The Ultimate Guide to Freelancing | Alison Grade on The Artists of Data Science

On this episode of The Artists of Data Science, we get a chance to hear from Alison Grade, an award winning entrepreneur and freelancer who is skilled at transforming creative concepts into business reality.

She’s a professional freelancer all her career who fully understands that you want to make your career work for you. Her book, “The Freelance Bible” talks you through absolutely everything that you need to know to start your successful self-employed life.

Alison shares with us her journey into becoming a freelancer, and how she navigates networking and pricing her services. She also goes over tips for beginner freelancers on understanding their clients and the freelance field. Alison has some great insights for beginners and experienced data scientists alike, who wish to achieve independence and balance in their careers!

Some notable segments from the show

[11:45] The three C’s

[21:00] Should you ever work for free?

[31:32] Key traits of an entrepreneur

[41:22] Advice for women who want to freelance

Where to listen to the episode

Alison’s journey

Where is freelancing headed in 2–5 years?

[28:40] “I think certainly with where we’re at at the moment, with Coronavirus and real uncertainty in the economy, I think we’re going to see huge numbers of freelancing opportunities. It’s sad to say, but I think that’s going to be an awful lot of redundancies coming up because there will be sectors that just aren’t in a position to keep going in the same way. And unlike a more traditional recession, it will hit what it will hit an industry or a sector. So people will have to find new ways to redeploy their skills and then other companies will be busy, but they’ll be terrified that something’s is going to hit again. They’ll be hiring freezes, but they’ll have busy periods, so they’ll need freelancers. So I think the opportunities for freelancers are going to increase massively post Covid just because of the way as the economy opens up again, people will be more risk averse in terms of taking people on. And they’ll be a lot of people out there in the marketplace and there won’t be as many jobs. So that naturally starts. Well, can I find a little bit of gig work here and that. Can I be a freelancer? Can I be a consultant? So you will be looking for enterprising ways to earn a living that you know, that aren’t a sort of especially if they’re experienced professionals, they’re not going to be looking to do those minimum wage jobs that might be on offer.”

Key takeaways from the episode

What does it mean to be a freelancer?

“I shaped” vs. “T shaped” people

The three C’s

Should you ever work for free?

How to understand your client’s problem

How technology will impact freelancing in the future

Key traits of an entrepreneur

Freelance vs. entrepreneur

Dunbar’s number

How to leverage networking events

Advice for women who want to freelance

Memorable quotes

[24:46] “You’ve got to be able to explain why you can add value.”

[31:32] “You’ve got to be self-motivated. You’ve got to just get out of bed and want to get on with it.”

[34:58] “The freelancer side of things…is about flexibility, autonomy and freedom.”

The one thing that Alison Grade wants you to learn from her story

From the lightning round

What do you believe that other people think is crazy?

Most bizarre aspect of human nature

Best advice

What Alison would put on a billboard

Advice to 20 year old self

Topic outside of data science we should study

Recommended book(s)

Fiction: “Normal People” by Sally Rooney

What motivates you?

Song on repeat

“I’m still standing” by Elton John

Books and other media mentioned in this episode

“The Freelance Bible: Everything You Need to Go Solo in Any Industry” by Alison Grade

How you can connect with Alison Grade






Episode transcript

For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.

The transcript for this episode can be found here.

Full episode on YouTube

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