The Misunderstanding of Freelancing

The Misunderstanding of Freelancing

“That goodness it’s Frida…. no wait, I’m a freelancer” – Anonymous. Whenever a new member joins Freelance Heroes, they’re presented with two questions: 1. Thanks for joining Freelance Heroes; a helpful and supportive community for UK Freelancers. We just need to check a couple of things. First of all, where in the UK are you based? The reason for this question is that Freelance Heroes is a peer support community of UK freelancers. And it’s far easier to provide that support when you can understand the working conditions, marketing tools, taxation responsibilities, etc of those you’re supporting. 2. What kind of freelance work do you do? Again, this is to help us to ensure the group is full of freelancers only, rather than companies trying to sell into the UK freelancing community. This second question create a response that I’d not seen in the previous 3000+ responses, which went “I wouldn’t call myself a Freelancer as that to me signifies no ambition for growth.” Now I hate labels for the sake of them, whether it’s “solopreneur”, “mumpreneur”, or “freelancer”, and who am I to tell people what they should or shouldn’t call themselves? My issue with this response was the way it implies that freelancing = lack of growth mentality. I know several successful people who started life as a freelancer, and have grown to run their own agency. Kelly Molson, former freelancer, and now Founder/CEO of the award-winning digital agency Rubber Cheese, wrote “That’s a ridiculous statement. Paul and I essentially began Rubber Cheese as two freelancers working under the brand.” She added “If even you have no...
The Sound of Freelancing

The Sound of Freelancing

“Music is not sound. Music is using the sound or organise emotions in time.” – Krystian Zimerman During this year’s National Freelancers’ Day, organised by IPSE, I thought I’d start a twitter thread which would help create the ultimate freelancing playlist. As it’s #NationalFreelancersDay, and for a bit of fun, what song would you put forward to be the “national anthem” of freelancers? pic.twitter.com/YRAbPusgdY — Ed Goodman (@edagoodman) June 28, 2018 What followed was the most extraordinary selection of tracks and their reasons. Here is a selection of the 93 responses posted…   Bills by LunchMoney Lewis. 🤣 https://t.co/CfNUYDlKDA #NationalFreelancersDay — rachel stroud (@rachelstroud) June 28, 2018 Gotta be a bit of retro Donna Summer – She works hard for the money!! https://t.co/e0YhkCE9pF — Kate Chapman (@_KateChapman) June 28, 2018 The Commodores – Nightshifthttps://t.co/HradXj07HX Pulled a few late ones with their help over the years! — Chris Bowles (@bristolanimator) June 28, 2018 Me, Myself, I – Joan Armatrading. https://t.co/oBLnjEDksT — Phil Welch (@welchwords) June 28, 2018 Sometimes… The Tide is high but I’m holding on, by Blondie… but always My Way, by old blue eyes. It can be tough but at least we’re all doing it our way rather than putting on a suit and hating every minute. — Sean Hargrave (@seanhargrave) June 28, 2018 Hi Ed @edagoodman how about Edith Piaf’s ‘No Regrets’ as the ‘national anthem’ of freelancers #NationalFreelancersDay — Jilly Clark (@Jilly_Pepper) June 28, 2018 Have you heard @Xero‘s parody of @Adele‘s chasing pavements? 💸😂 https://t.co/w9g7qg00kD #NationalFreelancersDay — GoCardless (@GoCardless) June 28, 2018 And then there’s my favourite. This… Dolly Parton’s classic ‘9 to 5. Then...
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...
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...
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...