Joining the growing community of female freelancers

Starting up

4 July 2016

Self-employment is at its highest level in 40 years. And according to research, more and more women are going down the self-employed route.

Around 40% of self-employed professionals are female, and this figure is set to increase as women join the freelancing revolution at a faster rate than men.

So is it time you joined them? Read on for freelancing tips and advice that will help you prepare to join the growing community of female professionals.

Build your freelance portfolio

Most clients will ask to see examples of your work before they consider hiring you, but it can be difficult to produce a portfolio when you're starting out. So, take on some voluntary work for a local charity or offer your services for a discounted rate on a website like Remember not to sell yourself short: once you have five to ten samples you should start approaching clients that pay.

Ask for referrals

The most important piece of freelancing advice we can give you is to network, network and network some more. Speak to friends, family members and ex-colleagues and let them know what you're doing now. They might know someone who is looking for your services. Get some business cards printed and start handing them out.

Join professional societies

Most industries have regulating bodies which hold networking events, set standards and offer freelancing advice to their members. Some examples are the Chartered Society of Designers, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and The Professional Copywriters Association. Membership comes with an annual fee, but you'll receive many opportunities and resources in return.

Join local organisations

Freelancers often overlook local bodies such as the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce, but these can be fantastic places to meet professionals who may be in need of your assistance. If you work from home you may also want to consider spending one day a week at a local co-working space. This is a good way to share knowledge and work with other freelance professionals. If you're a freelance graphic designer, for example, you might meet a web designer who needs your skills.

Get insured

Making mistakes is part and parcel of life. When it comes to your business, professional indemnity insurance could protect you against any client complaints.

And as an added bonus: insurance can give you a competitive advantage over uninsured professionals in your industry.