One of the things I missed about being self employed is not having colleagues to try out new lunch venues or chill at tea, “whatsup” catching up with office gossip, and especially the learning workshops we were forced to attend. And the travelling. Which was quite fun, since it was only 10%, in my work – no budget. The free newspapers, so essential to keeping up with research and client information.
While I enjoy managing my own time, minimal department meetings, no office politics (I still have a boss. My clients are my boss.), there is a downside to being a free lancer/ gig economy worker/ self employed. Lonely. Iron sharpens iron. (Confessions of an introvert.)
How do freelancers thrive in the future of work?
NTUC has set up a chapter for Free lancers and self employed, check out their facebook.
There will be an upcoming 2 day workshop to equip free lancers with digital skills, considering that coaches can still be paid through cash, app, and internet banking.
Step One: Company Name and type of work
First, think of a name for your company and register it with the government. Set up an ACRA account. Its not difficult. https://www.acra.gov.sg/
How do you use your time wisely as a tennis coach, if classes are cancelled on a rainy day?
Today, many of the younger generation prefer to be self employed. Digital tools have made it possible.
Step Two: Join NTUC FSE
Join a community. Why? Social, getting ideas, learn something. Example, how to pitch yourself?
There are a number of associations to join:
Singapore Association of Motion Picture Professionals
Screenwriters Association (Singapore)
IoTalents for online and IT workforce
Creatives at Work (CAW) for media freelancers
Tueetoer (for free lance tutors)
Step three: Market yourself
Get a professionally done photograph, nothing fancy, but very presentable @ caregivers asia. You can check out the photographs done for their freelance caregivers. Joel Tam.
You can start a Facebook, Instagram or even Blog. Register with a number of providers like Fiverr, Upwork, Tueetor etc.
You can create a podcast with your mobile or a youtube video.
For a lady who does storytelling for children. She was articulating the benefits of her course. Learning while playing. Joel articulated that her blog could include a simple Powtoons tip of the day for parents, “Three things your child can play while learning without realising.”
Even creating Infographics. I especially like the tip of how Joel broke into writing reviews for cars. He took a photograph of his own car and sent it to major automotive brands. Wow. Such a simple and impactful idea. Sometimes, just talking to someone who has done it, helps break down the “barriers in our head”.
Many of the self employed entrepreneurs I discovered, wear multiple hats and have multiple streams of income. Joel is Marketing Director at Caregivers as well as Care review etc.
Recognise that you need T-shaped skills. Deep expertise, applied to different businesses.
An important tip he shared was, if you have 70,000 followers on your Instagram account, but they are not in your target market, then you may want to start afresh. Localise your content. Especially for freelancers working towards a local clientele.
Step 4: How do you hook clients with a strong pitch?
In your self introduction, dont just talk about ideas. Talk about yourself as an idea. Your transformational journey, eg from a chemical engineer to a muay thai instructor, and how those little bits of you are combined to make you who you are today.
Not just another mindfulness instructor, but a sports coach who combines mindfulness in the journey.
What are three superhero characteristics you bring, from your life journey?
I was a _________. (Painpoint: A conflict I felt _________. I decided to ________. The pivot helped me _____________.
So what are you waiting for?