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.

 

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