Stefano went freelance after 4 years in an agency, after realising he wanted more control over the projects he took on. He’s an Italian living in London, and he says it’s meeting people at local events that has allowed him to find clients and build his business. He’s done work around mindset, values and well-being too, and he shares some important reflections on how we can all be a bit kinder to ourselves as freelancers.
Out of luck finding employment as a copywriter, Emily turned to freelance work by chance when she met a web designer who was looking for support. Emily got her business off the ground from there, learning as much as she could from online resources while also pouring time and energy into her website. Within 6 months, Emily was ranking number one on Google for keywords like “Brisbane copywriter” and business grew from there.
Storm shoots celebrities in LA, and while his life might appear to be more glamorous than most, he still loves those working-from-the-studio days where he gets to walk to work in his underwear. He chats to Steve about finding work, using an agent, putting himself out there, managing his work-life balance, and investing in his business.
This week we have not just one but TWO freelancers for you. They’re being interviewed by a freelancer, in a room full of freelancers, for the Being Freelance podcast. Which was, of course, recorded live on National Freelancers Day, at IPSE’s annual event. And now we’re sharing it with you - another freelancer! (Or aspiring freelancer). That’s a lot of biscuits.
Tatiana’s taken on full-time roles throughout her career, as well as building up a studio alongside a partner. Knowing now that independence is what suits her best, Tatiana’s focused on working in a way that allows her to protect her own physical and mental health. She says money doesn’t control her happiness, and she doesn’t believe in forcing herself to work when she’s not inspired.
After being made redundant from the company she was with for 19 years, Cathy put herself through training and became a freelance social media manager. Five years later, she’s running her own digital marketing agency and has co-founded a second business - Go With The Pro, a membership site for freelance marketers.
Many of us start out without much of a plan. Other than wanting to do fun work with good people, we’re not really sure where we’re heading. And then, for some of us, that entrepreneurial spirit kicks in and we start thinking about scaling and hiring people. But what happens when you don’t have the skill-set (or love) for the kind of work that’s involved in building something bigger?
From bidding for jobs on freelance marketplace Upwork, to establishing herself as an expert and consultant, copywriter Paige has learnt how to develop her skills, build authority, and set up systems to keep everything running smoothly. She chats about the different courses and mastermind groups she’s been a part of, and shares some of her tips for scheduling, planning, and working strategically.
Steve caught the self-employment bug from family. He came from an agency background and started with one small client, building his business up over time. Now, he runs a meet-up, co-works, does speaking gigs, and he’s just published a book teaching freelancers how to sell without actually selling.
Steph began working on podcasts before they were even really a thing. With a qualification in audio arts, she spent a year producing audio and video at a marketing company before heading out on her own. Seven years later, Steph’s hired team members, spoken at a conference, and worked on lots of exciting projects. She calls it ‘lucky timing’, but maybe it has something to do with her unique approach?
Tom’s freelance career began when he was just 16 years old. It’s evolved significantly since then, but not without adverse effects on his health. We chat about work-life balance, dealing with serious burnout, learning from your mistakes, and the pitfalls of Hustle Culture.
Here's a bonus episode of the podcast, recorded live with IPSE at a WeWork in Manchester, UK, on 6th March 2019. It features previous guests Kelly Gilmour Grassam and Ian Paget of Logo Geek. How have they grown their businesses in the years since we last spoke?
Like many of us, Lucas often finds himself working too much. And despite living in the countryside in Brazil, he says it’s keeping a good balance that’s the most difficult thing about being freelance. We chat about how he manages his workload, what his plans are for the future, and how a school illustration project he took on led to having a book published and distributed to schools across Brazil.
What do you get when you connect community-minded freelancers who like working collaboratively? You get a collective, that’s what. It’s a bit like an agency, but with more freedom and shared responsibilities. Lyndsey formed her collective because she wanted to open herself up to some new opportunities. Bigger clients and meatier work. Let’s find out how it’s going, shall we?
Realising he was the bottleneck that was preventing his business from growing, Jared Gold took action. He now runs two design companies and is finding ways to use his own time more effectively. Jared talks about learning to prioritise sales ahead of exploring new systems and processes, learning from business books and industry experts, and working with a team of freelancers to scale his business.
As is the case for most of us, Jae’s career hasn’t gone the way she imagined it would. Instead of going down the expected path, she ended up following her intuition and her creative interests to build a working life that means something to her. And for Jae, it all started with the brand. The business stuff came later. We chat about how she established that brand and grew it, what it means to her, and how she’s moving forward with it now that she’s committed to being freelance.
Sometimes you find the very best advice in one of the least likely places. For many of our regular listeners, a drummer from Helsinki might not be an obvious guest. But it’s thinking outside the box that can often lead to breakthroughs. And Kari has some valuable insights that can be applied to freelancing across the board.
Cath started out trialling freelance work alongside a full-time job. Within a month, she’d left the job behind and gone freelance full-time. Cath chats about working flexibly from the deck of a cruise ship, speaking at an event in Las Vegas, using plugins and apps to create quotes and proposals, and what it’s like to be always learning.
Despite a career in marketing, Jan doesn’t market himself or his freelance business. Instead, he focuses on his network and building meaningful relationships. We talk about work-life balance, self-development, being “perma-lance”, finding work when you’re not on social media, how to make the most of periods with no work, and what it’s like to be an associate and partner in a freelance collective.
Stephanie was forced into being freelance, but it turned out to be one of the best things that could ever have happened to her. We chat about work-life balance and how she manages to take five vacations a year, why she still works from home even though her business is international and her team is 6-people strong, and how the best piece of advice she’s ever been given is “raise your prices”.