10 Courses For Creative Freelancers To Build Their Practice

By: Mary-Anne Bowring

It’s tempting to sit around and cry about how hard the freelancer lifestyle can be. Instead of doing that though you could make better use of your time by diving into a course or support group to shake your freelancer bootie. Below are ten places online where you can learn to stack the bricks on your freelancer practice and build yourself a rock-solid career. As Trevor says in his Freelancer First Aid course, “no one teaches you to be a freelancer”. One of the great things about the courses listed below is that they can also give you a sense of community. Each session has a slack channel or forum which will allow you to connect with other people taking the course. All these courses have their unique take on an aspect of freelancing, and if you needed somewhere to start, I’d suggest grabbing a fizzle membership and Freelancer First Aid with Trevor.

Both have served me well in getting my act together over the years!

Last of all, before we dive in if you are reading this and are a UK-based Freelancer or ‘independent economic agent’ join the Freelancer Heros Facebook Group to connect with other UK-based freelancers.  

1. Fizzle is a small price to pay for a large monthly membership that guides you through a roadmap of how to build your ‘just me’ freelance practice, product, consultancy, and online course. Fizzle works brilliantly for people who know they want to do something for themselves and are committed to taking time to work it out. Highlights and game changers on the roadmap include ‘choose a topic’, ‘customer questions’ killer courses ‘Start a blog that matters’, and ‘Website tune-up.’

2. Freelancer First Aid by Trevor Twining is a brilliantly simple way to get a grip on your freelancer practice or start one. Trevor runs small online mastermind groups and brings the combined experience of 20 years as a freelance Drupal developer and his extensive skill at podcasting to ask pertinent questions to get you thinking. If you are reading this post around the time of European Freelancers Week, you can snag a deal on this course here.

3. Freelance Lift by Liam from Manchester in the UK goes into fantastic detail about and guidance about how to operate and grow your freelance practice. His path is from DJing and web design to building an agency. One significant aspect of this course and community is the short books on each element of freelancing. You can get a good grip on taking back control of your time, find out why hourly rates don’t matter and Work out what clients want. There is also a slack channel where you can compare battle scars and wins with fellow freelancers.

4. Creative Class by Kaleigh Moore and Paul Jarvis run one of the best know freelancer courses, and to their credit, they are forever rebooting and updating it. They run a vibrant slack channel with the course. The community is precisely for people who use their creative skills to attract and serve clients online. Think web designers, developers, software creators, writers, and more.

5. Seth Godin's Freelance Course is a little different from the other courses on the list. 

While all the classes work on the practical application in different ways, Seth Godin will get you thinking about your core in this course. What do you stand for? Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur? What value do you create and where is the point that people will pay you? You’ll walk away with a big dose of newfound self-respect from this course.

6. Make Your Mark Online the loved and trusted Manchester-based Martin and Lyndsey at Jammy Digital have designed an online learning community for freelancers, speakers, consultants, and other ‘independent economic agents’ to learn how to build their brand and their WordPress website. There are weekly group check-in calls, a highly supportive forum, and of course rock solid short courses to guide you through making your website work for you. Instead of spinning your wheels and forever apologizing about ‘just getting your website together’ you’ll be confident about sending people to your online home base!

7. BlackFreelanceAcademy Was started by Megan Williams who is a long-standing consultant and copywriter for the healthcare industry. Megan also runs webinars for the highly regarded Authority community run by Copyblogger.

8. Freelance To Win is THE course to do for people who are working online, particularly UpWork. Danny’s website is bulging with high-quality content about working on UpWork and being a freelancer, and you’d be mad not to start reading a post a day now. The course deep dives into how to handle yourself on UpWork, and how to be one of the 5% of the people who earn 95% of the money. One tip, stop copying and pasting your CV when you apply for jobs. You’ll also join a course community of people learning to pitch themselves at $80 an hour or more.

9. The CMA Content Marketing Academy is one of the biggest struggles as a freelancer is how to communicate, and if your work is marketing keeping up with trends, strategy, and what works is exhausting! By joining Edinburgh-based Chris Marr, you’ll be part of a rock-solid group of people all working to make their dent in the world. At the core of the CMA is the 90 Day challenge where people work to create content for their business every week and take part in a group call with coaching and feedback to improve the quality and consistency. The 90-Day Challenge alone is worth the membership! One success story from the 90-Day challenge is Col Gray of Pixels Ink who started the challenge a couple of years ago, to ‘have a go’. Now Col has 9k + subscribers on his YouTube Channel

10. Creative Focus Workshop by author and comic book writer Jessica Abel is a MUST for people working to bridge the gap between building a business and tapping into their creative spark. If you think this course is about merely organizing your day, desk, and head, then you are missing the bigger picture.  After you have worked this out, there is an extra helping of a reality check and self-discipline. In the end, you'll get a grip on building a confident workflow and heading towards your voice and best voice. Jessica also runs regular free webinars on developing creative practice, and I highly recommend her books Growing Gills and Out On The Wire. With each group of the course, there is a slack channel, and you get assigned to a smaller support group to support each other through the course, many people keep in touch after the event via these groups. 


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