I’ve recently become a full time freelancer, which is pretty new and exciting and petrifying. I thought I’d create an entrepreneur/freelance series and share my journey with you and maybe help some of you…or at least give you something to chuckle at! So I thought I’d share the first five things that I’ve experienced thus far.
The complete and utter excitement I’ve feel is immense. I now have full control over my time, I can work in a way that suits me. If I want to go and visit a friend for a few days, I can and I did! I can also work on projects that inspire me and allow me some creative licence. I don’t have to worry about office politics anymore, or any of the other things that used to drive me a bit potty! I can focus on delivering value to people and sharing my knowledge in a way that suits. The possibilities at the minute are uncapped.
This is the second emotion that settled on me with the imagined weight of an elephant. How on earth will I pay my bills? How will I find clients? How will I accomplish my goals? There’s simply not enough time and I’m entirely lost!
This followed the panic pretty quickly. Unsurprising really. I doubted my own knowledge and intelligence. I’ve at least 4 years of knowledge in my head all around social media and with my background in software, I’ve always been fascinated with the various algorithms. I have a MA in Information Studies for goodness sake, I do have a fully functioning brain in my head. I’ve also attended workshops, training sessions and conferences all around SEO, social media, content marketing…the list goes on. I have inhaled vast quantities of information in this field and I keep up to date with the latest research. That doesn’t include the transferrable skills I have from my years in software. I knew changing my field from testing to social media would be scary though.
Then I realised part of it is tied to my own platforms. I don’t manage them nearly as well as any client I work with. I don’t adhere to my own rules! So I’m going to place faith in myself. I know I can do this, I’ve had clients do amazing things with a few nudges. I have got this and so what if other people are doing it in their way, I am the only person doing what I’m doing. Also, I’ve proved myself in a way, I’ve over 800,000 views on my youtube channel, my views here have jumped since I’ve started focusing. I’ve also run technical training courses in the past, I’ve handled some seriously high-powered clients and I was able to help them move forward. Plus all the client documentation… Let’s just say I can totally do this. Onwards.
Make yourself a list of what qualifies you to do what you’re doing, you’ll be surprised.
I’m a portfolio freelancer, so I’ve a few difference streams of income. To help deal with the panic, I realised I needed to focus on where I can make money and focus on the “big wins”. My main income is training people on finding the right social platform to meet their needs and how to use these various platforms to meet their goals. I do a bit more with that, but that’s a bit long-winded. So I need to keep following up with clients and reaching out to new ones. I’m considering setting up a separate page for this entirely, we’ll see. Another stream of income is working with various brands. You’ll know I rarely work with brands on paid campaigns, I’m a bit fussy on this front and turn away a fair bit, I will only work with brands that I would recommend regardless of payment and that will also fall in line with my values of honesty. I also make a small amount of money from google adsense etc. I have plans to release an e-book very soon – you can sign up to my mailing list for details on that launch. This will be followed by an e-course, which will be paid for. So plans are in the pipeline for a more sustainable income moving forward. I also work through people per hour and various other platforms for content work, articles, testing, basically lots of different titbits, they all add up.
So focus on where your money is going to come from. Reach out to people, make those connections with possible clients, or people that will introduce you to possible clients. You never know where these things will lead. Widen your field and ask other freelancers where they make their money, maybe they’ve a few side hustles that you could also do.
Lastly, it’s time to get organised. So you know where your main source of income is going to come from, let’s prioritise that shall we! I like to set aside days for tasks. For example, 3 days a week are set aside for writing my book. I’ve two days set aside for recording, photo taking and editing. I also set aside a few hours throughout my day to get onto the various social platforms and chat to people – something that is important, for my sanity, as well as my work! I’m slowly establishing a routine, but I’ve only been freelancing full-time for 2 weeks really, so these things will undoubtedly settle into a rhythm. I have a 3 month overview which is on my pinboard above my desk, I use my bullet journal to plan out my daily activities and some of the finer details. I also keep a separate blog/youtube planner, this allows me to expand on ideas and plan out how to record them or photo ideas I might have.
So to help with the whole panic, fraudy feelings and general queasiness, get organised. Prioritise those money makers, set aside time to de-fuzz your brain and just remember you can and you will do this. Just take a deep breath and keep moving forward.
This is what I’ve experience in my first two weeks of full-time freelancing, or being an entrepreneur, or just being boss. It’s scary and exhilarating all at once. Are you going through this too? Are you already established as a freelancer? I’ve love to hear about your experiences and if you have any words of wisdom to share. Drop me a comment down below.