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  • Writer's pictureThe Arts VA

Freelancers… Four Tasks a VA Can do for You

At The Arts VA, our clients are a mixture of small businesses, larger companies and individuals. This week we’ll be focusing on freelancers, looking at how a VA can help and why outsourcing shouldn’t be seen as a luxury.

Woman walking down street holding laptop

When you’re a team of one, it can be tempting to try and do every job yourself, but as there are often not enough hours in the day things like admin tasks can slip down the to-do list.

The reality is that everyone has their strengths and skills and the things they’re not as good at, so sometimes the best thing you can do is delegate to someone else. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your admin, a VA can be there to take on these tasks for you. You can use this time instead to focus on what you’re good at, which could be furthering your business and making more money.

We support a range of freelancers working within the arts, including theatre directors, designers and supervisors: scenery, wigs, costumes, sound and lighting.

Remember that a VA only does the hours that you need, you can choose to do ad-hoc hours so you’re not tied to monthly fees during quieter times - and you can pause at any time. At The Arts VA we track all our time via MinuteDock and will send you regular timesheet updates so there are no surprises at the end of the month.

Here are some tasks that a VA can do to help lighten the load for freelancers.

1. Negotiations

When it comes to negotiating fees, you may find the back and forth of emails time consuming and it can be awkward discussing money. A VA allows you to distance yourself from this.

When you get a deal offer through, we can use our knowledge to offer advice about what we think you should be paid, then draft a response to the producer. As and when emails come through, we discuss it with you and reply to the producer until we come to a mutual agreement.

We can do the same for your daily rate, travel, budgets and accommodation - for example, a show may have offered you a weekly retainer and you don’t know if it’s a good deal, or maybe you feel like you should be flying a higher class and you’re not sure how to ask.

We find it really useful to compile a spreadsheet with all a client’s shows in one place, detailing what they were paid and how many days they worked so when they start negotiations for another project, they can easily compare deals.

2. Diary management

When a producer contacts you and asks if you’re available, a VA can check your calendar and make sure there are no clashes. We can also respond to booking enquiries and arrange meetings.

If you’re booking in a long-term project for a tour and have to be available for moves, we can look at your diary over a longer period of time and identify any potential clashes.

3. Inbox management

Whether it’s reading your emails, organising your inbox or responding to enquiries, a VA can help you manage your inbox. Our clients find it really helpful knowing that we are monitoring their emails so that important correspondence doesn’t get missed during busier periods.

4. Invoicing

While it’s important for any business to maintain a constant stream of income, it can be tricky keeping on top of invoices and chasing payments for those that are late. A VA can do all this for you and take the stress out of managing your finances.

Although we work with small businesses and larger theatre companies, we are also here to provide support to freelancers when they need us. So when a show comes up and you start to get busy, you can tap in on our knowledge knowing that we will have a good understanding of what you and your business need. Even if you just need a sounding board - we know that working for yourself can be lonely.

The Arts News

  • Seasonal staff with experience in lighting, sound, props, wardrobe or WHAM are needed at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Read more about the roles at the CFT website. Closing date for all roles is 14th February.

  • A new scheme will offer Londoners who are unemployed or on a low income free access to courses at colleges and adult education. They will receive training in various sectors, including the creative industry.

We'd Love to Hear From You!

If you are a freelancer and would like to know how you can work with The Arts VA, head to our contact us page to arrange a chat with Charlie.


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