I won UK Freelancer of the Year!

I’m pleased to announce that I won UK Freelancer of the Year 2017 last week.

The awards are organised by IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals & the Self-Employed) and they took place on Thursday 8th June, which was National Freelancers Day.

UK Freelancer of the Year IPSE magazine cover
Photos © Ed Telling
You can read an interview with me in IPSE’s magazine by clicking here.

The awards, the centrepiece of the ninth annual National Freelancers Day, recognise excellence in freelancing… [the finalists] were judged on the strength of their portfolio, their passion and commitment to freelancing, business acumen and the creativity and distinctiveness of their offering.


Here I’m being presented with the award by IPSE chairman James Collings and comedian Ellie Taylor.

winning IPSE Freelancer of the Year award
the award

Luke had identified a real niche with his business. He is making fantastic use of social media to promote himself and further his career, and has a comprehensive and considered business plan for the immediate, and longer-term future. 

James Gribben, IPSE judging panel

The event was held at Kings Place (a really beautiful venue) near Kings Cross. The day included masterclasses, seminars and workshops with the award ceremony in the evening.

National Freelancers Day

I was given the award on quite a large stage!

the stage for National Freelancers Day

Another winner of the night was Nisha Haq who won the 23-and-under prize. She’s a great wedding photographer (and you can see her website here).

Luke Nicholson and Nisha Haq
Kings Place, London

Drinks reception…

Drinks Reception

Below you can see a picture of me and Emmeline Pidgen (plus an extra picture of me on the TV screen behind!). Emmeline won the award last year. She’s a very talented illustrator and you can see her work here.

Luke Nicholson and Emmeline Pidgen

There are 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK and I feel very proud to be chosen as Freelancer of the Year 2017. The nine other finalists (you can read about them here) were all equally deserving – so I feel humbled to have been chosen.

As a freelancer, you can often feel quite lonely and isolated in your work (given that you have no colleagues to share successes/bemoan failures with). Meeting the finalists and discovering the IPSE community was really fantastic: I’ve found a network of people who understand what it’s like to be a freelancer. Plus it’s good to know that IPSE is there to support freelancers (be it with tax advice, lobbying government, or professional development workshops).

As well as the prestigious title, I’ve won £5000 towards my business which I plan to invest in developing my online course, buying camera equipment (for YouTube videos…), and other pronunciation resources for my website. Watch this space!

If you want to know more, you can read an interview with me in IPSE’s magazine by clicking here.