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 as part of a Lottery-funded business start-up programme and the feedback was incredibly positive, so I’m now taking bookings for summer 2019 and the 2019/20 academic year – see below for details. 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, February 2019
The sessions are designed to inspire, but they also give an insight into the realities of freelance life and how challenges can be overcome.
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 on various challenges 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 discuss what we really mean by ‘freelance’, why people are motivated by self-employment, what some of the benefits are, and how you can prepare for the pitfalls. We also look at some questions which will eventually help the participants with their business planning.
- Are you ready? – In this self-reflection exercise, we look at 20 of the qualities that successful freelancers and sole traders tend to share. Participants are encouraged to think about one area that they’d like to develop over the next year, and another area where they think they need some outside help.
- My journey – We’re joined by a fellow freelancer who shares their story and describes the process that they went through to get established in their industry, including setting up their marketing and accessing sources of funding.
- Getting started – We look at six practical steps for actually getting started and talk about the importance of cash flow to any business. The participants are then encouraged to reflect on what they’ve taken from the Boot Camp and where they hope to be in a year’s time.
- Ask us anything – We end with an opportunity for participants to ask us any questions they like. These often focus on how we structure our time, find new business and manage our finances. 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 summer 2019 and the 2019/20 academic year. 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.