The rise of the micro-entrepreneur: How creative freelancers work today

By Thomas Shelley

In the creative sectors, micro-entrepreneurs are taking over. Photographers, writers, designers, online retailers - you name it. 

We work with 760 creative micro-entrepeneurs - the photographers who are completing thousands of FocalAgent property photography jobs every week - and we've noticed four common themes of our most successful photographers.

They hustle


It comes with the freelance territory; you can't get enough of your craft. We've had cases of photographers fitting up to 9 jobs in a single day and a huge quantity regularly fit 30 property visits into their working week. 

To do this, you'll need to be exceptional at time management. If this doesn't come naturally to you, choose the right software to help you out. One option is Time Doctor. It's a web-based solution that gives you computer work session monitoring, reminders, screenshot recording, invoicing, reporting tools and integrations. 

Hustling is all about impressing people, standing out, making friends, working hard, improving daily, dreaming big and never giving up.

Whether they’re providing work ‘on spec’ for clients, completing paid work, networking, researching their industry or marketing themselves, a creative freelancer’s job is never done. There’s always something they could be doing to grow their business.

They use apps to find work or make money

Like the rest of the world, creatives are spending increasing amounts of time on their smartphones and, more specifically, using apps to find work.

Aside from apps like Airbnb, which anyone with a bit of extra space can use to turn a profit, creative freelancers like writers and photographers are using apps such as Freelancer or websites such as Elance to pick up their next jobs.

Other apps, too, for finance (Paymo, Zoho Invoice), communication (Skype, Mailchimp), productivity (Trello, Asana), cloud storage (Evernote), editing (Photoshop Express, VSCO) and social media (Tweetdeck, Buffer, Hootsuite) are used more and more by freelancers wishing to manage their business on-the-go.

FocalAgent photographers use our app to view, accept and complete property photography jobs on-the-go, saving them precious minutes in their ultra-busy days. 

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They co-work

Co-working goes hand in hand with creative types and techies. Unsurprisingly, the trend found its feet in a loft in San Francisco, but now there are hundreds and hundreds of co-working spaces all over the world, such as Central Working and Huckletree in London and Factory Berlin and betahaus in Berlin.

Workspaces like this are perfect for creative, sociable types who want a stimulating, open plan environment to inspire and network.

As a creative freelancer, what are your favourite working practices?

Tags: Business Skills

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