SOMETIMES, when I suggest to a freelance that learning a few key business skills might help their creative career, they look at me as if I’ve told them to sell their grannie.
As an immediate reaction, I can understand why: after all, we haven’t spent all these years studying our art and developing our talent just to waste time touting apples and pears down the market - not that there’s anything wrong with this, it’s just we don’t want to be business people – end of.
Good point. However, be assured, grannie is in safe hands here. The reason why FEU Training has developed an extensive business skills learning programme designed specifically for freelance members, is not to convince you to change your profession but to help you establish work continuity and maximise your potential to help you survive and thrive in what is an extremely competitive and sometimes cut throat environment.
As most of us soon find, being successful is not just about talent, and waiting for a ‘lucky break’ is a risky and passive strategy. In the spirit of actively ‘making it happen’ business abilities that prove invaluable include creating more and better work opportunities (sales and marketing – only it’s your skills and ideas you’re selling not fruit); building strong working relationships so that you’re hired repetitively (customer service); knowing how to establish fair terms and conditions (negotiation); becoming efficient (time management) and ensuring that your cash is always flowing (financial management).
So, donning a business hat to support your creative outfit will help ensure that you get into and indeed rock the industry party rather than remain standing outside on the pavement…waiting and hoping for someone to notice you. In fact, the better you get at this side of freelance work, the easier and less time consuming it becomes, allowing you to spend more time on the work that you are most passionate about.
To help you buff up on these skills, members can sign up to the free e-course ‘Business Skills for Freelances’. Here, you’ll get an overview of what skills are most useful to you along with tips and techniques on putting theory in practise.
At the digital learning centre, you’ll also find a variety of online training including quick tips, Q & As and e-courses including:
- Blogging for Creative Freelances
- Business Skills for Freelances
- Building your Brand
- Building your Web Presence
- Creative Productivity
- Diversifying your Portfolio
- Ethics, Regulation and Law
- Finance for Freelances
- Marketing for Freelances
- Negotiation for Freelances
- Overcoming Freelance Challenges
- Social Media for Freelances
- Stress Busting for Freelances
To read about what participants of FEU Training workshops say about how they benefitted, go to Case Studies.
Who’s a member of FEU Training?
If you’re a member of Equity, the MU, the NUJ or the WGGB, you can become a member of FEU Training and gain access to a variety of free training and information. Just register on our website using your membership number.