There are currently around 20,000 freelance journalists in the UK, and although there has been a sharp decline in the number of those working as freelance journalists, the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) conducted a survey which found that the main draw to the profession was the flexibility it offered.
This is no doubt in line with the general feeling that you’d rather be your own boss if you can help it- the ONS released figures earlier this year that currently there are 4.8 million self-employed workers in the United Kingdom.
What to do before starting as a freelance journalist
Before working as a freelance journalist in the UK, there are a few steps that need to be taken first in the way of setting up a company and declaring yourself self-employed. The two most straightforward ways of doing this are to register as a sole trader, or a limited company (LTD).
There are up and downsides to both, so take a bit of time to ask around and think on which you’d prefer to be. Doing this will be necessary either way as it’s a requirement for paying taxes (regardless of whether it’s a self-assessment filing, or paying corporation tax on your profits as a Limited Company).
How you can invoice as a freelance journalist
There are a few different ways to go about invoicing, which you'll be doing plenty of. Word or Excel are an option, but can get tricky keeping track of and staying on top of- especially when business picks up. Another option is to use invoicing software. Invoicing software can help save you time, as well as make it easier to keep everything in order, to increase the likelihood that you get paid on time, with the payment method you prefer.
By using the bank reconciliation feature within Debitoor, you can match the payments on your statement to the amount of your invoices (either manually, or automatically using .csv statement upload), so that you can be sure that you're up to date and nothing has accidentally passed you by. With our expenses tracking feature, you can see how your business is performing with an overview at a glance, so you have peace of mind that you're on the right track. If you aren't quite where you want to be, then you'll know exactly where you need to make adjustments.
All of these things go towards making your invoicing and accounting easier, so that you spend only the absolute necessary amount of time doing paperwork- letting you focus on writing the stories you love and meeting new people.
Maintaining a professional look with your invoicing
Your writing keeps people engaged, and makes you look credible as a journalist- therefore you'd want to keep that trend when it comes to invoicing your clients, so you get paid on time and in full. With Debitoor invoicing software, you can create something clear, concise, and professional with just a few clicks.
From a signature, to adding your logo and/ or branding- all of these things will show you mean business, and your clients will take you seriously.