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Want to know more about developing a career in a specific freelancing field, or need industry-specific support for your self-employed business? Our How To Become articles are a constantly growing series of guides to a range of freelancing specialities.

They’ll help you to become a full-time freelance SEO consultant, photographer or structural engineer. Or add a new complementary skill to your existing business, such as proofreading, web design or bookkeeping. You’ll learn what each role actually involves on a daily basis, the potential earnings you could expect, any skills or qualifications required, and where to go next to develop your career.

To manage an increasing number of articles, we’ve loosely grouped them into categories including Business, Creative, and Digital, but this doesn’t mean you can’t be a creative business analyst, or that a structural engineer won’t use digital tools for their work. Much of the general advice and support IPSE provides will work across any self-employed career. But if you want to focus on a particular area, this is the place to find out more. 


Business freelancing career guides

Anyone with a self-employed career will need skills in business management and processes. But some freelancers choose to focus on specific business tasks, such as accountancy and bookkeeping, event planning, or as a virtual assistant.

Or you might enjoy consulting and advising companies or individuals on how they can improve their results, whether that’s as a business analyst or by coaching freelancers. In each case, find out the steps you need to establish your career, from education, to finding clients who need your particular set of skills.

How to become a freelance business analyst

If you’ve freelanced for smaller clients, there’s a good chance you’ve ended up also helping them with developing projects, recommending new systems and technology and helping them to change and evolve. And if you ever want to specialise in those areas, here’s some practical advice on how to become a freelance business analyst.


How to become a freelance event planner or organiser

The events and hospitality sector has faced huge challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. But if you enjoy bringing people together, now might be the time to investigate how to become a freelance event planner or organiser.

How to become a freelance structural engineer

Freelance and self-employment powers a huge range of industries. None more than construction, with freelancers accounting for more than half of the workforce in one recent study, and covering a range of specialist roles. So, if this could be a career for you, find out how to become a freelance structural engineer with our guide below.

How to become a freelance coach

A wide variety of coaches and trainers are self-employed across health and fitness, general life coaching and other specialist areas. But our look at how to become a freelance coach will focus on a career helping other people working for themselves. And helping them develop careers or businesses with their professional lives or related areas.

How to become a freelance virtual assistant

Many freelancers choose to specialise in an area based on their experience and qualifications. But what if your talents are more general? The good news is that you can still work for yourself full or part-time. And we can help by explaining how to become a freelance virtual assistant (VA).


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Creative freelancing career guides

Many people choose freelancing as a chance to focus on a creative passion. But there’s a big difference between becoming a successful self-employed photographer, or following a career as a writer. 

And the creative dream can be very different from the reality of running a freelance business. Our guides will help you to understand what’s actually involved, including the less glamorous aspects of each job, and what’s required to improve your chances of success.

How to become a freelance photographer

Becoming a full or part-time freelance photographer appeals to many people. The idea of creating beautiful pictures, earning a good living and being your own boss attracts a lot of interest. But the reality of how to become a freelance photographer can be a shock, especially after you’ve invested thousands of pounds in equipment and software.

How to become a freelance proofreader

If you have an eye for detail, and a passion for the written word, then this could be the career for you. Just try and overlook any grammatical errors, as we explain how to become a freelance proofreader.

How to become a freelance writer

Writing can seem like the quickest, easiest, and more attractive way to start a self-employed career. Especially with online courses promising you can work remotely from a tropical beach, and earn a good living from a laptop in just a few hours each day. And while it may be possible for a tiny number of people, the reality of how to become a freelance writer is a bit different.


Digital freelancing career guides

Almost any freelancer will use some digital tools and services as part of their job. But some careers rely on technology and the internet for their existence, whether that’s designing websites or optimising them for search engines.

And they’re often advertised as quick and easy ways to work from home with little investment required for training or equipment. But becoming a successful web designer or SEO consultant capable of earning a full-time living takes time and effort. And our guides will help you understand the best ways to build your income and reputation.

How to become a freelance web designer

Are you visually creative, and tempted to work remotely for yourself? Then you might be looking to become a freelance web designer. And it’s an attractive option if you’re thinking about getting started with a full or part-time self-employed career. But while there are few barriers to entry, it’s tougher to build a worthwhile income with so much competition for work.

How to become a freelance SEO consultant

It’s one of the most in-demand skills, and potentially one of the more financially rewarding, over recent years. And our guide explains how to become a freelance SEO consultant, providing you with a solid foundation for successful self-employment.

How to become a freelance AI prompt engineer

Find out how to become a freelance AI prompt engineer and take advantage of demand for those skills, which don’t require you to learn programming or code.

Looking for more?


Where next?

We have dedicated advice pages to help your physical and mental wellbeing whilst working from home but also on areas such as winning work or navigating the tax system. And to help and support you through all the challenges that can come with becoming self-employed, from chasing late payments to being able to work through power cuts and other emergencies.

View all advice pages



Physical wellbeing advice

Running a business, or freelancing and contracting for clients, can be busy, stressful and all-consuming, but Ignoring your health and wellbeing can have serious implications for you, and your business.


Mental wellbeing advice

We've put together a set of resources and guides to support positive mental wellbeing for the self-employed, combing our business knowledge with tips and advice from mental health and wellbeing experts.


Winning Work advice

Tips and advice to help you grow your business no matter what industry or sector you work in.


IR35 advice

Off-payroll working rules, otherwise known as IR35 or the intermediaries legislation, is a damaging taxation law from HMRC that IPSE strongly opposes.