After a festive season break and a period of organising, planning and reflection, Safe Hands is ready to start a new year!
First off is this bullet-point list of my learning over the last year, written originally for a presentation I gave to a group of interns. It’s a “mind dump” of sorts, listing all the accumulated knowledge I have acquired with an eye to trying to help young people who are just starting freelancing in the creative/media world.
YOU ARE A BUSINESS NOT A FREELANCER
- So do some planning – what do you offer, who do your offer it to, how will you find those people, how will you market yourself? What can only you offer? What is the name of your business? Decide what name you are going to use across all your branding at the very beginning.
- Have business-like documentation – invoices, letterheads, an email signature, business cards.
- Get a proper email address.
- Figure out a way to keep track of the money – even it is just a notebook where you write what you have spent and what you have earned.
- Set yourself some goals.
- Work out what you need to get things started – make a list of all expenses you think you might have.
- Get yourself a domain (buy it now even if you only use it later) (hetzner.co.za has a good domain search).
- Get a website or a Facebook page.
- If you can write, start a blog.
- Clean up your social media accounts from the past – or hide your private ones, and start ones for your business.
- Get a Linked In profile and a two-page CV and a one-page brochure
- Join a network relevant to your business (MeetUp is a good place to look for like-minded groups)
- Network with other colleagues in your industry
- Join an association like Safrea*.
- If you have done all of the above, you might be able to get some seed capital because you will effectively have a business plan.
- Or get whatever job you can and save, save, save until you have enough to start your business
- What to charge? Figure out what you need to live every month, how many hours you are prepared to work and then do the maths. And then compare to what others are charging in your industry,
- If you are a bad writer, pay someone to edit your work (perhaps offer trade exchanges).
- If you are a bad speaker, get some lessons in how to improve
- Ask other people for advice – Safrea or other industry associations
- Resources for small businesses –the city council, department of labour, local universities, banks
* I am a member of freelancing group Safrea and the talk was given in that capacity.