Ever considered going freelance?
The word freelance can strike the fear of God into many, but in our new short blog series, we will dispel worries and myths and show you how to confidently navigate your way along the freelance route.
Your interior design course is completed, you are clutching your qualification in your hand and are champing at the bit to start work in the interior design world. You are so enthusiastic to put everything you have learned in to practice. The new chapter of your life is about to begin.
But jobs seem so hard to come by. Competition is fierce and certainly for larger companies, recruitment goes through agencies and you just can’t reach the people who will really be doing the hiring. So, is there another route into the interior design world?
How do you break in?
Freelance could be the answer…
It has considerable benefits: you can be your own boss, you can get a great mixture of clients and work, and in doing so gain a lot of incredible and diverse experience. And in this day and age, keywords have definitely become freelance and remote – people are more accepting than ever before that you don’t need to have colleagues or co-workers in your office – virtual workers are on the rise. And so why should it be any different in the interior design world?
With companies seeking to be more flexible, being able to react to any peaks (or troughs) in workload, and not always wanting to appoint permanent staff, freelance interior designers are becoming increasingly more of an attractive option.
So where do you start and how do you get yourself noticed?
Don’t give up the day job…yet…
There is a fine line, when starting out – you want to give it your all but unless you have a year’s worth of savings behind you, it can be a sharp shock to give up the day job straight away. Consider your options carefully.
If you are lucky enough to be working (whatever that may be), try and overlap if possible – see if you can gradually withdraw from your permanent job, rather than making a cold leap. Perhaps start by doing some evening or weekend interior design work – admittedly it can make for a long day and requires a lot of discipline and organisation, but if you manage your projects carefully, you may find you aren’t working every hour godsend. It is a good way to dip your toe in the water and see if the career is for you. You will also discover which elements you enjoy, excel at and really dislike.
Approach your current employer and see if they are willing to let you go part-time – that will help ease yourself across. Or if they aren’t buying that take a period of unpaid leave and use that time to start setting yourself up and networking.
It’s all in a name…
It is never too early to think about yourself as a brand – you can, of course, start working freelance under your own moniker, but a brand will start to set you apart from others. Think about the image you want to convey and about how people may perceive it – even down to the font and the colour.
Check the availability in Companies House and whether the domain is available – look at .com or something more glamourous like .studio. Whilst a website can wait a little while as you establish yourself, a professional email address/account goes a long way to creating confidence and gravitas.
If you want a web presence, don’t spend thousands on an all-singing all-dancing website from the outset – at the very start, a simple holding page can be created through a template (found on sites such as WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace etc), which can simply announce your main site is ‘under construction’ but having all your contact details apparent.
So be sure to join us again in Part 2 when we will be exploring pricing and getting yourself known as a freelancer.
Metier Rendezvous is a peer support network for Interior Designers in the UK and around the world!
We provide day-to-day pro-active and friendly support for all our members.
Collaboratively, which many find hard to believe, we believe in Community over Competition.
We share business ideas, tips, brainstorm on projects together as well as forward on leads.