Freelancer

Five Reasons Why Being a Freelancer Rocks

Freelancer

Although the COVID19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has hit many self-employed people hard - let's take the opportunity to celebrate the positive reasons for going, or remaining, part of the UK’s incredible freelance community.

Here are our top five reasons why being a freelancer rocks...

You are the master of your own destiny 

Despite the uncertainty that lockdown has created, with lost contracts and parked new business meetings the norm, being a freelancer still offers you more control than being employed.  Employment can appear to be the more stable choice, but in many cases, staff members work with constant threats of redundancy due to the streamlining of departments, cost cuttings and lost contracts. 

And, while furlough may appear to be an extended holiday, many freelancers have used their spare time in lockdown to work on their business models, improve their skills and mindsets, look for new clients and widen their contacts book. 

Freelancing can be hugely empowering when you think of it that way. You are always the master of your own destiny and never have to worry about being out of a job. 

There is no salary cap

Unlike employment where there are usually strict salary caps for most roles, there is no glass ceiling for freelancers.  Your earnings reflect your hard work, your focus, and your passion, and you can make the decisions when it comes to how much you charge and how much time off you have.  

It may be a wild ride on occasion, but having a more hands-on approach to your finances can be a very positive thing. 

You can work around your other commitments 

Although employment overall is becoming more flexible as tech improves and attitudes towards the nine-to five-day change, being a freelancer means you have ultimate control over when you work and how you spend your day. 

Sure, there will be deadlines, and sure you’ll be busy with client work, but freelancing allows you to design your life around other commitments. You may have taken to the leap into freelancing for this very reason - so if you want to pick your kids up from school, walk your dog, work on a side hustle, give time to a charity project, take up a hobby or simply support family members and friends, freelancing will give you the freedom to do it. 

Employment will simply never be as flexible as freelancing, and having this level of control will also help with your mental wellbeing and work-life balance. 

You are part of an incredible collaborative community 

The UK’s freelance community is an incredible thing to be a part of. Freelancers are always happy to collaborate, share resources, pass work around and support each other. 

The Freelance Kit’s Facebook group has become a great place for members to share tips, resources, links, free training, post supportive info and ask questions. 

Even though you may not always have colleagues to bounce ideas off - social platforms and groups step in to provide this function for the freelance community. 

You could be the answer to business success in a post COVID19 world 

Although we are all unsure about the future to some extent, freelancing could prove to be a huge part of the business re-build when things start moving on again. Lots of businesses will prefer to turn to agile freelance support giving them much more flexibility whilst business is rebuilt. 

Freelancers are hugely talented, very experienced and can provide services on a cost-effective, project-based basis for businesses, without the large agency costs or the requirement to hire a new employee. 

Things may seem bleak and uncertain for some, but don’t lose heart - keep pushing, keep reaching out and stay positive.  The rainbow after the storm is on its way! 

You can join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community here. 

And grab your FREE Ultimate Freelance Guide here,The Ultimate Freelance Guide 2020 with 45 top tools and tips from our community.

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

Shop 

 


Freelance advice

7 Ways For Freelancers to Weather the Covid19 Storm

Seven Ways for Freelancers to Weather the COVID-19 Storm 

The freelance and self-employed community is well equipped to survive working from home for prolonged periods, but the business closures and lockdown situation due to COVID-19 has already had a devastating effect on many sectors. 

So, in this shaky and uncertain climate, and in this unprecedented global situation, what can freelancers do to weather the storm and prevail?

Here are seven ideas that may help...

  • Think about alternative options for work 

Firstly, if you have lost clients or feel like this could be a possibility, it’s important that you find more work - and fast! There are still opportunities out there and freelancers are pulling together online to pass work to each other. 

Facebook has some brilliant groups for different sectors and skill sets - Freelance PR Jobs for PR’s for example, or No 1 Freelance Media Women for writers, and there are larger all-encompassing groups like Freelance Heroes. There are also platforms for freelance work, such as The PR Cavalry and People Per Hour and lots of regional business and networking groups to tap into. 

Check in with old clients and contacts, you never know who might need a hand as things change on a daily basis, and check Twitter and LinkedIn for leads by searching for freelance jobs hashtags and using specific jobs terms in the search option. 

Lastly, try calling recruitment agencies who are looking for emergency freelance support across a variety of sectors.

Whilst we know that many businesses have taken a hit, others have pivoted their offer to create products to help during the crisis. Some sectors are even seeing huge sales uplifts,  especially those in wellbeing and fitness, home furnishings, tech, some food and drink and home entertainment. So, don’t lose heart completely, have a think about the businesses who might actually be busier as a result of the crisis and in need of support. 

  • Look for different ways to support your existing clients

Some businesses may have to reduce output, but will need to carry on and try to weather the storm the best they can if they are to come out the other side. 

Many companies will have had to furlough staff, or have shortages due to illness, so there will be opportunities to offer up your services to help out where you can and plug the gaps with flexible support. This might mean using your transferable skills to do something you don’t usually do, the key is to be flexible and be willing to roll your sleeves up. 

  • Work out a survival budget

Whilst it’s always great advice to have some money saved up to cope with any sudden loss of business, it’s not always the reality for many of the nation’s freelancers. 

Regardless of your savings situation, do a quick inventory of the money that you do have, and think about what bills and payments are necessary, which can be postponed, and which things are easily cancelled for now. Have a look through your direct debits and standing orders and cancel any unnecessary subscriptions or things you don’t use. Councils are starting to offer council tax breaks for those who have lost work because of the crisis, so speak to them early and find out what help you can get. 

Call your creditors and arrange payment breaks, most are now offering some sort of help, whether that’s a payment holiday, reduced or interest-only payments. You can also speak to your landlord or mortgage firm to ask if a payment holiday is possible. Again, do this as soon as possible so you know what your options are, don’t wait until you just can’t pay. By applying for a mortgage holiday properly, it shouldn't impact on your credit rating, but if you just cancel the direct debit or don't make the payment, it will.  

  • Find out what you’re entitled to

The government has now announced a self-employed rescue package that has left many freelancers, and those with Limited Companies, in the lurch and quite confused about what they’re entitled to. 

At the time of writing, petitions have already been set-up to lobby the Chancellor to offer more support for the self-employed and those running their freelance businesses as Limited Companies. On the flip side, some self-employed freelancers will be able to access up to £2,500 per month. 

Financial support options currently include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan which will be delivered by the British Business Bank, however some applicants are reporting that you must have a turnover of over £100k ,which won’t be the case for most freelancers.  

For the self-employed not eligible for statutory sick pay, Contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be payable, at a rate of £73.10 a week if you are over 25, for eligible people affected by Coronavirus or self-isolating in-line with official advice. This will be payable from day one of sickness, rather than day eight which is usually the case.  

To summarise the help that freelancers can claim:

For sole traders - Income support, Universal Credit, Self-assessment/tax deferral scheme and a taxable grant of up to £2,500 per month depending on profits (available from June) and possibly the Business Interruption Loan. 

For Directors of Limited Companies - It has now been confirmed that you can furlough yourself and claim 80% of your PAYE salary but NOT dividends. Directors will also be able to defer tax and VAT and those in premises already receiving small business rates relief will be eligible for a grant of up to £25,000. The Business Interruption Loan may be an option depending on your turnover and Universal Credit for those who don’t pay themselves a PAYE salary. 

You can read more about the ever-changing government support for small businesses here

  • Help each other 

As a freelancer, you’ll be well versed in working from home and coping with isolation, self-motivation, time-management and looking after your wellbeing, but remember to reach out to friends, family, and colleagues who might have had a harder time adjusting. Helping our fellow humans is essential in times like this, and it will help you to feel empowered and in control, too….

There are Facebook groups popping up for local Covid-19 Mutual Aid, so if you are able to help, consider seeing how you may be able to provide assistance for vulnerable neighbours or elderly members of the community.

Freelancers can stay connected to each other and chat about issues affecting them by joining Facebook groups, which all help to bolster the feeling of community amongst the self employed. The Freelance Kit has a free closed group which allows members to ask questions and share advice in a private environment. You can access the group here

  • Stay connected but look after your mental health 

It goes without saying, but staying in touch with friends and family is more important than ever right now. Human contact, even via video call, is crucial to maintain sanity and ensure we all stay connected as much as possible. 

However, as much as it’s important to stay in touch, make sure that you also take the time to have phone and device breaks, switch off, leave the social media feeds alone before bed and get enough sleep. There is so much information out there right now and it can become confusing and overwhelming and impact our anxiety levels. Having a digital detox period every day is really beneficial for your wellbeing and mental health. 

If you feel stressed out, don’t bottle it up - speak to your friends and family and vent/ask for advice in freelance community groups. 

  • Use the time to rest, plan and think! 

Whilst the situation is scary and uncertain financially, try not to panic and go into frantic survival mode. We’re going through a life changing experience which will undoubtedly leave us in a very different world when the crisis has passed, so it’s important to think strategically about what’s next for you. What is your business vision, what is it that you really want to achieve? 

Also, it’s OK to rest! Most self-employed people are always on the go, always on to the next thing, but treat the time as a gift and a chance to rest and recuperate. Look after your health as a priority, catch up on sleep and switch off from the news and social media as often as possible. 

Stay safe and well. 

Nikki Kitchen, Founder of The Freelance Kit

You can find our top 45 tools and tips for working from home and managing your freelance business in a handy FREE downloadable guide HERE. We also have a FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community, join HERE

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

SHOP


Six ways that freelancers can future-proof their business during Covid-19

Six ways that freelancers can future-proof their business during Covid-19 by our Founder, Nikki Kitchen. 

The ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent effect on businesses has hit the freelance economy hard, with many clients cutting their freelance support overnight. 

A recent survey of PR freelancers by the PR Calvary has found that half of the participants have lost 60 % of their income, and many of them cannot claim the rescue package help from the government in June, due to their length of time in business or the nature of their business set-up. 

Although there is some good news, with several fortunate freelancers reporting new business wins, most people are finding that they suddenly have a lot of spare time on their hands. 

With that in mind, here are six things that you can do to survive and future-proof your business during the Covid-19 crisis. 

  • Start to think strategically for the future and get your house in order 

The freelance and gig economy has grown exponentially over the last few years, with nearly 64% of businesses employing freelance support. In 2017, People Per Hour Founder Xenios Thrasyvoulou, predicted that half the UK workforce would be freelance by the end of 2020, and whilst a lot of freelancers have lost work, as the crisis starts to ease businesses are more likely to turn to flexible, agile support rather than employing full-time staff. 

Until things start to get back to the new ‘normal’, it’s a great opportunity to work on your business rather than in it. Do you have a strong portfolio, and is your website up-to date? Use the extra time to get your house in order so you’re ready to go when new opportunities start to appear. 

Do you have robust terms and conditions in place? Do you need to rethink how to structure your business? Lots of freelancers rely on a couple of big clients for their income and that isn't the best approach because they can (and have!) disappeared quite literally overnight. Of course, it’s easier said than done to try and secure new clients right now, but when it does start to pick up, which it will, work towards creating more balance in your business so you’re not so reliant on one or two clients. 

One thing that this extraordinary situation has taught freelancers is that anything can happen, whether that be a global pandemic or a personal crisis, now is the time to think about how to protect yourself going forward. 

  • Learn new skills

Whilst we’re all probably a bit sick of being productivity shamed (what’s wrong with daytime drinking and Netflix bingeing anyway?) if you do want to use the time to upskill, there are some amazing free and heavily discounted courses available. 

Google’s Digital Garage is a fantastic place to start and I highly recommend the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course with 26 modules covering SEO, SEM, social media, and content marketing. You can complete it at your own pace, and the modules will be of great use to most freelancers. 

Udemy has some incredible courses which have all been heavily reduced and Jolt London offers specific courses for start-up businesses led by world-class experts. The Open University is also offering a variety of free courses. 

The PRCA and CIPR are both offering free webinar series and short courses to help PR freelancers navigate the crisis as they go along. 

  • Set business goals

Although it might feel tricky to set goals when we don’t know what the heck is going on (or what the world will look like when this crisis finally starts to pass), you can start to think about what you really want for your business. Why did you start freelancing in the first place? What type of clients do you want to work with? 

Start to reflect on your freelance career and be honest about your achievements - have you been going in the right direction, and on the right trajectory? Do you want to increase retained monthly earnings by a certain percentage? Attract different clients from new sectors? Write a book, start a podcast, or branch out into a new area? Write down your goals for the year and break them down into quarterly and monthly actions where you can. 

So often, we can get caught up in just paying the bills and forget about the work we’re really passionate about, so use this time to get clear on your ‘why’ and what’s next for you. 

  • Work on your mindset and focus

Most freelancers and business owners have been through a whirlwind of emotions during the crisis, from anger to anxiety, to grief to acceptance and back again! Members of The Freelance Kit community have reported various mental challenges, but many seem to be arriving at a positive place of acceptance and have started to have more of a growth mindset. As a side note though, it’s totally fine if you aren't in that place, right now is the time to be kind to yourself and go at your own pace. 

The Freelance Kit is running a free weekly Facebook Live expert interview series and we spoke to qualified business and freelancer coach, Matt Essam about the future of freelancing. 

Matt commented that this situation was a “great time to pause and reflect” and think about your business and where it is going. He also talked about how we can use this time to change our mindset from focusing on what we ‘do’, to focus on how we can solve problems for our clients (and future clients!). 

For example, by offering a free brand audit, you put yourself in a stronger position to deliver the actual work and position yourself as the knowledgeable guide solving a problem the client didn’t know they had. 

Think about who you can approach, both previous and potential clients, and what problems you can solve right now. Start with a list of five contacts and see what happens, there might not be paid work immediately, but you’ll be first in mind when there is. 

You can join our free community here where all of the Live videos are available to watch. We’ve already had weekly expert interviews on mindset, finding purpose, and mental health and have upcoming discussions about accounting and marketing your freelance business during the crisis. 

  • Collaborate 

Now is the perfect time to look for collaboration opportunities or expand your network. By reaching out to other freelancers, you never know what opportunities you might be able to access or help out with, or they may be able to introduce you to other clients and connections looking for support. 

Starting to reach out in an authentic way right now will build relationships for the future, so think about other freelance skill sets that your skills complement. For example, are you a graphic designer who might be able to help a PR with social media content, or a digital marketing whizz able to help a traditional marketer take a business online?

The best place to start is in freelance social media groups, there are tons of brilliant ones including Freelance PR’s, The Northern Creative Collective and The Freelance Kit. All are safe and supportive spaces where you can look for opportunities to collaborate and start building a network of like-minded people. 

  • Rest and recharge! 

Now the initial panic is (hopefully!) starting to pass, we can start to reframe the extra time as an opportunity to just rest and ‘be’, so sleep, relax and do what makes you happy.

Ditch the screen time, take the dog out, do some yoga and leave the phone charging while you spend some time in the garden with the kids. 

Resting and recharging your batteries will do you the world of good, so when the crisis has passed you can come out fighting and raring to go.

Stay well.

Nikki x 

Nikki Kitchen

Grab your FREE Ultimate Guide to Freelancing HERE. And join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community, join here. 

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier. 

Shop

 


Freelancer Of The Week - Beccy Gibson From Tempt Marketing

Freelancer Of The Week

Our new series features freelancers from our community and we talk about how they've coped during the crisis and their predictions for the future.

First up is Beccy Gibson from Tempt Marketing, a specialist hospitality marketing agency based in Manchester.

What's your background and what do you do now?

I run a business, Tempt Marketing which specialises in Marketing & PR projects for the hospitality & events industry.

I have an MSc in International Events and Conference Management, a professional diploma with The Chartered Institute of Marketing and over 13 years’ experience in the sector – which includes operations, events, sales and marketing for venues, suppliers, events across the country. I set up Tempt Marketing in summer 2018 with the mind-set to offer businesses the marketing & PR strategy and activities they need to help them engage with their consumers and raise the profile of their brand.

I’m also on the national board for The Female Hospitality Network, and a support volunteer for Samaritans.

How have you been affected by the crisis?

Around two weeks before ‘lockdown’, when Boris Johnson advised the public to stay away from restaurants, pubs and cafes, in the space of about 5 days I lost all my clients! Current retainers placed pause, and any planned campaigns were postponed to ‘god knows when’. I went into panic mode, then - applied to various entry level jobs.

Since then, an awful lot has happened. The pandemic worsened so instead of feeling worried about my income, I was more grateful to be healthy and safe. The state of the economy also went (and still is) in meltdown, but unlike before it’s now all sectors, and the government have out some provisions in place.

I’ve spent the time learning, dining some voluntary PR work and picking up conversations with old contacts or previous clients. In the past two weeks, I’ve actually picked up three client projects which I can work on from home. It’s really given me a sense of purpose again, and some positivity that there is business out there. (Two of these are hospitality clients, the other is hospitality supplier who’ve pivoted to enter a different market)

How are you feeling and what have you done during the crisis to stay sane and manage your mental health?

I think every week is a bit of a rollercoaster. At first, I was sad, then panicked, now I feel much more at ease and used to this style of routine. I still plan my week in advance, however I’ve found I’m nowhere near as productive or focussed as I’d like to be, although I recognise there’s worse things.

I’ve been keeping sane / looking after my mental health by running. I’m a big exercise fan anyway (for both physical and mental reasons) but since lockdown I’ve really been making the most of my hours' exercise by running outside and taking in the fresh air. The weather’s been great for it, and where I live there are some real picturesque spots. I’ve also been speaking to my friends and family on Zoom and Houseparty, then just taking some time to read / potter about, and just generally give my brain a bit of a rest. At first, I was strapped to ALL the new updates, but I try to check these less regularly the intense negativity was getting too much. (I think we've all felt it!)

What did your normal day look like before and what does it look like now?

Previous to all this, I’d spend almost every day of the week, ‘on the go’. I’d get up at 6am, then either be in meetings in Manchester or deep in project work then be at a networking event or working on my laptop until silly o’clock. I’m grateful for the gift of time right now, I’ve been getting a decent night’s sleep each night, I’ve had time to touch base with friends I wouldn’t normally speak to so often and I’ve used to time to read / learn but also just chill out. I miss the hustle of the city, the endless opportunities and my co-working community but I’ve actually realised that I don’t want to go back to rushing around, feeling stressed and working late on a daily basis. I’d like to think I’ll manage my time more effectively when life returns back to ’normal’. (She says, sat on her laptop at 9pm!)

How do you see things changing after the lockdown is lifted and for the future in your industry and beyond? 

The landscape of the hospitality and event industry is very unclear currently, with social distancing measure likely to continue for quite some time, the nature and experience will no doubt change. I imagine many more restaurants and bars will focus on a ‘retail' way of working, whilst still trying to keep a community of consumers. Businesses will have to communicate these updates along with a huge amount of reassurance to both their staff and customers. With this, there could be some opportunity but with smaller budgets. As I have already, I’m prepared to collaborate with others and diversify my services to help keep the business alive. I’ve been regularly attending webinars and virtual events to make sure I’m up to speed with key thoughts, procedures and changes within marketing, PR and hospitality.

Freelancer of the week
Beccy Gibson

Thank you Beccy for taking part and you can check out her business Tempt Marketing here. 

You can join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community here. 

And grab your FREE Ultimate Freelance Guide here,The Ultimate Freelance Guide 2020 with 45 top tools and tips from our community.

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier. 

Shop 

 

 


Freelancer of The Week Yolanda Copes-Stepney

Freelancer of The Week

This week we spoke to Yolanda Copes-Stepney whose background is in PR, events and digital content. Yolanda has just launched an incredible series of events “Speak On Presents: How To Be Anti-Racist” which runs from tonight, 14 July at 6.30pm – 17 July and 21 -23 July.

Speak On Presents: How To Be Anti-Racist

 

Beyond the Black Square
How to be Anti-Racist

A series of online events including talks and panel discussions designed to support and educate people committed to being anti-racist.

” We know it’s not enough to be non-racist, we have to be anti-racist and we’re providing a safe space for people to ask questions”

Speak On have bought together psychologists, academics, activists and more to lead the sessions which will include learning how to talk to explain racism to children of all ethnicities, to processing the shocking images you’ve seen on social media, through to how to help your friends with racial trauma.

Speakers include: Richie Brave, Dr Vanessa Boachie, Dr Yvette Arthur, Vix Meldrew, Ama Peters and many more.

Along with running Speak On, Yolanda owns Speak & Do, a digital media agency which specialises in influencer management, booking and brand partnerships, and also content creation including campaigns and events. And if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Yolanda is founder of the Festival Of Confidence, an event series for women designed to build and celebrate confidence, which also has a podcast and YouTube show!

Yolanda Copes-Stepney

 

How have you been affected by the crisis and lockdown? 

One of my brands was being acquired, but that fell through because of COVID. It was a bit sad, but something that we’ll revisit in the future.

I went on furlough from Speak&Do because brands weren’t booking many campaigns. My sister has been taking care of the ongoing deals while I work on my other brands, Speak On and planning for Festival Of Confidence.

How are you feeling and what have you done to manage your mental health?

I’m all good to be honest. I’ve been working out, chatting so much on the phone and video calls A LOT.

I’ve recorded a Podcast and spent time restructuring and sorting out my other companies.

At the beginning I did have a few moments of disbelief and mild peril, but adjusted fairly quickly. I have been working flat out for years, so this gave me the forced break I needed. It’s made me realign and going forward, I am only working four days a week.

What did your normal day look like before and what does it look like now?

Then

Daytime

Work from 8/9am – 6pm, sometimes later. Or I would spread my work out over the whole day with breaks for walks, chat and working out. I work from The Curtain or Shoreditch House. Evenings- Could be any of the following: Cinema, drinks with friends, Soho House or The Curtain events (they have a great selection of things to do), brand events with talent clients. Sofa, films and wine.

Now:

Up at around 8am, a lot of mincing in tracksuits, workouts occasionally (sometimes I am bang on it, other times I am very committed to being on my sofa all day) Around 4 – 5 hours of work 3-4 days a week, a lot of podcasts, audio books and I am pretty sure I’ve completed Netflix.

What do you predict for your industry post lockdown and Covid19? 

⁃Content creators will overtake generic “influencers”, comedians who have been doing the lord’s work when it comes to making us laugh and entertaining us during these times will have increased value at influencers.

⁃Campaigns will have more diversity and inclusion, which is great because I truly have been having this fight with brands since 2016.

⁃Activists and advocate influencers will become more relevant.

⁃Some agencies will give up their offices and the sector will have more digital nomads with staff based globally.

⁃For a while, working hours and opening hours will decrease as we all want work/life balance.

⁃Brands will consult more on content instead of just relying on the echo chamber of their offices in an effort to strike the correct balance with campaigns.

Thank you Yolanda for taking part.

 

You can join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community here. 

And grab your FREE Ultimate Freelance Guide here,The Ultimate Freelance Guide 2020 with 45 top tools and tips from our community.

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

Shop 

 

 


Freelancer Of The Week - Margaret Etudo

Freelancer Of The Week

Our new series features freelancers from our community.

This week we spoke to Margaret Etudo, a medical copy writer from Nigeria. Margaret has just had her first piece of work published here and her Instagram handle is @tuddoss_writes 

What's your background and what do you do now?

I am currently studying Pharmacy and I'm also a Medical Copywriter. I help health-related businesses to increase their profits through my effective sales copy.

Have you been affected by the crisis?

Well, yes I have. I am not going to school at the moment and I'm also getting claustrophobic with the whole stay-at-home madness. Asides from that, it has been pretty good and relaxing and waking up to anything but an alarm clock.

How are you feeling and what have you done during the crisis to manage your mental health?

I'm not too happy at the moment with what is going on globally. There's distraught among Nigerian citizens against female abuse. That is pretty upsetting. I try to read calming articles, improve myself and listen to music that calms my mind.

What did your normal day look like before and what does it look like now?

It was pretty much go to school, read a lot and rest. That was because I needed to obtain fantastic grades in Pharmacy school. After the lockdown began, I didn't pay much attention to my books, I started to do something more. That's when I ventured into freelancing and that's the one decision I will never regret. It has made me see so much more in me than academics. My communication skills have improved by 200%, and I even developed a better understanding of EQ.

What is your biggest achievement? 

My biggest achievement is becoming a versatile person.  I have been able to boost my resume with skills that every company is looking for. Not only do I have an exceptional IQ, but I've also learnt leadership skills, marketing skills, communication skills, and IT skills.

These are things I couldn't get in my education, and I'm happy I acquired them in this short period.

 

Thank you Margaret for taking part.

You can join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community here. 

And grab your FREE Ultimate Freelance Guide here,The Ultimate Freelance Guide 2020 with 45 top tools and tips from our community.

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

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Freelance

Welcome to the self-employed club, you're in for an exciting ride!

So here we all are – freelancers, business owners, solopreneurs - welcome to the freelance self-employed club!  Frankly I’m a firm believer in networks as a tremendous source of support.  No-one tells you all the challenges you’ll have to face – the frustrations, the constant learning, the second-guessing ….

For example do you remember when you were younger and parenthood looked seamless?  Not just seamless but it was as if new parents had their Mary Poppins gene kicked in and this spell had bewitched the child into utter perfection.  They fed, slept and even pooped on time, in fact with precision you could set your watch to.  Their little gurgles and smiles would make everyone’s hearts melt, strangers would even cross the street in adoration…… yep you may have thought to yourself, piece of cake!

Then as you got older, perhaps you or your friends had babies and all of a sudden the reality isn’t quite as picture perfect.  Constantly sleep deprived, feeling like an extra from the Walking Dead only able to grunt and point….and that’s after sleep!  Any fashion choice is constantly in risk of receiving a splattering of baby vomit, casually thrown dinner and if you’re really lucky a gifted explosive nappy (of course followed by a smile as if they knew what they were doing).  As intelligent human beings, the frustration of not being able to stop the constant screaming or crying can drive you to pretty much to the brink of insanity.

And yet, for that one smile amidst the madness and mayhem, you wouldn’t consider trading it for the world!  You’ve joined the club where others have dared to tread and at least they can help guide you through the process…..or at least have the decency to bring wine and tell us how they make it look so easy!

Some of us will have just started our businesses, whereas others may have been running their companies for years.  Either way, similar to the parenting club, the business owner/entrepreneurial/freelancer club can be a very different reality to what we may envisaged in our heads when we first started and no-one, no-one, is born ready to deal with every given situation – it is a constant learning experience.

We’re living in an exciting time where technology, lifestyle and opportunity mean more of us are working for ourselves.  We’re finally doing what we love, almost to the point of obsession, and hopefully working on a passion that makes us happy.  In Richard St John’s Ted Talk – 8 Secrets To Success – we’ve stopped being work-a-holics for other people, but instead become work-a-frolics for ourselves and creating a life and a lifestyle we had only previously dreamed.

Yet on the other side of that coin, not everyone will share your journey with you.  Your friends, family, colleagues even your partner will be pleased for you but despite their best intentions, running a business is not something that everyone can fully comprehend. There is plenty of confusion, juggling, worry and stress – days, weeks, months where you feel like you’ve experienced ten rounds in the boxing ring and just as things are running smoothly again having to deal with an unexpected gift akin to an explosive nappy situation.

Truth be told it can be pretty isolating, so my advice for anyone working for themselves?  Find your support network of like-minded people who lift, inspire and can advise – your tribe!  I always feel enlightened by the positivity, excitement and energy of someone else doing their own thing.  It acts as a constant reminder of why you decided to do this yourself too.  As you grow and develop as a person through this exciting challenge, it’s a connection with those who also dared to jump and create the life they want.

Finally you’re able to talk to those who understand your situation, your challenges, your fears, your doubts.  They can even offer a new perspective or advice, share resources and tips or refer you to someone you need to contact.  They’re there to remind you of what you’ve achieved so far when you feel like you’re not progressing, and when you feel the strain of constantly taking one step forward/two steps back they remind you to kick off your heels and relish the dance!

It is a boost, a tonic, sometimes a much needed kick up the backside!

So welcome to this freelance and self-employed network where you can build your tribe with brilliant people who are also committed in succeeding and driving their businesses forward as you are.  The reality is we don’t know or have the answers to everything.  This thrilling journey of running your business is unique to you and wouldn’t think of trading it in.  Even during your times of mayhem and especially times to celebrate - remember you always have your tribe …..and wine!!

You can find our top 45 tools and tips for working from home and managing your freelance business in a handy FREE downloadable guide HERE. We also have a FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community, join HERE

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

SHOP

 


Number 1 tip for running your own business-Be kind to yourself!

The Top Tip For Running Your Own Business - Be Kind To Yourself!

Being a freelancer or solopreneur means we put our heads down and have to work hard, very hard for what we want.  However, as fun and rewarding as it can be, we often forget to come up for air.  We’re so focussed in what we’re doing that we forget that a healthy life needs more than just work.

Hustle yes, but with balance!

I love the word ‘Hustle’.  I revel in that accomplished feeling of getting things done.  No really, I’m that geek that likes to physically tick off her to-do-list (it gives me such perverse pleasure that sometimes I will add things on my list that I didn’t account for just so I can tick it off!)  However at the moment it seems ‘hustle’ is being overused and celebrated for working yourself into the ground.  It has become somewhat of a bragging right.

Yes - absolutely you need to take consistent action and pull out all the stops if you want success, however running your own business can take its toll if we don’t look after ourselves, and if we don’t look after ourselves how are we expected to win the end game?

Just before the summer I was suffering from complete overwhelm.  I had just come up with a new idea for my business and after all the initial excitement, all of a sudden it completely struck me how much I had to do which would challenge me and push me past my comfort zone.  So much so, I hit a complete block.  I knew what to do, I had planned and allocated time in my day for tasks but I would just sit down and stare at a blank screen.

The more I wanted to get things done, the more I would struggle.  My brain had ‘too many tabs open’ and was constantly whirring, I couldn’t stop thinking about the 1001 things I should be getting done but wasn’t.  I had trouble sleeping, I couldn’t focus and I was feeling the physical effects of stress.

However I know that I’m not the only one who hits this block.  So rather than persist fruitlessly, wasting more time and creating more stress, it became clear I needed to change my course of action!  I took a decision to ‘shut down the tabs’ that weren’t benefitting me and to be kind to myself.  We often forget to do this, particularly during times of stress or urgency but without sounding woo-woo here, sometimes we need to nurture ourselves with a little self-care to get us back on track and here’s how.

  1. Procrastination isn’t as evil as we believe.

Instead of beating ourselves up when it happens, procrastination can actually be a good thing!  Ironically (whilst procrastinating of course) I was reading an article on how to boost your productively (read it here) which includes Adam Grant’s TED Talk on ‘The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers’.  He actually says that those who procrastinated before starting their tasks often came up with the most original ideas!  At least that’s how I try and convince myself when an impending deadline looms!!  However if I find that I can’t get the task done straight away, I don’t push it any more.  I know I will pull out all the stops to deliver on time and within deadline, but if a little creative break helps I take it, or I choose to watch a TED Talk which also inspires me with new ideas – then at least I’m ticking the personal development item on my to-do list.

  1. Get creative and play!

Kids teach us the best lessons sometimes - play time is an essential part of life. Sometimes we need to balance out how we’re using our brains in order to make them work more effectively.  Having to constantly think about all aspects of our business, doing another unrelated activity can be a welcomed break.  Tap into your inner child and play – take a class, join a group.  Whether you paint, draw, colour or bake simply create, shake off the usual restraints and learn to free yourself.  That time you take out can help refresh your brain by using another part of it and make you more productive.   After suffering from writers block, I managed to churn out four blog posts in one day after a creative art class!

  1. Look after yourself and your health

Diet and exercise are all very important to incorporate into your lifestyle if you want to be able to endure the physical tolls of working for yourself.  In addition, remember to treat yourself from time to time with activities that give you joy.  Take in plenty of fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.  If you’re prone to stress book in a massage or if money is tight block out time for a luxurious bath time ritual – scented bath products, candles, music, maybe a glass of wine and a book.   Last week it was our one day of summer.  I was hot and bothered travelling across the city for meetings and all I could think about was the long list of things I had to do on my return back to my desk.  I noticed I was feeling agitated and stressed which isn’t productive, so I changed my mood by picking up two cupcakes from the station, made myself a pot of tea even used a cup and saucer (oooh fancy!) and sat outside in the sunshine for 20 minutes before settling into work.  Not only did this help my Vitamin D deficiency but I was able to work more productively and longer than pushing through being worn out and worn down.

  1. Spend time with the people who make you happy.

Surround yourself with those who lift you.  Whilst it’s important to achieve your goals it shouldn’t come at the cost of neglecting loved ones.  Working 24/7 may be a necessity for some but the business will always be there, time with those precious to us goes quickly.  The wonderful benefit of working for yourself is that you can be more flexible with your time.  Meet your friends for lunch, or take your folks to the cinema.  There is a wonderful documentary on Netflix called Happy.  It found that one of the key recipes for happiness are the relationships and community around us, so it’s important to remain involved whether that be with family, friends, charity work, or community.  Find your tribe and love them hard!

  1. Embrace the digital detox

If I’m taking a time out for a coffee in between meetings, I love to people watch.  Yet have you noticed how we’re always looking down at our phones?  As if we weren’t looking at our screens long enough with work, even whilst we’re walking down the street, in the shops, with our friends we’re glued to those pesky screens.  Texts, social media, emails, this constant access just consumes us and let’s face it, it’s just plain rude at times when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone who won’t put their phone away.  So switch off your notifications, check your emails and social media at specific times, take breaks from the screen, put your phones away/on silent especially if you’re on holiday – close down those pesky tabs.  If it’s an emergency – someone will actually call you rather than tweet you and leave a message.  You miss so much when you’re not looking up, so heads up!

  1. Remember and celebrate how well you’re doing!

We all have so much to do in such little time that sometimes with this constant grind we need to be reminded how far we’ve actually come.  An accountability partner is a great way to ensure you’re moving forwards - check in, talk about your goals, what actions need to be taken, what you need to deliver and then set a date for the next check in to evaluate your progress.  This can be such a valuable exercise especially during months, where naturally in business things haven’t gone to plan.  An accountability partner can also help find the positive in the progress you are making whilst setting each other tasks or provide recommendations or advice to help get you back on track to get the job done!

After taking some of positive steps above, I was able to get back on track.  It wasn’t easy to do, it took small steps every day but helped create a big change.  My enthusiasm and drive returned, I was again productive and more things off that pesky list were being completed.  I’m finally seeing progress and I’m excited again to be working on my business.

How are you kind to yourself?

We need to remember that this exciting adventure of working for ourselves also needs us to function at our best level so let’s share what little steps we can take us there.  How do you show yourself kindness and what tips or activities can you recommend?

You can find our top 45 tools and tips for working from home and managing your freelance business in a handy FREE downloadable guide HERE. We also have a FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community, joinHERE

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

SHOP

 

 

freelance work

Top six tips on how to find freelance work

If you’re an established freelancer, chances are that finding work comes quite easy to you by now.

Word of mouth and referrals are probably the best way to source new clients and find new projects, but if you’re just starting out, trying to break into a new sector or finding it a bit of an uphill struggle to keep the work rolling in, you might need a nudge in the right direction.

 

Here are six fool-proof tips for finding work as a freelancer:

1. Traditional networking

It almost goes without saying but putting yourself out there and making friends and potential contacts is a good place to start. Check out your local chamber of commerce or comb the local business pages and groups on social media, and find out which events, seminars, presentations, and networking events might be beneficial to you.

Training is great for improving your skill set and knowledge, but it’s also a good place to chat to fellow freelancers who might be able to point you in the right direction for work or refer projects your way.

Chatting to small business leaders is also a great idea. Many startups, SMEs and scale-ups might not know that they need you yet, so a well-timed chat over a coffee or glass of wine at an event can help put yourself in the picture.

2. Social Media

Professional platforms such as LinkedIn are a great place to start, but joining Facebook groups of fellow freelancers, creatives or even local business networks will help you to find relevant work.

Don’t just be a lurker though, introduce yourself, join in, answer questions, share info, ask advice, comment on posts and pool your knowledge. Work is often pitched and shared on these platforms so be bold and make sure you don’t miss out.

3. Approach companies within your target sector

If you have a particular specialism, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to a few cherry-picked companies that might be in need of your help. Do your research though, rather than adopting a scattergun approach, and send the MD or founder a thought out, personal note.

Nobody likes being sold at, but sharing information about yourself, your skills and your previous work will do wonders, especially if you have spotted a potential gap that you can fill to add value to their business. Send them your portfolio and tell them you’d be happy to chat or meet for a coffee if they ever want to discuss their needs. Simple, and not salesey.

Agencies are a great starting point as they regularly use freelancers, so pick out your top 5-10 and go from there. You can usually find contact details for the right person on LinkedIn and again, adopt a personalised approach to that agency and their clients, values, and ethos.

4. Job sites and job ads

Many companies hire freelancers now to fill temporary contracts or pick up specific projects, and lots of them use standard job sites to advertise the work.

Additionally, you might spot maternity cover or contract work on job sites that would fit in well with your other clients, or you may even be able to persuade a company to use your skills and flexibility rather than hiring a permanent member of staff. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know! 

5. Freelancing platforms

Since freelancing and flexible ways of working have increased in popularity over the past few years, platforms such as PeoplePerHour.comand freelanceuk.com offer smaller and larger projects to get stuck into.

Additionally, don’t forget to look out for industry-specific platforms. For freelance PR and comms professionals, the recently launched PR Cavalry (prcavalry.com) offers the chance to build a profile so brands and companies can view your skills and day rate, before they ask you to pitch or pull together proposals for work.

6. Showcase your skills

Work on your personal brand, and you’re guaranteed to convert the effort into work. Sometimes, your most important client is yourself. Invest in a website, make sure all your social profiles are up to date and share your successes as you go along. As a freelancer, nobody will blow your trumpet for you, so you may as well get used to blowing your own!

Another great idea for working on your personal brand is writing a blog. Not only will this help with your SEO, it will also position you as an expert in your field and give a platform to talk about your business and how it can help others. Blogging will also provide you with bespoke content to share across your social media platforms, expanding your reach within your industry and area. Long form content works particularly well for LinkedIn and by posting regularly, you will start to position yourself as an expert on your chosen area of skills or sector.

Additionally, if you’re brave enough, run your own how-to events or seminars for fellow freelancers, or put yourself forwards as a guest speaker at regular events.

Remember, fortune favours the bold, so don’t be shy - you have skills and knowledge that will be hugely beneficial to some companies or brands, so try and make sure that you’re in the picture! Good luck.

 And lastly, it goes without saying that you should use The Freelance Kit to stay on top of all your lovely new leads. ;) There are planning templates to organise client work, prospects lists, project management and specific templates for social media and content planning.

You can join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community here. 

And grab your FREE Ultimate Freelance Guide here,The Ultimate Freelance Guide 2020 with 45 top tools and tips from our community.

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

Shop