10 articles you need to read BEFORE you go freelance
Research can be a pain in the balls. Especially when you’re raring to start a freelance career.
In the interest of brevity, here’s a round-up of the top 10 articles any aspiring freelancer should read before cracking on. Some of the smarts below come direct to you from other freelance copywriters (and my pals, nonetheless).
Scroll on down and drink in the wisdom…
Getting set up
1. Sole trader or limited company: the best choice for freelancers — The Guardian
Let’s kick things off with something nice and light, shall we? The Guardian have produced this saucy little number to help freelancers decide whether to become a limited company or to remain a sole trader. When you’re getting set up, you’ll need to choose one or the other, so swotting up is a must!
2. Copywriters Survey 2018 — ProCopywriters
Not sure how to set your rates or which industry is the least saturated? ProCopywriters have got your back, with their Copywriters Survey. They conduct an annual survey of their members so those of us working in the UK can easily get an overview of our industry. It’d make a smashing bit of background reading before you start your own business.
3. This article. The one you’re reading right now.
4. Knowledge — Crunch
Okay, this one’s a bit of a cheat, but bear with me and you’ll see why. Online accounting company, Crunch, have created a knowledge hub stuffed with financial and business advice for sole traders and limited companies. There are so many pimp-ass articles on it, that I simply couldn’t choose. Highlights include:
- Personal and business tax changes for the new tax year starting on 6th April 2019
- How much should I take as a salary from my limited company?
- How to pay yourself as a sole trader and how much to put aside for tax
They also have a ton of business guides to download on their site, which will give you a hand with topics like IR35, hiring employees and setting up as either a limited company or sole trader.
5. 15 Tried And Tested Free (Or Dirt Cheap) Tools For Copywriters — André Spiteri
Here’s a slice of epic toolbox sharing from my homeboy, André. He’s painstakingly listed out 15 tried and tested copywriting tools that you should consider getting your mitts on before setting up shop. The list includes must-haves for client comms, testing and analysing your writing, and shit tons more besides.
Side note: If you want to see what I use, watch my video here.
6. 21 Amazing Freelance Writing Pitch Hacks — Jorden Makelle
I’m not quite sure where my freelance career would be if it weren’t for the wise words of Jorden Makelle. This fruity truth bomb of pitch hacks is worth its weight in paid jobs, so go and check it out before you start emailing round!
Portfolios are a bang tidy way to secure work without trying. They also help support pitch emails and referrals by allowing you to ‘humble flex’. Millo have a fab article on how to get your portfolio looking pimp, so you can maximise job leads.
8. Powerful testimonials: why and how to, and Advertising Standards — Amy Boylan
While we’re busy pimping out our portfolio to optimise our own freelance website efficiency, why not toss a few testimonials into the mix? Amy Boylan (my scribble sister from another mister) took a moment to run through the nitty gritty of testimonials. She reveals why they’re wicked, how to get a good one and the ASA’s regulations on the matter.
Adapting to freelance life
9. First-time freelancer fuck-ups and how to avoid them — Emma Cownley
How can I do an article round-up without including any of my own wisdom? Ain’t gonna happen, bro. This cheeky little shot of freelance advice comes straight from my personal archives—mistakes I made so that you don’t have to!
10. Freelancing with international clients — Work Notes
Another article from one of my freelance colleagues. Dave Smyth posted this gem on Work Notes to guide freelancers through professional relationships with clients overseas, including contracts, quotes, negotiating time zones and how to get paid!
Got some smart shit to share when it comes to starting out as a freelancer? Leave a comment below and share!