I won IPSE’s New to Freelancing Award in June 2019.
I mentioned IPSE in my list of top resources for freelancers. They offer membership for freelancers and you get all sorts of benefits. Stuff like pensions and insurance. They also run a big yearly event for freelancers. National Freelancers Day happens in London every June.
They do their best to make sure the government is being good to freelancers on things like tax and late paying clients. You can read the latest news from IPSE here.
I almost didn’t enter. I got a nudge from Marge Ainsley, an awesome freelancer, and this blog post from Steve Folland convinced me. It was good to hear from past applicants and winners through Being Freelance.
And now that I’m an award-winning freelancer myself I’ve got my own list of discoveries to share. (I promise I don’t introduce myself to people as award-winning, I feel like a bit of a dick just writing it)
1. There can be a lot of hidden work involved
Putting together the application is a job in itself. And then, if you get shortlisted, you might need to present in front of a panel. That means preparation time and a day out of the office.
There’s the indirect stuff too, like updating the website you’d neglected for the last 6 months and upgrading your poor-quality business cards (500 for £10 though, bargain).
It’s all very exciting, but it takes up a lot of time.
2. It forces you to take stock of your business
On the plus side of all that hard work, it makes you take a good old look at how your business is doing and you even start to think about the future.
When impressive people are going to ask you questions about your business, it helps if you can sound like you know what you’re on about.
With some prize money up for grabs, you start to think about where you would invest it and how it could help your business too. That’s pretty useful.
3. You’ll have to do some uncomfortable stuff (like getting your photo taken and being filmed)
You probably hate being in front of a camera.
But you have to get on with it.
And it turns out photographers and videographers know what they’re doing. Even if they do end up having their hands full editing out your Chandler smiles.