#FreelanceUK

  • The next #FreelanceUK Twitter chat: 5th March 2014 at 7:30pm

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    After a (long) hiatus, the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat is back – and this time the topic is up to you.

    [box style=’note’] Not sure what the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat is? Check out previous discussions here [/box]

    The purpose of the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat, is to get freelancers together to discuss the highs and lows of being self-employed – and tackle topics that we all deal with. It’s a way to network with other freelancers, without faffing about with making yourself presentable!

    We’ve talked about a few things recently on The Freelance Lifestyle, which have got people talking. So why not vote below on what subject you want to chat about? Then we’ll kick things off at 7.30pm next Wednesday! Simply follow @Freelance_Life, and use the #freelanceuk hashtag.

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  • The February #FreelanceUK Twitter Chat Summary

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    Apologies for the late summary post for Monday’s #FreelanceUK Twitter chat . Ironically, it was all about work/life balance  (something I’ve clearly failed at this week).

    Anyway, I’ve finally got round to creating a Storify summary for those of you who missed it but wanted to find out what was said about work/life balance. Interestingly, there were certain concerns nearly every freelancer involved admitted to.

    • Guilt. This cropped up A LOT. Everyone seems to suffer from a sense of guilt when they’re not working (which leads to most of us working far more than we need to), but also guilt if they don’t spend enough time with family/friends.
    • Workload. While some people admitted to having a very large workload, others discovered that their workload was manageable, but that as a freelancer there’s always something else you CAN do. Whether it be pitching for more work, updating a website or catching up on blogs. A freelancer’s job is never done.
    • Late resolutions were made to exercise more, set work hours and try some more productivity methods.

    I think perhaps the biggest change you can make to your work/life balance, is to change your mindset. Accepting that you’re never going to finish ALL your work might make finishing on time easier. Structure too, can help you finish on time. I know personally, if I don’t set a finish time, I don’t have the focus to get the job done and I end up working until 9pm. I know after the week I’ve had, I’ll be getting back into a structure next week.

    Do you have any top tips? Why not share them in the comments below?

    p.s Pop the 4th March in your diary for the next #freelanceuk. Any requests for topics?


  • Join us for the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat tonight

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    Work Life Balance (Photo credit: Scott.Webb)

    Just a quick post to remind you about tonight’s Twitter chat for freelancers. Kicking off at 7.30pm (UK time) on the #freelancersuk hashtag (and also by following @Freelance_life), we’ll be chatting about work/life balance. Questions will include:

    • Do you think you have a good work/life balance?
    • What do you think are the biggest barriers to creating a good work/life balance?
    • Work hours – Do you set them?
    • Where do you work? Are you able to leave the area when you’re finished for the day?
    • Are you able to make time for lunch breaks, exercise and even holidays?

     Got another question you’d like added to the list? Let me know in the comments!

     

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  • Two online events next week: #FreelanceUK and #askTeamRed

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    Just a quick post today to let you know about two online events next week:

    Monday 4th February – Twitter Chat
    The Freelance Lifestyle Twitter chat is back! Follow #FreelanceUK at 7:30pm on Twitter to chat with fellow freelancers about this month’s topic – Work/Life balance! Got a question you’d like answered? Comment with it below, or tweet Freelance Lifestyle. You can also leave your thoughts and questions on the #FreelanceUK hashtag, as I monitor it daily.

    Missed the last one? You can catch up on what was said here.

    Wednesday 6th February – Digital Q&A on Google+
    The Digital Q&A has been going for a few months now, and we’re hoping to add a few new elements to it this month. Join me, Fran Swaine and Jennifer Begg for a hangout on Google+ all about the digital world. It will be streamed live to YouTube and on our blog too!

    Want to see what our hangouts are like? Here’s last month’s hangout, all about digital resolutions.

    Will you be joining me on Twitter or Google+ for these events?

    p.s I’ve also got a hangout in the works for those who are in the Freelance Life G+ community – why not join us?

    p.p.s On Vine? Find me on there as ‘Emma Cossey’. It’s pretty much filled with videos like this…

     

  • Missed the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat? Catch up here!

    The second #FreelanceUK Twitter chat took place last night, with a particular focus on pitching. We covered everything from how to pitch and who to pitch to, to debating whether pitching is necessary.

    In summary, here are a few of the most interesting points:

    • Don’t be afraid to pitch over the phone. There was a great debate about the pros and cons of phone pitching vs. email pitching. It really seems to depend on your comfort levels and the industry.
    • For a lot of freelancers, a big barrier to pitching is simply confidence – fear of rejection or being laughed at. Samantha Sparrow made a good point here – “they can only say no”!
    • It’s fine to reach out to an editorial contact on social media, as long as you follow-up with a well thought out pitch afterwards.
    • A debate started over whether pitches should be long and thorough, or short and clear. Personally, I’d suggest keeping it short and clear, as there’s a danger that your pitch might be replicated in-house – and you won’t get commissioned.

    I’d have loved to have explored the issue of some publications using taking pitches without commissioning freelancers more, but we ran out of time.

    Have a read of some of the tweets from last night below. I’m planning another Twitter chat for early February, so I’d love to hear what you’d like to talk about next.

    The #freelanceuk Twitter chat

    Storified by Emma Cossey· Wed, Jan 02 2013 01:41:09

    @dexdiva agree face to face not poss, but I used to have to come in at 5.30am and phone pitch to Oz law firm! #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    @SamRSparrow just different industries, also when writing for international publications face to face not poss #freelanceukJo Gifford
    RT @kaitewelsh: #freelanceuk One thing I’ve learnt – pitching articles really helped when it came to querying agents for my novel. Took the fear out of it!Freelance Lifestyle
    Thanks everyone for joining in the #freelanceuk chat! Feel free to leave any useful pitch resource links on the hashtag.Freelance Lifestyle
    #freelanceuk One thing I’ve learnt – pitching articles really helped when it came to querying agents for my novel. Took the fear out of it!Kaite
    @Freelance_Life I keep a list of target publications (big and small) and a very vague ideas list.#freelanceukFreya Hardy
    @SamRSparrow ah i see, and all prob have different approaches #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @Freelance_Life I’d like to develop some branded prezzi/ppt slides, and a branded pitch doc for when I go more seriously #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    @dexdiva for me I’m talking editorial, training and fundraising. I take freelance work in all 3 areas #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    So, who has an action plan in place for pitching? A pitch format doc? Pitch ideas? Some targets for 2013? #freelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    Just to check though are all taking editorial/ writing pitches? It’s different for presenting design work to a client #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @kaitewelsh don’t be silly, you are going to rock it! #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    @Freelance_Life I think I’ll always have a thing for print so that’s always my first instinct. #freelanceukFreya Hardy
    Discovery: participating in the #freelanceuk pitching chat is actually making me more stressed about the pitch I’m writing.Kaite
    @Freelance_Life my journalism course told me to pitch at the features or commissioning editor #FreelanceUKKathryn
    @Freelance_Life no not at all it tends to pay better though #freelanceukJo Gifford
    Do you think there’s a certain pressure to pitch to print? Especially if you create online content? Is it always necessary? #FreelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    @kaitewelsh I was forced as part of a presentation skills course. I was then made to practise with my hands tied together! #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    If they are being read and not replied to something ain’t working #freelanceukJo Gifford
    You can track if someone has read an email using right inbox or similar #freelanceukJo Gifford
    Also, i am are editors don’t want to have phone calls all day #freelanceuk I have enough for my blogs even, emails are efficientJo Gifford
    @kaitewelsh try filming yourself doing a pitch. It’ll be horrible to watch back, but will teach you loads! #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    @learice if a story is good but you have already run one on Paris, say, an email pitch can be filed and come back to #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @learice disagree, editors know me and my work and store a location story on file, travel writing is diff #freelanceukJo Gifford
    RT @learice: I’d like to give the spam influx on the #freelanceuk chat special recognition for being relentless this eveningFreelance Lifestyle
    @learice no it’s literally that diff locations are scheduled for later in the year #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @dexdiva #freelanceuk decisions made quicker this way, less time wasted and opportunity to explore the perfect angle for a news story.Leanne Rice
    @dexdiva #freelanceuk Which could be avoided with a phone call, non? Sorry to be devils advocate 😉 I’m interested – My exp has seenLeanne Rice
    @kaitewelsh @SamRSparrow @dexdiva @learice Maybe it’s what you feel comfortable with – I feel like I’m clearer on paper. #freelanceukEmma Cossey
    #freelanceuk as a designer I dont pitch but as a writer I do, very diff industriesJo Gifford
    Obvs not for tech or trend based content #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @Freelance_Life yeah I think this would definitely help me get my foot in the door more. Getting an introduction if poss! #freelanceukFran Swaine
    Also sometimes in travel writing a pitch is picked up months later #freelanceukJo Gifford
    I’d like to give the spam influx on the #freelanceuk chat special recognition for being relentless this eveningLeanne Rice
    @kaitewelsh @learice @samrsparrow @freelance_life thank you! Thought was talking to a void then! 😉 #freelanceukJo Gifford
    RT @dexdiva: @UrsulaGlitch @bangsandabun @freelance_life I usually send a bio, intro, first para and bullet pointed story #freelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    @UrsulaGlitch @bangsandabun @freelance_life I usually send a bio, intro, first para and bullet pointed story #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @SamRSparrow @freelance_life Agree! Great to cross check online database/directory listenings against social media profiles #freelanceukNatalie Baker
    RT @dexdiva: @cateca @freelance_life i read a really good book on this which helped when i started called the freelance writers handbook #freelanceukOccasionalAssistants
    @cateca @freelance_life pleasure, Igot commissioned straight away after reading it 😉 #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @Freelance_Life Slightly late to the party but just reading through the chat now. #freelanceukNatalie Baker
    @Freelance_Life research, news wires, gorkana #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @Freelance_Life research research! Social media is great for this now, but company websites also help. Gorkana database too #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    @learice @samrsparrow @freelance_life just my experience tho! #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @learice @samrsparrow @freelance_life I disagree have written for big publishers from email pitches #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @dexdiva @freelance_life @bangsandabun agree #freelanceukADBeauty
    How do you find out the best person to pitch to? #FreelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    @natalietrice @freelance_life ask some writer colleagues to send our example pitches that have worked recently maybe #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @dexdiva @SamRSparrow @Freelance_Life For large companies and press though, phone is almost always best #freelanceukLeanne Rice
    @SamRSparrow @Freelance_Life It takes quite some horribly awkward calls to learn slick pitching, but a great skill to pick up #freelanceukLeanne Rice
    @Freelance_Life I think so too. I can’t wait to do my course as the pitching is holding me back and I think eds would laugh #FreelanceUKNatalie Trice
    @natalietrice @hollieanneb you don’t always need it, honestly #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @SamRSparrow @learice @freelance_life yes but emails areAlso really effective have had many commissions that way #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @Freelance_Life I’ve gotten some terrific stuff via social media presence, but only b/c I can follow up with a good pitch. #freelanceukKaite
    @AnishaDBeauty @freelance_life @bangsandabun but even if they haven’t and story is strong it can work #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @HollieAnneB I am the other way, hate face to face or phone #FreelanceUKNatalie Trice
    @Freelance_Life sorry not as vocal as usual – trying to cook at same time! #freelanceukFran Swaine
    @learice @freelance_life agree with this entirely, particularly for editorial #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    @Freelance_Life @bangsandabun def still relevant for editorial work. #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @Freelance_Life @dexdiva @bangsandabun pitchings still relevant – if theyve heard of you/your brand before its always a plus #freelanceukADBeauty
    @AnishaDBeauty @freelance_life that’s a good tip. Keep it light! #freelanceukcateca
    @kaitewelsh @Freelance_Life No way at all! It really stops me hitting send sometimes #freelanceukHollie-Anne Brooks
    @emma_cossey I hate that feeling of rejection! Is it better to call or email? #FreelanceUKNatalie Trice
    @franswaine @freelance_life agree, depends on client and editors preference some take pitches on twitter! #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @dexdiva @freelance_life thanks. I’ll definitely give it a read 🙂 #freelanceukcateca
    #freelanceuk Practice pitching by phone & make yourself easy to warm to. If you can, it’s much easier to succeed by calling @Freelance_LifeLeanne Rice
    RT @dexdiva: @cateca @freelance_life i read a really good book on this which helped when i started called the freelance writers handbook #freelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    @Freelance_Life know your audience and do your research!! #freelanceukFran Swaine
    @dexdiva @BangsandaBun Ah, is pitching still relevant? Or is it smarter to attract work from referrals/website/social media? #freelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    @HollieAnneB exactly – totally agree #freelanceukADBeauty
    @HollieAnneB @ursulaglitch true, but so many editors don’t have time for face to face so a well pitched email is good too #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @franswaine I think I have the mind set of "Right, let’s wow your socks off and do something you don’t expect".#freelanceukHollie-Anne Brooks
    @cateca @freelance_life i read a really good book on this which helped when i started called the freelance writers handbook #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @AnishaDBeauty At least in person you can use tone of voice, gestures etc #freelanceukHollie-Anne Brooks
    @UrsulaGlitch definitely!! #freelanceukFran Swaine
    RT @AnishaDBeauty: @cateca @freelance_life i think keeping it conversational rather than too salesy is always key – know your customer #freelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    @HollieAnneB yes me too actually. Once I’ve got that initial meeting I’m confident Ican deliver #freelanceukFran Swaine
    @Freelance_Life yes, be well prepared and pitch right for the magazine/ site #freelanceuk and be bold! XJo Gifford
    @cateca @freelance_life i think keeping it conversational rather than too salesy is always key – know your customer #freelanceukADBeauty
    I try and get into the mindset of pitching on behalf of my freelance brand rather than myself. It feels less personal then. #freelanceukEmma Cossey
    #freelanceuk the very first paid travel writing pieces I did were a cold pitch to an editor sometimes it just worksJo Gifford
    @Freelance_Life definitely format – do you email or phone. I think each client should be treated uniquely and often in phases! #freelanceukFran Swaine
    @UrsulaGlitch I think most people are like you. But god, the buzz I get from pitching face to face is the best feeling ever #freelanceukHollie-Anne Brooks
    @HollieAnneB feel the same, i think with email and txt based promo its the way that your messages are being perceived #freelanceukADBeauty
    @BangsandaBun @freelance_life I have found that pitching editorial takes a lot of time and energy. #freelanceukJo Gifford
    @Freelance_Life as a newbie, I wouldn’t know where to start with pitching! What do you say? How? What’s ok & what’s not? #freelanceukcateca
    Fear of rejection and format seem to be the biggest fears. Does anyone have any advice to help get over these fears? #FreelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    @HollieAnneB I’m the other way around. I find email much less scary than face to face. Brave woman. #freelanceukFreya Hardy
    RT @UrsulaGlitch: Nobody likes the thought of being rejected, but it’s such a buzz when someone says yes. I’m addicted, but I do want to improve. #FreelanceUKFreelance Lifestyle
    RT @kaitewelsh: The #freelanceuk chat tonight is about pitching – just what I need when I’m having writer’s block with this one!he cavanagh
    Nobody likes the thought of being rejected, but it’s such a buzz when someone says yes. I’m addicted, but I do want to improve. #FreelanceUKFreya Hardy
    The #freelanceuk chat tonight is about pitching – just what I need when I’m having writer’s block with this one!Kaite
    #freelanceuk It’s funny because I LOVE pitching face to face, I always feel confident and do well. It’s just over email etc where I’m scaredHollie-Anne Brooks
    @Freelance_Life for me format is an issue – how to introduce myself in interesting way. I’m not good at bigging myself up. #freelanceukFreya Hardy
    @Freelance_Life I think it is fear of rejection really – which is silly because they can only say no! #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    @Freelance_Life For me I think it’s what to pitch & also I guess I wonder if anybody ever reads them #freelanceukBangs and a Bun
    @Freelance_Life Hitting send, I think. I worry I’m going to be laughed at by the person receiving it #freelanceukHollie-Anne Brooks
    A lot of people are nervous about pitching – what do you think is most intimidating? Format? Who to pitch to? Hitting send? #freelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    @Freelance_Life Not yet! But I will #freelanceukHollie-Anne Brooks
    @Freelance_Life hello!! Ready and raring #freelanceukFran Swaine
    RT @learice: Totally checking out @emma_cossey’s #freelanceuk chat while I wee. Don’t want to miss anything. I mean that in several ways…Samantha Sparrow
    @Freelance_Life yes and even taking a course #FreelanceUKNatalie Trice
    So, let’s kick things off – how many of you have added ‘send a pitch’ to your list of resolutions this year? #FreelanceukFreelance Lifestyle
    Welcome to the second #Freelanceuk chat! This time, we’re talking about a topic a lot of you requested – pitching.Freelance Lifestyle
    RT @Freelance_Life: 15 mins to go! Go grab yourself a cup of tea (and the last of those xmas chocolates. Resolutions start tomorrow, obviously) #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    @SamRSparrow @emma_cossey I’ll second that 🙂 #freelanceukkerry
    @emma_cossey everything?! 😉 #freelanceukSamantha Sparrow
    Excited about the #freelanceuk Twitter chat tonight at 6.30pm. It’s all about pitching, anything you’d like to know about it?Emma Cossey

  • Freelance Book Of The Month: Jump Start 2013

    Happy New Year everyone! How’s your head? Are all those new year’s resolutions looking a little more intimidating now you actually have to do them?

    I appear to have kick-started 2013 by publishing the wrong post a month early. Oops! This month’s Freelance Book Of The Month is actually Penny Golightly’s rather brilliant Jump Start 2013 eBook.

    In the spirit of a fresh new year, I thought it might be useful to feature a book that helps you improve your life over the space of a month. With the tax return deadline approaching at the end of the month, it’s a great opportunity to get your finances in good shape and develop some other good habits too. Which is why Penny Golightly’s ebook Jump Start 2013 is rather brilliant. Jump Start 2013 is a collection of small daily actions to help you improve your life.

    Jump Start 2013 is split into five themed weeks – personal finance, decluttering, tenner week, healthy week and reflect and look ahead week. Each day has a small task that can be easily slotted into your daily routine. If you’ve got a lot of resolutions lined up, this is a great way to achieve them – little steps rather than battling against huge intimidating ideas.

    Penny’s writing style is warm and friendly, so you feel like it’s helpful advice from a friend. I love that each task only takes a couple of minutes to read, and most of them don’t take longer than an hour. January is usually a quiet month, so it’s a great opportunity to do some life maintenance like this.

    Oh, and it’s just £2.05 on Amazon. Bargain, huh? If you like money-saving tips, Penny Golightly’s blog is well worth a read too.

    p.s Freelance? UK-Based? Join us for the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat tonight from 6.30pm to chat all things freelance. Tonight, we’re focussing on pitching. 

  • The #FreelanceUK Twitter chat is back on the 1st January

    I was really chuffed to see how many people turned up for last month’s Twitter #freelanceuk chat to talk about all things freelancing, so I’ve decided to make it a monthly event. On the first Tuesday evening of each month at 6.30pm for an hour, we’ll be talking about a new freelance topic each month.

    In January, the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat will be on the 1st. A lot of people requested the next topic to be about pitching, so feel free to leave a comment below if you have a particular question you want answered. We’ll be discussing everything from how to pitch, to the etiquette of pitching in the Twitter era. If you’re experienced in this area, please feel free to join in the chat and share your advice to up-and-coming freelancers too.

    Don’t forget to follow @Freelance_Life for all the questions and retweets of the best and most interesting replies.

    p.s You can follow Freelance Lifestyle on TwitterFacebook AND Google+ now. I also recently launched two communities on Google+ for UK bloggers and freelancers, why not join in the chat? Feel free to leave a question on any of those accounts too.

  • Save the Date: Freelance Twitter Chat on Monday 3rd December

    Who’s on Twitter? Most of you? Marvellous! Let’s have a Twitter chat. I’ve been thinking about doing a Twitter chat on freelancing for a while, and the lovely Sam Sparrow has given me the kick up the butt I needed. So on Monday 3rd December (this Monday coming) at 6:30pm, I’ll be hosting a Twitter chat all about freelancing. I ran a poll a few weeks ago on what you’d like to cover, and the most popular response was “Clients – finding them and managing them”, so that will be the topic. I’m really excited to chat about that topic – I’d love to hear about the methods for how people source clients, and how they manage them around a busy lifestyle.

    Now all we need is a clever hashtag. Any suggestions?

    p.s You can follow Freelance Lifestyle on Twitter, Facebook AND Google+ now. Got a freelance question or request? Just leave me a comment on one of those accounts!