Welcome to the Real World: Freelancer

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012|Advice, Guest posts|by Sam Watson

Our guest blogger this week is Rob Roper, currently studying Broadcasting journalism and Media communications at glyndwr University Rob talks about life after university and the world of freelance. His blog: http://robroper.wordpress.com/

And so the fact remains; if my degree ended tomorrow, what would I do? Fortunately for me this is not the case and my education will (thankfully) go on for another 12 months. But what then? I will be in the very same hypothetical situation posed at the beginning of this paragraph. The unknown, mass-unemployment and many other nasty real-world things. To subvert my mobile phone providers slogan; the future isn’t bright.

Since starting my course I have been told by lecturers, guest speakers, hairdressers, next-door-neighbors and my Nan (you get the picture) that it is going to be very very (very) hard to get a job when I leave Uni. But I know this, I have been told over and over again (not that it makes it any easier).

So what would my plan be if tomorrow I was no longer a student but a respectable functioning facet of society?

Simple, I would be become a freelancer.

“Oh, simple hey Rob? Just saying ‘I’ll be a freelancer’ doesn’t mean you instantly become a freelancer. I want to be a millionaire; it doesn’t work like that”

All right then fictional voice of reason, who invited you in? I know it’s not as easy as just saying that I will go freelance, but that is the first step.

The Times of India published an article earlier this month with some guidelines for any budding freelancers;

1. Discover you area of interest and proficiency

This I think is a bit of a no-brainer; don’t go freelance if you don’t really know what you are going to do.

2. Approach the right people

Networking, a word that makes my business cards curl. But it is a great way to get work but more importantly converse with people in the same situation as you are.

3. Use social media

If you don’t already need an excuse to not close that laptop lid; you can find work on Facebook…apparently. More and more businesses are on it, surely it can’t be a bad thing to investigate.

4. Email marketing

Most companies have a contact email, drafting a mail shot and sending it out via email is a great way to drum up interest. Throw enough mud as they say…

5. Search online

Google is quickly becoming the solution to virtually all of my problems in life. But again, it is there because it is good at what it does; searching for businesses hiring freelancers is probably one of the more effective tips that takes the least effort.

6. Price your service

How do I price my own services. Minimum wage? By the hour? By the job? By its success? It is something that any freelancer needs to get to grips with and will learn their lessons quickly.

So if it all ended tomorrow, would I be ready? Probably not.

But then again I don’t think anybody ever is. In closing if I could add another point to that list (which I can, because its my blog poast) it would be confidence and naivety and god knows I have bags of that. I’ll be fine.