Five tips for freelancing

7 November 2014

Considering working as a freelancer? Becoming a successful freelancer requires planning, risk-taking and inspiration. Here are BI's top tips on creating a business from scratch.

1) Get inspired

Work in a space that is meaningful for you. If you can draw inspiration from your surroundings, whether it be a café or a cabin, your hobby can quickly become your business, says Donatella Maria De Paoli, Associate Professor in Department of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour.

Whether it be filling a desk space with plants, smelling freshly brewed expresso or hearing the sound of wood crackling on a fire, a stimulating environment breeds creativity. That creative spark is what successful startups are made of, along with a few other ingredients such as…

"Your hobby can quickly become your business"

2) Build a brand.

 Nurture your skills, build awareness around your existence by being present in multiple channels and develop your own specialised field of interest – become an expert. Bendik Samuelsen, Professor in Department of Marketing

Reaching out into the world is a little like preparing for an exam: an intensive, last-minute burst of energy may feel helpful but it will soon burn out. Instead, be consistent in tone of voice, contribution to online discussions and content creation.

3) Get competitive.

You need to stand out from the crowd by having an outstanding piece of reference work, says Torger Reve, Professor Chair in the Department of Strategy and Logistics

Now that inspiration and personal brand development can be ticked off, it is time to add substance to the mix. There is no benefit to waiting for offers of work to arrive. From freelancing to startup companies, ‘now’ is always the perfect time to launch and the offers will only come in if a portfolio exists.

"Network, network, network."

4) Be persistent.

- My mentor once said to me "the one gold standard of motivation is persistence!" Although you   may be struggling at times, continued effort and persistence can help you stay focused and motivated to reach your goal. Christina G. L. Nerstad, Assistant Professor in Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

The world of freelancing and entrepreneurship is becoming more attractive by the day. The downside is that it is overcrowded but the upside is that the person who stands out is the one with all the talent and all the enthusiasm. Be that person by chasing every opportunity and learning how to get back up after a mistake.

5) Know your crowd

- You need to know a few people in decision positions. Network, network, network. Torger Reve, Professor Chair in the Department of Strategy and Logistics

The most rewarding opportunities are born from good relationships. Ask someone in a desirable industry for a coffee, attend local networking events and remember to offer to offer advice as well as receive it.

For more tips on freelancing projects, sign up for a lecture with Silicon Valley entrepreneur Fabio Rosati. He created the global freelancing platform,, and will be sharing his experience and advice on Tuesday 11th November. 

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