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Freelancing

Freelancing

We all know the UK workforce is changing, with many more people choosing to work flexibly, from home or outside the traditional employment relationship. By going freelance, you can choose to work from home, work on interim assignments, or offer cover for absent employees. Many people are attracted to the variety and flexibility of this way of working, as well as the lower overheads. Here are some questions to explore this idea:

Do I want to work remotely, or on a client site?

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How do my skills compare with others?

• Write a list of key skills
• Check the different skillsets on freelance sites such as People4Business,PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, Odesk, elance and Freelancer.net/co.uk
• Check the trends and skills on job sites by using the word interim or freelance in their search boxes

Does my CV reflect what I want to do in the future?

What do I need to earn, per day, per week, per month?

Once you’ve answered those questions, have a look through the following ideas.

You will find that most freelance sites offer the opportunity to bid for proposals. You will need to factor in your time to research and carry out the work in some cases. If you are keen to allow a client to trial your services, do not offer your services for free, but at a reduced rate. Free work will go against most of the terms of engagement of freelance sites.

Be wary of clients looking for you to work for less than the minimum wage and steer clear. However be realistic about your experience and about how much work you will obtain per site.

Check to see what the fees are for each freelance site. Fiverr for example charge a 20% fee and others can be less. Bank charges can also apply, and also PayPal fees, so ensure you build that into your proposal costs.

In some cases you are asked to have a Skype interview (elance), carry out tests for proficiency in your chosen field (Freelancer), and in most cases to provide a portfolio of work or samples ad to be endorsed by your customers and clients. Use these opportunities to leverage your skills.

When you use jobsites for interim or freelance work, you will most likely be required to work on the client site. Check to see if travel costs are reimbursed or ensure you build some of the cost into your daily rate.

If you are required to go to interview, find out as much as you can about the client, company culture, work conditions and the team you will be working with. Be interested about the company and if you are asked to lower your rate, don’t be afraid to negotiate.

In all cases, ensure you have a great curriculum vitae or resume, and ensure it is kept up-to-date with the latest achievements, training and the type of work you want to do.

These ideas will at least give you the opportunity to think about your offerings in a different way, and could help to build your business!

A creative and commercial writer, with experience as a business mentor for start-ups/SMEs, as a HR consultant and as a published author of many books and articles.

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