Freelancing in Floristry
I love freelancing. The wealth of experience that you can gain from working with many different florists is second to none and freelancing in our industry doesn’t just stop at weddings. There's a need for an extra sets of hands in retail shops on busy days, market/wholesaler runs, take-downs (we know, we know – doesn’t sound like that much fun but the experience is necessary and a big tick if you can offer this!), events, workshops and so much more.
If you’re just starting your flower journey, my number one piece of advice would be to freelance for as many florists as you can. There’s nothing better than hands on experience and many teachers is always better than one. It will help you develop your skills, understand processes and logistics and allows you to see exactly what type of floristry you want to work in.
Freelancing isn’t just for newbies. So many experienced florists I know who have thriving businesses still leave a few weekends free a year to freelance and home or away. It’s fun, you get to work with your flower friends and meet new people and it’s always good to stay up to date and refresh your skills.
But how do you go about finding freelancing work you’ve asked? What do you charge? When do you charge? Do you need a van? Do you charge for travel? What is the correct etiquette for sharing images?
So let’s break this down.
How do you find freelancing work?
Traditionally, word of mouth has been the go to method for booking freelancing jobs. This is why it’s so important to be professional, timely and a team player.
Reaching out to florists in your area is also a great way to find new leads. Sure, you might not hear back from everyone but it’s always worth a shot to introduce yourself. Having a portfolio of work on Instagram for example along with references is always a big tick as well. Try to include past work that is geared toward the florist you are contacting. Are they a retail florist? Include examples of bouquets and references referring to your customer service. Are they a wedding florist? Be sure to show events and installations you have worked on. Be intentional with your correspondence and let them know why you are the best fit for the job.
We don’t believe there is one answer to finding freelancing work – it’s a culmination of putting yourself out there and showing up in different streams – word of mouth, online and reaching out to people. Just like anything in life, it can be daunting but it will be so worth it.
How much do I charge?
This is almost like asking how long is a piece of string. Which is totally confusing –I get it! The wages can differ so it’s difficult to say exactly how much you can charge per hour but that gets us to our next point. You, as a freelancer, are contracting for the florist at hand. So it is up to you how much you would like to charge. Our biggest piece of advice would be to research the wages in your local area and apply a critical lens to your level of experience and then COMMUNICATE your hourly wage before you agree to work. That’s a big one. Communication is everything when entering working relationships and is the best way to get feedback. You might be overpriced for your years of experience and a good business owner will chat to you about this openly and effectively. Even better, you may be wildly under-priced and we know some wonderful florists who will let you know and pay you fairly. Please also take in to account that you should be paying yourself well (it has to be worth your time after all!) and have public liability insurance as well which is so important when working for yourself and should be factored into your hourly wage.
When and how do I charge?
This is when that all important communication comes back in to play. Please agree to all payment agreements before you enter the working relationship. As a rule of thumb, you would work the hours and then provide an itemised invoice with a breakdown of hours worked and any additional costs incurred after the event.
If you used your car/van for the job you would include mileage on your invoice. Start times and end times are usually calculated from when you arrive and leave the event. Much like other jobs, we clock on when we start working not when we leave home. Sometimes however, travelling long distances for a job may be required and this would be something you discuss prior to the event.
Can I share images from jobs I have freelanced on?
This is a tricky one and it’s riddled with differing views and opinions. We would highly recommend asking the business owner before posting anything. The work produced is their creative property and the responses will vary. We know many florists who will love you to share their work and be proud of what you have produced. You should always credit and tag them and make it known in your posts that you have freelanced rather than produced the job. There are other florists who do not appreciate their work being shared anywhere other than their own socials and website. And that is totally fair enough and up to the discretion of the business owner. This is where this all important communication comes in and trust us – the business owner will totally appreciate being asked, it’s a great sign of respect.
Other points to note – Don’t share photo’s before the event, always, always credit and tag, don’t add other people’s work to your website unless you have explicit permission AND you credit appropriately. If in doubt, it’s best to keep the work you share to just your jobs or behind the scenes posts that are also appropriately credited. It’s a tricky one but conducting yourself with complete transparency will maintain your professional relationships and get you invited back!
Freelancing in floristry might seem complicated with many nuances but if you treat it like you would any other business you will see it all comes down to the relationships you build and the work you produce.