Podcasts & Interviews

  • Three things to include in your Terms & Conditions: Podcast

    If Terms & Conditions are on your Boring Admin List, I’ve got a podcast (and a free template) for you! Terms and Conditions are a vital part of the freelance relationship with a client – they set the standard, and back you up if you have to refer to something in the future (e.g. late payers). In this five minute episode of The Freelancer’s Teabreak, I discuss what you need to include and why.

    Want the free template? It’s over here! 

    How to listen to The Freelancer’s Teabreak podcast

    I now have four ways you can catch the podcast!

    Right here on the blog:

    Through iTunes

    Through Spotify

    Through my YouTube channel

  • Five people every freelancer needs in their life

    freelance support network

    Edit: This is a blog post from 2011, updated in 2018. 

    A good support structure is so important when you’re a freelancer, or you’re self-employed, particularly when you’re starting out. Having that freelance support network structure can help you get through the tough times, give you the inspiration you need when you’re starting a new project and help you celebrate your successes.

    I’ve come up with five types of people you need in your support network, who I’ve described below. What do you think? Any you would add?

    The Supporter
    The Supporter is the person that is always there, through the rough times and the good times. This is likely to be your partner, parents or your oldest best friend. The Supporter always has your back, and stops you feeling out of control when everything gets a bit much. They might not know your industry or understand your job, but they’ll understand how important it is to you.

    The Energiser
    The Energiser is the person that has a bundle of enthusiasm for your new idea or project, and helps motivate you to really push forward with it. In the company of an Energiser, you might find yourself trying or doing things you’d never normally have the guts to try.

    The Critic
    While The Energiser is a great friend to have, it can often be dangerous to listen to them alone. Which is where The Critic comes in. This is usually someone a little older and wiser, who can give you positive criticism  of your project or plan, to help you spot any flaws early on. My Dad usually fulfils this role, although previous employers and colleagues are also often Critics.

    Approaching The Critic with a project close to your heart is one of the scariest things to do, but you’ll appreciate their honesty long-term.

    The Alien
    The Alien is the person in your group that has nothing to do with your industry, and doesn’t really get it. You need an Alien in your group for two reasons.

    • On a professional note, if The Alien doesn’t understand your project or plan, you know you need to work on making the pitch or business plan clearer. Same goes for a blog post or design. Having that outsider eye can help you see how the perception of your project will be to everyone else.
    • On a personal note, spending time with The Alien usually means you don’t talk about work much. Which, as discussed in a previous blog post, is always a good thing occasionally. Talking shop all the time can be boring for others. I’m totally guilty of doing this at times. It’s only when I see the husband’s eyes glaze over that I realise I need to change the subject.

    The Role Model
    The Role Model is, unsurprisingly, the person you aspire to be in five, 10 or 20 years time. Whether you’ve got yourself a mentor or coach, you’re in touch with an old employer you admire, or you’re aiming to take over the family business, a Role Model can be a well of information and advice.

    You can find lots of lovely people that fit these categories over in the Facebook Group. Come join us! 

    Recognise any of these in your support group (or recognise yourself)? Got any more to add? Let me know in the comments.

  • Brilliant apps and tools to try in February: Podcast

    Regular readers will know I’m a huge fan of tech, tools and apps for having a more efficient, productive and fun freelance life. This week, I’ve recorded a podcast sharing three of my current favourites, from one that makes the most of your Facebook Lives and podcasts, to one to plan out your Instagram feed. In fact, the first tool I mention is the one I use to create a video of my podcast, which you can see below, with just one click!

    How to listen to The Freelancer’s Teabreak podcast

    I now have three ways you can catch the podcast! Through iTunes Through Spotify Through my YouTube channel

    TL:DR?

    Grab your phone, it’s time to up your app game!

    (Some of these links are affiliate links, but I only recommend tools I use, and I pay for all of these)

    Which apps are rocking your freelance life at the moment?

  • Three ways to speed up invoice payments: Podcast

    invoice

    The podcast is back for 2018! I’ve missed recording these little snippets you can listen to while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, and this episode is one that’s particularly important for freelancers – invoice payments. How can we speed them up, deal with the late payers and reduce the stress of waiting to be paid? I’ve got three tips up my sleeve for you!

    How to listen to The Freelancer’s Teabreak podcast

    I now have three ways you can catch the podcast!

    Through iTunes

    Through Spotify

    Through my YouTube channel

    Can’t listen to the audio right now? Here’s the TL;DR (or should it be TL;DL?) version:

    • Late Payment Fees – the stick approach of charging clients who have gone past the payment deadline without making a payment
    • Early payment discount – the carrot approach of offering a small incentive (say, 4% discount off their next invoice) if they pay within a certain timeframe. This works best for me with big clients who tend to have very long payment terms, unless you offer some form of incentive to pay earlier
    • Go Cardless Direct Debit – You can now set up direct debits for clients through Go Cardless. This is particularly beneficial if they have the same amount to pay each month. Setting up the direct debit means you know your fee will be paid on a predictable date, and if they’re unhappy about setting one up it could highlight a potential bad payer.

    If you’re looking for a template for the late payment fees and early payment discounts, I have one in the Freelance Lifestash!

    Crunch Chorus also have some handy templates if you do have to chase payments.

    Do you have any methods for speeding up payments?

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance PR Consultant: Kerri Walker

    After quite a long break, The A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer interviews are back! I know I’ve got lots to put up, so I really appreciate your patience if you’ve sent your answers in. Let’s kick off with Kerri Walker, a lovely friend of mine who is a PR guru, entrepreneur and a fellow mum of a toddler.

    Tell us a bit about you!

    I’m Kerri Walker, a Business Coach and Marketing and PR Strategist.

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    I flirted with freelancing and short term contracts for a few years, took 2014 off for maternity leave then launched my consultancy business in 2015. I started up because I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my son every day to commute to a job and be away from him 50-60 hours a week. It wasn’t an option for me. I knew from freelancing part time and from seeing other people do it that I could make a success of it myself too… on my terms!

    Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?

    I’m a former night owl but having a small child has made me an early riser. I actually get up an hour before he does now so I can read or write and have some time to myself so when my son wakes up I’m ready to play and not a tired zombie type creature.

    What time do you start work?

    I have 2-3 times a week to work while my son is at preschool so those days I’m at my desk for 9am. If it’s a day when I’m ‘off’ you can often find me at my desk starting a session at 7/8pm but I try to limit this as much as I can.

    Do you work from home?

    Yes and I love it!

    What’s your routine before you start work?

    Getting a child ready for the day including breakfast, board games and of course building train tracks for our Brio collection. No matter what time of day I work my routine is… walk to kettle, make hot drink, take to office.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    I don’t work all day, mainly short bursts now and then but when I do have a longer session I will take a break, even if that’s to get a drink and snacks as I know it’s so important to refresh. In the summer I’ll take a sandwich and my book outside for fifteen minutes, often even that is enough to energise me to get back to work.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    You can usually find me having a picnic with the mini, out in the New Forest where we live.

    How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?

    If I’m stressing over a project I will put it down and come back to it when refreshed. Knowing when to step away is a skill I have learned the hard way. To keep motivated, depending on my mood, I’ll listen to a guided meditation, put on some musical movie soundtracks or just take time away from my computer.

    What time do you tend to sign off for the day?

    Usually lunchtime as I have short bursts of work while my son is in childcare. Even if I had longer to work I genuinely don’t think I would ever work all day because my brain can’t concentrate for that long. I’m quite an energetic person and that requires rest to keep it up!

    Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    The freedom to create new services and change my path at any time I wish. Also the freedom to be able to work around looking after my son. I will treasure these days for the rest of my life because I haven’t had to leave him all day every day to go to a job that I loathe.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    I would say financially not knowing what I’m earning in a few months time but then I love the self-employed life so that bothers me less nowadays because I’m able to plan ahead and create packages and income where payment is spread over a certain time so I can.

    What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?

    Wave accounting so I no longer have to send individual invoices, send payment reminders or have any errors in the invoices. It’s an incredible tool and it’s free!

    Calendly I adore too because it saves me so much time for clients to book in coaching calls with me and for new people to connect with me too.

    PayPal is a must for me so visitors to my website can pay for my programs and smaller services such as one-off coaching sessions. It means my website is always working in the background for me and I don’t need to be on emails all day responding to enquiries as people can just pay and confirm my services.

    Naturally I love Dropbox, Evernote and Google Docs too for taking business on the go but also just because they’re awesome tools.

    Where can we find you online?

    Website http://www.kerriwalker.co.uk
    Twitter http://www.twitter.com/kerrilwalker
    Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kerriwalkercomms

    The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?

    Taking inspired action. People can never understand the things I achieve in such a short amount of time. All that requires is a dream, a plan and then taking action to make things happen. I plan out my days in advance so I stick to timings and ensure everything that needs to get done is paid attention. A dream will stay a dream until you take action and make it happen.

    Want to take part in the Day In The Life Of A Freelancer series? Simply fill in this form

    Want to read some more Days In The Life Of A Freelancer? 

  • 15(ish) more podcasts to add to your listening list

    podcasts

    One of the things I tend to geek out about most is podcasts. I’ve been an avid listening of podcasts for over a decade, and have built up a catalogue of favourites. As I’ve had a few requests recently for recommendations, I wanted to put together an updated list of podcasts to listen to.

    So, here it is!

    How I Got Here 

    If you’re curious about how some of the big players in the digital world got to where they are, How I Got Here is a must listen.

    All The Stuff 

    All The Stuff is a podcast run by Jen Turell (finances) Lisa Sharp (decluttering) and Lisa Carpenter (nutrition) is all about all the ‘stuff’ we deal with, and how to stay on top of it.

    The Tony Robbins podcast

    I haven’t always been a Tony Robbins fan (generally, I’m not a huge fan of shouty types). But his recently Netflix documentary changed that view, and his podcasts are just as informative and entertaining.

    Like Minded Friends

    For some lighthearted listening, check out the audio offering from hilarious (it’s their job after all) duo Suzi Ruffell and Tom Allen. Essentially they just chat about a different topic each month on Like Minded Friends, but it’s always entertaining.


    Get It On

    Dawn O’Porter launched her style podcast last year, and it’s now one of my favourites. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be stylish to listen in (god knows I’m not). Get It On is all about interviewing celebs on what inspires them, what their fashion fails and wins are and debating everything from vintage clothing to what photo they’d like to be remembered for.


    The Guilty Feminist

    I am a guilty feminist. I am 100% supportive of feminism but there are things I like to do (swoon over the cast of Magic Mike, for instance) that makes me feel a bit guilty. I love Guilty Feminist, for making me feel a bit more normal. Plus, it’s pretty damn funny.


    Unsorry

    The High Tea Cast girls are back, with the revamped podcast (and name) Unsorry. Much like Like Minded Friends, it’s a weekly 30ish minute shows focused on a different topic each week. Sam Sparrow and Lea Rice are witty, insightful and a bit like listening to your favourite friends.


    VOOM Podcast

    VOOM is the podcast from Virgin, interviewing businesspeople and sharing their top tips.


    The Right Brain Geek

    The Right Brain Geek is by Pascale, and is packed full of tech advice and business tips in bite size audio snippets.


    Ctrl Alt Delete

    Emma Gannon is a bit of a Twitter celebrity now (and has recently launched her own book), but her podcast Ctrl Alt Delete is a really interesting insight into the lives of other digital starts – from Zoella to Meik Wiking (who wrote The Little Book Of Hygge).


    Happier

    Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin’s books The Happiness Project and Better Than Before. Her podcast Happier, with her sister Elizbeth Craft, is a weekly chat about how to be happier, with both sisters setting goals for the next episode.

    RuPaul: What’s The Tee? With Michelle Visage

    It’s RuPaul and Michelle Visage. Chatting. No other reason needed 🙂

    Being Freelance

    Being Freelance is the brainchild of Steve Folland, where he interviews different freelancers (*ahem* disclosure: including me) about their experiences. It also includes the game ‘two truths and a lie’ at the end. I like podcasts with added games.

    Rock Your Fabulous Biz

    Ruby McGuire is someone I have followed for a while, and I’m currently on her Visibility Bootcamp. The reason I’m mentioning this, is because her brilliant podcast of biz tips was one of the reasons I wanted to work with her. So if you’re thinking of starting your own, it could also generate you business.

    The Tim Ferris Show

    If you haven’t heard of Tim Ferris, there’s a good chance you have heard of his book’s Four Hour Work Week, Four Hour Body and Four Hour Chef (he’s also recently launched Tools Of Titans). His podcast is all about being the best you can be. I don’t listen to all of his episodes (some of them are over two hours long!) but his interview with Tony Robbins is definitely worth a listen.

    Oh, and I couldn’t finish without mentioning my own….

    Freelancer’s Teabreak

    My podcast is full of tea-break-length episodes for freelancers, on topics varying from work/life balance to goal setting.

    Which podcasts do you rate?

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance PR: Jane Thomas

    Welcome to a regular series here at the Freelance Lifestyle, where we take a little peek into the daily life of a freelancer. This week, I’m excited that Jane Thomas has given us an insight into her freelance life as a PR.


    Hi Jane, tell us a bit about you

    I’m Jane and I freelance in public relations, mainly across the sports, arts and culture sectors. I am based in lovely Shrewsbury but most of my work lies across the border in Wales as I spent a large part of my career as a PR Manager in Cardiff.

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    I relocated to Shrewsbury two years ago with my husband and toddler. My husband had started a new job in the West Midlands. It meant leaving my job as PR Manager for Sport Wales which I loved. But it was time to do my own thing. I was really keen to carve out something for myself, continue working with the sports sector but also introduce more variety, plus I wanted to do something that could work around my son and, in future, the school run and holidays.

    Let’s talk about how you start your day – are you an early riser or night owl?

    I have a four year old! I rise as soon as he climbs over me, screaming “I want to go downstairs!”

    What time do you usually start work?

    About 9am usually. I currently work 2-3 days a week.

    Do you work from home?

    Yes, I am lucky to have an office at home which I can escape to. Though in the winter, you’ll find me near the woodburner!

    What’s your morning routine before you start work?

    The routine is all about getting my son to pre-school on time. As soon as I am back, I make a quick coffee and get started. When he starts school, I’d like to introduce a walk before work but time is too precious at the moment. The day flies by and, before I know it, it’s time to pick him up.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    Yes, I do try. I fix a quick lunch and step away from the laptop for a while.

    What’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    The variety. I was very fortunate that as soon as I started freelancing, I continued working with sports organisations but I also took on clients such as the BFI, Film Hub Wales and a youth music charity. So my week can often involve promoting grassroots football for the FAW Trust whilst generating coverage for a new film season.

    What tools/apps/gadgets could you not live without as a freelancer?

    Email, Timesheet, Dropbox. I’m also a big fan of a few Facebook groups for freelancers (Editor note: you can join The Freelance Lifestyle one by signing up for my free weekly newsletter, and Freelance PRs is also worth a look). It’s a great way of introducing some virtual chat because I do miss the camaraderie that comes with working in an office.

    Finally, where can we find you online?

    Website: http://www.janethomaspr.co.uk

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Finance Blogger: Emma Drew

    Welcome to a regular series here at the Freelance Lifestyle, where we take a little peek into the daily life of a freelancer. This week, I’m excited that Emma Drew has given us an insight into her freelance life. I’ve been following Emma’s blog (previously known as From Aldi To Harrods, now EmmaDrew.info) this year and took her excellent free course on new ways to make money, and I love reading her monthly income reports! 

    402a9189Hi Emma Drew, tell us a bit about you

    My name is Emma Drew and I live in Cambridgeshire with my husband. I run a popular personal finance blog which helps others to make money, save money and live the life they want. Running the blog is now my full time job!

    How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?

    I have been freelancing or earning money online since I was 18, so that’s 10 years now. I started because I needed to supplement my income whilst at university, and heavily focused on it when I graduated into the recession.

    Let’s talk about how you start your day – are you an early riser or night owl?

    I’m an early riser. If I don’t get up early and start my day off by showering and getting ready to face the day then often I just can’t manage it! I get so much done in the morning whilst my husband sleeps, meaning there’s peace and quiet! I imagine many mums out there must feel the same about their kids!

    As soon as it gets dark (in the afternoons in winter) then my brain switches off and I cannot be productive.

    Do you have a morning routine before you start work?

    I get up and shower immediately, then from there pretty much anything goes! Sometimes I get so engrossed in my work that I don’t stop to eat until lunch time, whereas other days I plan my day whilst I’m having breakfast.

    How do you stay motivated? Do you have any techniques?

    Staying motivated is my biggest challenge, and I do sometimes give in and just watch Netflix. I do a few things to help me. I look back at how far I’ve come – I actually do a monthly income report on my blog which is really great to look back on. I also look at how others in my niche are doing and get inspired by them. Other times all it takes is a 10 minute walk to get me back into the zone.

    What time do you finish for the day?

    I try to finish around 5 o’clock – finishing up what I’m doing then tidying up my office. I manage this about half of the time, and the rest of the time I am so passionate about my work that I often have to prise myself away. I do take a break most afternoons to have lunch away from my desk and go swimming or go for a walk.

    What’s your favourite thing about freelancing?

    I love the variety that every day brings. No two days are the same and I think that is really exciting! Being your own boss with unlimited earning potential is also amazing.

    What’s the biggest challenge you find as a freelancer?

    Keeping motivated is the biggest challenge I face. When I had a full time job I had to be in the office, but now I’m self-employed it can be really difficult to motivate myself to work when there are some awesome alternatives – like Netflix.

    What tools/apps/gadgets could you not live without as a freelancer?

    I love using tools and gadgets in my daily life, but when it comes to working I really can’t beat good old pen and paper. I have created a bullet journal to keep track of my daily tasks – there’s something so therapeutic about putting pen to paper and crossing things off a list.

    What’s your proudest achievement so far?

    Earlier this year I won Best Money Making Blog at the SHOMOs, which is a UK Money Blogger conference. I am passionate about helping others to make money, so this was a fantastic achievement for me, and it meant so much.

    Emma has also written an ebook on apps that earn!
    Emma has also written an ebook on apps that earn!

    What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about making money?

    I’ve learned that when you work for yourself, the sky is the limit! It isn’t necessarily about working longer hours – longer hours doesn’t mean more money in your pocket. It is about thinking about ways to work smarter not harder, and generating a passive income.

    What has made the biggest impact on your business, financially?

    This year I have really nailed affiliate marketing, and I do really well from it. I also know the importance of diversifying your income, so I do a number of side hustles including matched betting, surveys and selling on eBay. 

    The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?

    There’s no secret, just something that Pat Flynn said which resonated with me. Serve your customers (or your audience) and they will reward you. This has been so true in my business. As long as I am providing my readers with valuable stuff, they will be happy to keep coming back and to purchase products or services I recommend.

    Finally, where can we find you online?

    You can find my blog at EmmaDrew.Info, or you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.