Featured Freelancer: Hannah Hirst-Dunton, Literary Editor

Featured Freelancer: Hannah Hirst-Dunton, Literary Editor

There are challenges as freelancers that we all face. For some, there is the additional pressure of a challenge this is unique to most. And then there’s this week’s Featured Freelancer, who has more challenges than most to deal with. Yet she faces them with extraordinary modesty and I particularly liked her calming words: “Not getting work does not indicate your failure as a person; it’s just a job.” Her story, once again, brings the subject of mental health to the fore, as did her recent discussion in Freelance Heroes (dated 22nd October) about whether we’re freelancers because of choice or because our mental health has dictated this path for us. Here is this week’s Featured Freelancer…   What is your name, what do you do and where are you based? My name is Hannah Hirst-Dunton, I’m based in Oxford and I’m a freelance literary editor. I work mainly on children’s literacy titles and teaching materials, children’s trade fiction and (in particular) artwork briefs, but also on adult’s fiction, ELT, academic journals and even corporate materials. How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I’ve been freelancing since 2011, when I did some proofreading and copy-editing to earn a bit of money during my DPhil. Then, when I realised academia wasn’t what I wanted and decided not to finish my doctorate, I worked in-house for Pearson Education for a year. When the contract ended, I was flattered to find I’d proved myself good enough at what I’d been doing that the people with whom I’d been working kept hiring me to come...
The Story of Freelance Heroes in a Podcast

The Story of Freelance Heroes in a Podcast

Have you searched on Google for a response to a question you need answered to help your business over a hurdle, but struggled to find the perfect solution? Have you ever felt like jacking it all in because your order book is empty, have a bad client, or because motivation is on the floor? Have you ever been reluctant to join online groups for freelancers because of the vast amount of promotional posts within them? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you’ll already understand the benefit of the Freelance Heroes Facebook Group. If your answer to all 3 questions is yes, then you’ll also have an idea of why I launched it on May 16th 2016. Little did I know that it would become the fastest growing support group for UK freelancers, or that #FreelanceHeroesDay (on May 16th 2017) would even top the trending charts on twitter, even topping #LabourManifesto which was launched on the same day. In June this year, I was interviewed by Phil Byne in the Positively Sparking Podcast, entitled “Why True & Open Sharing Is The Secret To My Facebook Group Success“, which looks in more depth at why I set the group up, why it works so well, and what the plans are for the group. I hope you enjoy the podcast… Listen to “Why True & Open Sharing Is The Secret To My Facebook Group Success with Ed Goodman” on Spreaker. Once you’ve listened, subscribe to Positively Sparking here and follow Phil on twitter @PositiveSparks....
Featured Freelancer: Sofi Smith, Digital Designer

Featured Freelancer: Sofi Smith, Digital Designer

Can a control freak be a freelancer? On one hand, a freelancer gets to make all their own decisions and choose their destiny. On the other, no freelancer knows everything. You have to be prepared to ask for help, allow others in, and be susceptible to accepting the advice of others. Of course (and before I get into trouble), I’m not suggesting that this week’s Featured Freelancer is a control freak, but she does has that fine balance of being in control while respecting that she doesn’t have all the answers. Here is the story of Sofi’s freelancing journey so far…   What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? My name is Sofi Smith and currently based in Exeter, Devon after 8 years in Brighton. I’m a bit tricky to describe in a single term (or at least I always have trouble with it) but probably best described as a Multidisciplinary Designer or Digital Designer. I work on various design projects including identity and branding, graphic / print design, web design and web development   How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I’ve been freelance since June last year so around 16 months, prior to that I had 6 years’ experience designing at some lovely Brighton Agencies. I had dabbled in freelancing whilst at University in Brighton and was lucky enough to work on some great projects at the time so that got me pretty excited about the work prospects in front-end programming and Design. I ended up working for a large established Advertising Agency...
Featured Freelancer: Joel MacDonald, Graphic Designer

Featured Freelancer: Joel MacDonald, Graphic Designer

I met a freelancer (in my previous employed life training small businesses on behalf of a leading bank) who told me then that he started his own business so he could have more time to himself. Despite the derision from the other delegates in the room, I now know exactly what he meant. This week’s Featured Freelancer talks about how – like many others – family comes before work. Also, despite working more hours than ever before, since going freelance, it’s on his terms and that’s what makes the difference. It’s another fascinating and honest story from a member of the Freelance Heroes Facebook Group, which I know you’ll enjoy reading…   What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? My name is Joel MacDonald, I’m based in Inverurie, near Aberdeen, Scotland. I’m a freelance designer, specialising in branding and print. How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I began freelancing in January 2016. I’d lost my job after being made redundant for the second time in 2 years. I’d had enough of not being in control and losing my job to something that had nothing to do with me. In my case, it was due to downturns in the energy market that led to staff cuts. A standard story up in this area. I tried to find employment and had a few interviews but I was at a weird point in my career. Too experienced to be a mid-weight and not experienced enough to be senior designer. The time came where I had to do something to...
Featured Freelancer: Sophie Livingston, Copywriter

Featured Freelancer: Sophie Livingston, Copywriter

The topic of mental health isn’t discussed anywhere near enough in social media and physical groups. Which is one of the reasons for recommending that this week’s Featured Freelancer is read, shared, and hopefully starts a series of open discussions. For me, a common (and regularly repeated phrase) is how “working for yourself, doesn’t mean working by yourself”. I’m not suggesting everyone has to attend x amount of networking events each week or even work from a coworking space each day, but reaching out for empathetic support in whichever way suits the freelancer – physically or virtually. I hope, as with all the other Featured Freelance interviews, that Sophie’s very honest story of freelancing journey so far, inspires and helps. Enjoy…   What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? I’m Sophie Livingston, I’m a copywriter and I’m based in Hull (don’t mock – we’re actually the UK’s City of Culture for 2017. Things are looking up around here!).   How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I’m going to be honest here. I left my job because of social anxiety in June 2016. I didn’t choose to go freelance, it was my only option at the time. I’d had a lot of time off work (which is the scariest thing ever to admit in a professional space) and I was really struggling to get better. I couldn’t cope in employment. I couldn’t leave the house some days and when I could, interacting with people all day left me exhausted. I had little control over my...