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....
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...
Featured Freelancer: Sarah Carter, Photographer

Featured Freelancer: Sarah Carter, Photographer

When you see a friend start a business, you feel a sense of joy and anticipation, and also ask a number of questions you don’t tend to ask of others: Is this a good idea? Will they succeed? Are they the right person to do this? In the case of this week’s Featured Freelancer, the answer is Yes, Yes, and Yes. Like the journey of most other Freelancers, it’s not always been plain sailing. Especially when it comes to the paperwork. Here is this week’s story. Enjoy!   What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? My Name is Sarah Carter and I am a Photographer based in Bourne, Lincolnshire.   How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I gave up my last job when my little boy was born, 3 years ago, as I couldn’t afford to go to work and pay child care. I would have been working 8am-8pm and traveling to get there and back. I just couldn’t find child care for those times. I had always done photography in the background as a hobby but never as my job. So I then had a choice: go back to a job I really didn’t like and miss out with my little boy or do something I love as well as work as and when I want to. I started doing weddings and events 2 years ago and now have a studio that I love, where I do family portraits and product photography. The last few months has brought more commercial work my way...
Featured Freelancer: Bernie J Mitchell, Content Strategist and Podcaster

Featured Freelancer: Bernie J Mitchell, Content Strategist and Podcaster

This week’s Featured Freelancer, as he keeps telling me, loves Freelance Heroes. Mainly because of the community spirit and the willingness from so many to dive in and support others. That’s because Bernie J Mitchell is all about community and collaboration, which you’ll learn when you read about all the collaborative projects he’s been involved in, both online and through the coworking spaces he works with and helps run. So it’s no surprise then that one of the main bits of advice Bernie would give to other freelancers is to go out and meet others.  There is no such thing as a solopreneur, which Freelance Heroes proves time and time again, and Bernie beats the drum of this mantra more than anyone I know. Plus, he’s a truly fascinating man, as I’m sure you’ll now learn from his freelancing story. Enjoy… What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? Bernie, London, Content Strategy, Blog podcast and help run a coworking space in Euston   How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I worked this out the other day, I have been freelancing for over 15 years, first as an event manager and then in content and communications.   What support did you have from family and friends? Did anyone advise you against becoming freelance? This part was tricky, all my family have ‘real jobs’ like teacher, nurse, banker, lawyer etc.  I wanted to be a teacher and found out so much about education while doing my degree in English Literature and education. It made me realise I...
Featured Freelancer: Carly Stringer, Virtual Assistant

Featured Freelancer: Carly Stringer, Virtual Assistant

Being a freelancer often means being taken out of our comfort zone. For example, a great designer continues to be a great designer, but once they start as a freelance designer they have to manage their paperwork, juggle additional responsibilities, market themselves, and so much more. This week’s Featured Freelancer, Carly Stringer, stepped out of her comfort zone in January by recording a minimum of one Instagram Story a day for the month. This not only increased views to her Instragram channel, but also, as Carly told me: “a collaboration which is coming up and lots more conversations with my followers as I end up getting quite a few messages in my inbox as a result of my stories. Plus a huge amount of self confidence.” It also grabbed my attention and made me want to find out more about Carly’s journey in her first year of freelancing. Thankfully, she agreed to take part and here is her story… What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? I’m Carly Stringer, Founder of Keystone Virtual. I offer business, digital marketing and social media consultancy to small service-based businesses with big ideas. I live in Maidstone, Kent with my husband John and our two children – Freya (5) and Leo (2).   How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer? I’ve been working remotely for three years but launched my freelance business last February. So, I’ll soon be celebrating my one-year business anniversary! I launched Keystone Virtual because I knew that I could add more value than I was able...
Featured Freelancer: David Dean, Psychologist

Featured Freelancer: David Dean, Psychologist

I met a freelancer once, many years ago, who used to leave his house at 8:30 in the morning, dressed for work, walk around the block via a coffee shop, and then enter his house again about 15mins later. Now he was at work and is only allowed to carry out work related tasks. At the end of each day, he did the reverse journey. At the time I thought this was remarkable, yet when I became a freelancer and opened a coworking space, I got it. The importance of managing your own mind set when work and home is in the same building can never be underestimated. Why do I bring this up?  Because the importance of a “commute” as a freelancer based from home is just one of the lessons learnt by this week’s Featured Freelancer. What follows is the rest of his story following 5 years of being a freelancer. Enjoy… What is your name, where are you based, and what do you do? My name is David Dean and I am a psychologist based in Impington, Cambridge. My role is support private clients and organisations with career, professional and personal development coaching and business learning. Coupled with this, I work with a number of UK university business schools coaching and mentoring MBA and MSc Business students. Whilst also lecturing & teaching on many career & business/organisational psychology related topics. Lastly, I help people and organisations who want to start to work from/in or at home. It’s always been a fascinating area of psychology, into how people negotiate the transition to working in a place that is...