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Let’s #CelebrateFreelancing!

Over the coming months, we’ll be celebrating freelancers and the vital role they play to our digital ecosystem; sharing advice and success stories from freelancers and highlighting all the people and groups doing great things to support the community.

Be sure to follow and join the conversation at #CelebrateFreelancing!

According to a recent study by the Centre for Research on Self-Employment, freelancers now contribute a whopping £145 billion to the UK economy annually - that’s about a £25 million increase from 2016. And since 2018, there’s been a 31% rise in those turning to freelance work.

Even as far back as 2015, our Brighton Fuse Freelancer report identified the instrumental role freelancers play in driving the culture of innovation and diversity, as well as economic growth, to the cluster, which is now worth over £1 billion to the local economy, rivalling even that of tourism to the region.

With this in mind, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate freelancers and highlight some people and groups doing great things to support them.

The collaborative community spirit

On any given day, you’ll find a plethora of community-led events created by passionate people wanting to share their knowledge and experience with others.

Notable groups such as…

  • The Farm, a weekly networking group for digital freelancers which has been going strong for 12+ years
  • The Freelance Designer Show and Tell, a monthly opportunity to catch up with other freelance designers based in and around Brighton
  • The LGBTQ Freelancers Meetup, a friendly and informal meetup for LGBTQ freelancers to discuss their challenges and triumphs
  • and Brighton Indie, a regular meetup for indie game developers

….are all dedicated to helping freelancers develop connections, share ideas and get support.

Plus, events like Async, a group made by tech enthusiasts for tech enthusiasts, or WorthingDigital, a community of locals with a common interest in all things digital, offer opportunities to build your expertise.

A valuable resource for businesses

A recent report by Kalido revealed that 64% of UK-based businesses rely on freelance workers in some capacity. Freelancers’ specialised skill sets and diversity of thought that can help inject fresh thinking into a project or aspect of a business.

And with an eclectic mix of businesses in the city - from independent boutiques to multinational agencies - in need of digital, media and tech expertise, you’ll often find a regular stream of contract work for freelancers.

Local tech forums like the Brighton New Media Mailing List and our Commissions & Briefs board are great places to learn about paid work opportunities in the region.

Dedicated support and advice

Do a quick Google search and you’ll quickly find loads of freelancers who are open to sharing knowledge to help others prosper.

Recently, our wonderful freelance members Hayley Maisey and Paul Silver shared their advice on coping with the feast and famine nature of freelance work, including how to effectively market yourself and tips to build a solid network of contacts.

Plus, companies like Crunch offer loads of business advice and support, as well as free resources to help freelancers take more control of their invoicing and payments, and we regularly team up with Plus Accounting to offer free financial guidance.

We also strive to support local freelancers and help hundreds every year to find work, make connections and promote their business (which you can find out more about here).

Fantastic co-working spaces

Beyond just a desk, shared workspaces and co-working can provide a sense of community and foster shared learning.

As freelancing becomes an ever more desirable career option, we’ve seen a rise in a number of fantastic co-working spaces, including PLATF9RM, The Skiff, Freedom Works, The Projects and The Werks Group, who provide spaces where you can thrive and build new connections.

Did you know? If you’re a Wired Sussex member, you can save 15% at these co-working spaces until 31st January. Find out more.

Get involved!

We want to hear what you love about freelancing! Join the conversation at #CelebrateFreelancing. And if you know any people or groups that we’re missing, let us know as we’d love to include them.

If you want to find out more about how Wired Sussex can help you and your business, check out this post on the benefits of being a freelance member.

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