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PERSONAL BLOG OF A CREATIVE FREELANCER

FREELANCER, CONTRACTOR OR CONSULTANT. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

FreelancingRosa KoolhovenComment

Before I moved to London 6 years ago I wasn't familiar with the terms Contractor or Recruiter. In the Netherlands we only use the words Freelancer or ZZP-er for someone that works for herself and as far as I know there are not that many recruiting agencies in Amsterdam. But also in London I sometimes have to explain the differences between being a FreelancerContractor or Consultant. Because even though the term Freelancer is commonly used for all three, the way of working is quite different. 

FREELANCER

Freelancers are people who have their own client base and most of the time they charge by the hour. They usually work from home or from a rented desk somewhere in a hip co-working space. A Freelancer is very flexible and works for multiple clients at the same time. They are personally responsible for getting in enough business to pay the bills, so they have to be good at managing client relationships (and chase payments!).

CONTRACTOR

A Contractor works for one client at the time and usually at the client's office on a fixed-term contract. These clients are the bigger advertising, branding or design agencies. Contractors usually charges per day and have good over-time payment rules set up. Contractors work directly with the client or they get hired via recruitment agencies. A Recruiter is a person or an organisation that links Contractors to their Clients. The Recruiter handles the contract between the two and also deals with the payments. Read my post on working with Creative Recruiters here.

CONSULTANT

A Consultant is a more experienced professional and is specialised in a certain subject. Where the Freelancer and the Contractor are executers of a set out job with a clear result, the Consultant has a more conceptual and theory based approach. They work on an advisory level and are usually not accountable for the outcome. Because of their years of experiences and their knowledge of their field, they can charge a very high fee.


At this moment I'm combining contracting jobs with personal freelance jobs. Because contracting is my bread and butter, I'm able to work for friends and family for free or a very low fee (a bottle of wine mostly :). In the future I would love to work as a design consultant, but I feel that I need to have a few more years of experience, before I would feel comfortable offering this service. Also teacher is something that I would definitely want to be doing in the future!

THE FUTURE IS FREELANCE

FreelancingRosa KoolhovenComment

'I'll work full-time for an agency for five years and then I'll go freelance.' That is what I told myself when I got a job as a designer at an advertising agency in London. But it took me less then a year to realise this wasn't for me. It just didn't feel right to be inside an office, day in day out, to give up evenings and weekends and to ask permission when I wanted to take some time off.  So after almost two years I quit my job and went freelance. And I am not the only one that is making this decision.

MORE THEN 40% OF THE WORKFORCE IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY IS FREELANCE.

The percentage of self-employment will only continue to grow in the next years as we, the so called Millennials or Generation Y, will take up 75% of the workforce by 2025. Our generation wants more out of their life than a steady income or long-term career! We want freedom, experiences, creativity and collaboration. Nowadays people are not loyal to a company any more, but instead they are loyal to their own art en skill. And with todays society and the technology at hand, it is easier then ever to start working for yourself or create your own business.

But even though it might be easier these days, it is still a scary thing to do. How to set up your own business is something we never learned in art school. No lessons were given in handling clients, paying taxes or how to make sure you end up with a pension. So when I went freelance, I did a lot of research and it wasn't easy to find trustworthy information. There are blogs and websites out there that give information on these topics, but none that spoke to me as a creative person. So then I got the idea.. why don't I start the blogging about my experiences? Share the things I have learned along the way and hopefully be helpful to other creatives out there.