June – where the sun finally shone, but the COVID restrictions stayed on. The mini-heatwave that opened this month was a welcome relief from the cold, grey rains of May. As long as you had an ice lolly or two to get you through, it was a welcome novelty to crack open the suncream and sleep with the windows open once more. However, by the end of the month, we were experiencing deja vu, with wet weather plaguing our summer plans, and the government announcing a delay to its plans to ease lockdown. But at least we had some football to distract us this time! We take a look at what’s been happening in the freelance world and on the Dinghy blog throughout June.
Still in lockdown
Increased transmission of the Delta variant meant that planned easing of lockdown didn’t happen as scheduled on 21st June. The delay was a huge blow to industries like music, theatre and hospitality, and another signal that a tent in your garden is your best bet for the festival season this year.
Wedding guest numbers were allowed to increase, though with restrictions on dancing and singing. Good news for our photographers and wedding planners (and any freelance brides and grooms), but not so good for our DJs and musicians. The incoming Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, and the PM have both promised “irreversible” lifting of restrictions on the 19th of July. As ever, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the exact detail of easing and what that means for freelancers here on the blog.
Bouncing back stronger
There were signs that the economy experienced a boom in spring as the service sector grew and the number of workers on furlough fell significantly. While some economic instability is likely to continue at least until restrictions are lifted, these are encouraging signs for freelancers looking for work, especially in industries that have been able to reopen.
With that in mind, we looked at some ways that freelancers can make the most of the current moment. It could be that your work has stabilised again and you’re finding yourself in demand. If you’ve been freelancing for a few years now, check-in with yourself and ask when the last time you reviewed your fees was. If you’ve built up experience (and the cost of living has increased) since then, it might be time to think about giving yourself a pay rise. Our blog has the lowdown on how to increase rates without losing clients.
If you’re still struggling to pick up clients and finding the pace of reopening a little bit sluggish in your industry, we’ve got some top tips on how to brand yourself as a freelancer, to make you and your skills stand out so that you get hired. One essential branding tool is, of course, a website – take a look at our guide to 10 of the best free website builders to help you get started.
What’s your freelancing routine?
One of the huge benefits of freelancing is that it lets you set a routine that suits you and your lifestyle. On the blog this month, we looked at the different types of freelancer – which one are you? For freelancing parents, we also took some time to figure out how to make the freelance work-school-family life balancing thing work. All you need is a time-turner, access to an enchanted wardrobe and some magic cleaning fairies. Just kidding. Unfortunately, we don’t have any supernatural solutions, but we do have some tips that might help you find a routine that works for you, your clients and your family.
As things opened back up, we wanted to check in with our freelancers to make sure that they have the right levels of insurance cover to match their needs. Quite often, we hear from freelancers who think that they don’t need business insurance because they operate alone, don’t employ anyone, or don’t have many clients. We put together this guide which we hope provides a definitive answer to the question, “do freelancers need insurance?” If you want to look more deeply at the different types of business insurance that are available, and what each one does, we’re starting a series of more in-depth guides to our specialist freelancer insurances, starting this month with the often-misunderstood professional indemnity insurance.
Once you’ve read up on the insurance you need, don’t forget that you can get a quick quote on our website in just 30 seconds. We hope all our freelancers are managing to take some downtime to enjoy the sunshine (and maybe even a holiday) throughout the next couple of months. And we’re keeping our fingers crossed that Boris will have some good news for us all soon. Until then, freelance friends, keep wearing those masks, taking those tests, sanitising those hands and getting those jabs!