Blog / February 2023

How Do Creative Freelancers Earn A Living?

Cover photo source: Unsplash

The explosion of social media is fueling new demand for original creative content. You see the prospects and are ready to take your skills to the creative markets.

Before you make the leap, take a read of the 3 ways to build and sustain a creative freelancing business in Singapore.

1. Take Shortcuts

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Source: Giphy

Draw on the experience and insights of seasoned creative practitioners and micro-business owners. This can help you to sharpen your business model and develop a practice playbook. 

Identify mentors who could provide useful perspectives for strengthening your situational awareness. E.g., many of us would want to know how we could overcome our inner introvert and stand out from the competition.

This would put you on-track to achieving profitability as a business in a shorter time. Make the effort to seek out like-minded creative and business communities. Here, you can tap on practitioners for knowledge, mentorship, industry linkages, referrals etc.

An example is NTUC’s Visual, Audio, Creative Content Professionals Association (VICPA).

VICPA is running a workshop on Feb 20, 2023 from 2pm – 6pm for aspiring and new creative freelancers and micro-business entrepreneurs.

📌 Sign up at:

2. Get Clients Addicted to You!

More than 50% of small businesses in Singapore fold in their first year. Many failed to expect the unexpected. E.g., sudden cost spikes to legal suits for intellectual property infringement.

Mitigate risks by doing your homework. Map out challenges and worst-case scenarios for your business. Then think through how you plan to deal with them should they arise.

Clients prefer a consistent approach. Consistency in contracts, client management, managing projects etc. helps you to reassure clients. Consistent methods also build trust between parties and improves business efficiency.

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Source: Giphy

Establish your professionalism and reputation. Hold yourself accountable to performance metrics set out between you and your clients.

This impresses upon clients how your creative services impacts their business outcomes. It also reinforces collaborative practices and is fundamental to a value-based pricing model.

3. Are You the Boss Yet?

Source: Unsplash

Start with the end in mind. If your dream is to transform a side hustle into a creative practice, start with the end in mind by planning for the long-term. 

What is your business model and how do you plan to deliver a unique customer value proposition (CVP)? Planning for the long-term includes how to finance your business set-up and growth. 

Ensure that you have enough capital to make it past the infamous “Valley of Death”. This is an initial phase when work might not bring in immediate cashflow and you have to fund expenses.

How much is enough to start? It depends.

Some questions to think about: How soon can your CVP gain traction? What are your baseline operating costs? What is your income/ expense cycle and what are grants available to you? Do you plan on drawing a ‘salary’; how much?

We recommend speaking to seasoned practitioners to get a sense.


If your goal is to start and grow a creative micro-business in Singapore, our advice is to dig deep. Set up your business with longevity in mind and build up a range of resources and capabilities. Leverage what professional communities and networks can offer.

Discover more support for micro-business entrepreneurs and freelancers at

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