Top tips for landing your first freelance gig!

September 26, 2023


Becoming a Freelancer for the first time can be daunting and there are plenty of steps to ensure you have a smooth and stress-free transition. Below, I have listed some tips that I have picked up over the last few years!

📄 Handing in your notice – Possibly the most daunting aspect of going Freelance for the first time. When should you do this? Should you wait until you have a Freelance role secured? Should you just hand it in / pre-agree a reduced notice with your employer before you have found anything? This is down to personal preference, but in my experience, it favours you to take the leap and hand it in! Availability is a focus when a freelance role arises, and it often comes down to who can start first. Things will get very busy towards the end of the month, and you might need to make snap a decision in the last week!

💵 Rate – It’s very important to do research into what rate to enter the market at. You don’t want to sell yourself short, but you also don’t want to go in at an unattainable rate. Speaking to a trusted manager, a Freelancer on your level or a specialist recruiter could be a good place to start.

📝 Contracts – Coming from a permanent role, a soft landing is often (not always) what people prefer. Entering straight into a secure longer-term role is ideal but be open to starting off in a short-term contract. That initial 3 months could extend for years!

✈ Travel – Especially now people want remote more than ever. Maybe check out transport routes and consider a few locations you would consider traveling to (if required) to give yourself that competitive edge.

🖼 Your personal brand – It is essential to maintain your personal brand to help market yourself to clients, and it’s an area people often neglect. Your CV and LinkedIn profile are usually a client’s first impressions of you. Make sure you keep these up to date with as much detail as possible with a clear layout. Secondly, self-develop. Ensure to keep up to date with the tech you want to use and keep ahead of the market trends. Thirdly, Get references. I appreciate candidates often don’t want to share the information of previous managers, but some candidates keep a list of references to share, and clients often really appreciate this!

Great! You have landed your first freelance role! Once you have started there are still a few things you need to consider to ensure all goes smoothly:

🔊 Communicate – Make sure to be clear with your manager and the team about your progress or any problems.
❓ Don’t be afraid to ask questions – Nothing worse for a client than a Freelancer who takes a day to figure something out because they didn’t ask for help.
🕔 If you are unwell or running late, phone ahead! Your client will appreciate the professional courtesy (Surprisingly, people don’t always do this).

These are just some of the points I have picked up over the last few years! I am sure there is plenty more advice to give so make sure to do your own research and if you know anyone who has made the leap themself, ask what hints and tips they picked up along the way.

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