It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….yes, we’ve got the advent calendars on stand-by, the Christmas decorations waiting in the wings, and the present-buying has commenced. It’s time to say goodbye to November and welcome in advent. December can be a busy month for freelancers as you gear up to try and get all those projects finished before the Christmas break. So let’s get straight to it – here’s the latest news for freelancers and features from the Dinghy blog from November.
Some freelancers are born entrepreneurs, others are just trying to make a living doing what they love, while enjoying some of the extra flexibility and autonomy that being your own boss brings. If talk of business strategies and cashflows has you quaking, we offered up a few resources on the blog this month that might help.
We know that it can be tricky knowing what rates to charge when you’re working freelance. This is often the case for new freelancers, who don’t have much basis for comparison yet and haven’t had a chance to “test the waters” of remuneration with lots of clients. But it can also be a problem for more seasoned freelancers, confused about how much they should be charging for their years of experience and extra skills they’ve learnt. We’ve put together some top tips for how to calculate and set your rates when working freelance…give it a read to see if you’ve got your pricing strategy right.
We also had a look to the future – no, we haven’t taken possession of a crystal ball, but we’re thinking about early retirement. As much as it might seem like a beautiful dream, when you work as your own boss, you can (with some careful planning and financial prudence) work towards a goal of retiring early, leaving you free to spend more time playing with your grandkids, travelling the world, or devoting hours to your favourite hobbies. Interested? Have a read of our guide to see if early retirement could be for you.
Help if you’re new to freelancing
Autumn is a time for change – and the weird collusion of darker nights and back-to-the-office blues might have led many people to consider a switch from a standard 9-5 to the world of freelancing. We’ve put together a few guides that might be useful if you’re thinking of taking the leap to self-employment now or in the new year.
Firstly, we’ve got the lowdown on how to start out as a freelance copywriter. Drawing together all the top tips from the experienced freelancers on our books, this article explores how to get building your freelance writing career. Yes, you can actually make a career out of writing. I told you so, mum.
Similarly, those new to the freelancing game might not always realise the value of insurance, and how essential it is to make sure that you have the right cover in place to protect you and your freelance business. On the blog this month, we took a look at what insurances a social media freelancer should have in place, including useful examples grounded in the real world. Find out how freelancer insurance could protect you, your business, and those around you.
Remember to do your tax return!
We don’t want to hound you any more than HMRC are already doing, but, just to check, you do remember that the Self-Assessment tax return deadline is 31st January, right? Factor in a couple of weeks off over Christmas scoffing mince pies and lying on the couch watching movies, and that deadline will be upon us sooner than you think. So, we hate to be boring, but if you haven’t already, get that on your to-do list and get it sorted. Then you can enjoy Christmas without it hanging over you. Our top tips for getting your tax return done are:
- Gather everything you need together before you start: passwords, figures, invoices, receipts.
- Pop on an epic playlist to keep you motivated.
- Settle down with a brew in your favourite mug.
- Double-check your return before submitting, preferably by printing out a hard copy.
- Make sure you keep a copy of the submission and reference number.
- Reward yourself with a treat at the end.
Seeking inspiration on Instagram
When things get hectic, as they often do in the run-up to Christmas, it’s important to make sure you’re building time into your day to pause, breathe, and reflect. Our list of the best photographers to get inspiration from is perfect if you’re looking for a timeline cleanse or a meditative coffee break. Many freelancers work in creative industries, but when you work for yourself it can be hard to carve out the time to seek out material that helps keep developing your artistic eye. Give a few of the photographers on our list a follow and you’ll soon have access to inspo-on-demand, with stunning landscapes, quirky found-object still lifes and dynamic portraits.
One final thing on your checklist this November should be making sure your business insurance is up-to-date. Knowing that you have policies like professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance and business equipment insurance in place will help reassure yourself and your clients that everyone is protected if something goes wrong. With Dinghy’s exclusive Freelancer Assist service, you’ll also get access to legal, tax and counselling helplines – which can come in very useful at this time of year. Remember our policies are designed for freelancers so they’re low-cost and hassle-free. Get your quote on our website today.