Alison Grade Transforming creative ideas into businesses Sun, 26 Jul 2020 19:51:02 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 ScreenSkills – The Freelance Toolkit Wed, 08 Jul 2020 19:16:29 +0000 Freelance Toolkit – 3rd edition

ScreenSkills’ Freelance Toolkit has been a valuable booklet for many years. In fact, I’ve had the pleasure of handing out many copies to students as part of the course materials for many training courses I’ve delivered.

So I was honoured when Margaret and Jo commissioned to do the update to the 3rd edition. Unlike previous editions the primary focus for this version is the ScreenSkills website due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. This presents both opportunities and challenges.

The opportunities are that it can easily be linked to other valuable industry resources both within the ScreenSkills website – such as bursaries and mentoring opportunities as well as wider sector networks such as BAFTA and the many specific guilds that support each screen department. It also allows us  to pepper short films about freelancing to support the written content as well as providing downloadable templates.

The challenges are to make sure that the content reads well for the web. Jo Ind handles this challenge brilliantly and just waves her magic wand across it all and translates seamlessly to the web.

The end result is a screen sector specific toolkit aimed at new entrants to freelancing and more experienced freelancers to help them navigate the challenges that being a freelancer entails. Particularly in the screen industry where there are many peculiarities.

It has been a pleasure to work on and I am delighted that both Margaret and Jo are pleased with the end result.

To have a look at the Freelance Toolkit click here

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The Design Trust – webinar Fri, 03 Jul 2020 19:43:51 +0000 How to be a great freelancer

Being a great freelancer is more than being great at working ‘in’ the work you do – you need to be great at working ‘on’ your freelancing. In this session you’ll learn from author of The Freelance Bible, Alison Grade, how to work ‘on’ you freelancing. and prepare yourself so you are best positioned to find the work you want to do. You’ll learn why freelancing is like dating and how you can use this knowledge to be strategic when winning new clients.

This session will teach you how to build your successful freelance psyche by maintaining a balance of:

  • Skills – what skills and mindset does a freelancer need?
  • Finances – what do I really need to live on? How do I value myself?
  • Desires – how do I find and date clients to win business?

This session will give you a framework which you can use to work ‘on’ your freelancing and build a successful and sustainable freelance career.

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Plymouth College of Art – webinar Thu, 28 May 2020 19:29:01 +0000 I am delighted to have been asked by Nick Crawley from Plymouth College of Art to deliver a webinar on freelancing to a group of their students.

Under normal circumstances the logistics of my delivering a workshop for students in Plymouth isn’t really feasible but lockdown has changed all that as I can run the session from home via Zoom.

What this means is that the opportunities for me to run webinars are now global. Even as we come out of lockdown and we return to face to face activities I am convinced that online classes and delivery will continue.

The only disappointment is not being able to get to all these lovely places – especially the ones by the sea. Being based in Birmingham, UK the sea always seems a long way away.

Thank you Plymouth for inviting me into your class. I look forward to visiting again soon.

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Webinar with London Business School’s MBAs and EMBAs Thu, 28 May 2020 19:08:39 +0000 Spotlight on Freelancing webinar for LBS MBAs

It was an honour to be invited to do a webinar for London Business School’s MBA and EMBA students and shining a spotlight on freelancing.

Being an MBA myself (from INSEAD as opposed to LBS) I was familiar with the likely profile and experiences of the audience and that many would have come from a corporate background and had little exposure to freelancing.

It felt very pertinent in these uncertain times to be delivering practical information about freelancing to an MBA audience. Many of whom will be facing an uncertain time ahead in their careers as global industry has all but ground to a halt in many countries and many sectors. Freelancing has the potential to open up new opportunities in new locations for these highly skilled professionals. Whether they are looking to escape the boardroom and the bureaucracy, work more locally or just embrace a portfolio career – having an understanding of freelancing provides a valuable framework to explore new opportunities from.

Thank you very much to Paul Drew and Freya Evans for inviting me to speak – I very much look forward to talking freelancing with you again soon.

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Supporting TV freelancers during lockdown with ScreenSkills Wed, 20 May 2020 13:45:54 +0000 I’m delighted to have been able to play my part in supporting TV freelancers during lockdown.

Broadcast: 20th May 2020 – Article by Seetha Kumar, Chief Executive, Screenskills

“When we at ScreenSkills asked the freelance workforce what they wanted most from us right now, financial worries were clearly uppermost in many minds. In response, we asked Alison Grade, author of The Freelance Bible, to run a series of money and life skills seminars.” Full article is available here


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The end of the 9-5? How work will change after coronavirus Tue, 28 Apr 2020 17:22:20 +0000 Now we’ve mastered remote working, how might the workplace change after lockdown?

Penguin features asked me to comment on how I saw the future of work. I was delighted to be quoted alongside some brilliant company. You can read the full article here.

If nothing else, the fact so many people have successfully worked from home suggests that we will be able to do so in future, argues Alison Grade, who wrote The Freelance Bible – and, more intriguingly, from even further distances. ‘Things will change with regards to how often people are in an office, how many events will happen face-to-face,’ she says. ‘Clients are already reaching out to me from much further than they would before corona, because they know that geography places less of a limit now.’

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Spotlight on: Freelancing Thu, 23 Apr 2020 15:34:31 +0000 Alison talks to her old college, St. John’s College, Cambridge about her book, her career and how life at St. John’s prepared her for her future career.

You can read the full article here.

In what ways did your experiences at Cambridge prepare you for freelance work? What were the hardest aspects of freelancing to learn from scratch?

“In some ways Cambridge prepared me brilliantly for being a freelancer. By nature, I’m an extrovert and a networker and I suddenly found myself at St John’s with a big group of new people with whom I had to network to make friends. I didn’t know anyone in College when I first arrived. Many of the people I clicked with are still good friends today, and it was through my St John’s network that I was introduced to my editor at Penguin. On the flip side, this was all informal learning conducted as part of everyday life — there wasn’t a specific education about being a freelancer, and that’s still true today in many universities. It’s a big part of the reason I came to write my book.”


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Alison is a guest on the Freelance Corner podcast Tue, 21 Apr 2020 16:00:35 +0000

Alison joins hosts Faye and Jess  to chat about the ways freelancers can use this lockdown period to work on their businesses – for the third week of the Freelance Party Broadcast Coronavirus series.

Freelance Party Broadcast is brought to you by Freelance Corner, the online platform for the UK’s freelancers. As well as more podcasts, find exciting content, events, and like-minded freelancers at

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Alison talks to Oliver Denyer on his Ecommerce Freedom podcast Tue, 14 Apr 2020 09:28:42 +0000 Oliver Denyer invited me on to talk freelancing – both being one and how to hire one on his great Ecommerce Freedom podcast.

We talked about how I came to write the book, what makes a good freelancer – the 3Ms – Mindset, Money and Marketing. Ollie has built a business helping people to sell product on amazon.

Have a listen via this link.



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Alison joins Jenny as a guest on her Freelance Feels Podcast Tue, 14 Apr 2020 09:17:19 +0000 I had the great pleasure of being a guest on Jenny Stallard’s brilliant Freelance Feels podcast recently. It was during We talked about how working from home feels whether you are a freelancer or an employee; how to value yourself – not just how much you charge but the value you bring to a customer too. And finally we talking about how to maximise your down time if your industry has gone into hibernation.


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