Posted: Tue 2nd Jan 2021
Being your own boss and having the flexibility in how and when you work and who you work with are among some of the top reasons people choose the freelance life. But for anyone who remembers what it was like starting out, there is a steep learning curve when shifting from the 9-5.
You'll need to adjust to unsteady work and income, seeing yourself as the brand and getting comfortable promoting yourself and your services, managing your time and workload (without a manager over your shoulder) and working without the supportive network of a team.
Don't let that scare you. The good news, 1.9 million freelancers in the UK are living proof that it's possible to make a full-time living working for yourself.
So, whether you're thinking about making the switch or looking to improve your freelance business, this year's StartUp 2021 event on 23 January has an unmissable line-up of speakers for freelance consultants. Below you'll find the six we've highlighted but feel free to find your favourites from the programme guide.
Get your tickets now, if you haven't already!
Sarah Townsend, freelance marketing copywriter & author of Survival Skills for Freelancers, will be running a session offering her top tips to survive and thrive as a freelancer or small business owner. She'll also be doing a panel talk about how to avoid burnout.
Sarah said, "It's the perfect session for anyone looking to supercharge their freelance career in 2021 or newbie freelancers who want to avoid some of the pitfalls of self-employment."
She'll be focusing on three key areas:
You're not alone, which is all about dealing with isolation, the importance of community and how to build your network.
You're the boss, which is about taking back control, setting boundaries and achieving a better work-life balance.
You've got this, which is about the fear of failure, ditching self-doubt and being your own biggest cheerleader.
We've explained previously the importance of SEO to freelancers and small business owners. Every freelancer's dream is to reach a point where Google does the work of bringing new clients to you.
Gill said, "Maybe you have heard the term SEO and want to know more about it, or maybe you are looking for ways to get noticed online? Then come get some practical tips in our SEO talk."
You'll come away with the knowledge of what SEO is, why it is relevant for your business, and what you need in place to do it well, know where and when (or if) to spend money on it. Plus, some top tips of what you can do TODAY to improve your SEO.
We all marvel at those people who just seem to get things done. You know the ones who say, I'll get that to you tomorrow, and they do! Working for yourself adds extra pressure, but it's not impossible to learn new productivity hacks.
Emma Mills-Sheffield, founder, Mindsetup, will be running a session on learning how to work more productively without just working longer hours or working harder. It's about working differently, so you can achieve what you need to without compromising your wellbeing.
Emma said, "Knowing how to prioritise conflicting tasks as a start-up founder is really crucial. Having a clear idea of your goals and what tangible tasks you need to do to get there keeps you on track. Without these, you can't work productively and is common to feel overwhelmed when you go off track."
Emma will teach you how to work more productively in 15-minute chunks. You'll learn how to create time to work on your business more strategically, how to prioritise better and how to delegate or outsource either now or as you grow your start-up.
If you've never marketed before or need to sharpen your skills, expert marketeer Minal Patel, founder, Marketing by Minal, will be running a session on how to get started marketing a freelance business. In addition to covering how to approach marketing, she'll share some time and money-saving tips.
Minal said, "I've been known to tell people that marketing isn't a tap you turn on when you need sales. It's something you have to do consistently. The fear of how is what stops business owners. I aim to alleviate those fears."
Key takeaways, expect to learn about the impact of marketing for small businesses, how to approach marketing for success and discover some of Minal's favourite marketing tools.
If the fear of managing your own finances is holding you back from striking out on your own, then join Andrew Henderson, managing director, Henderson Accounting Consultants, for a session on finances for freelancers and side hustlers where he will be discussing tips on managing cash and finance to avoid any nasty surprises.
Andrew said, "You want to achieve financial security but don't know what this really looks like and what you need to consider from a cash and finance perspective. This session focuses on the key items, cash flow, pricing, expenses and taxes."
Expect to learn how to price well, what taxes you need to consider and how to keep it simple. This one is not to be missed!
LinkedIn is an amazing platform for business owners (big or small) and is the largest professional social network in the world with over 722 million users.
Jennifer Corcoran, founder, My Super Connector, will be running a session to help you understand how to leverage LinkedIn for your business and build a strong foundation by focusing on the three P's, which are essential for community building - Profile, Participation and People.
Jennifer said, "Too many of us feel lost when it comes to selling ourselves or our businesses online. My vision is to empower millions of people to leverage LinkedIn to drive positive sustainable change and create economic opportunities. I'm on a mission to help entrepreneurs to toot their horns on LinkedIn."
Attendees will learn how to refocus and get a LinkedIn profile/presence which truly represents them and how to network in a holistic way on the free version of LinkedIn. Jennifer will walk through her six-step process of how to network and build a LinkedIn community online. Expect to come away with some practical tips on super boosting your profile and how to connect with finesse to attract clients and make more money.
Where else can you find all the support for your freelance career in just one day? It's not too late to get your ticket for the biggest start-up event of the new year for just £10.