Freelance Fashion Journalist
At the moment I live in Liverpool and a while after graduating (BA Hons Journalism) my frustration with a lack of jobs in fashion in the North West sort of erupted and so I decided to try my hand at freelancing. I had a few contacts and a tiny bit of paid work already from placements and work experience done while at University so I had somewhere to start. To up my workload I used Linkedin to network with PRs, editors and journalists and signed up to Elance.
I got two regular gigs, one running the social media of 6 different clients for a web builder and also writing articles on psychology and education for two difference career websites (glamorous I know!). My second piece of regular work was writing for a fashion website which involved covering A/W13 shows, writing model profiles and trend posts. Aside from these two regular pieces I had a steady (if less than desired) load of fashion related articles or blog posts.
The great thing about freelancing is being able to run your own and day and make any coffee shop your office. The terrible thing is not being paid for work (I am still waiting for an invoice nearly 8 months later) and work suddenly being cut off.
In the end I decided that it wasn't worth the stress and that I would rather have a 9-5 (even if it had to be unrelated) and write fashion for free in my own time, than fight over invoices and worry about paying bills. Because let me tell you, you will fight over invoices and you will worry about money. I had less than £500 coming in a month more than once and some months absolutely nothing.
Freelance starting points:
-Sign up to Elance and do a few bitty random jobs to get your profile looking good
-Introduce yourself to local PR firms so you're their go-to for any last minute pieces they outsource for
-Go to events, find people who are running events and force your business card in their hands
-Sort out your rate and do not compromise - ever
-Get a money wise friend to help you with your TAX, VAT and invoices because MAN they are complicated. A good place to start is putting 30% of everything you earn aside to pay the big scary tax man at the end of the year
I had a great time freelancing, I covered endless fashion shows, met some great designers and honed my fashion knowledge. But, it's a tough life and you'll only make it with a genuine love for fashion, good contacts and strong budgeting skills!