6 freelance tips for new freelance consultants

freelance in 30 days book

It can be scary making the leap from full-time job to being a freelancer.

I remember how daunting it was to leave my job and start out on my own. I was lucky enough to have jobs at great places to work, with decent pay, good colleagues, and interesting work. By going freelance, I was risking all of those benefits.

However, I was sure I’d be gaining a whole lot more – freedom to work where I want, when I want, the satisfaction of being my own boss and building a network of other freelancers to work with. But the prospect of finding clients and a steady stream of new business was quite scary.

If you’re thinking about going freelance, or have just started, here are a few tips that can help you find clients as a freelance. Hopefully, this will give you a good idea about the first few weeks of your new freelance life (but if you want more insight, take a look at my freelance book).

1. Make your previous employer your first client

You don’t need to break away from your employer as soon as you decide to go freelance. Most bosses are understanding of their employees wishing to move on and they appreciate you asking them to make a phased exit. They will appreciate you sticking around for a bit longer, giving them more time to hire the right person to replace you, more time for account handovers and ensuring that clients get the smoothest transition possible. You get the advantage of having guaranteed work for several days a week, while you stat to build a client portfolio. This will also help you set a decent day rate.

2. Update your online profiles

Before you start looking for work, take the time to get your CV in order, then update your LinkedIn, Twitter bio, etc. to reflect your new situation. Make sure you add details of your achievements at the role you just left and don’t just list your responsibilities – emphasise the results you achieved.

3. Network, network, network

Most freelancers get work from referrals and people they know, so ensure that everyone you are connected to knows you are available. Join a network that runs regular freelance events or check the likes of Eventbrite and Meetup for relevant events happening near you. This doesn’t always have to be face-to-face – LinkedIn, Twitter and simply emailing all of your contacts to let them know you are available for freelance work are all valuable activities.

4. Approach similar companies and agencies

Look up PR / digital / marketing / social agencies and send them your CV. Add a highly personalised cover note targeted at them. Say you’re freelance and can offer social media support and tell them how you can make a difference for their clients and company. They might have some opportunities for you there and then, but more likely they’ll keep in touch with you. Some of them may even have permanent roles going.

5. Contact specialist recruiters in your area

Recruiters will have jobs readily available for you, whether short-term or long-term contracts. I’ve had a great experience with the guys at VMA Group (tell them I sent you), but also check out Cloud Nine Recruitment. There are also plenty of freelance jobs going on sites like The Guardian and Indeed.

6. Reach out to freelancer communities

Try posting a message to the following Facebook groups, saying you’re looking for work:

A lot of people are members of more than one group, so make sure your post to each group is tailored and relevant.

This post first appeared on the Henshall Centre blog.

Time For Tech For Good

tech for good

Last week’s post on Tech For Good got a good reception, both from those already working in the area and those who hadn’t heard of it, but maybe only needed a small nudge to start to join the pieces together and see them as the start of a movement.

There’s been a few more happenings over the last week and some initiatives people sent me after reading my post, so thought I’d follow up last week’s post with an update on all things Tech For Good.


Havana, Cuba in one week: budget travellers’ guide

Havana, Cuba in one week

Havana, Cuba’s capital city, was amazing, We spent the whole week in Havana in the end, with a few day trips here and there. We went in March 2015, just before the first direct flights from the US started flying to Cuba.

Cuba is very tourist friendly, but there is also plenty to do to get off the beaten track, but it can be hard to plan too much before you get there, as things change quickly, so thought I’d quickly jot down my thoughts in case I can help out and give tips if anyone you know is planning on going.

Here are some Havana tips and some more from our friend Laurie too. Leave any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer, while the unbelievable experience of Cuba is still fresh in my mind!


Tech For Good: The Rise of a Movement

Tech For Good


One of the things I’ve been struggling with as a freelancer lately is focussing in on a sector that matches my own values and who the clients I work with give me work that I enjoy doing. Often when your values and your clients’ are aligned, your work will be better as a result. This has the added benefit of making your client happier too.

This is easier said than done.

I’ve been struggling because some of the clients I’ve been working with recently haven’t matched my values and so poor work, somewhat beneath my usual standard, has crept through. This hasn’t been anything to do with my clients, who are fantastic to work with and appreciate my work, but is more to do with me and the opportunities I take on.

I often chat to my better half about what kind of clients I want to work with. She says I need to focus on a particular group of clients I enjoy working with and match my values. I agree and resolve to do something about it, only to take on a non-value-matching client the next week, under the guise of a nice client and good money. C’est la vie.

That has changed though, as I’ve found the area I want to focus on: Tech For Good.


Time Doctor Review: Time Tracking Software for Freelancers

The good people at Time Doctor have given me access to an account, so I can try out their time tracking software for Freelancers. This is a sponsored post, but the Time Doctor team have given me complete editorial freedom, so I can write what I like.

Just to add to the fun, I’ve used Time Doctor to track how long it took me to write this post. Scroll to the end to find out how long it took.