Freelance talent is where it's at

A group of organisations, including us, is on a mission to make the world a better place to freelance.


Our group relies on freelance talent to function and have been individually working to improve the experience of people that are freelancing with us:

  • Don’t be a dick
  • Communicate, and communicate well
  • Treat people like people
  • (Try as best you can to) Find them interesting/challenging work to do
  • Pay them what they’re worth
  • Pay them on time

We’re now starting to think about how we pool our resources and start working towards an agreed common set of values between:

  • Freelancers
  • Companies, i.e. clients, that work with freelance talent to deliver projects
  • Agencies that work with freelance talent to deliver projects

Something akin to the Diversity Charter, with the words 'Don't be a Dick' written in large friendly letters.

You can read more about, and sign up to, the Diversity Charter, here.

This is the early stages and we’re really interested in gathering data on what the three groups above might actually want from an initiative like this.

Paper ran a "Freelancers, agencies and clients – How can we work together more openly?” event with Manchester Digital:

  • View the event info, here (you need to click "View event information", 'cos it's a past event)
  • Read Paper's write up of the event, here

That was an interesting starting point and we’re interested in doing more of the same. So we’re organising something similar to the Manchester Digital event with Freelancer Magazine.

We’re looking for four speakers to do ten mins each - providing us with the hook to get freelancer bums on seats. We’ve got three lined up:

  • Shehla Ali will talk about “Collaborating as a freelancer, having a chronic illness and those "quiet periods" we all dread”
  • Jonathan Holden will talk about having a “Squiggly Career” (check out Amazing If and The Squiggly Career for more on this)
  • Something about freelancers getting involved in projects (even proposals and pitching) as early as possible
  • Then either "Stories of failure" a la Fuckup Nights, or something around being a freelancer, having too much work and then outsourcing it to to other people. Then, related, do I want to stay a freelancer, or do I want to become an agency.

I’ve just got this last one to secure (and I’ve got two calls lined up that I’m hoping will provide the last piece of the puzzle), then we’re good to start looking at potential dates.

If you've got a fuckup story worth sharing, or a story about being a freelancer and becoming an agency (maybe you tried that and it fucked up?), or want to know more about or support this initiative - gimme a shout, yeah?

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