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More people than ever are turning to freelance and self-employed. However, running a freelance company takes a lot of effort! We have put these resources together for freelancers.
Most of them are free – or very cheap – and all of them will help you run a smooth business. It doesn't matter if you are a new freelancer or have been doing it for years! There is something for every level of experience here.
Freelance books to read
There are hundreds of freelance books – so how do you know which ones to read first ?!
Look for those that are either relevant to your industry niche or that offer business advice such as marketing and financial tips. If you don't have time to read, look for audio versions of books instead – you can listen while doing the housework!
We encourage you to read these books to get you started:
Survival skills for freelancers – Sarah Townsend
A brand new book published on National Freelance Day on June 18, 2020. It is a great read for new and experienced freelancers. Running your own business is tiring and freelancers are often neglected. This book contains all sorts of tips on how to successfully design your freelance business without burnout.
The Freelance Bible – Alison Grade
Another new book release for 2020 that does exactly what the title promises. It is a complete guide for new freelancers who want to escape their day job – and current freelancers will also find helpful reminders to stay on the right track.
Start and run an all-in-one business for dummies – Colin Barrow
The "For Dummies" series is known to provide factual, easy-to-follow information on any topic. This book describes everything from choosing your business niche to marketing to managing finance.
Freelance forums and social media groups
One of the best ways to get started – and then maintain your morale – is to connect with other freelancers. Sharing your experience and asking questions to the community is a great way to learn over time and build a great network.
Forums are certain communities where you can connect with others to discuss topics related to freelance work, self-employment, or general life! It differs from social media platforms in that forum members have to register to participate. That means you come across trolls much less often – and you can ask your questions in a safe place instead of the general public being able to read them.
Designed by a freelancer for freelancers. This was born out of a private Slack group founded by people who regularly signed up for a Twitter chat every week. There was so much interest – and so many common questions – that Dave Smyth made work notes.
It contains many useful articles that help freelancers at every stage of their careers. There is also a job exchange and forum. Find the forum here – and use the Freelance Pricing Guide to determine your paid prices too!
The MoneyMagpie message board
We couldn't talk about forums and don't mention it! Our free community is full of potential and experienced freelancers, contractors and independent business owners.
Ask your questions, share your thoughts and have conversations with like-minded entrepreneurs! Join the MoneyMagpie team, certified experts and your magpie colleagues here in the freelance forum.
We cannot talk about freelance work without discussing social media. Even if you hate it, you need at least one social platform for your business. You can't get away from it these days!
There are many freelance groups like Freelance Heroes on Facebook that are full of fun, interesting and helpful entrepreneurs.
You may also find Twitter chats. These take place at the same time each week and use a specific hashtag. Search for locals to meet other business owners in your area. Try searching for "bizhour" in the hashtag, e.g. B. "#OxfordBizHour", "#BathSmallBiz" or the like. A host chats online using this hashtag and often asks questions to be answered by people, or provides you with a platform where you can tell others about your work.
LinkedIn is one of the strangest social media platforms. It is said to be networking and networking, but in recent years it has grown into a blogging platform for business people.
Join industry or freelance relevant groups and take part in the discussions. You can also write articles on LinkedIn and share them with others. This is far more a "professional" platform for corporate networks. So you can apply more than on other social media!
Thanks to Lockdown, freelancers now have access to numerous online training platforms and courses! However, there are very few free courses that provide helpful content. Paid courses often offer better insight and additional help, such as one-to-one lessons. Remember that professional development fees related to your business may be written off in your tax return.
Of all the countless free online courses, these have the best reputation for providing useful content in easily digestible formats.
The open university
OpenLearn is part of the Open University offer. It's completely free and you can learn courses at home at your own pace.
Find out everything you need to start a business or learn about a niche sector related to your freelance work. For example, try writing a SWOT analysis course to create a solid business plan on which to build your basics. Or learn a new language – like Welsh – to improve your relationships with other companies and customers in your field.
With hundreds of free courses offered by this respected institution, you are sure to find courses that will help you develop your freelance skills.
Alison courses are another well-known and respected online resource and offer a wide range of learning opportunities.
Some are short modules to improve skills like accounting, while others are longer diplomas to deal with topics in depth.
There are a variety of industries, from IT and business to health, science, marketing and lifestyle to languages. You can also filter your course search by "academic", "job" and "personal development", depending on why you want to study.
Udemy is an online academy with a wide range of topics. Some courses are paid for, others are free.
The free Udemy courses cover topics such as coding, time management, photography and personal trust or development skills. Anyone can create and upload a course to Udemy, but the courses in the free section here have been put together by the Udemy team to help new freelancers and career changers in a post-COVID environment.
You get what you pay for – free courses are great for general education and starting as a freelancer.
However, if you want to develop your skills further, you should consider a paid course. Many also offer individual business mentoring or coaching as part of the package. This practical approach means you get more out of the course than a free one.
If things reopen after the pandemic, contact your local authority: they often host local evening adult education workshops at a great price.
Your local college and university are the next places to look. These course fees are higher, but you get more traditional lecture education. Remember that you can offset all course fees for your freelance company in your tax return.
Business skills workshops
When you start, the amount of things you need to do as a freelancer can seem overwhelming. You become a marketer, accountant, seller, doer, debt hunter, website and social media manager … everything!
For this reason, many municipalities and business centers offer a range of affordable or free workshops on business skills.
For example, Wrexham Enterprise Hub offers members a free workspace AND regular free events. To register, you need to be in an early stage of management – and that means you can share your days with other new freelancers.
The best way to find local events like this is Google "Your Region + Free Business Workshops". Or a similar variant!
Unions and guilds
Freelancers often have the hard end of business. For example, many companies try to haggle over the price just because they don't want to pay as much – even though they have the budget.
Or they agree to a project and simply disappear after the project is complete. Your bills will not be paid and legal assistance is required to track late payments.
Joining a union or guild is a great way to give your company additional support. Many memberships include legal debt recovery, subcontracting, and even corporate insurance packages. You will also be holding local and national events – a great way to build your network.
Look for your local chapters from the Federation of Small Businesses and your Chamber of Commerce as a starting point. It is also worth visiting IPSE – this is for all self-employed and is not industry-specific.
Most professions have some form of guild or association. For example, journalists have the National Union of Journalists – but could also join the Society of Authors or the Writer & # 39; s Guild of Great Britain. Regardless of your freelance niche industry, search for "Your Industry + Union" to find the one that is most relevant to you.
Freelance job boards
The job search is a constant cycle for every freelancer. Even if you are currently fully booked for the month, never stop searching for the next customer. Work can easily dry up if you are too focused “at the moment” instead of looking ahead to confirm future sources of income.
Once you are set up, this process is easier. You can use word-of-mouth recommendations from customers, do custom reps, and get a cold pitch with your portfolio. However, if you are starting out for the first time, job boards are a good source of job opportunities.
Traditional job boards
Typical job exchanges like Indeed, Reed and Monster sometimes have vacancies. Use "remote", "freelance" or "contract" in your search terms. However, these job boards have a lot of traffic and your chances of success against the sheer volume are slim.
Freelance job boards
Some job hubs are designed specifically for people who want to hire freelancers. This means that the job description focuses on the freelance model – d. H. You work flexibly, often remotely or on a contract basis.
There are some job boards that should be avoided: Upwork. The prices here are often a "race down" and you can spend a lot of time pitching to no avail. The platform also charges you as a freelancer a percentage commission from the project. Other job boards require the company to post their ad – and take no money from your earnings.
So this list contains ONLY job boards – no pitch platforms like Guru or UpWork.
Ideal for web developers, app developers, marketers and designers, Remotive lists many remote jobs that you can run from anywhere.
ProBlogger is mainly used by freelance marketing, typing and sales staff and is a very popular job board. You may have to go through a lot of low-paying ads first, but there may be some hidden gems in it.
For designers and developers, GitHub is a reputable job exchange that lists both full-time remote and freelance job offers.
The Angel Jobs website specializes in remote jobs for a variety of industries with startups and small businesses. It is said to be the "largest job market for remote work" and offers both freelance and full-time remote opportunities.
Other useful resources for freelancers
We create more and more content for freelancers and contractors of all experience levels. The recent events in 2020 mean an enormous shift towards remote working, which is expected to continue. Along with the financial benefits of hiring freelancers, this means that the freelance economy is booming.
In these articles you will learn more about freelancers – and don't forget to visit our freelance messageboard in the forum!