-employed blogger:

  • Be Smart With Social Media

To be a freelancer in this day and age automatically means having a solid social media presence. This means posting regular updates on your professional progress, sharing news from the field, and being active in commentaries. Such social media activities take lots of time, planning, and even skills. But don’t spread yourself too thin! 

It’s easy to spend hours tinkering with your profiles on every possible platform, but there are better (and smarter!) ways to keep your social media on a roll. You can use a bot that will automatically share your updates from your main profile to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This strategy will help you generate more engagements and increase your awareness as a freelancer,  plus it will save you time. For instance, you can individualize your content based on the platform you are using to optimize content (short videos, pictures, and articles) for your followers and contractors.

minimalistic work setup with a small table and opened laptop

  • Start Building a Network

Building an intricate network of contacts is an essential practice you can undertake to promote yourself as a freelancer. Unlike other traditional ways of employment, freelance heavily relies on offers that spread through the networks of leaders. That's why knowing someone in the field gets you new gigs, further promoting you as a self-employed professional.

Start building your network with your closest friends and friends of those friends, who work in the same or similar field. Exchange contacts and encourage them to spread the word about your work further. Keep in mind, that just because somebody might not be your potential client, that doesn’t mean they won’t pass on your information to somebody who could become one. Attending local events and connecting with other freelancers through social media will benefit your networking.

  • Print Business Cards

This may sound weird for a freelancer in today's digital world, but yes! You are going to need some real-life, old-fashioned business cards. A lot (if not most) of your customers will be online, but printing personalised business cards and keeping them on you at all times provides you the freedom to plug yourself in whenever you are. There is a big chance you will run into your next recruiter somewhere on a casual breakfast. You'll have more chances of landing a new freelancing gig if f they have your business card.

Additionally, you can create a QR code for quick access to your resume and portfolio. A quick scan of a code from your business card will allow the recruiter to check out your details and contact you in a matter of seconds.

minimalistic work setup with a small table and opened laptop

  • Create a Personal Website

Old-fashioned ways of self-promotion prove to be as effective as Facebook's advertising campaign. Whether you’re a freelance writer, blogger, illustrator, or programmer you will benefit from having a personal website. Thankfully, gone are the days when you’d need to spend thousands of dollars paying a web developer to build a personalized website for you. Website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and allow you to build a perfectly-optimized, serviceable website where you can place all the necessary information. You might still want to outsource your SEO though.

  • Promote Yourself Via Freelance Platforms

Freelancers shouldn't underestimate the power of online platformers such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer. There are numerous freelance websites for every skill and taste that are worth investing your time in. Certainly, you'll need to work your way up to build a solid reputation and network of customers. However, if you are up for the long run, you'll be able to establish yourself as a trustable freelancer on one of these platforms.

Summing up...

Self-employment, aka freelance, has some pros and cons like any other type of job. A big part of freelancing is self-promotion and networking, which can be a time-consuming challenge. However, you will reach your freelance goals with a pinch of patience and a thorough marketing plan. Hopefully, these simple tips will help you on your way to building up your career. Good luck!

Lots of love,