Freelance Life has returned with a vengeance. This episode is all about Sarah, a fabulous Digital Content Strategist.
1. What is your favourite thing about being a Freelancer?
Without a doubt, my favourite thing about being a freelancer is the freedom to pursue a direction that reflects my values! I have had a varied agency life, working with a broad spectrum of clients and industries. Being freelance has allowed me to collaborate with brands that sit closer to my heart. These are generally companies that have a positive agenda for the environment, health and wellness or social impact.
2. What is your least favourite thing about being a Freelancer?
Funnily enough, that freedom that I love can be a double-edged sword. Being 100% self-reliant has its downsides too. It is only me that will bring in new business, me to do my taxes and me that has to work on developing my processes and skills. No one can cover my sick days so sometimes you have to suck it up and get on with it. However, this extreme career independence has taught me so much, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
3. What skills are essential for a Freelancer?
Self-motivation for those days when you just don’t feel like working on that project. You will have them even when you love the work you do!
Understanding your limits and how to look after yourself, so you don’t burn out. Giving myself space by way of a walk with my dog Harry or a yoga class is not only a much-needed break it also sparks my creativity and has become a big part of my approach to my work day.
Self-development is key. As a freelancer, you are unlikely to have someone else pushing you to develop your career skills so you must make time to continue to learn. It might be a photoshop refresher course, listening to an innovative, industry-relevant podcast or attending a group workshop. However, you like to learn, make space for it, otherwise, time will pass, and before you know it, you will be lagging behind on industry innovations.
4. On average, what time do you start and finish work? What does your day map out?
Before my work day starts, I try and get to a yoga class or do a run or energise my body in some way ( it could just be dancing in the kitchen to Kisstory). A cup of organic green energy tea and some maca porridge for energy usually has me ready to go by 8.30/9am. I’ve never been a morning person, but I’m continually working on improving my morning routine. I don’t always get it right!
I set my work schedule in detail a week beforehand. Then at the end of each day, I evaluate what's done. I also re-evaluate this depending on my emails or client requests. I try and stay true to my plan as much as possible as it can be too easy to go off track and before you know it you've fallen behind on projects.
I take a mid-morning break to have a little stretch… or more likely a snack.
My lunch break is generally at 1ish, and I’ll prepare/cook my lunch. Depending on my mood I’ll nip to the shops to get myself out or a little naughtily I might catch up on whatever my recent Netflix obsession is.
I try and check my emails only twice a day as these can really easily lead you astray and take away from your project time. So once in the morning and then again just after lunch. If there is an emergency my clients will call me.
If I’m dog sitting, I take a mid-afternoon break and take Harry for a walk through the fields. If I’m not, I usually put some tunes on and get myself away from my desk for ten mins, grab myself a herbal tea. Almost all my breaks revolve around getting snacks and food!!! Tasty treats easily incentivise me!
I try and end my day at 6 pm with a plan for the next day if my work has gone well! If not my work can push a little more into the evening. I try not to do this too often as I left agency life for all that nonsense. Late nights have to happen sometimes, but if it becomes a habit it reflects terrible time management and will impact the quality of your work!
5. How often do you work remotely?
Most days I work remotely, and I have been able to work well remotely with teams by discovering the right online tools and processes. If I’m copywriting, I can get my head down and not speak to anyone (workwise) for days.
When I work with teams remotely tools like Slack, Basecamp and Google Meet are integral to feeling part of something and ensuring communication is not lost. Culture is a pretty hard one to create in remote teams, but it's certainly not impossible.
I run face to face collaborative labs with my clients and love collaborating with teams in real life. I think I need that… I always fear that I’ll lose my social skills if I’ve worked remotely for too long!
6. What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
Find your niche. Don’t be everything to everyone.
Also, be what you want, not what people expect of you.
7. Would you ever consider going for a permanent position?
I never say never, and I know if an unmissable opportunity came along I would always consider it. It would have to be something extraordinary, something that I could genuinely commit to. For me the company would have to be;
Aligned with my values with ethics and sustainability
Encourage skills development
Emphasis on health and wellness in the workplace
Great culture and team
Opportunity for travel
Opportunity for progression
Flexible to my life
Challenging and diverse!!
8. What is the most standout memory from your Freelance Career? (Whether it brings, elation, anger, humour, sadness).
Waking up one morning, being asked if I can board a plane in 2 hours to Ibiza to run a photoshoot and being able to say yes.
9. What song best represents your Freelance state of mind? Metal, Hip Hop, Classical?
Ellie T is our freelance extraordinaire here at Pitch. Get in touch with her today for new openings.