See what happened at NFD 2021

Pick your stream


09:00 – 09:10

Derek Cribb


Keynote: Jack of all trades, master of none, but who said that Jack wasn’t having more fun

14:15 – 14:55

Lliana Bird describes her life as a true multihyphenate, sharing tales from her life as a child actress, radio DJ, theatre producer, podcaster, science writer and award winning film-maker.  Detailing the ups and downs of her often unexpected (and occasionally, uninvited) career choices, Lliana offers a glimpse into what it takes to succeed (and fail) as a freelancer.

Lliana Bird

Broadcaster/ Podcaster/ Writer/ Film maker/ Charity co-founder (aka “slasher”)

Keynote Panel: Freelancing after the pandemic

12:15 – 13:00

  • What is the state of self-employment because of the pandemic?
  • Freelancing has always increased during recessions: will this time be different?
  • Government, tax and freelancing: is government discouraging self-employment?
  • What are the other factors affecting self-employment: eg. Courts, Uber case, technology, automation?
  • Remote working: will the shift to home working for employees take away a big incentive for self-employment?
  • Gig economy: will this be a growing issue again after the pandemic?
  • What should government be doing to encourage and support self-employment?

Andy Chamberlain

Director of Policy, IPSE

Kate Dearden

Head of Research, Policy and External Relations, Community trade union

Ryan Shorthouse

Chief Executive, Bright Blue

Finance stream

Detailed expert insight on financial and legislative matters effecting your freelance business.

Preparing your finances for later life

9:15 – 9:50

Duncan Craze from Contractor Wealth will be talking through the in’s and out’s of preparing your finances once you decide to wind down your career and prepare for life after work. 

This will cover a wide range of topics including short term actions you can take to start making meaningful changes from Today, how the pandemic has affected savings and addressing why 36% of freelancers felt their future finances were unsecure according to an IPSE report, as well as: 

  • Preparing your pension plan and how to navigate multiple pension pots
  • Looking at current circumstances for your retirement now
  • Tax efficient investments
  • Plan for inheritance tax
  • Maximise your savings account for the future

Duncan Craze

Head of Financial Advice, Contractor Wealth, CMME

Five steps to protect your freelance business from hackers

10:15 – 10:50

In this session, Naq Cyber alongside a very special guest (t.b.a.) will shed a light on freelancer’s cyber risk exposure and explain why your freelance business should take cybersecurity measures to protect against cyber criminals.

Naq Cyber will also give you an understanding of the five cyber security controls that are recommended by the National Cyber Security Centre for SMEs and freelancers in every sector and give you the practical tools to implement them into your business. These cyber security controls are part of Cyber Essentials, a leading cyber security certification for SMEs in the UK.

Nadia Kadhim

CEO, Naq Cyber

Chris Pindar

Chief Operating Officer, IASME Consortium

5 common contractual mistakes and how to avoid them

11:15 – 11:50

In this practical session in partnership with Markel Direct, you’ll learn about some of the most common contractual mistakes self-employed professionals make, how to avoid them, and how IPSE member benefits can help. You’ll find out how to:

  • Put in place a contract between you and your client
  • Approach a situation where you are faced with another party’s standard terms
  • Provide yourself with a means of getting out of the contract in case things go wrong
  • Define project deliverables that avoid ‘scope creep’ and have a process for change requests
  • Limit your exposure

Mark Rankin

Head of Commercial Services, Markel Law LLP

Self-employed mortgage masterclass

15:20 – 15:55

Are you planning on moving forward with your mortgage plans soon? As a first time buyer, home-mover or simply looking to get the best deal on your next remortgage, CMME’s ‘Mortgage Masterclass’ has you covered. Following on from our recent IPSE research we plan on covering the topics you asked for, such as:

  • What to consider when sourcing your mortgage as an independent professional
  • How to get the right mortgage deal for you
  • The mortgage landscape for you post IR35
  • Umbrella vs limited what you need to consider to become mortgage fit

Simon Butler

Head of Mortgage & Protection at CMME

Broadcaster and soon-to-be Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay: Opportunities and challenges in freelancing today

16:20 – 16:40

In this interview with freelance broadcaster, writer, author, coach, NED and soon to be the UK’s Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay, she will discuss the state of self-employment in 2021, as well as the lessons 25 years of freelancing have taught her.

Find out about the future of the sector after the pandemic: from the big challenges such as late payment and navigating the post-IR35 world, to the big opportunities – and expert advice on how to make the most of them.

Liz Barclay

Broadcaster, writer, media coach and soon-to-be Small Business Commissioner

with Tristan Grove

Head of Communications, IPSE

IR35: 2 months on

16:20 – 16:40

Paul’s session provides an overview to the off-payroll working changes and how these have impacted end clients, agencies and freelancers. It makes the point that the legislation has changed how one arrives at IR35 decisions, but certainly how the responsibility and liability have shifted up the contractual chain in the vast majority of engagements.

Consideration is given in particular to end clients who have sought to avoid the process by refusing to engage contractors trading through their own limited companies, and why that is a short-sighted long-term solution. Paul concludes that in the immediate future the outlook for contractors isn’t exactly rosy, but these changes do not spell the end of limited company contracting. We have been here before when HMRC made legislative changes to combat perceived “false self-employment”. After initial knee-jerk reactions, the market soon realised that if you engage properly with the legislation self-employment is a sound method of engagement. Give it 12 months and the same will happen with the off payroll working rules.

Paul Mason

Head of Tax Partnerships at Markel Tax

Winning work stream

Make the most of new opportunities and grow your business and personal brand to win more work.

How to ACE a first meeting with a client

9:15 – 9:50

How good are your sales skills? Opportunities are precious: we want to make the most of them.  A compelling first meeting can open the door to months—often years—of revenue.

In this session, John Niland of Self-Worth Academy outlines a proven value-centred approach, specifically crafted for professionals:

  • How to open a meeting with impact
  • Questions that uncover the value of the work to be done
  • Differentiating yourself by adding value up-front
  • How to discuss budget-guideline before doing a proposal
  • Handling objections e.g. “we have a cheaper alternative”
  • Closing and double-closing the sale

You are encouraged to read this article on Communicating the Value of Your Work prior to the session

John Niland - Headshot

John Niland

Founder, Self-Worth Academy

The five things new freelancers must do to gain more time, money and success

10:15 – 10:50

Finding your feet and identity as a new freelancer can be tough, with plenty of room to make mistakes. So let’s save you time, money and confusion and get you off on the right foot. Join Nicole Louis as she walks you through the 5 essential things you must-do if you’re going to experience success and longevity in your freelancing career. Come with your phone, a notebook and a pen because you’re not going to want to miss any of the gems that will skyrocket your understanding, productivity and business acumen.

John Niland - Headshot

Nicole Louis

The Social Workers Strategy Mentor, NicoleMLouis

PANEL: Winning work post-pandemic

11:15 – 11:50

As we start to emerge from the pandemic and move into a ‘new normal’ there are many questions and uncertainties ahead. The world has changed dramatically and permanently for all of us. In this session our panel of experts will look at different strategies for winning work post-pandemic.

We will look at:

  • Where the work is post-pandemic
  • Why building your self-confidence is vital
  • How you can stand out as a freelancer
  • How you can use social media to win work
  • How you can leverage your networks to win work
  • Why it’s all about collaboration rather than competition

The session will be chaired by Alison Grade, author The Freelance Bible.

She will be joined by a panel of experts:

  • Matthew Mottola, Author of the Human Cloud, Co-Founder & CEO of Venture L
  • Amrit Singh, Award-Winning Creative Director, Artist & Public Speaker
  • Ajay Parekh, Project Director/ Executive Producer/ Event Consultant at Connekt


Alison Grade

Author, Speaker and Trainer

Matthew Mottola

Co-Founder & CEO of Venture L

Amrit Singh

Creative Director at Rebel Creatives

Ajay Parekh

Project Director/ Executive Producer/ Event Consultant

Setting, communicating, and increasing your day rate

15:20 – 15:55

Do you know what your work is worth? If you’re self-employed, working as a freelancer or independent consultant then understanding and knowing your work worth is key. Therefore knowing what to charge your clients and how to ask for an increase is a crucial but sometimes uncomfortable part of the self-employed journey. This session will cover how to set and raise your fees.

John Niland - Headshot

Ebony Gayle

Ebony Gayle Communications

Diversifying your freelance business

15:20 – 15:55

During the pandemic, many of us will have considered a different income stream or pivot to a new freelance career. If not already underway, it’s possible you’re pondering on it. But, where to begin? Jenny will speak from her own experience of re-training as a coach during lockdown to offer advice and tips on making your own pivot to a different area of freelancing while maintaining your current workload. This workshop will also be useful for those new to freelancing and considering whether to diversify or ‘niche’.  Jenny says: “My move to coaching is running alongside work as a writer and podcaster – the juggle of making a sideways move in your freelance career is exciting, and one you can embrace with the right tools. I’ll explain why and how I’ve done it and offer advice on how you can do it, too”. From committing to your pivot through to making it work for your brand, Jenny will share what worked for her. Expect practical tips and personal experience to help you make your next move, too.

Jenny Stallard

Coach, writer and podcaster. Founder ‘Freelance Feels’


Social media: Building virtual connections and winning work

16:20 – 16:40

2020 was not the year to go freelance but it is the career path many of us ended up on. Social media has been a large part of people’s lives now more so than ever, however it’s not just about socialising any more.

For many of us, social media has now become a professional networking site and we’re not just talking about Linkedin.

The session will explore how to use non-traditional methods in securing work for the future e.g. how Narmeen secured five figure contracts using platforms such as instagram and clubhouse.

John Niland - Headshot

Narmeen Kamran

Event Producer and Founder of Desert Island Events

Wellbeing stream

Explore self-care as a freelancer and learn new ways to improve your personal and professional wellbeing.

Master your day with healthy habits

9:15 – 9:50

Create Your Best Morning Routine.

Learn how and why to make your mornings work for you rather than against you. Understand the science behind cultivating a proactive state versus falling into a reactive state and how a strong morning routine sets you up for less stressful and more productive day.

Key outcomes: 

  • Why a morning routine is so powerful
  • How it sets you up for a positive and productive day
  • The difference between being in a proactive versus reactive state
  • Locus of control – what it is and why it’s so important
  • Example morning routines of well-known, successful people
  • Examples of what participants can do to start their own morning routine
  • How to create a successful morning routine for yourself
  • Participants leave with a plan for their new morning routine

Kate Horwood

Founder, Kate Horwood Coaching & Consulting

Overcoming your self-doubt

10:15 – 10:50

We all struggle with self doubt from time to time, but if it is stopping you getting on with your life and work, then it needs to be tackled.  When you are running your own business, this is even more crucial – because if you lack belief in yourself, then so will others.  I will introduce you to some techniques that will help you to challenge your self doubt, and to be more resilient.  We can do this!

Jo Clift

Owner, Jo Clift Consulting

Freelancing: a mental health survival guide

11:15 – 11:50

One night three years ago Josh Roberts went to a party. The next morning he awoke to discover his mind had collapsed. In a matter of days he went from being a fun loving, seemingly successful twenty-something to a hot mess of tears and nerves.

Eventually he was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Since then, he’s been mending his mind, rediscovering happiness and learning to live his nervous life.

Which is what Josh’s first book, Anxious Man, is all about. Described by Stephen Fry as “required reading”, it’s an urgent exploration of mental health and a much needed guide to living less nervously.

Josh will join us to discuss mental health, resilience and staying cheerful amidst turbulent times.

Josh Roberts

Author of “Anxious Man”


At National Freelancers Day we’ll be running workshops to create interactive and engaging workspaces for you, led by experts in their field. These workshops are designed to help you develop your knowledge and skills to benefit your freelance business, so come with lots of questions to get the most out of these workshops

Marketing and branding your business at low cost

9:15 – 9:45

Building your brand can be achieved on a cost-effective budget. During this workshop, we will teach you how to stand out with tried, tested and proven strategies including:

Marketing tactics:

  • Which channels you should focus on
  • How best to reach potential customers
  • When to run paid marketing

How to optimise your website::

  • What goes on your landing page
  • How to deliver an optimised navigation
  • How to match your website to your brand

Social media strategies:

  • Which social platforms to focus on
  • How to use engagement to increase your customers or clients
  • Organic vs. paid media

Nadine Campbell

Founder, ACE Entrepreneurs

Dean Attidore

Business Services Partner, ACE Entrepreneurs

Advanced CV writing for contractors

10:15 – 11:00

This exclusive workshop will give you the CV writing blueprint to effectively target both inside and outside-IR35 roles.

If you’re looking to remain a contractor and need to create a CV that promotes your outside-IR35 status yet still wins you work, this workshop is for you, Also ideal if you’re a contractor with one eye on the ‘payrolled’ job market and need a CV that will work for both contract and permanent roles. If your just not getting traction with your current CV and want the blueprint to a CV that will get you more interviews, for better roles that pay more money then join Matt Craven for this interactive session! 

We will provide you with some deep and advanced insights including:

  1. How to define an attention grabbing go-to-market pitch
  2. What’s a value proposition and why every great CV should have one
  3. Using FAB statements to showcase your talents to recruiters and clients
  4. Learn why a high percentage of CVs never get read by a human
  5. Discover the single most effective CV strategy on the planet
  6. How the professionals optimise the information architecture of a CV
  7. Learn the single biggest mistake contractors make on their CV
  8. Why social proofing increases success by 300%

This is a live workshop with Q&A at the end for you to ask questions.

Matt Craven

Managing Director and Contractor Winning Work Expert

How freelancers and self-employed people contribute to improved diversity, equity and inclusion in their industry – and why it’s good for everyone

11:15 – 11:55

Freelancers can often feel removed from workplace discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion. So how can we use our influence to model inclusive behaviour, champion diversity and support our less represented freelancer counterparts? 

This workshop will help arm the freelance and self-employed community with the skills needed to become allies to less-represented freelancers (womxn, POC, the LGBTQ+, the disabled and neuro-diverse) and meaningfully contribute to the D&I conversation within their community, with their clients and stakeholders.

Gabby Austen-Browne

Co-founder, Diversity Ally

LinkedIn mastery for contractors

15:20 – 16:05

Your LinkedIn profile is as important as your CV!

Learn how to write a compelling LinkedIn profile (it’s not what you think) and how to use LinkedIn as a tool for winning work (we’ll discuss some strategies you never thought existed).

LinkedIn has over 760 million members, so recruiters and clients naturally use it as one big pond to fish for and select talent. As a consequence, having a great LinkedIn Profile is not optional, it is essential. In addition, knowing how to proactively sell yourself on LinkedIn can be life changing.

In this fast-paced session, we’ll also be talking about some crucial outside-IR35 tactics.

  • How to get your CV and LinkedIn Profile working together
  • The differences between your CV and LinkedIn profile
  • How to create an attention grabbing Headline
  • What to write in the About section to generate interest
  •  How to develop a networking / winning work strategy
  • The low down on Personal Branding and Thought Leadership
  • How to reach out to 100s of decision makers at the push of a button

This is a live workshop with a Q&A session at the end for you to ask any questions.

Alistair Morris

Head of Sales & Partnerships and Contractor Winning Work Expert

Film screening: Snapshots

16:55 – 17:25

Plus Q&A with writers and directors Phoebe Barran and Lliana Bird

Phoebe Barran

Writer and Director

Lliana Bird

Broadcaster/ Podcaster/ Writer/ Film maker/ Charity co-founder (aka “slasher”)


You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to networking at NFD! All day long, you’ll be able to connect with other people and grow your sphere of influence. Join one (or more) of these fantastic lunch time meet ups for open and informal networking. Hosted by some of the best networkers in the business, you won’t want to miss these.  

12:55 – 13:25

Nicole Louis | NicoleMLouis

12:55 – 13:25

13:30 – 14:00

Faye Dicker | Freelance Mum

The Chair’s closing comments

17:25 – 17:30


From mortgages to membership, now you can book one-to-one appointments at National Freelancers Day with subject matter experts. These 25 minute confidential advice sessions are you opportunity to get personalised advice on the topics of:

  • Insurance
  • Mortgages
  • Wealth management
  • CV and interview advice
  • IPSE membership

You’ll meet with your booked expert via video chat on the NFD app. The time is yours to ask as many questions as you like so that you leave the meeting with all the information you’ll need to take the next step.

You must be a registered attendee of NFD to sign up to a one-to-one. Bookings will open up pre-event and are on a first come first serve basis and can be booked on the NFD web app and mobile app. Available to download for free from the Apple Store and Google Play.

Full schedule

Stream A:

Stream B:
Winning Work

Stream C:


09:10 – 09:15


09:50 – 10:15


10:50 – 11:15


11:50 – 12:15


12:15 – 13:00

13:00 – 14:15

14:55 – 15:20


15:55 – 16:20


16:40 – 16:55


16:55 – 17:25


Heron House, 10 Dean Farrar Street, London,
Tel: +44 (0)20 8897 9970

© 2020 IPSE Pty Ltd.