Freelance Heroes Day: Why Freelance Heroes Matters to Me

Freelance Heroes Day: Why Freelance Heroes Matters to Me

We recently asked the members of Freelance Heroes to write or film their thoughts about why freelancing is so important to them or why freelancers are so valuable to our economy. Or, even, why Freelance Heroes and/or Freelance Heroes Day is so important. Our thinking behind this is that we envisage the Freelance Heroes community as being the voice of UK freelancers! We want the community as a whole to be heard – packed full of their experiences and passions. Of course, we couldn’t ask this question without having a go myself. So here is a very short video explaining why Freelance Heroes is so important to me....
The Best Sources for Free Stock Photos

The Best Sources for Free Stock Photos

A camera is a ‘save’ button for the mind’s eye. — Roger Kingston Images are an essential tool in bringing online content to life, whether it’s a blog or website. In this short video, from Digital Splash Media, the concept of the picture superiority effect is explained, making an overwhelming case for the value of images: Now we know the importance of adding images, we need to find the right ones. This, however, is a tougher challenge. Especially with many other businesses are trying to do the same thing. You want to find the right image to help your content stand out. So, here are some places you can visit to help you find the right image: 1. Take your own  — Sounds obvious, I know. But your own image will then be unique. No-one else would have taken the exact same photo and you won’t have to worry about asking for rights to use it (as long as it’s something you’re allowed to capture in the first place). 2. Unsplash.com — There are some really beautiful images here. The photo in this post, taken Felix Russell-Saw, was found on Unsplash. 3. Pixabay.com  — Over 1.4 million royalty stock photos and videos. 4. Pexels.com  —  If the first 3 options don’t work for you, then try this one too. 5. deathtothestockphoto.com  — Unlike Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels, this site gives you it’s photos in packs which you can download from the site or have emailed to you each month. 6. lifeofpix.com – Similar to Unsplash, with the added bonus of free videos too. 7. Google  —  If you have to, Google images is an option. BUT...
Featured Freelancer: Col Skinner, Digital Advertising Expert

Featured Freelancer: Col Skinner, Digital Advertising Expert

Of the 14 questions each Featured Freelancer has to answer, the most challenging appears to be “Why do your clients/customers select you over your competitors?” I suspect it’s because many don’t ask their clients enough to be able to quote them, or know ourselves. One advantage of working with a freelancer is, of course, that you know who you’re dealing with throughout the whole process, and really get a complete personal service. This week’s Featured Freelancer offers his opinion on why his clients choose him, as well as an insight into his whole journey as a freelancer for the last 4+ years. This is his story…   What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? My name is Col Skinner and I am a Digital Advertising Expert based in Manchester. How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I started in January 2014 so I am into my 5th year. I had been working in agency and client-side roles for around 6 years when I finally realised that I wasn’t happy being told how to work and getting handed clients who had been promised results that were impossible to obtain given their industry, budget or timescales. I realised it was time to control my working life and give working for myself a go. What support did you have from family and friends? Did anyone advise you against becoming freelance? I had a little money set aside from selling my side business to my business partner so that shut-up many of the naysayers worried about income. In general, my family and friends were very supportive as they...
Lazy Marketing: Your Small Business is Better Than This

Lazy Marketing: Your Small Business is Better Than This

“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy local, and that’s kind of the same” – Unknown   I’m sure you’ve all seen the sign outside a small retailer: When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third holiday home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, Mums & Dads put food on the table. Thanks for shopping local. Read my articles, attend a training session of mine, or come to my coworking space and you’ll see that I’m a big fan of small business in the UK. In fact, supporting and empowering small businesses in the face of competition from larger corporations is central to what I professionally believe in and what I do every day. Therefore, you’d think that because of this, and because most of my clients are freelancers and small businesses, I’d agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. Well, you’re wrong. Every time I see this sign, I could cry. And here’s why: 1. Can we deal with the needless gender stereotyping first? Good, thank you. 2. I’m pretty sure the 500,000 employees of Tesco, many of whom rely on the wage the supermarket provides, would have an issue with this statement. 3. What happens if we all follow this post and only buy from small shops? Small shops that now get bigger as a result and will then need to employ more staff, move to bigger premises, etc. When do we stop buying from them, because we’ll have to, as the CEO of this once-small shop is now doing...
What is a Freelance Hero?

What is a Freelance Hero?

“If you support the community, they will support you” – Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder of Ben & Jerrys. I’ve written about why I started Freelance Heroes on numerous occasions. However, if you don’t know the story then it’s probably best explained in this Positive Sparks podcast “Why True & Open Sharing Is the Secret to My Facebook Group Success”, from May 2017. This is breif thought about the impact of the group since it started. Annie and I have little control over the growth of the group, other than rejecting those who aren’t from or based in the UK and others who are typically joining so they can sell into the group, but many continue to recommend the community to their peers, which has seen it grow faster and faster with each passing month. For example, in September 2017 there were 1250 freelancers in the group (16 months after it started). Fast forward just 6 months and that had doubled to over 2500. From day one, questions have covered all aspects of freelancing and that hasn’t changed. In the last week alone, these include: How do you stay resilient as a freelancer? Tag Lines… How many of you have them/ use them? & Do you think they add anything when it comes to creating your Facebook / Instagram pages and website? Does anyone have a free Marketing Strategy/Plan template they would be willing to share with me? Anyone used a WordPress live chat plugin on their website? As well as questions and conversations on awkward clients, late payments, imposter syndrome, and more. And every time a question is asked, dozens...