Top five tips for budding Freelancers

March 12, 2019

Last week we launched our new Freelance Workshop with over 300 amazing Edinburgh Napier students signing up. We had a fantastic panel to finish the event, and we wanted to share their top tips on becoming a freelancer.

Pete McLean, BRT Incubator Manager (Merchiston Campus), kicking off our first ever Freelance workshop.


With the world of freelance growing at an astonishing pace in the UK it has in turn become a much more competitive market. Defining your niche has never been so important. So, what expert are you? Why is it going to help someone, and who is that someone? Be focused and try and not deviate from what you decide. It is all too tempting to offer lots of services badly just to gain clients. Be strong!

Our awesome panel: Gavin Bell (The UK's Leading Facebook Ad Consultant) , Jessica Armstrong (Business Development Consultant), Emily Coltman (Chief Accountant at FreeAgent Central Ltd).


It’s a lonely old place being a freelancer. Often working on your own. Managing the highs and lows. Even just having those days when you spend the whole day in the house talking to nobody but the cat!

Mixing up your work environment can be a great way to increase productivity. If you are reading this as an Edinburgh Napier student, graduate or staff, we at Bright Red Triangle can help. Our two business incubators are open for you to work in 7 days a week. Becoming part of the BRT community can really help build your network and share any problems with like-minded peers.

We have also launched the Freelance Tribe Facebook group. Come and join us. We hope the community will share helpful advice, emotional support and jobs

Edinburgh Napier student participants at BRT's first Freelance workshop.

Keep on top of the paperwork

We were lucky to have Emily Coltman, Chief Accountant at FreeAgent, speaking on our panel. Emily gave us some great advice for keeping on top of the paper work. Here are three all important tips…

  • 1. Set out an hour of time every week to do the bookkeeping.
  • 2. Make sure you keep all your receipts (we don’t want to be overpaying the tax man!)
  • 3. Make it easy for people to pay you.
Emily Coltman, Chief Accountant at Freeagent, and one of our amazing panellists.


It was really interesting that one of the major themes of the panel discussion was well-being as a freelancer. How do you rid the guilt of feeling you have to work every hour? How do you not listen to the little person in your head asking, “am I good enough”?

Gavin Bell, discussed the importance of carving out time in your day to do the things you want to do, “if it’s a cracking day, go out and walk the dogs. You are your own boss!”

Gavin Bell, the UK's Leading Facebook Ad Consultant, and one of our amazing panellists.

The panel agreed that if you are working a lot of hours and enjoying it, there is no problem with that. It is when you are working for hours and are hating it that there is a problem. Making sure you have activities that you can do to break-up your day will help you maintain work-life balance.

As Jessica Armstrong explained, “For me, the best thing to do is break up my time by spending time with friends who are also freelancers, but also with those friends who aren’t. It’s great to share the ups and downs of freelancer life with like-minded people, but it’s also great to be able to shut off from it all with people who don’t want to talk about work. It’s a balance.”

Jessica Armstrong, Business Development Consultant, and one of our awesome panellists.

The truth is that there is no easy answer to these questions and we look forward to writing a dedicated blog post on well-being in business.

Claim it

“If you don’t buy into it yourself, why would anyone else!”

If you are going to tell someone you are the expert, claim it! Make sure you share it on all of your marketing platforms. Not only will it let people know about your expertise, it will help you to be found, increase your engagement, and in turn increase your business prospects.

Keep your eyes peeled on our Bright Red Triangle social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and our events page for up and coming Freelance specific events. They sell out fast!

Bright Red Triangle