Freelancers work in a range of fields – from musicians, designers and photographers, to writers, coaches and virtual assistants. For many people, freelancing is a full-time profession. For others, it can be an opportunity to share their skills and make some extra money outside of their day jobs.
I’ve developed a half-day workshop specifically to support and encourage people who are considering freelancing in the future.
I trialled this in several universities in 2018/19 as part of a Lottery-funded business start-up programme and the feedback was incredibly positive, so I’m now taking bookings for the 2019/20 academic year. You can read more about my previous enterprise education experience here.
“The speakers presented the ins and outs of freelancing in a really simple way and they were up-front about the advantages and challenges. The workshop has given me plenty to consider.”
– University of Winchester student, March 2019
The sessions are designed to inspire, but they also give an insight into the realities of freelance life and the challenges that people are likely to face.
The Boot Camp is not another business lecture! This is key. All the speakers are current freelancers keen to share their experiences. Throughout the day, participants get a chance to meet each other, collaborate and ask plenty of questions.
We cover a lot, and we point the participants towards additional sources of support for when they are ready to look at topics in a bit more detail.
The sessions include:
- Freelancing 101 – We talk about what we really mean by ‘freelancing’, what the benefits of self-employment can be and what pitfalls you need to be aware of.
- Is there a market? – We look at some questions to help determine if there’s a market for a service, and we introduce the Business Model Canvas as a tool to capture ideas.
- Are you ready? – In this self-reflection exercise, we look at 20 of the skills that successful freelancers tend to share and participants are encouraged to identify areas for development over the next 12 months.
- Our journeys – We tell our own stories and describe how we got established in our industries and how we market our services.
- Getting started – We go through some practical steps for actually getting started as a new business and then invite participants to think about where they would like to be in a year’s time.
- Ask us anything – We close by answering any remaining questions, which often range from how we structure our time, how we stay motivated and how we find new work. Afterwards, we stick around and talk to participants 1:1.
The sessions and timings can be tailored, and I can identify additional speakers if there are particular topics that the participants would like to cover – anything from building confidence to social media for small businesses.
I’m now taking bookings for 2019/20. If you work for a university or community organisation and your students or neighbours would like to explore routes into freelancing, please get in touch. You organise the venue, catering and marketing – we do everything else.