Freelancer Course

Locations Duration Next Application
San Francisco
6 weeks 05/15/2020
Apply Now


In our Freelancer Course, we guide you through a hands-on process of defining your service offering, developing client relationships, and establishing the foundation to thrive as an independent contractor. This course is 6-weeks long and is well suited for individuals seeking self-employment in a personal or professional services industry, or as an independent artist.

What members are saying…

What I Didn’t Know Before I Started

Before I started Uptima, I wasn’t sure I had all of the components in place to begin freelancing, marketing myself and taking on work. Uptima’s freelancer course takes a thorough week-by-week approach to covering everything—from clarifying my service offer, to building a website, to understanding the legal aspects of running my business and preparing contracts. In two months, I was up and running and have been self-employed ever since.

Hannah Onstad, H2O Content Strategy

What I Learned to Help Me Build a Freelancer Business

One practice that changed in my business is assessing my capacity to work with prospective clients. Now that I have a greater understanding of what I offer as a service, I can determine which clients are mutually beneficial for me to work with.

James Shields, Creative Shields

What I Accomplished in My Business

The freelancer program helped me determine how much my time and skills are worth to me as well as to gain certainty about what my other personal and professional values are. This gave me the confidence to charge the appropriate rates to make my freelance practice sustain and thrive, and to give myself raises as necessary. Uptima taught me how to create client packages and begin to market myself and my work beyond my existing relationships.

Aaron Joseph, Identafire

What You Will Learn


Topics Covered
  • Gain an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Learn how to identify and leverage your strengths and core values in your development as a self-employed person
  • Take inventory of the projects you’ve worked on, including what worked and didn’t work for you
Business Model
  • Learn about different models for defining, delivering and capturing value as a self-employed person
  • Learn how to use the Business Model You canvas to develop a business model for your self-employed business
  • Define your service offerings, ideal clients, and value proposition
Money Matters
  • Gain an understanding of the energy of money and your relationship with money
  • Learn about budgeting, invoicing, managing income and expenses, and taxes as a self-employed person
  • Create your annual budget and set up systems for tracking your finances
Protect Yourself
  • Learn about legal structures, contracts, licenses and permits, and insurance to reduce risk as a self-employed person
  • Learn pricing and negotiation strategies for contracts with clients and subcontractors
  • Undertake legal, regulatory, and insurance activities needed to protect yourself as a self-employed person
Get Clients
  • Learn about different channels for finding client leads and how to create a sales funnel from client lead to contract
  • Learn how to tell your story to engage potential clients and differentiate yourself from other contractors
  • Identify marketing channels, craft your story, and develop outreach materials to promote your services
Achieve Balance
  • Learn time and project management strategies to manage both short-term and long-term assignments
  • Learn how to juggle contracted work with marketing, outreach, and client development activities
  • Develop near-term goals, a daily schedule, and project management processes that work for you


Must have at least 3 months of experience (either as an employee or through self-employment) providing the personal or professional service, art or music you seek to offer through your self-employed business.

Commit to Building Your Business

Average time commitment for our Freelancer Course is 10 hours / week dedicated to building your business, and includes the following weekly activities:


Activity Weekly Commitment
Background Materials
  • Series of required background readings and videos on each unit to be completed online prior to the weekly in-person workshop
  • Describes concepts and their applications in developing a business

1-2 hours / week

  • Weekly in-person workshops led by an expert instructor
  • Lecture and discussion on background materials, group activities, and reflection

3 hours / week

Business Development Activities
  • Weekly activities focused on your business development
  • Apply concepts learned in background materials and workshops

2-10 hours / week

Peer Mentoring
  • Weekly phone meetings with small peer group of other business owners in your class
  • Present weekly business development activities and receive constructive feedback from peers

1 hour / week

One-on-one Mentoring
  • Weekly one-on-one meetings with a mentor
  • Discuss business progress, review weekly business development activity, and connect with resources to meet business needs

30 minutes / week

Meet Your Mentors

Wendy Martinez Marroquin

Wendy Martinez Marroquin



Sherina McKinley

Sherina McKinley



Kathren Murrell Stevenson

Kathren Murrell Stevenson

Lead Instructor & Mentor

San Francisco

Suzanne Yada

Suzanne Yada

Lead Instructor & Mentor


Join an Upcoming Course

Our Freelancer course is offered at the following locations.



Enrollment Period Program Dates Application Deadline
Spring / Summer, 2020 June 2 - July 7 May 15
Fall, 2020 September 22 - October 27 September 4
Fall, 2020 November 3 - December 15 October 23

San Francisco

Enrollment Period Program Dates Application Deadline
Spring / Summer, 2020 June 4 - July 9 May 15
Fall, 2020 September 24 - October 29 September 4
Fall, 2020 November 5 - December 17 October 16

How Much It Costs

The cost of our Freelancer Course consists of a course fee of $600. For San Francisco entrepreneurs, the course is free through a grant from the City and County of San Francisco’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development.

We charge a $25 deposit to reserve your space in the class. This deposit is credited against the payment of your course fee, where applicable.

Financial Assistance

Because we believe in entrepreneurship as a means to close the racial wealth gap, we offer financial assistance programs for entrepreneurs of color.

For entrepreneurs of color in Oakland, San Francisco, and Boston, we offer financial assistance covering 100% of your course fee, regardless of your household income and the number of people in your household through the end of 2020.

This course is also available for free to all San Francisco-based freelancers regardless of race in 2020.

Accelerate your business.