Cost of living – your freelance thrive guide | #105
I’m speaking at an NUJ session on freelancing and the cost of living crisis this month.
LFB’s shot at crushing the crisis, or anyway, offering a micron of easement via a 2-hour Zoom confab on 24 November, 6.30-8.30pm, open to all NUJ freelancers who care to come.
And you, if you like? I can invite a guest or two.
Two hours of problems and here’s-some-good-news-tho and try-this/try-that to address what we’re all dealing with currently. Full details here.
I’m pulling together some resources on copywriting and community – networks are your lifeline as a freelancer!
It’s not been an easy year. I’ve had two contracts cut short, and the IR35 saga continues – repeal now revoked – welcome to the UK! My freelance work has been more stable. It pays to work on critical projects that won’t be cancelled, like major events or design work. I had a kick-off call for a conference next March – a core part of their membership offering, and hybrid since Covid.
That means six months of pre/live/post comms work, which I’m grateful for – some stability and peace of mind.
There’s no shame in asking for help if things are quiet. Being bold and vulnerable – Lauren Pope was on Twitter.
I’m not super busy either, so focusing on biz dev till Xmas – need to update my portfolio and website SEO, do my comms calendar, grow this newsletter etc. Also doing a bit of mentoring via the NUJ and BIMA.
Investing in myself: upskilling and self-care, which includes massage – finding deep body work essential for joint stuff, creativity and mental health.
👀 My digital HQ – some freelance-friendly forums and networking I enjoy!
r/freelance – have you noticed how most Google searches now have Reddit in the title? 🤔
Freelance Twitter community and #ContentClubUK #FreelanceChat #FreelanceMafia #CopywritersUnite
I’ve bookmarked them to save time and blocked out the calendar, or it won’t happen. I’m trying to keep Fridays free for networking – a social start to the weekend.
Offline networking, too – there is life beyond social media. I’ve signed up for co-working at The Observer Building – finally open for business! And a discounted rate till Xmas. It’s an inspiring work space and all creative/arts/tech/community businesses, so let’s see who’s around and what I can help out with.
It will make a change from working at home alone and lift my spirits.
For copywriting, media agencies have been a good source of work. Most use freelancers, so it’s worth getting on their books to find projects outside the UK market. Interesting to see how work is becoming fractionalised – I had a one-hour gig with Google – Small Business. Hoping for more little jobs like that – inbound enquiries, well-paid and it fits in with my other freelance work.
The news is all doom and gloom, but hang in there; there are reasons to be cheerful! Past data around recessions shows businesses are more likely to hire independent freelance workers during a downturn.
The future of freelancing – interesting to hear PwC’s thoughts on the future of work.
My strategy is to focus on building products, not rates – e.g. niche newsletters and digital downloads, and I’ve created some service packages.
You’re less likely to have your time commoditised, and you’re charging based on the value you bring, not your time. It’s scalable, too.
What are you doing to keep the fires burning? Love to hear your thoughts – feel free to send any resources to share on the 24th.
Upwork – the new Hays! Love their ad campaign – much better user experience 😉
👩🏻💻 What is the Metaverse? A free course explaining what it is and how to use it. New ways to connect, learn, and work. The eco ramifications and the role of decentralisation in making it ethical, inclusive and accessible. NFTs, crypto, avatars, devices, AR/VR/ER – a good overview! (Meta/Coursera)
💬 Dread networking? Here’s how to make it feel less icky. Showing up online is no fun if you take yourself too seriously. You have to separate yourself from your online persona and create distance. Loving Jodie’s thoughtful blogs for entrepreneurs who want to think differently. (Jodie Cook)
📧 How to add your newsletter to your Twitter profile (even if you don’t use Revue). A few people have asked me how I did this, so here’s a workaround – helpful if you use Substack, WordPress or Mailchimp. It does drive new subscribers – you just have to add them manually to your list. (Jacob Morch)
✍️ It takes this freelance writer just a few minutes to make her every client pitch 100% personalized. How to present your work to prospects (and save time on personalized pitches). Handy if you’ve written hundreds of articles on different topics. A fab tool – lovely to get a testimonial from someone thanking me for a book I wrote years ago! (Authory/Maya Middlemiss)
📆 Working on your content strategy? Here’s a brilliant content calendar from Anna McLoughlin of Inkspillers. Daily, weekly and seasonal prompts to help spark timely ideas and help you smash your goals. Working on mine and finding this helpful for goal-setting and staying focused. (ProCopywriters)
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