Freelancing is a great life, but it's not without its challenges. So whether you're new to freelancing or an old hand, it's always worth seeking out advice and new ideas. Thankfully there's a lot of creatives ready and willing to help via online videos, and these seven channels listed here are the cream of the crop.
They're all presented with honesty and openness, free from jargon and waffle, and most importantly, they're not trying to sell you anything. Instead, the hosts all genuinely want to share the benefit of their experience, so it's well worth taking advantage if you're thinking of making that leap in to freelance life.
01. Best for learning how to make money: Roberto Blake
The title of designer Roberto Blake's most popular video, "FROM BROKE TO $100K/YEAR... THIS IS HOW I CHANGED MY LIFE", sounds like it might be low-grade clickbait. But don't be fooled.
In fact this 27-minute talk by Blake, who's both head of a digital agency and founder of a creative education platform, features some of the best advice on making money as a freelancer we've ever heard.
It's not shouty, or salesy: instead he explains calmly and rationally the principles behind his own successful career, and how you can follow them yourself.
And this high quality continues throughout all the videos on his YouTube channel, which are strongly focused on the business side of freelancing, covering topics including 'Why you're tired all the time, and feeling burnout', 'Passive income: how I earn $7,000/mo with affiliate marketing' and 'How to find freelance clients step by step.'
02. Best for the nuts and bolts of freelance life: Charli Marie
Want some advice and inspiration on the more nuts and bolts issues of freelance life, such as how to create a home office, what computers to use, and how to design an online store?
Then you should check out this YouTube channel from Charli Marie, a web and graphic designer from New Zealand, currently living in London and working remotely for an email marketing company.
In a friendly and approachable manner, Charli walks you through how she does things and offers tips based on the various challenges she faces from day to day. Topics include 'Working from home: Life as a remote designer', 'Designing my blog' and 'My biggest fear as a designer'.
03. Best for business tips: The Futur
The Futur is a YouTube channel taking a magazine-like approach towards education for creative entrepreneurs.
Presented by Chris Do, an Emmy award winning director, designer, strategist and educator, and Jose Cabeller, UX design consultant and coach, it tackles a range of topics in a number of ways, including interviews, tips pieces, case studies and more.
What remains consistent, though, is the slickness of the presentation and the usefulness of the advice and analysis. Topics covered include 'A better way to present to clients', '3 ways to reclaim your creativity and productivity', and 'How to get work in ANY city'.
04. Best for freelance coders: John Morris
If you're working independently in web design and development, you'll find a lot of excellent advice on the YouTube channel of John Morris, who's been a freelance web developer for over 14 years.
His videos are aimed at teaching new and aspiring developers learn how to get freelance work, how to get clients and how to earn a living. He explains all these things clearly and succinctly, with useful reference to his real-life experience where relevant, and absolutely no time is wasted in explaining his best tips and advice.
Topics covered include 'Get a freelance job with no experience', 'What keywords should freelancers try to rank for?' and 'How do I get a steady flow of new freelance jobs?'
05. Best for digital nomads: Chris the Freelancer
One of the latest and most exciting developments in the modern freelance lifestyle is becoming a digital nomad: combining working remotely and global travel, as a way of seeing and experiencing the world.
Chris the Freelancer has been doing so since 2015, and he's currently in Brisbane, Australia. His channel is dedicated to documenting his own experiences, as well as the digital nomad movement and how it's influencing the future of work.
Whether or not you're interested in being a digital nomad, it's full of fascinating insights, many of which may be useful in your own life as a remote worker. Topics covered include 'Coming home after travel: 4 things nomads might forget', 'Passive income: what you need to know' and 'Finding your path as a digital nomad girl'.
06. Best for business tips: Emma Mills
Emma Mills is not a designer: she runs a virtual PA and call answering company in the UK called Mi PA. But her YouTube channel is still a must-visit for any freelancer looking for tips and advice on the bread and butter issues of running a day-to-day independent business.
Her channel is full of bite-sized advice videos that look at the day-to-day problems and challenges that might not seem that important in the grand scheme of things. But if you can get a handle on them, you really will notice the difference in terms of your creativity and productivity.
Such topics include ‘3 quick steps to deal with overwhelm’, ‘How to plan for a more productive day’ and ‘How niching down can help grow your business’.
07. Best for motivating yourself: Gary Vee
Sometimes you don't need advice: you just need a blast of raw and energetic motivation to help you get off your backside and start creating amazing work.
And there's no one quite like Gary Vaynerchuk (aka Gary Vee) for providing it.
A regular on the web design conference circuit in the early 2010s, the serial American entrepreneur is now a best-selling author, media personality and company owner. But his infectious positivity and optimism haven't diminished one bit.
Vaynerchuk's basic position is that we should love what we do, stop watching Netflix, and devote all our time to making a success of our careers. If that sounds dull, then just watch one of his evangelical rants for more than a minute, and you'll soon be feeling differently.
Topics include 'One life, more regrets', 'Think about legacy, not dollars' and 'The advice successful people WON'T give you'.