The business of being a freelance creative industry contractor

‘The keys to this may be found in the knitting that is culture and values’

It could be that some people move towards being freelance as they find that mode of work easier to get their heads around. The deliverables tend to be fixed or more fixed, the workplace and day to day interaction less politically charged. Others just crave the lifestyle it brings to them, the freedom of being able to work more hours where and when it suits them. Others have been sold the near term benefits of fees that come to them initially untaxed, resulting in more in their bank account at least in the first few years of the transition.

It should be noted that pressure to perform, whether it be for a client or as an employee, doesn’t go away as a result of being freelance. Sooner or later after the move you will come to realise that the intrinsic motivation to grow your skills and your client base must simply be there, or be discovered, otherwise even as a contractor you will stagnate. This is why, whether you acknowledge this from the start or just choose initially to taunt ex colleagues from your newly found freedoms, it will eventually dawn upon you that your move to be freelance is not so much a lifestyle choice but one that involves you to develop and nurture business skills. This is vital in order to grow from your initial client base.


All of the things that you took for granted in your previous employed status (or if you are fortunate to go straight into freelancing from college and win clients in the process congratulations) are now your responsibility. Although you may be able to see what you want for your new business, you will soon discover that you;

  • Exhaust yourself trying to do all of these things yourself
  • You gain some understanding that you can only get things done by being able to write specific and detailed instructions for others and ensuring that these are followed step by step
  • You grapple with the fact that others’ input, creative or not, can result in output from suppliers that is not exactly as you first saw it being done


It is therefore vital to gain some understanding of people management, project management and branding skills to be able to develop as a viable enterprise. Of these surprisingly in a graphic, IT, and musically driven marketplace for creatives quite a lot of getting things done comes down to people. Some of the brightest ideas and modern work practices are there in the marketplace to be tapped into but how do you manage talent to produce the best results for you and your clients?

The keys to this may be found in the knitting that is culture and values. If you don’t find a sense of purpose for your new business, a house ‘style’, and you are not able to communicate these to clients, suppliers, and employees alike you will struggle to move your business beyond just completing ad hoc work assignments for others.

Setting Up Your Company

Setting up a company can actually be done in less than a day and for a few hundred pounds via Companies House. You could even do this yourself. Log onto Vista and hey presto you have a business card with your company name on it and you are a company Director- hand out your cards to prove your new modus operandi. However how much time have you put into creating a business logo – one that can be used for a website, a business card, your Twitter account and/or headed paper? Is your company name important? Well no not if you just want a company to run income and expenses through to avail of the cash flow benefits and tax planning advantages of being a company. However, if you want to run a business and one that will be around for a while the Marketing ‘frills’ that go with setting up a company maybe worth considering.

There is one school of thought that your business should have a personality – what words would most express that business ‘personality’. Are you more the fun, inclusive socially aware style of Innocent Smoothies, the edgy, move fast, creatively slick Apple, or the win at all costs style of Donald Trump or Sir Alan Sugar? All have been successful but all have found their Brand and Marketing presence and are more than happy sharing it.

Do you feel that you have a Corporate Identity yet that others could relate to?

Call us now, regarding these services in the London area and how we can help, on 020 8108 0090or complete the enquiry form and we will call you back.