In this highly competitive and ever-changing business world, it can be hard to find your place as a creative. If you love to write, film, photograph or play music, then you might be wondering if you’ll ever be able to find a financially viable path through those mediums. Of course, you’d be wrong in being so cynical. There are ways to make a career out of creativity, but you have to be creative when it comes to finding that career in itself.
You’re probably desperate to get out there and showcase your work, or simple prove your worth to those in the business world who need creatives like you to help them with content creation, advertising and other corporate necessities which require a creative eye. The difficult part is getting started, so here are some tips and tricks to help you get your foot through the door of the freelancing world and build a career for yourself.
Figure out what you want from this career.
It’s easy, as a creative person, to look at the prospect of freelancing and say, “that’ll be easy.” I was the same when I began. If you love to write stories or draw graphics, this career might seem like the obvious choice for you. You’ll call the shots, and you can be as creative as you like whilst profiting from it. However, that isn’t always the case for everyone, and you have to be prepared for the possibility that freelancing won’t be the right career for you. You have to be ready for what you’ll do next, should that ever happen.
It’s not only about succeeding; even enjoying freelancing requires a certain mentality. It’s not as simple as it may look on the surface. You might be creative, but if you’re not thrilled by the concept of marketing yourself and your services, or the prospect of screwing on your entrepreneurial head to really get stuck in and make your mark on potential clients, then this might not be the right career for you. There are no rigid rules and there is no structure to this career. You’re self-employed, and you make your own work. You find your own contracts. You’re the boss of your own company.
If this sounds like exactly the sort of career you were hoping for, then that’s the first step out of the way. You’re determined, driven and you know this is what you want to do. Freelancing is a great way to channel creativity and make a thriving career out of it.
Sort out your finances.
You have to be ready for the headache that is your financial situation. It all depends on the work you find, because some employers might offer you a stable income, or even a permanent position as a self-employed contractor for the work you do.
However, whatever the case, there is no set annual income for a self-employed worker. You’ll have to fill out your own taxes, in the majority of positions. It’s vital that you conduct some research into how you should do that now, rather than later down the line. You’ll need to ensure you fill in your tax returns correctly when you do start making a decent income, if you want to avoid an Income Tax Investigation.
Build a client-base.
Lastly, and perhaps the most important element of mastering the art of freelancing, is building a strong client-base. Any business and any industry is fragile. Whether you’re employed in a standard 9-5, or working as a self-employed contractor, no job is entirely stable. Because of that, you have to be prepared for that possibility of a contract suddenly ending. When it does, you’ll need something to fall back on, which can be easier said than done in the freelancing world.
That’s why it helps to have a strong client-base. If you stop working with one client, there are others on whom you can rely to supplement your income whilst you search for more work. Once you have a stream of regular clients, you’ll have the stable career for which you’ve been searching.