Freelance coaching

Written by Katherine Nicholls
Katherine Nicholls
Life Coach Directory Content Team

Last updated 30th November 2022

Whether you’re looking to start a new freelance business or you’ve been freelancing for years, we can all do with support from time to time. Here we explore how a coach could help you get the most from your freelance career and reach your goals. 

What does freelance mean?

Freelance work is a type of self-employment, where you typically work for a number of different businesses. You may be hired to help on a certain project, or to support during a specific time-frame. There are many industries that you can do freelance work in, from creative and admin roles to accounting, IT and catering. 

Freelancing offers a lot of variety as you get to work on different projects and it usually offers good flexibility as you dictate your workload. As with any form of self-employment however, you are your own manager. This means you are responsible for setting your prices, advertising your services, finding work and motivating yourself to get the work done. You may also need to pitch yourself in order to get hired as a freelancer, so confidence in your abilities is key. 

If you are struggling in any of these areas, or are simply looking for a little guidance, freelance coaching could be right for you. 

What is freelance coaching?

Coaches look to help people fulfil their true potential by helping them come unstuck and move forwards towards their goals in life and work. So in freelance coaching, this can be applied to you moving forward in your freelance work, whatever that looks like for you.

This might involve you making the leap from employed to freelance and getting support from a coach as you make the move. It could be that you’re after some guidance in the way you do your freelance work, ensuring you stay motivated and prioritise work/life balance without sacrificing pay. Or perhaps you’re keen to pivot your freelance work and start working with different clients. There are many areas a coach can support you with.

How can a business coach for freelancers help?

Being a freelancer essentially means you have your own business and therefore come up against the same challenges as some business owners. Here are some ways a freelance coach could help you with:

Making the move from employed to self-employed

If you’re keen to start freelance work, you may need to take some time before handing in your notice at your job to figure out the logistics. Perhaps you want to save some money before leaving, or you just need some time to consider what freelance work you want to do.

Working with a coach can help you get clear on your vision for your freelance business so you can get started on the right foot. They can support you in the in-between stages, supporting and motivating you to keep moving forward to your end goal of launching your services. 

Setting up your freelance business

Once you’re ready to leave, it’s time to set up your freelance business. This may mean creating a website or signing up to a freelance platform. You’ll need to have clarity on what services you offer and your prices, as well as the type of clients you want to work with. 

A coach can help you with all of this, asking questions to encourage reflection on what would play to your strengths. 

Promoting your services and finding freelance work

Once your website or profile is up and running, it’s time to find some jobs. This may involve you looking at freelance job platforms to see what’s on offer or promoting your services (often it’s a combination of the two). Whichever approach you take, you’ll need to talk about your services and the value you can provide in a confident way.

Some people find working with a coach helpful for this. They can help you build your confidence and overcome any limiting self-beliefs that may be holding you back. 

Growing your client base and generating a sustainable income

As with all types of self-employment, income can be sporadic. With the support of a coach, you can manage your business in a way that’s going to support your income goals (without burning you out). This may involve growing your client base, changing your services, or raising your prices.

Streamline your workflow for maximum efficiency

Are you spending more time than you’d like on social media marketing? Perhaps you’re swamped with admin and other tasks you hate. Working with a freelance coach can help you identify what marketing strategies will work best for you, without being a time-suck. They can also help you find ways of automating and streamlining processes so you’re spending more time on the work you love. 

Dealing with difficult clients 

Managing relationships comes up in all workplaces, including in freelance work. You may be dealing with difficult clients and feel in need of support when it comes to setting boundaries and managing communication. A coach can help here, helping you set those boundaries and attract your dream clients. 

Tackling any work/life imbalance

Being in charge of your own work hours definitely has its perks, but sometimes it can lead you to work more than you would when you were employed. If you’re finding your work/life balance out of whack, a coach could help. Encouraging you to manage your time better and prioritising self-care, a coach can help you address your work-life balance to reduce stress and avoid burnout

Pivoting your freelance work

If you want to make a change in your freelance business, for example making a pivot to a different sector or type of client, a coach can help. Supporting you as you research what’s needed to help you make the change, a coach can be a listening ear as you navigate the pivot, communicate it to current clients and move to pastures new. 

Do I need a coach or a mentor?

When looking for support, you may notice the terms ‘coach’ and ‘mentor’ being used. Both can be helpful to a freelancer, but it is worth considering which you’d like to work with. A coach is generally someone you’d work with to help empower you as you make a change in your life. A mentor is someone who has experienced a similar situation themselves and will therefore have specific insights.

For example, if you’re looking for support from someone who can help with a broad range of areas, a coach can be a great option. If you’re looking for someone who knows about a particular industry in detail, however, you may find it more beneficial to work with a mentor. 

Mentors are typically chosen when people are looking for insight, advice and guidance on how to do something from someone who has experienced a similar situation themselves.

- Tessa Dodwell (BSc, MA)

How to find a freelance coach

If you’re ready to work with a freelance coach or mentor, you can use our search tool to find support. You can look through their profiles and see who resonates with you. You can then enquire about working together, this may involve sending an email or having a discovery call to learn more about the way they work. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the process.

Once you're happy to start sessions, you can arrange them with your coach/mentor and your journey to fulfilment in freelancing can begin. 

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