When freelancing in the entertainment industry, not only do you need to know your specialist field like the back of your hand, but you also need to have a good grip on the business side of things too. As a freelancer, you are your own commodity and you need to ensure that you manage yourself and your business well.
Tips for entertainment freelancers
Whether you’re a presenter, a producer, a researcher, a musician or any other entertainment professional, there are certain things that you should pay special attention to if you want to be a true success. One aspect that’s absolutely essential is to make sure that you always get agreements and contracts put into writing – this offers you protection against unexpected changes or claims that the rate of pay is lower than originally agreed. If you’re not sure how a contract should be set out or what you should be looking for in any contracts supplied to you, then our entertainment accountants here at Blue Skies are always on the other end of the phone if you need some assistance.
Another good idea is to perform checks on individuals or companies who wish to partner with you on projects or hire your services. Make sure they’re well established with a good reputation – check with other professionals in your field, look online for warnings or forum entries or speak to other, similar businesses to see if they have heard of them.
Self-development is another thing that you should spend some time focusing on; it’s unlikely that you’ll be working all the time, so spend some of your free time honing your skills and keeping up-to-date with changes in your industry. The more responsive you are, the more professional you’ll appear.
Keeping an eye on the pennies
Like it or not, there’s always going to be a degree of admin to do when you work on a freelance basis. Essentially you are the business, so you’ll need to keep track of your finances and register for taxation purposes. With this type of working style comes a responsibility to file tax returns and potentially VAT returns too – with hefty fines to pay if you don’t comply with the rules.
If you’re not certain about how to take care of this side of things, you can always employ the services of a fixed fee accountant. Our specialist entertainment accountants are well versed in your type of business and can complete all of the necessary financial paperwork and documentation for you – and all for an upfront cost, giving you access to help and advice whenever you need it without any nasty surprise in the form of additional invoices!
Finally, when freelancing in the entertainment industry or working as a contractor in any other sector, it’s essential that you continually make new contacts and get your name known. Networking is a great way of marketing yourself – and it’s also worth getting your own website too.
Our entertainment accountants can help to put you in touch with others in your field, so make sure you take advantage of our networking support if you decide to sign up for our fixed fee accountant services.
While there’s always a serious side to business, there’s one thing you should never forget – enjoy it!