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How to set up, survive and thrive as a freelancer in the cultural sector

  • NCVO 8 All Saints Street London, England, N1 9RJ United Kingdom (map)

A one-day training course for those aspiring to be effective and successful freelancers and consultants.

Join this practical and inspiring training workshop designed to kick-start and sustain a flourishing freelancing or consultancy business. The day is jam-packed with proven approaches, ideas and tools to help you to get started, market yourself, find work, win work, manage your finances, handle client relationships and look after your health and well-being.

Who it’s for

Anyone who is thinking about freelancing, or who has been freelancing for less than a year and is working with arts and heritage organisations across any art form or specialist area.

Why attend

  • Invest just one day to fast-track your business development and gain long-lasting benefits

  • Discover proven and best practice approaches, practical tips, tools and frameworks to help you strategically develop and grow your business

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of what it’s like to work as a freelancer in the cultural sector

  • Dedicate time out to reflect on what you want to achieve and create a realistic action plan

  • Boost your confidence so that you can take the plunge or become a more proactive freelancer

  • Build a network of new freelance contacts working with a range of arts and heritage organisations

  • Learn from two experienced and passionate trainers, both successful and award-winning freelance consultants in the cultural sector

  • Receive a comprehensive pack of handouts, exercises and further information resources to take home.

“Thanks for an awesome, jam-packed day of practical info. Definitely value for money!!!” - Delegate from the course run in October 2018

Course content

  • What to consider before you take the plunge

  • Setting up as a freelancer and getting started

  • Basic legal, financial and tax matters to be aware of

  • Creating a distinctive proposition and setting yourself apart from others

  • Marketing yourself

  • Finding and pitching for work more effectively

  • Managing your finances

  • Deciding what to charge

  • Managing client relationships

  • Maintaining a work-life balance and your well-being.

How to book

Visit Ticket Tailor for more information and to book. The first 10 early bird spots are £200, after which tickets are £230. We are able to offer a staged payment option, with two payments of half the amount, one payable within two weeks of booking and one payable by 4 weeks before the course - please contact should you want more information about this.

Refunds are possible up to Friday 4 January 2019, minus a £20 admin fee.

What previous participants had to say:

“Absolutely brilliant – made this much more real for me and gave something concrete to start with which is SO helpful. Really appreciate both your openness in responding to queries. Also you were both lovely and engaging speakers and provided EXCELLENT workshop materials. THANK YOU!!”

“This has been the most useful CPD experience. Very well worth the investment.”

“It’s been a fantastic session and unusually the day has gone really fast! Very glad I invested in it – exceptionally valuable.”

“An excellent, informative and well-run course. Thank you!”

“Very well delivered with a good balance between information and space to think / discuss. You’re a great double act!”

“Fabulous day, I learned so much and really value you sharing your experiences.”

“Inspiring and extremely useful workshop.”

“Excellent training day, really useful for a beginner, lots of food for thought. Clear presentation style, amazing set of resources. Thank you so much!”

About the trainers

Christina and Marge co-run the Museum Freelance Network and are experienced trainers and award-winning freelancers who work in the cultural sector. They have also worked client-side commissioning freelancers, consultants and agencies.

Christina Lister is an experienced marketing and audience development consultant, trainer and facilitator for the cultural sector. She has worked with a wide range of clients including the Science Museum Group, South East Museum Development Programme, Colchester Arts Partnership, Ensemble Dance Co, University of Cambridge Museum of Zoology, the Scout Association, The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL), Vivacity Peterborough, Norwich Historic Churches Trust and de Havilland Aircraft Museum.

Christina has worked in marketing and communications for 15 years and her work has won a range of marketing awards. She was a Runner-Up in the Freelancer of the Year Awards 2015, organised by IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed). She is a member of the Women Cultural Leaders Network East and speaks at conferences including the Museums Association Conference, the Museums + Heritage Show and the Visitor Studies Group Conference. 

Christina is passionate about bringing freelancers together and helping them have a voice in the sector and she recently authored a guide for museums on Working With Freelancers on behalf of SHARE Museums East. She has achieved the certified Advanced Train the Trainer award from the College of Public Speaking.

Marge Ainsley is a well-respected freelance cultural consultant delivering professional training and facilitation across the UK, with specialist expertise in marketing, audience development and evaluation. A Fellow of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning, and International Association of Facilitators, she was previously voted one of the 50 best freelancers in the UK by national marketing magazine, The Drum. 

Over the last ten years as a freelancer, she has worked with a range of clients including London Transport Museum, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Art Gallery, the National Trust, Arts Council England, National Museums Liverpool, Leeds Libraries, More Music, St Helens Libraries, and Macclesfield Museums Trust. Marge regularly speaks at seminars and conferences, including most recently at the Audiences Connected conference in Vienna and at the Museums Association Conference in Manchester.