Freelancing is no easy feat; since quitting my job a month ago I have ripped my hair out, cried, laughed and smiled, all in the space of one day! It takes real guts to be able to live out your dreams and I can promise you, while its never an easy ride, freelancing is ‘rewarding’ as much as it is hard work. I never thought I would create my own business never mind be able to call myself an ‘entrepreneur’ and the fact that I am sitting here today, in creative control of my own enterprise is a beautiful surprise to behold. When I was a young girl, I dreamed of becoming an actress, later a teacher and it was at uni that I realized that writing was my true passion. By second year I knew that I wanted to share my story with the world; I wanted them to know how I overcame and continue to overcome life’s many obstacles but most of all I wanted to be free to be me.
And I’m not the only one, in fact a recent survey showed that 15.1% of the population were ‘freelancers’, 6.75% of which were bloggers, proving that the future of blogging is far from over. After all, as our Guest Writer ‘Jenna’ so quite rightly put not only can we ‘work in our pyjamas’ but we can also breathe easy knowing that we are not under the surveillance of a boss. Lets face it 2017 is the era of Girl Bosses and I can’t wait for Jen to tell you how YOU TOO can win at life as a Freelancer.
Jenna Take It Away…
8 Ways to Win At Life as A Freelancer
Going freelance is a really exciting time in anybody’s life. No more boss breathing down your neck. No more not being able to leave your desk when everybody else is in a beer garden. We can even work in our pyjamas if we want to! But with this excitement, comes a complete sense of overwhelm. With so many ideas, so much to do and no idea how to begin it all. My freelance journey is still new but here’s my advice from what I have learnt so far…
1.Pick times that work for you. While there’s certainly value in setting a schedule, don’t just assume 9-5 is the best option. I spent months forcing myself to do this- but since my husband often worked lates; I began to realise I really enjoyed my evenings in the back garden with a laptop. I now feel less guilty for taking hours to get going in the mornings too.
- Keep track of your emails. Once you’re freelance, emailing can often feel like a full-time job in itself! I now create separate folders for ongoing projects (a single article can generate a huge amount of emails) and flag emails I need to chase up every couple of days. Which leads nicely to point 3…
- Persevere. Yep, you’re organised but that doesn’t mean everyone else is. Regularly flag email chains that aren’t responded to and spend 30 minutes resending them with a quick ‘just wanted to check you’ve seen this?’. It pays to be (politely) pushy.
- Track your invoices. Keep a note of each invoice you’ve sent and the date too. Sometimes months can go by and we realise a payments been slipped so make sure you keep track.
- Log your expenses and payments. With my first tax deadline looming, I invested in Quickbooks- an online software programme that allows you to track all of your payments, log expenses and upload receipts. I try to do this every few weeks which hopefully means it will be a case of simply pressing submit once my deadline comes around!
- Have a backup plan. We often hear about ‘taking the leap’ and ‘leaving the 9-5 behind forever’ but going into freelancing with a backup plan is actually a really sensible idea. This might be a month or two worth of wages in your saving or keeping your options open to returning to work on a flexible basis.
- Diversify your Income. When it comes to money, putting all your eggs in one basket is rarely a good idea. When first going freelance, you might have a clear plan of how you want to spend your working days- but having 2 or 3 options to explore is best. This is especially the case for bloggers going full-time; as it’s rare to be able to sustain this month after month. Look into different options- such as freelance copywriting or social media support for local companies.
8.Expect things to be up and down. On a weekly basis, freelancing is full of triumphs and disasters. The world is interchangeable- contracts change, fees change and nothing is really concrete until the money is in your bank account. Expect there will be good and bad days and remember the next triumph is just around the corner….
Jenna Farmer is a freelance blogger and writer. She writes about gut health and wellness over at www.abalancedbelly.co.uk and has just launched a second blog all about freelance life and blogging to make money (www.thebloglancer.co.uk)
Side Note From Faded Spring: I think we could all really learn from Jenna’s approach to freelancing and from personal experience I can truthfully state that it pays to diversify your income. When I was working full time and running my blog,I got frustrated because I was only focusing on ‘one way to make money’ from my blog and when I learnt to set up multiple income streams, that is when I truly knew that taking the plunge into full time blogging would be the right course for me to take. Another important point to note is learning how to manage your emails; while Jenna stated she creates separate folders and chases brands who have not replied within an allocated time-which are all worthy tips-I would also add that another way to utilize your inbox is to not be afraid to pitch brands yourself. No matter how small or big your blog is, reaching out to companies-through email and social media can be the start of a beautiful working relationship.
Thank you Jenna for showing us how we too can win at life as Freelancers!
How Do You Win At Life As A Freelancer?