Featured Freelancers: Dawn Baird, Content Developer

Featured Freelancers: Dawn Baird, Content Developer

There are several words you could use to describe the traits of a successful freelancer: flexible, resiliant, organised, but one thing for sure is that I haven’t met one yet who has all the skills and knowledge needed from day one. As our latest Featured Freelancer – Dawn Baird – mentions, “no-one has their shiz together”, which is the purpose of Freelance Heroes, to help privide a platform for freelancers to help each other fill in those knowledge gaps. Dawn is frequently involved in the group, both to offer advice based on her experiences, also to ask for help when needed, and her answers are as brilliantly frank and forthcoming as you would expect. These are the expereriences and tips from Dawn’s freelancing journey to far… What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? Dawn Baird. Belfast, Northern Ireland. I’m a Content Developer. I enable clients to communicate better in person, on paper and online. That ranges from workplace learning, 1:1 coaching, snappy presentations, annual and technical reports, writing workshops, presentations and pitches to large knowledge bases about scientific and technical products.   How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I’ve been running Sensei since 2006 with my husband Allen. I hated working for other people – always! I bounced around various temping jobs for two years following university, worked as a youth worker, an ambulance dispatcher, a receptionist and even as an accounts assistant (in an office that used giant paper spreadsheets and an ancient manual calculator in preference to the computer that sat in the corner...
The Day UK Freelancers Owned Twitter

The Day UK Freelancers Owned Twitter

Freelance Heroes, a dedicated Facebook support group for UK freelancers, owned Twitter after celebrating the one year anniversary with a “Freelance Heroes Day” on 16th May 2017. The hashtag #FreelanceHeroesDay incredibly made it to top spot of the trending list, even beating #LabourManifesto which launched the same day! So, let’s put this into perspective….. According to Twitter statistics, the average number of tweets daily is a little less than 2 million, updated by around 630,000 Twitter users worldwide. The “Trending Topics” shown on the Twitter home page reflects the 10 most tweeted topics in real time which are refreshed every 5 to 11 minutes. #FreelanceHeroesDay made it to number one on the list – a truly astounding achievement for a Facebook support group which started only a year ago! The idea of Freelance Heroes Day was to celebrate the first birthday of the Freelance Heroes Facebook Group that I set up in 2016 and run with Annie Browne, owner of HelloMyPA in South Wales, as well as to celebrate the work of hundreds of thousands of freelancers across the UK. During this day, group members were invited to take part by tweeting a picture of them in their working environment and celebrating other freelancers that have helped them along their journey, all with the hashtag #FreelanceHeroesDay. The day ended with an hour long Q&A – #FHChat – which generated over 600 tweets from freelancers, in a single hour. The premise of the Facebook group is as a non-selling group for all UK freelancers, where they can ask for support from fellow freelancers, help others with their issues based on their experiences,...
Featured Freelancer, David Orchard, Web Designer

Featured Freelancer, David Orchard, Web Designer

This week’s Featured Freelancer is Web Designer, David Orchard, a.k.a. Web Lad. It’s clear from his answers that Stockport-based David believes that this is a great time to be a freelancer and, with the right attitude and hard work, the opportunities that lay ahead can be extraordinary. This is David’s story… What is your name and what do you do? Some know me by my true identity, David Orchard. Everyone else knows me as Web Lad, superhero web designer. I make websites for small UK businesses and am about to launch a second venture, SalonsOnline.co.uk, offering turnkey, pay-monthly websites to UK salons. How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I’ve been ‘proper’ freelancing since the end of 2016. I’ve nearly always been self-employed as an IT contractor, but never a freelancer in the true sense. I never had to sell my services, as I worked through agencies. However, I’d been doing web design ‘on the side’ for years and had spent a lot of time teaching myself design and to code. So when work in my field finally dried up with the wide-spread paralysis brought about by Brexit, I knew it was time to finally make the leap. It’s worked out well because I now have a nice combination of a technical and business background, project management experience and people skills and I get to work from home, where I can spend time with my little boy. What support did you have from family and friends? Did anyone advise you against becoming freelance? People are either completely behind you or stuck...
Featured Freelancer, Jo Harrison, Virtual Assistant

Featured Freelancer, Jo Harrison, Virtual Assistant

This week we say bonjour et bienvenue to our Featured Freelancer, Jo Harrison, who started her freelancing journey, as a Virtual Assistant, in August 2011. Now based in France, Jo (who I originally met at MicroBizMattersDay 2016) credits freelancing for transforming her health and happiness, and also doesn’t consider other VA’s as her competitors. This is the story of Jo’s freelancing journey so far… What is your name and what do you do? Hi! I’m Jo Harrison, a professional Virtual Assistant based in a beautiful, rural part of France (although I’m originally from the UK). I’ve got a pretty wide remit, but the main areas I focus on for my clients are social media, marketing, WordPress and author services (eBook formatting and promotion). I do everything from content curation to social media post scheduling and publishing blogs to designing and managing email campaigns. I also do a lot of book formatting – something that started out with just Kindle eBooks, but which has grown to include print books too. I’ve recently got involved with some big Adwords and Facebook advertising campaigns. In fact, I do a bit of everything! How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I took voluntary redundancy from my programme coordinator role at a UK University in 2011 which enabled me to become a freelancer. It’s certainly one of the two best decisions I’ve ever made – the other was moving to France. I found working as an employee very difficult. My introverted nature meant that I often felt stressed and I didn’t enjoy my work as much as...