The global power and high density of large international companies in London draws many bright young things from around the world to work here. However, the packed tube at rush hour and the constant stream of suits on the streets is not attractive to those already disillusioned by the 9-5 routine. Due to the burgeoning of the internet over the past decade, it has never been easier to be a freelancer or ‘slasher’, the term now used for people who appropriate a handful of jobs simultaneously. However, making the move to becoming your own boss can be daunting. Therefore, we have compiled three nifty tips to assist those looking to go freelance in London:
- Finding WorkWith the freedom of freelancing comes great responsibility, and – until you become established – the nagging anxiety in regard to where the next pay cheque will come from. Unless you have a score of trusted contacts who are going to give you work from the outset, it is worth considering joining some kind of agency. If the rates charged by agencies appear too steep, a cheaper alternative is to promote yourself through a personal website. Web hosts like 1&1 can assist you in setting up a professional webmail account, as well as registering a domain name and designing your own site.
- Finding an OfficeWhen the British Government suggested that Londoners work from home during the 2012 Olympic Games, mayor of the city Boris Johnson, responded with the memorable line: ‘We all know that is basically sitting wondering whether to go down to the fridge to hack off that bit of cheese before checking your emails again.’ Johnson has a point. Working from home can lead to prolonged procrastination. Thankfully, as more of us go freelance, cafés are attempting to cash in on the shift and have begun offering superfast Wi-Fi and spacious tables for freelancers to set-up office for the day. Use this handy app to locate the best ones. Alternatively, one can go a little hipster and rent a desk in a creative ‘co-working space’, with plenty of other talented folk.
- Finding CustomersPerhaps in turning freelance, you are essentially setting up your own company. London is a mammoth hub of diverse consumers. If you can’t find people in London who are interested in your product or service, then you aren’t going to find them anywhere. But how to tap into this market? Social media is the obvious avenue, but you are going to have to shout pretty loud above the hullabaloo to draw any attention to yourself in the early days. If your business is for Londoners, then step out of the virtual world and approach the people directly. ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ is the new buzzword – this is marketing that relies on making a big splash and dominating news feeds for a week before retreating into the hedgerow again. Have a look at how some brands have marketed themselves guerrilla-style recently and see what you can come up with.