I’m on a spa break! Which means that somehow, I’ve been surgically detached from my laptop and I’m hopefully floating in a pool of bliss. Thankfully, some of my fellow freelancers have kindly stepped in to write a guest post. Today, the talented Fran Swaine shares her experience of beginning the freelance life. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

6.45am: Alarm goes off and the boyfriend dives in the shower. Now I work from home I get a lie in. I used to get up at 6.20am. Hells yes – I love that extra time in bed!

8am: After showering and making breakfast I head upstairs to my office. I turn on my computer and tune in to BBC 6music. Good tunes are essential for a productive day and a mid-morning bum wiggle.

My first tasks include checking emails, Twitter and my Google Reader. Digital marketing moves so fast, I need to ensure my knowledge and understanding are kept current. Twitter is the best way of doing that. I run through my feed and find interesting links to either schedule through Tweetdeck or load up on Buffer.
8.30am: I’m annoyed I haven’t started work yet but admin has got in the way. You’d be surprised how much admin there is as a freelancer!

9am: Finally, I can start some paid work! It’s crucial at this point I open up my time sheet. I record exactly how much time I spend on any projects I’m working on. I work on a day rate, but realistically you end up switching between projects so this is the best way of keeping track.

Today I’m working on some copywriting for a client’s new events website. Luckily I’ve already set the tone of voice for this website, so it should just be a case of applying this to the new text.

9.20am: I’ve had to turn the radio off as I can’t concentrate (mainly because I keep singing along). I really should turn my email off too – it’s the most productive way to work! I used to happily email friends throughout the day – but these days I only do that if I have a quiet day. I’m a pretty strict boss!

10.30am: Copy finished. Phew! Took longer than expected but I’m happy with the results.

10.45am: After a cuppa and a snack, it’s time to face my next project. I’m working on a marketing strategy for one of my retained clients. I’ve already done the initial analysis for their website, so today I’ll be looking at their PPC campaigns and starting to look at their social strategy.

The morning is also littered with calls and emails from clients – I’m a good multi-tasker so I like working this way.

12.30pm – It’s been quite a busy morning – but a productive one. I also managed to get tickets for an awesome free digital event happening in Brighton in September. I head downstairs to make lunch. It also means I can take a bit of time out to read my book and sit in the garden.

1pm: I only usually take 20 minutes for lunch, unless it’s a beautiful day and then I try and make the most of sitting outside or going for a bit of a walk. Today – it’s grey out, so I head back up to my office and prepare for a meeting at 3pm.

2pm: Just finished up a blog post for my website that I started yesterday. I try to blog at least once aweek. The topic of this post is on Facebook pages and how to avoid getting Facebook fatigue.

2.30pm: I head in to town for a meeting with a potential new client. I’m about a 30 minute walk into town, and I try to walk it rather than jumping on the bus. Working from home means you are much less active. I’ve recently got into hula hooping which I can do at home. I can currently do 124 in a row. Needless to say if anyone could see me they’d be in fits of laughter.

My meeting is at one of my favourite cafes in Brighton. Must resist the temptation of cake!

4.15pm: The meeting went really well and it’s a client I really want to work with. Fingers crossed they want to work with me too!

4.45pm: Get home – fuss Rocky and grab a snack. Having a cat makes such a difference to me when I work from home. Yes I am a crazy cat lady! Afternoons are always sound tracked by my Spotify playlists – today it’s time for my summer sizzlers playlist (because it’s raining and horrible outside and I need to get motivated – plus I know my neighbours love hearing me sing Summer of 69 at the top of my lungs!)

 

5pm: This is the time I used to finish work – but most days I work 8am – 6.30pm now. It’s funny – I always used to be straight out the door at 5pm but I no longer feel the need to stop bang on 5pm. Today I’m going to spend the last hour or so of the day putting together the proposal for the meeting I just had. The proposal is for setting up a marketing strategy for their business and being hands on in the implementation.

6.15pm: Proposal finished! I’m pretty happy with it but will sit on it overnight and re-read in themorning. I often do this for work I’ve done in the afternoon if possible – best to look through stuff with fresh eyes!

6.30pm: Time to switch off my computer! Today there are no looming deadlines, so I won’t be working late. Some days can be 12 hours long. It’s a hard graft but I love it. Before I shut down – I take a look at my diary and write a list of things I need to do tomorrow. Now it’s time to put my feet up!

Thanks for your guest post Fran! I love the timesheet idea, may have to start doing the same.

How does your daily freelance life compare to Fran’s? Share your thoughts in the comments!

[custom_author=Fran Swaine]

 

5 comments on “Guest Post: A day in the life of a newbie freelancer”

  1. Having a cat around the house would definitely improve my working day! I admit I am often distracted by emails and social networking, and I know if I managed not to keep up with them during the day, I’d probably finish working earlier than 8-9pm! Oh, and I also enjoy singing along to Spotify playlists – another perk of working from home, for sure!

    • Working from home is full of distracting temptations isn’t it? 🙂 Since having my kitten, I’m definitely distracted more but it’s nice to have a reason to get away from my computer for five minutes an hour.

      Emails are a constant struggle though aren’t they?

  2. I do my networking and social media in blocks so I don’t get distracted. Although on days like today when I am celebrating National Can’t Keep Eyes Open Day, I keep Facebook open without looking at it, as knowing it’s there stops me being distracted. No sense I know but it works.

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