By Darren Gilbert
As much as that can be said, there is also a certain freedom that comes with a freelance career. Yes, it can be daunting, as I wrote above. However, that doesn’t mean that you should completely disregard it as a possible route. With that in mind, here are three things to remember when going freelance.Treat freelancing as a business
In order to ensure that you are successful, you first need to treat your freelance career as a business. Of course, this doesn’t mean you will automatically become successful. However, in placing yourself in the right frame of mind at the beginning, you are providing an opportunity to be effective.
It’s a point which Silvia Higuera, believes too in her piece on Knight Center
: “Treat your work with the seriousness it deserves by thinking of it as a business. If you work at home, set hours for yourself, create a space that you see as an office and be sure that family and friends see it that way too.”
On her blog
, music and culture journalist, Kate Hutchinson, quotes freelance music writer, Peter Robinson. “I always tell new freelancers, or people who are entering the freelance world after working in a proper job, to wear shoes when they're working from home," says Robinson. That may sound strange to some but it’s sage advice. If you want to be taken seriously, then you first have to treat yourself seriously.Understand that freelancing is tough
It is important to understand right at the beginning that freelancing is tough. As Journalism.co.uk’s
technology correspondent, Sarah Marshall points out in an article
, one shouldn’t take it lightly: “It requires you to be a great journalist, sales person, book keeper, networker and you need to be able to manage your time.”
Marshall quotes Ruth Stokes, a freelance journalist and author of The Armchair Activist's Handbook
, in her piece. Stokes, giving her advice for freelancers mentions persistence. “Persistance is extremely important, and often key to landing commissions. If at first you don't succeed...”
Having said that, if you are still interested in going the freelance route, good for you. A word of advice; don’t think that because you didn’t make it after a few tries that you will never make it. Often, if not always, if you ask those who are successful today how they got to be so, they say that it took a lot of hard work.Stay on top of your finances
“Some freelancers advise getting an accountant, others manager their own accounts and submit their own self-assessment tax return,” writes Marshall. Either way, ensure that you are on top of your finances.
For Hutchinson, it’s all about being clever with your money. “Find a bloody accountant. Organise your invoices. Get friendly with the accounts departments at your relevant publications for when you inevitably need to chase missing payments.” It will certainly help you in the long run.
“Freelancers can feel awkward about hassling publishers for payment and may fear not being commissioned in the future,” writes Marshall. “However, you are entitled to that payment.”
What are your thoughts? Do you have any tips that freelance journalists need to remember? Tell us below.