top of page
  • Suzie Rees

Tips for new freelancers

I had a really great chat with a friend recently who is considering taking the leap into charity freelancing. I’ve been doing this on some level for two and half years now, and it got me thinking about the key things I’ve learned along the way, that it would have been useful to know when I started.. 🌟 Have an ideal client and project in mind - what charities and cause areas do you feel an affinity with, what size are they, and who in the team do you want to work with? What can you offer that showcases your strongest skills and experience? Not saying you’ll be able to work with only your ideal clients when you start out, but this will help you find your niche, and also not be led by what potential clients are asking for - you don’t want to get stuck doing something you don’t feel confident doing as that’s a recipe for imposter syndrome to rear its ugly head! 🌟 On that note, embrace imposter syndrome! It will probably never go away but learn to feel it and do it anyway. 🌟 After a meeting with a potential client, write a work proposal summarising what they’ve told you about their context and needs, and what you think you can offer. I only learned fairly recently that this is an important step in getting clients, I just didn’t realise this was something consultants/freelancers normally did (oops!). I now find this massively helpful to check I’ve understood things correctly, and give both me and potential clients something concrete to refer to/discuss with others when making a decision on whether to go ahead with a potential project. 🌟 Remember you make the rules - speaking as someone who loves rules and structure, its easy to fall into the trap of thinking you have several part-time jobs but you don’t - you decide when and how you work, just make sure you communicate this with your clients. For me this was thinking I had to work a certain set day a week for each client, but all this did was create unnecessary rigidity and lack of flexibility for both me and my clients and caused me stress! Now I work my hours for each client flexibly throughout the week, based on my energy, the tasks I have on my list and also deadlines! It works sooo much better for both me and my clients and means I don’t feel bad about taking a break/being away from my desk when I need to. 🌟 Allocate time in your week for admin/marketing/unexpected events - don't fill your whole week with 'billable hours' which gives you zero flexibility and just causes stress when things don't go to plan - this one is a work in progress for me! 🌟 As you become established, don’t forget the unique value you can bring just by having worked across several organisations and seeing the variety of ways things are done - even someone who has decades of experience in one place will not necessarily have this insight!


bottom of page