Tuesday, May 09, 2017

How To Freelance Whilst Studying at University //

Dear Readers,

For all you budding writers, photographers, bloggers and YouTuber's out there, I wanted to share with you the knowledge I have gained since becoming a freelancer whilst I study at University. 

So what is freelance journalism? 
Well a freelance journalist is someone who works as a writer, photographer, social media editor, or similar, selling their work or services by the hour, day or job instead of working on a regular salary basis for one employer. It is the ultimate job for flexibility.

Cred: Arcadia Magazine Issue 4

My Tips:

Work Out Rates - If they are a big brand, the likelihood is they will pay for your time and work. Do your research when it comes to working out what you will charge, as it can look unprofessional to just pull figures out of nowhere.

Be Ballsy - You are the commodity and the talent and you should avoid being completely trodden on. It can be bloody awkward asking someone to pay you for your work, but it can really pay off...literally. 

Ok so I have lost a few channels of freelancing when I have asked them to pay their way, but if you don't stand up for yourself and your work, then you are going to be used. In addition to this, you must appreciate the worth of your writing and if that means turning down an opportunity, then sometimes it is the way you should go. It is important to be selective.

Balance - I struggled to balance university, a part-time job and freelancing after six months of it. It is probably no surprise that I decided to take the plunge and quit my part-time job in favour of my studies and freelance work. I will be the first to admit that I miss having a regular stream of money in my bank account, but I realised very quickly that I was learning far more by taking on features, interviews and photography jobs than I ever did hanging clothes up on a rail in a retail job or pouring pints in a pub.

Schedule EVERYTHING - I write the word EVERYTHING in block capitals because you have to be ruthless and plan your months in advance. Social activities are to be kept to a minimum due to the spontaneity of freelance jobs.

Find Your Environment - Although freelancing offers you the freedom to write wherever you like, it can also be quite hard to motivate yourself to get out of bed and actually get on with work. I recently discovered this amazing website, Coffitivity which has a gallery of ambient sounds which replicate different environments including coffee shops or university campuses. Although it may not seem like an obvious link, but having ambient sound can encourage the feeling of productivity.

Communication is Key - Be prepared to write a lot of emails to people. Chances are you will need to sell yourself to them. You will gain skills like how to negotiate terms or how to promote your previous work in a way that will get you the job. My biggest advice here is to have a range of drafted skeletal emails saved that you can use to lay out what you will say. It will make those emails seem a lot less daunting when it's time to tackle them.

Set a Goal and Work to Meet it - If I want to work for someone, I make the first move. I have posters on my wall of all the people I want to write for and this keeps me driven and focused. I get such a kick out of seeing brands and companies being ticked off my list.

I hope these tips will be useful to anyone thinking about pursuing a career with the intention of freelancing.

If you have any questions, then drop me a comment below or message me via Instagram or Twitter.

Stay Sweet,

Alice xx

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