Eight Key Freelance Responsibilities You Should Know About

Source: Markus Spiske/ Flickr

Source: Markus Spiske/ Flickr

Antonia realised that although freelance work allows you to be your own boss, there are often some important responsibilities that go along with it -most of which, we aren’t taught at school.

Life as a freelancer can be hectic – so hectic that you forget about all the admin that comes with it. Most of these skills are learnt on the job, but freelancers are often working alone, from home with very little guidance.

Here are my top tips to make sure you’re getting what you deserve, because unfortunately most of these skills aren’t taught in school.

1. Pay Your Tax

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This is real important. By law, we all have to pay tax. This what pays the NHS, the police and firemen. It makes the country go round. Unfortunately most of us aren’t taught about how to manage and deal with our taxes in school, but unless you want to end up like the UK’s answer to Lauryn Hill, then I suggest you get clued up. Because the tax man will find you. Here’s some information on why we pay tax, and here’s a simple website for doing it.

2. Find A Mentor And Build A Relationship With Them

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It may be someone you look up to, already in the industry. It may be someone you met at a networking event. It’s useful someone who can help you propel yourself with a richer understanding of what you do or how to get to where you want to be if you’re ever at a loss of which direction to head in and need some advice.

3. Get Your Brief In Writing

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As a freelancer, time is precious – even the time you spend procrastinating. Make sure that before you start any work, you have a brief outlined in writing of what you are expected to do. This not only protects you in case you end up in a ‘their-word-against-mine scenario’, but it also helps with the completion of the task. Having a reference point to go back to allows you to make sure that you have a list of objectives to measure your efforts against.

4. Know Your Worth

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If someone is asking you if you want to work solely ‘for exposure’ then they are probably exploiting you – they need to go. Or you just take your services elsewhere because there is plenty of paid work out there – you just have to find it and market yourself for it. Most importantly, find out how much you should be getting paid for the service you are offering. Do your research online and get advice from your mentor so you know the going rate.

5. Invoice, Invoice, Invoice

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Or the dollar won’t circulate.

An invoice should have your name and contact details, as well as your bank details and how much you are owed and who by. Have a look at some templates here to give you an idea of how to lay yours out.

6. Get Your Credit Where It’s Due

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You don’t want to turn out like director Abteen Bagher and producer Chris Black who found clips from their documentary in Beyonce’s latest video ‘Formation’ – completely unaccredited. If you’re letting someone use your work as part of their own project, make sure that your name is attached to your pride and joy. Make sure you’re not being ripped off if they’re making money from it. The government website has more information on copyright here and intellectual property here

7. Get Online

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Build yourself a portfolio to show potential clients. It’s essential to have a backlog of examples of your previous work so you can let your work speak for itself.

8. Don’t bite off more than you can chew 

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Have some downtime and look after number one. It can get easy to get carried away, working all hours without very much time left for yourself. This is just as important as the work itself.

If you need some career advice, find out more information about Babbassa Youth Empowerment Projects via Rife Guide. They are an organisation that help young people develop their employment and enterprise aspirations. 

Do you have any tips to add to the list? Let us know on Twitter @Rifemag

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