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How creative freelancers can weather the storm

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Image licensed via Adobe Stock Freelancing might feel precarious at the best of times, but never more than at the moment. Most of us had a pretty rough 2020. And the first few weeks of this year suggests that 2021’s hardly going to be plain sailing either. It’s a sombre truth that over the next 12 months, many freelancers will find it difficult to find work, have contracts cancelled, and get stiffed for work they’ve already completed. All of which sucks monumentally. But it’s not all bad news. Chaotic times also bring new opportunities, such as cash-strapped brands, side-stepping expensive agencies and going directly to freelancers instead. So how can you make the most of these lifelines? In this article, we’ve teamed up with Xero online accountancy software which helps freelancers automate and manage their finances, to offer some practical survival tips for the year ahead. 1. Promote yourself As creative freelancers, we’re often a little shy about promoting ourselves. But if there was ever a time to blow your own trumpet it’s now. Self-promotion not only needs to be done loudly and confidently, but it also needs to be done regularly. So make sure you spend an hour a day on marketing yourself every day. You’ll know best how to go about that. But if you need ideas, start by sharing your latest work on Instagram (with as much behind-the-scenes info as possible, as that’s a great way of getting attention and shares). Update your Behance portfolio. Send out a newsletter to your existing clients, updating them on what you’ve been up to lately, and reminding them you exist. Take part in webinars, join in on Twitter and Facebook, comment on relevant articles. Beyond that, there are countless ways to sell yourself and get your name out there. You’re a creative, so get creative: treat yourself like your own client if it helps. For further inspiration, award-winning creative director Amrit Singh offers a great example of how to sell yourself: he’s a true marketing machine. Check out his website and his social accounts (listed at the bottom of the page), and you’ll soon see what we mean. 2. Keep on top of cash flow Even during the busiest and most lucrative times, it can be a challenge to stay on top of your freelance cash flow. In a pandemic year, making sure your invoices are delivered in a timely fashion and reminders are sent when clients need chasing up, could make the difference between hardship and security. Yet at the same time, if you’re trying to impress new clients, or struggling to retain old ones, you want to devote all your time and energy to your actual design work. So you might not have the time to spend on your bookkeeping and invoicing that they truly require. One way of squaring that circle is to enlist the help of online accounting software. For example, Xero , which is ideal for designers and freelancers, allows you to send customised […]

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