September is a time of new beginnings: the kids head back to school, work returns to full throttle as everyone comes back from their holidays, and the season starts to turn. It’s a time for planning ahead and preparing. That’s especially important this year, as uncertainties around the ongoing impacts of COVID and Brexit continue to have repercussions for the economy, affecting both the availability of freelance work and the cost of living. There’s never been a better time to make sure that you have a robust plan for work and income over the next few months. In this article, we take a look at all the news from September that’s affecting freelancers, so you can make an informed strategy for the autumn months. So get yourself all cosy: grab yourself a pumpkin spiced latte, light a scented candle and join us as we reflect on what harvest September has brought to freelancers.
Distraction from the apocalypse
You’d be forgiven for tuning out of the news at the moment because with shortages of food, energy prices rocketing, and now a fuel crisis – it looks like we might be in for a winter of discontent. We’re firm believers that wallowing and worrying about things that you can’t control is no good for your mental health. So may we offer up some helpful distractions that might bring your mind back to focus on the things you can control? We’ve ventured into the wonderful world of TikTok and were surprised to find that there’s a wealth of information and business tips for freelancers hiding amongst the dance videos and viral stories. If you want a little help knowing where to start, or just want to enhance your follow list, here’s the Dinghy guide to the best TikTokkers for freelancers to follow. If you’re struggling to keep motivated during the working day or need something to block out the noise (either literal or imagined) while you concentrate on an important project, a killer playlist can help. We put together a list of the best playlists to motivate freelancers. There’s a little bit of everything on there, from ambient electronic beats to uptempo country classics. Happy listening!
Working with other freelancers
While freelancers often work alone, we’re always banging a drum on the blog about how important it is to build a network of freelancer friends. As we discuss in our article on how to grow your work as a freelancer, being well-connected to other freelancers can help you win new clients and projects. You can pass work onto each other if you’re full, or if you team up with a freelancer in a related profession (e.g. a graphic designer could team up with a photographer, a web editor could team up with a copywriter) you can offer your services as a package or recommend each other when you know a client needs both services, helping you both win new contracts. Plus there’s a lot to be said for having relationships with people who understand the demands, joys and stresses of freelance life. That’s just one of the many reasons that we spent this month exploring London’s best co-working spaces for freelancers. Not only do these spaces offer hot desks or private offices, fast wifi, free tea and coffee, they also help to build community among like-minded business owners. Whatever your industry and wherever in the city you’re based, there’s bound to be a co-working space that fits your vibe.
The ups and downs of recovery for freelancers
New figures released this month by IPSE – the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed – have shown that freelancer earnings fell in the second quarter of this year. IPSE found that the drop, which is an average of £2,126 per freelancer over Q2, was driven not by freelancers working fewer hours, but by them reducing their day rates by an average of £48. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The survey also showed that freelancers are feeling much more confident in their businesses and the economy more generally – perhaps a sign of hope for the future. It’s also worth mentioning that the National Insurance hikes announced this month will affect sole traders – so don’t be tempted to drop your day rate too far.
Whatever the future holds for your freelance business, make sure you’re properly protected from the risks. Dinghy’s fully-flexible business insurance for freelancers is specially tailored to those who work for themselves. You can pay monthly at no extra cost, and we promise there are never any hidden charges. To understand why you need business insurance to protect you and your work, take a look at our blog from this month, which uses the example of a graphic designer to delve into the different types of insurance that are available to support your freelancing business. Don’t forget you can grab a quote for freelancer insurance from us anytime of the day or night on our website, and it costs about the same as just one fancy autumn-spiced coffee per week.