The 10 Best Articles for Freelancers in 2016

The deadline for filing for your Freelancer self-assessment tax return is creeping up on January 31st 2017. There's a strong chance that you'll be chasing those remaining pesky receipts, wondering which expenses to deduct, and trying to work out just where the time and money went.

If you're ahead of the crowd and have all your finances in order for January 31st, you'll likely still be making a belated New Years resolution to not leave it so late next time.

Whether you're on top of your finances, or looking to get smarter with your money, we're here to help. We've put together the 10 essential articles to help you get more from freelancing in 2017.


(1) Getting Started with Freelance Work Whilst Having no Experience


One of the biggest attractions that freelance work offers is the opportunity to be your own boss. The first port of call, however, is finding work.

Every freelancer has faced this particular stalemate during their career: how do you find work when most clients only want to hire those who are experienced in freelance work?

This barrier can be overcome.

As Carrie Nicholson at Careful Cents explains, you can still get work. Whether it's by leaning on past experience outside of freelancing, putting together a portfolio, or getting testimonials from past employers, this guide is a great first port of call for those new to the freelancing scene.


(2) Choosing to keep your day job while freelancing


Before you start freelancing, you might find yourself asking if you can keep a steady flow of work coming in (and if you're earning enough to keep it up)...

Having a full time job while freelancing on the side can boost your security and earnings plus help solve these problems, but can also seriously soak up your spare time. Is it worth doing?

Career Foundry has the answers. They have put together a comprehensive guide to the advantages of freelancing with a full time job: from client building to the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if it all goes wrong, you still have a job to fall back on.


(3) Finding Clients that Stick


In this article and podcast, Kelsey Jones and Danielle Antosz tackle the issue of client acquisition head on. They cover everything from job boards, to platforms, to referrals.

"Platforms are a good way to get an idea of what you want to offer and how (much) you want to charge..."

Gain your clients' trust, keep relationships open, and know when you are growing too big for platforms - you'll find yourself with a host of regular clients in no time.


(4) Giving Yourself Enough Time as a Freelancer


So you've escaped the 9 to 5 to work as a freelancer, and have a steady flow or work coming in. But how do you manage your time?

As recently as 2016, 44% of self-employed workers said that they did not feel able to take a week or more's holiday in the first half of the year. It's common in freelance circles for stress about making ends meet to lead people to overwork and miss out on the important things in life.

By taking regular extended breaks and learning to prioritise your work, you can become both happier and more productive.


(5) Personal Finance Tips Every Freelancer should Know


The very nature of personal finance when you're self-employed means that first and foremost, you're managing your money, not just your business's.

From getting set up with a personal and business account to help separate your spending, to planning for the usual "ups and downs" of freelancer living. 99Designs' piece talks through the hard things about personal finance when working for yourself, and sets you up on the winning track.


(6) Bookkeeping Tips for Freelancers


When you're a freelancer managing your clients and your money - online or on paper - expenses undoubtedly crop up as a bugbear somewhere down the line.

"Nobody looks forward to the nitty gritty bits of admin that come along with [freelance financial management]..."

Fortunately, Upwork's blog covers all the bases with 5 top tips for "Do It Yourself" freelancers, including how to be thrifty, transparent, and digital with your money.


(7) A Freelancer's Guide to Expenses


You've been on a business trip as a Freelancer. You've hired a car and moved around some office spaces in the local country. You've read the guide on bookkeeping for freelancers. Now you've landed back home with some expenses from your time away.

But what do you do with your expenses? What are your expenses? Does it matter which currency they're in..? If you're struggling with the answer to that question, look no further: Freelance:UK's article lays out what you should be claiming, and what you should look out for when working with clients abroad.

At Curve, we're making payments and expense management easier for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners who like to travel. Get started with smarter expense management with our brand new Email Receipts!

CurveAutomatedEmailReceipts


(8) What is the Best Bank for Digital Nomads


There’s one last group we wouldn’t want to feel left out: the travelling freelancers, or "digital nomads".

Travelling while working can be a great experience. On the other hand, getting to grips with a new currency, juggling payments in a country you don't have an account in, and handling international clients can be a less-than-great experience.

We caught up with financial expert and digital nomad Alex Lielacher to hear more about how those who choose to work abroad can get the most out of their money and their living.


(9) Limiting your Digital Footprint Abroad


For all its benefits, working remotely abroad can also be damaging to the environment, particularly when considering flights and transport.

”Sticking to local food is a great way to experience a country, and also helps to reduce the amount of air miles and emissions that come attached to your lunch...”

Have no fear, as Charlie on Travel has got you covered on all you need to know about budgeted, eco-friendly travel. Some solutions take commitment, like declining air-con, while others can enrich your experience greatly. For example, sticking to local food is a great way to experience a country, and also helps to reduce the amount of air miles and emissions that come attached to your lunch.


(10) Should you turn your Freelancer Career into a Small Business?


There will come a point in your freelance career when you start to wonder whether you should make the leap and turn your enterprise into a fully fledged small business. Maybe you would like to expand your work to cater for wider audiences, or need to hire staff in order to manage the workload you have already. Maybe you are just ready to commit to work on something a bit bigger.

Before you can start making preparations to turn your freelance career into a small business, you have to decide whether you even should. There are lots of questions you should ask yourself before making the decision.

Are you ready to expand? Would you prefer growth or flexibility? Do you have the time? Running a small business is very different from participating in the gig economy, so make sure you know for sure that the move is right for you...


Looking to get more from your money, from simpler saving to smarter spending - and everything in between? Get Curve today, plus see how other small business owners and freelancers are using Curve to get smarter with their money.

Alan McAlpine

Product Marketing at Curve 🚀

See more posts from Alan McAlpine