Business Talk: Getting Started as a Freelancer

Hey everyone! How are you all? So welcome back! As you might have noticed, I have been absent for a while! I just had my first "bridal season" which is now starting to slow down as we enter the colder months, and to be honest, I loved every minute of it! This is my job now, and I am so so pleased I can say that! On top of that I made the big move to London! Eeep! But it did mean that everything else took a back seat, mainly my blog! But now I finally have some time I am getting back into blogging, and boy have I missed it!

So I thought I would start with a new series, on questions I get asked quite a lot to do with my freelance career. If I have any new readers, you may not know but I am a freelance make up artist. I started freelancing "properly" when I moved to London. Back in my home-town it was hard, as there wasn't much of a make up industry there, so part of the decision to move to London was to further my career! It has worked wonders, as I have honestly never been so lucky with the opportunities I have been given! 

I have worked bloomin' hard though and am still such a small fish in comparison to some of the wonderful artists out there, but I thought I would make it into a series of blog posts, where I detail my journey into the freelance world. Because it is scary! But its also very very fun, rewarding and motivating!

While it may seem like common sense, if you are making money, any money at all from your blog, from freelance writing, from selling a service, you absolutely must declare yourself for taxes. I know a couple of people who have got into mega trouble for this, have had their bank accounts and businesses audited and it just doesn't seem worth it to me! I'm not the most educated on taxes, but I do know there is a whole library of information on the website where you can set yourself up for self employment. Generally, I put 20% off my earnings from freelance endeavours away for tax (it hurts, believe me but its gotta be done). But being self employed does have its benefits, especially if you work from home. Again its something you would have to research yourself, but you can claim your expenses, internet and some bills if you work at home a lot. I can claim back some expenses on my kit and travel to locations, so keep all those receipts! 

When I went freelance, believe me I wasted a lot of money. No amount of research told me the most crucial thing, before you do anything or spend any money do some real thinking about your brand and who you want to be. Create a business plan no matter how silly it feels! Think about the colours you want to use in your branding, think about the theming. Do you want a simple, no fuss structure to your website or do you love colour? Note down every single thing you want your business to encompass and really envision it. The best thing to do is to think, if you had a shop, an empire even, what would it look like. Think about some of the best, Charlotte Tilbury and her iconic packaging. Apple and their no fuss, so easy to use website. What do YOU want? 

I left this step far too long in my freelance career. But no matter what service you are providing, be it freelance writing, hair dressing, make up or camera work... get yourself some decent business cards. The one piece of advice I can give you, is definitely its WHO you know, not what you know. You can be the best make up artist in the world, talent to rival Val Garland and Alex Box, but if you are a hermit in your own home, you won't ever go as far as you could go. Get some business cards and spend some time making them. I loved Vista Print despite the negative reviews and spent some extra money getting better quality cards with a foiled finish. My brand has a slight pastel theme to it, so my business cards are mint green and gold, very Kate Spade feeling. However upon doing this, I realised that the rest of my marketing would really struggle with this theme. Do your research and don't rush into anything - this is the beginning of your future!

The last thing I would say for getting started is to create a business plan. Several amazing blogs offer business plan templates, which I used initially but for me I like more plan and structure, so I actually invested in the Daily Greatness Business Planner. This guy is amazing, it has helped my little business grow and gives me weekly tasks to really push myself. I'll probably review this in more depth eventually, but I do think its amazing if you need structure like myself :)

So those are my little tips for getting started. Next time I will probably go into some more depth about places to get marketing materials if thats something you are interested in! Feel free to leave me a comment with anything you would like to see! 

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