The Ultimate Guide To UK Freelancing and Freelance Jobs

Are you considering freelancing as the next step in your career path? Then you’re in the right place! Have a read through our ultimate guide to UK freelancing and freelance jobs to find out everything you need to know to get set for success!

With over 3 million sole proprietorships in the UK in 2018, it’s a clear sign that many people are choosing freelance jobs to make their mark. This makes it a great time to get started with your own freelance career.

Freelance work includes both those who own their own business and work full-time and those who employ their skills to work in a side-hustle in addition to their regular job. Choosing freelance work gives you a chance to put your passion to work!

Plus, the interest in freelance work won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Expert forecasts predict that the freelance and gig economy will continue to grow substantially and that by 2020, as much as 30% of the total labour force will be represented by this type of work.

Interested in becoming a freelancer? This ultimate guide tells you what you need to know to become successful!

Freelance Jobs UK Infographic

Why Choose Freelance?

Although it’s not for everyone, freelancing can be very rewarding for a number of reasons. One of the biggest draws can be the increase in control over your own life. Not only are you doing the thing you love most, but you are also your own boss! You can choose the jobs you work on and get to make all of the decisions for you and your business. Working with the clients you want will also help you hone your skills and become an expert in your chosen area faster!

Get More Flexibility at Work

One of the main reasons people choose freelance work is because of the flexibility. You’re able to choose your clients, of course, but you’re also choosing when and where you work. Being able to set your own hours can be a huge bonus, especially if you are trying to work around other demands in your life. You can carve out time to work in the evenings or weekends, or even when the kids are at school!

Deciding when you want to work can reduce a lot of stress too. This flexibility actually inspires a lot of mothers to turn to freelancing because they are able to set their own hours and work around the needs of their family.

Kickstart Your Career

You can also see incredible career growth as a freelancer. Since you’re setting the pace of your day-to-day, it’s easy to make time for important training. The flexibility of freelancing again proves beneficial here: you can work around available training opportunities!

This kind of training will help you advance your career by picking up essential skills. You’ll have the option of choosing between in-class or online training to suit your needs. Picking up extra clients and working on projects simultaneously also allows you to develop your skills and career quickly.

Boost Your Income

Whether it’s a side gig or your bread and butter, working freelance can be good for your finances. It allows you to set your own rates, based on your skills and experience, giving you control over your income.

If you’re looking for some extra income in the short term, you can pick up extra work by freelancing as well. Balancing multiple projects or clients can help you bring in more income in a shorter period of time. Plus, since the hours are flexible, you can simply add on extra work one week to increase your income.

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Who Can be a Freelancer?

One of the main characteristics that is an asset for any freelancer is their desire to pursue success for work they are passionate about! Combine this with strong initiative and an ability to multitask, and running your own business can be a wonderful way to make a living.

If the idea of freelancing appeals to you, you will want to examine your organizational and time management skills too. Together, these skills will make a difference in the increasingly popular environment of freelance work.

There’s no such thing as a typical freelancer, rather, professionals of a wide range of different ages and industries pursue freelance work. In fact, 1 in 7 freelancers in the UK are mothers! Both the flexibility of setting your own hours and choosing clients allows makes it extremely popular for those both raising a family and looking to make a living.

Best of all, the nature of freelance means you can work from anywhere! Use your home or favourite cafe as your office. You can even rent a dedicated office space if you work better in that kind of environment — the choice is yours. Or, if the type of industry you are involved in means you need to go to your client to complete the work, you can use it as your central point and travel to your clients from there!  

What About Age?

There’s no age limit on creativity and drive, so there is no restriction on who may turn to freelancing. Sole proprietorships are found in each age group, from early workers all the way to those 65 plus! While the highest percentage of self-employed persons is currently found in the 45 to 54 age group, a healthy representation is found from 18 onwards.

Right now, the UK is seeing strong growth in freelancing in those aged 16 to 24. This shows that a younger generation of professionals are interested in being their own boss and taking control of their career through freelancing.

Freelancers work in a variety of industries

What Industries do Freelancers Work in?

In truth, almost any skill set can be turned into an effective and rewarding freelance career. With the right skills, experience and knowledge, you can find that opportunities exist for you, no matter what type of work you do. It simply takes some ingenuity and a great online presence to help you get the job — which we’ll detail for you later in this complete guide.

Some industries, such as creative professions, are traditionally associated with freelancing. From artistic to literary to media professionals, there is a lot of work available for a freelancer looking to get started.

Providing services in design, writing, editing, or videography and photography can turn up many opportunities to work full or part-time. A lot of individuals who are looking for these services naturally turn to find a freelancer, making this one of the fastest-growing freelance industries.

Health-related professionals are also coming up with more and more freelance opportunities. Many personal trainers, yoga instructors, nutritionists, massage therapists, and more offer their professional expertise to help clients achieve healthy living goals.

Construction and home improvement are other areas where self-employed individuals find a lot of work. Skilled trades are always in high demand for their abilities to renovate or improve the homes of people around the UK. Good workmanship will help develop your reputation and interest new clients and keep others returning to you again and again.

As well as these, marketing, accounting and law are all areas that many freelancers find success with.

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Getting Started as a Freelance

Are you all set to get started as a freelancer? Check out these handy tips to get your business off the ground!

Determine What Services You’ll Offer

To get started as a freelancer, you’ll need to decide on what services you’ll offer. Think about your strongest skills — are you a fantastic photographer, for example, or are you passionate about home improvements? — and what you’d like to do be doing as a freelancer.

Remember, this doesn’t have to be the same as your full-time career if you’re looking for a side gig. You may work as an accountant but want to find freelance work as a photographer!

As you decide on what you’d like to offer as a freelancer, remember that you need to be able to do this well. High quality work is the best way to establish a good reputation for yourself as a freelancer. Plus, you’ll be able to take pride in a job well done with each and every client.

Build a Profile of Your Ideal Client

Knowing who you want to work for can help you make wise choices about your future clientele. Sketch out a profile of your ideal client to help you plan out how to reach them with advertising. It also helps you select the jobs that you want to work on.

A detailed profile will help you make decisions easily. Is your ideal client local, or are you willing to travel to someone further away? Do you want to take on smaller jobs or work on a larger project that may take more time? No matter what you think this looks like, you’ll want to decide first so you can focus on selecting the clients that fit with your business.

Create Your Brand

In order to start attracting clients, you’ll need to build a profile so they can find you and the services you offer! It should include a description of the services you offer and other information to help your ideal client realize you are the perfect fit for their job. Make it easy to read with key information.

Include reviews too! These demonstrate to prospective clients that you are qualified for the job and will offer a high level of professionalism and quality with your services.  

For the best success, include professional photos of yourself and your work as well. This helps convey your personality to potential clients and can show that you are a professional. You may need to hire someone to take these photos, but it is well worth the cost.

Don’t be afraid to make your profile unique. Prospective clients need to know what makes you special and why they should choose you to complete their job. Distinguishing yourself from the pack can help you stand out and win you the job!

Land The Job!

With your great profile and ideal client in mind, it’s time to think about landing the job. One essential tactic you’ll need to do is network!

Registering your business on a service like Bidvine will help you connect with potential clients. Plus, your Bidvine profile will create a space for clients to leave reviews so you can post these on your online profiles and website.

Another element you may want to include is a plan for social media. Posting regularly on social media will help you reach new clients, and having a profile they can discover helps interested parties find you online! It helps support your brand as professional and trustworthy too.

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Is Freelance Worth Getting Into?

Absolutely! If you are hoping to gain control over your work and make the important decisions, freelancing may be just the push your career needs. In the right field, you can make your mark and build a respectable list of clients to build your reputation.  

Plus, rapid growth in self-employment means it’s a great time to get started. Since 2000, self-employment in the UK has grown by about 1 million workers! These huge numbers are supported by the ongoing trend to choose flexibility in employment, and there’s no sign this growth is slowing down. Nearly 60% of business in the private sector are represented by sole proprietorships in the UK.  

And if you live in a city like London, you’re in good company as a freelancer. Self-employment is the career of choice for over 17% of all professionals.

Freelancing can turn a passion into a career — and allow you the freedom to make it happen on your terms. So go out there, create your profile, and become a freelancer!

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