Featured Freelancer: Tom Holder, Freelance PPC Professional

Featured Freelancer: Tom Holder, Freelance PPC Professional

In the US, Google’s desktop search market share is just under 64%, with Microsoft’s Bing holding at little more than 21%. In the UK, their overall market shares are even more different. As of April 2017, Google’s is 85.75% and Bing is 10.07%. Whichever your preferred search engine is, getting to the first page is a huge challenge. It’s no surprise then that spending on internet advertising in the UK is now over 10bn a year, which requires an expert to help you navigate the mindfield. For that, let me bring in this week’s Featured Freelancer, Tom Holder, who specialises in this area. His freelancing journey is largely a positive one – aside from late paying clients, of course – which he puts down to looking after himself as much as his business. This is the story of his freelancing journey so far… What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? My name’s Tom Holder, I live on the stunning North Devon coast and I’m a Certified Google AdWords, Bing Ads and Google Analytics PPC Professional. How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? On paper, I’ve been freelancing for 3 years. But as I sit here typing this, the end of the month marks my first 12 months as a full-time freelancer. Previously I’d been juggling some evening and weekend freelance work alongside full-time employment. Unlike some, my hand wasn’t forced into self-employment and freelancing. My digital marketing career started at agency level, as a PPC Executive at the UK’s leading travel marketing agency. Over 4...
Featured Freelancer: Debbie Stokoe, Freelance Writer, Copywriter, & Blogger

Featured Freelancer: Debbie Stokoe, Freelance Writer, Copywriter, & Blogger

It could sound strange that one of the greatest aspects of freelancing is the flexibility to work whenever and wherever you wish. While on the other hand, having a back up plan that could take you back into the world of employment. Does this mean that freelancers are constantly looking over the shoulder? Perhaps. Yet ask most of them and they’ll tell you that they still wouldn’t swap freelancing for anything. That includes this week’s Featured Freelancer, Debbie Stokoe, who shares her story from 18 months of freelancing and counting. Enjoy… What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? I’m Debbie, I’m based in the North East of England (Darlington) and I’m a copywriter, freelance writer, social media manager and blogger. How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I became self-employed in September 2015, setting up a holistic therapy practice. Unfortunately I broke my ankle so I set myself up as a writer as I’d already been employed as a copywriter for a sales company in Newcastle. Why did I choose to freelance? I never felt fulfilled in employment and after having twenty-seven jobs since the age of 16, I was getting increasingly disillusioned with ever finding the right one. I am very motivated and a self-starter so I thought self-employment would suit me. I was also attracted to being in control of my schedule, and doing work that I found enjoyable and interesting.   What support did you have from family and friends? Did anyone advise you against becoming freelance? My parents have been very...
Featured Freelancer: Lyndsey Yates, Graphic Designer

Featured Freelancer: Lyndsey Yates, Graphic Designer

Like so many, this week’s Featured Freelancer, Lyndsey Yates, struggled with the should I/shouldn’t I dilemna when starting her business. To add to her confusion she had friends and family arguing for both sides of the case. Thankfully, Lyndsey pushed on with her business and she’s glad she did. However, there’s no denying Lyndsey would be happier still if some clients paid her quicker. Then again, wouldn’t we all! This is the story of Lyndsey’s freelancing journey so far…   What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? Lyndsey Yates, Liverpool, founder and graphic designer at Nine Dots Creative (a collective of freelancers which offers everything a traditional agency would offer, but with more flexibility). How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I’ve been freelancing for just over 18 months now. I decided to become a freelancer for a few reasons. I had returned to work part-time after having my first child, but in the time I had off work during maternity leave, I had done a lot of thinking. I lasted a year back in work before I couldn’t stand the itchy feet any longer. My partner had been freelancing (as a web developer) for 2 years and was doing quite well, so he was in a position to support us whilst I built up my client-base. I wanted to do more varied work than in my in-house role (which I had been in for 8 years), I wanted more flexibility around my child, and I wanted to be my own boss. I quickly came...
Featured Freelancers: Francesca Tortora, Graphic Designer

Featured Freelancers: Francesca Tortora, Graphic Designer

Anthony Burrill is famous for making art out of words, and the one that stands out for me the most is “Work Hard and Be Nice To People”. It’s not just me either, but also this week’s Featured Freelancer, Frankie Tortora. Frankie is also a pianist and I’m still nagging her to write a Freelance Heroes theme tune. For now, however, we have the story of her 5 year freelancing journey, which is well worth a read….   What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? My name’s Francesca Tortora (but you can call me Frankie!). I’m a freelance graphic designer living and working in North London. Alongside my design work, I also run a collaborative blog for freelance parents called Doing It For The Kids. How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I’ve been freelancing now for about 5 years. I used to have a salaried job in project management / arts administration but retrained as a designer in 2011. I realised that I was working to facilitate lots of other people’s creativity and that what I really wanted to be doing was earning money being creative myself. So I started working part-time in my then job, went to night school where I undertook a portfolio course in graphic design and was very ‘lucky’ to be offered redundancy pretty much as I finished my year of training. That small pot of money allowed me to take a financial risk and give freelancing a shot. I said I’d give it 6 months max and if it didn’t...