So You've Decided To Go Freelance - What's Next?Choosing to go freelance could be seen as a scary move, yet it could also be one of the most freeing decisions you'll ever make. Here, the director of the freelance hairdressers' association (FHA) Sheila Abrahams, discusses what life might look like as a freelancer.
"Working on your own can be very isolating," says Sheila. "We have a virtual staff room, where members speak to one another, offer support, share their experiences - even discuss colour problems! In fact, they discuss all the things that you would in a salon staff room. Working for yourself, training and keeping up to date is very important." Even though you're choosing to work alone, now is a great time to align yourself with hairdressers / beauty techs that you admire; whether that's reaching out locally, or simply following them on social media.
Help is at hand
Says Sheila: "I think an awful lot of freelancers feel like giving up sometimes, which is exactly why the FHA* was set up, so that you can be given help as you start your business."
Again, social media can be a huge boost for those working alone. Industry platforms and publications will often have community boards on their social media channels, particularly Facebook. Here you can join in with regular Q&As as well as share any concerns you might have.
First, you should sign up for at least one form of social media (Instagram is ideal if you're very visual, while Facebook is great for interacting with potential clients in your local area). Both are great for letting clients know your working hours, late nights etc. Next, have you taken a look at your website lately? If you want to be sure that someone who is looking for you, actually finds you, you must have a website - this is 2018 and having a website is a prerequisite when it comes to gaining a potential customer's trust.
Big time freelancers
Patrick Cameron, Carolyn Newman, Angelo Seminara, to name a few!
Any do's and don'ts for freelancers?
- Don't isolate yourself
- Don't undervalue yourself
- Don't let clients think freelancing is a cheap option
- Don't be afraid to admit that there are some things you need to learn
- Do charge realistic prices
- Do make sure you keep up to date with products and techniques
- Do spend time with other freelancers
Is it harder for freelancer to have access to education, as opposed to a salon team?
Being freelance means you have to invest in your own education. But it's often a lack of confidence that holds people back.
Finally, tell us about the positives of being freelance in 2018?
- You are in control of your own destiny
- You can take advantage of any opportunities that come your way
- You can work the hours that suit your life style
- You can focus on the work that pleases you.
- Being your own boss can be the hardest thing you ever do but the most rewarding.
Find out more at thefha.org.uk