We are now part of a whole new world where there is away for everything. You are free to do whatever you want, in whatsoever manner you want. However, what you seek does not necessarily come easily, and you are required to do some homework before deciding on anything. This applies absolutely to those interested in becoming a freelance baker.
Freelance bakers are fresh participants in the freelancing universe, and their community has been growing steadfast in both reputation and opportunities. Presently, you can start running a bakery business without even owning a shop; all you need to do is to showcase your baking skills to the whole world through well-documented recipes, baking videos or presentations, and firmly established connections. If you are a master baker and have a knack for advertising your skills to the world, you will create out of yourself a fine freelance baker.
But, then, the question comes: Is it that simple? No, it is not a piece of cake, and you have to take into consideration some really important determinative factors to kick-start the freelancing journey. For this purpose, the article enumerates a few major factors playing a key role in determining your success as a freelance baker. If you study each factor meticulously, you will be assured a bright future ahead.
Here are a few points you need to keep in mind to become a freelance baker:
1. Job Requirements
Being a baker is not that simple; you are required to not only know about key ingredients of major delicacies but also modes of baking, presentation, and advertisement. A commercial baker cannot compromise with taste and revenue; therefore, it is important you fully understand your position as a baker before indulging in freelancing. The freelancing community comprises shining freelancers possessing distinct capabilities. If you wish to attract key employees, you have to prove them that you are capable of delivering quality.
The following are the job requirements of a freelance baker:
- If you had always wanted to become a baker, you should get a professional certification for the same. Today, employers and clients look out for professional freelancers with recognized certifications. These certifications may come in different forms such as a diploma or degree, and they play a fundamental role in deciding your fate as a freelance baker.
- In India, there are a number of well-recognized institutes offering courses on Baking. For example, National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology—a premier hotel management institute functional under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India—offers Diploma courses in Bakery & Confectionery; the ASSOCOM Institute of Bakery Technology & Management specializes in offering bakery-related courses which may be short term or diploma courses.
- If you want to transcend international borders and learn international baking recipes from foreign experts, then your options are nearly infinite. Some of the internationally renowned institutes include Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University. Certified courses help you gather experience by working with professionals and experts in bakeries and restaurants; these hone our practical skills and build experience, something which every employer or client looks out for.
- Not everyone likes the idea of shelling out money, especially when 21st century provides ample opportunities to learn baking skills free-of-cost. While it is not impossible to become a baker without a professional certification, it does not mean certified courses do not hold much value. An individual with a certification may get an upper hand, so those without such certifications would need to work harder.
- So, how to deal with this? There is a way out—Practice, experience, and publication. One of the most popular ways to publicize one’s baking skills is running a blog or YouTube channel. Let’s just say you prefer writing blogs, then you would need to prepare a strategy to deal with online users. In order to bring your baking skills to attention, you need to craft the blog in a stylish and user-friendly manner. Remember this: Write down recipes in simple language, seek comments and suggestions from readers, routinely post recipes online in order to maintain the user base and expand your coverage through social networking websites such as a Facebook page. With time your audience will grow and help you improve the portfolio of skills.
2. Skills required
An employer would have some reasonable expectations from a freelance baker, and some of them have been mentioned below:
- Attention to detail: A Freelance Baker is expected to pay special attention to minute details while baking. He is to ensure that the product is proportional and sticks to the employer’s requirements.
- Creativity: Baking is an art; you express yourself through designs and tastes of pastries, doughnuts, and whatnot. Since baking is universal, there are millions of recipes making it harder for you to showcase your talent. But, if you manage to display creativity through distinctively electable pastries, you will be a star baker.
- Updated with latest banking trends: It is expected from you that you are apprised of all major baking recipes and latest trends. In order to enhance your knowledge, follow or subscribe to prominent blogs, channels, and online forums. You can also subscribe to magazines and booklets for greater assistance.
- Knowledge about latest baking equipment: Every year, innovation takes baking to a whole new level, and you would certainly not want to lag behind due to the use of outdated equipment or baking methods. Keep yourself updated with latest technological improvements and inventions!
- Trained in the baking techniques: More extensive knowledge of recipes will not offer a gateway to glory when you are oblivious to baking techniques. Baking techniques such as shaving and grating chocolate, flaky pastry techniques, different uses of ovens and rolling pins, hand-held embellishment instruments, icing techniques etc must be thoroughly known to the freelance baker. It is all the more important you take note of latest baking inventories and techniques and train yourself.
- Menu building: You may end up with employers with unique tastes, and you might end up creating menus for them. Let us say you work with an employer who fantasizes about pastries, so the best way to impress him is to add the most popularly consumed pastries (and those you can bake) on the menu such as Pork Pie, Strudel, Maple Danish pastry, and whatnot.
- Patience: A true baker is he who knows patience. Baking is not simple and often time-consuming and thus, requires tremendous patience from the baker. If you do not give sufficient time to baking, you might end up with poor quality products and then, a poor employer’s review.
3. Where to work?
There are ample opportunities available for you; all you need to do is research. The best way is to establish contacts with event planners and caterers. These two can get your products a place in events, and this will be a great boost to your baking career.
It is much simpler to find work online through major freelance websites such as freelance.com, upwork.com, prevalent and guru.com. These websites host pages and forums for freelance bakers who can directly contact with prospective employers or clients. In order to apply to the positions through these websites, create an account and update your portfolio of skills.
4. Portfolio of skills
To stand out in the crowd of freelance bakers, you need to have a shimmering portfolio of skills. So, how to build one? Well, your portfolio of skills may be in the form of a resume or an update on online forums. Whatever option you opt for, you will have to conduct organization. Organize your portfolio of skills in a manner which tends to divert the employer’s attention to the most relevant skills you possess.
For example, you have worked in a confectionery shop for a year, but your interest is in pastries and all. Arrange your skills in an order highlighting the latter more than the former; mention your certifications and experience in baking in the order of priority, with the most relevant one securing the top slot. These may seem nonsensical, but, trust me it is these nonsensical things which create a difference.
One really important tip: Mention only those skills which you actually possess. Cultivating the bad habit of adding up alien skills in your portfolio may pose problems in future employment, especially if the employer is experienced and shrewd. One mistake and your entire freelance career will go down into the pit.
5. Pay rate
Pay rate is not fixed. Much of the pay rate will depend upon the skills, qualifications, and experience of the freelancer. While those with good experience in the field charge high pay rate, which is usually beyond the prevalent market rate, but you cannot complain since they are best at what they are doing. If you are a rookie, you command less credibility among employers and clients so, to avoid projecting yourself as a presumptuous baker, keep the pay rate at reasonable levels which usually prevailing market rates. However, if you have some extraordinary qualification such as a diploma from a prestigious hotel management institute in or beyond India, you may keep a high pay rate.