Updated: Feb 20
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing is a form of Self-employment, Freelancers generally work loosley for agencies, 1 -2 -1 with clients or work alone on projects etc. Freelance work can vary from short term to Long term, Freelancers are required to undertake their personal tax assessments and therefore keeping track of Business expenditure and related information.
The word "Freelance" is commonly associated with content creators such as Graphic Designers, Photographers, Musicians and more.
Independent contractors (freelancers) automatically receive ownership of any creative expressions of written or artistic works. Registration of Copyright is not needed, however if you choose to pursue legal action an official Copyright documentation may be required according to U.S. copyright law, Section 101 in the Copyright Act of 1976 (source: Wikipedia).
Freelancers may be required to sign a waiver to relinquish their ownership rights, this allows companies to freely use content without any copyright backlash.
Legally Freelancers must handle contracts, legal issues, disputes or any other business related functions. Various business functions can be handled via third party vendors like taxation (Financial accountants), Freelancer generally don’t have traditional work hours.
I'm John, a 24 year old Freelance Photographer based in london. I'm a huge advocate of the concept of Freelancing, I've previously worked for major companies in the public sector and private sector varying from HR assistant to Fitness coaching at local schools.
Like many others I acquired my first Job at 18yo and since then I have poured hours into furthering my career, In all my job roles the balance between freedom and work constraints is a big issue for a creative minded person such as myself.
In 2017 I fell in love with cameras and began to pursue more content creation based work, In 2017 I was still employed as an HR Assistant for a high profile Media agency. While working as a PAYE employer I felt very comfortable as my schedule hardly varied day to day, I had Job security I desperately needed and enjoyed the monetary gain plus employee perks.
How I got started?
I believe there is no right or wrong to become a freelancer, I think the determining question should be: "Is Freelancing the best option for you?".
Before I become a full time freelance Photographer I began purchasing and researching all the equipment I needed. I attended many seminars in relation to Business management and self employment, I built my clientele via social media/word of mouth in addition to offering “collaboration based services”.
I used this method to improve my portfolio as well as my exposure.
I’ve worked tirelessly to create a strong brand name and marketable photography experience, in 2018 I created my website and Blog site using Wix. My website’s main function is to showcase my work, platforms like Instagram or Facebook compress large images and video files. Popular social media websites have strict guidelines on content posted like nudity or graphics images or text.
Like with all jobs there are pros and cons you should know and consider if you should decide to become a Freelancer.
The benefits I have experienced are:
+ Flexibility (freedom to work on various projects)
+ Work is based on your schedule
+ Venture into many fields
+ Improve networking
+ Work independently
The Cons I have experience are:
- Lack of job security
- Late payments from employers
- Lack of steady income & projects
- No benefits (holiday pay, sick pay and pension)
- No schedule
In conclusion before undertaking what could be a career altering step I would:
Take a calculated approach (research)
Trial different services and content
Create your Brand (image)
Market my content or expertise
Consult with mentors, friends and family
Check the financial risks
Create a suitable work environment
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