Looking to make the leap from office-bound employee to on-the-go creative? From the perfect pitch to setting up your accounts, read our top tips on becoming your own boss.

Create an office space

Establish a working space that makes Mondays great again, even if it’s only in the next room. Fill it with inspiration that makes you tick, whether it be mood-boards, magazines, plants or paperbacks. Having that separation from other areas in your home will make it easier to switch off too. You could even look into local co-working spaces, which are great for meeting other like-minded creatives.

Organise your accounts

If you’ve already started taking on freelance projects, you’ve probably already set yourself up as self-employed. It’s not the most fun part of freelancing, but ensuring good book-keeping is best practice. There are lots of HMRC approved options for accounting, such as QuickBooks, SimpleTax and Xero. Find an invoice template that works for you, fire up an Excel sheet and add jobs as you go.

Insure your equipment

Whether you’re a professional videographer or expert Makeup Artist, you’ll no doubt have some killer equipment. We won’t judge you on how much you spend on make-up brushes or that dreamy new backdrop. At Create, our technical and portable equipment cover means you can insure up to £50k worth of kit against loss, theft and accidental damage.

Pitch like a pro

Now you’ve made your side hustle your bread and butter, you’ll need to up your pitch game. This might be the reason you’re here in the first place, and you have some great jobs lined up for when your 9-5 notice is done. Try and regularly set an afternoon aside to look through the likes of UpWork, LinkedIn, The Freelancer Club and Bark. Even searching buzz words on Twitter and Facebook can bring about some awesome opportunities. Don’t just send a standard email either, try and be personable and show interest in their brand. If you’re nearby, perhaps invite potential clients for a coffee so they can put a face to the name.

Manage your time

A diary is your new best friend. Whether you love old school pen and paper or doing things digitally, you’ll thank yourself later. They say freelancers leave a 40 hour week to work a 168 one. Managing your time efficiently means you can still save your spare time for box-set binges, rather than trying to balance both.

Have funds to fall back on

Like pitching and accounts, you might already have your finances under control. A lot of freelancers will advise having at least 6 months of rent and household bills in the bank before flying the nest. It’s a good idea to save money in advance, as well as any excess income for those slower months.

Nail networking

Check out any freelancer conference and networking events you can get along to. It’s great for creativity droughts as well as meeting new creative people. Who knows, maybe even a future client.

Be prepared for the ‘no’s

But enjoy the ‘yes’ moments too. The beauty of freelancing is you can pick and choose the projects that appeal to you. Sadly, it works both ways. Competition is rife and it’s hard not to take it personally. For every rejection comes some successes though. Just brush it off, make a fresh cuppa, laugh at your favourite memes, and get back out there.

Stock up on supplies

Speaking of tea, make sure you have supplies. There’s nothing worse than running out of milk, not having lunch or needing to nip to the shop when you’re in the creative flow. Although it’s not always easy, try and plan ahead so you can kick start your day without any interruptions. Likewise if you’re on the go at a shoot, save money by making lunch ahead or stocking up on energy-boosting snacks.

Remember to recharge

It goes without saying that one of the benefits of being a freelancer is being your own boss. However, directing your own schedule can come with its downsides. Try and remember to take a break now again, give yourself time off, self-care days and regular holidays. Even if it’s just turning your phone off for an evening or taking an afternoon stroll. After all, switching off can be great for turning your creativity back on.

Any views or opinions expressed above are for guidance only and are expressed in generic terms. They are not intended as a substitute for readers taking appropriate professional advice relevant to individual circumstances. We would always encourage readers to seek professional advice.

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