A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Copywriter: Chelsea Louise Haden

    bvhZBRLlTell us a bit about you!

    Hello.

    They call me Chelsea Louise Haden but CLH for short.

    I’m a blogger first and foremost but I do a few things such as digital copy writing. I provide online copy for marketing materials and I also dabble in social media management. Oh and I copy edit books, specifically for Amazon.

    Recently, I just started teaching small businesses how to write their own marketing copy using creative writing techniques.

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

    Since 2008 ( aged 18.)

    It’s a long story where do I start? Well, firstly I have a self employed parent so it was never taboo and if anything it was encouraged.

    Secondly, I didn’t have a traditional upbringing. I got taken out of school because I was bullied. I was home taught but it didn’t do me that much good, purely because I had an attitude problem. I left ‘school’ with no qualifications and did a few NVQ type courses ( all irrelevant to what I’m doing now.)

    I got a job working as a PA and liked it but, it didn’t give me the creativity nor freedom that I was looking for. As I had no formal qualifications behind me such as a degree, I believed I would never get into the writing industry.

    I started blogging whilst at college studying beauty therapy. I had such a positive experience in college, it encouraged me to write more. Eventually I knew that it was the path for me. I had some coaching too which helped me big time.

    I think It was a natural progression.

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

    I have tried to become an early riser but, I get more creative of a night.

    What time do you start work?

    Nowadays I aim for about 10 am (that means 11 am). There’s no point in starting earlier because that’s what a 9-5 is for right?

    Do you work from home?

    When I am editing, especially books then yes. I’m too easily distracted!

    However, I run co-working groups in a local art gallery which is nice or I hot desk at my colleagues office.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Morning affirmations. I like to affirm to myself that it’s going to be a great day full of wonderful opportunities. I’ll mentally do my gratitude list whilst giving my cat Mr D some love.

    Then it’s straight to the computer, to check my Twitter and emails.

    Food is in there somewhere too…

    Do you take a lunch break?

    I do not advocate this at all but I have working lunches. Although in my defence I more than make up for it when I’m co-working or hot desking. I’ll go walk around my local park or get some cake.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    Well I’m not one of those that can work on the same projects all day. I have to dip in and out of different projects to keep me focused and creative.

    I usually have the cat on my knee, a cookie in one hand, and Twitter in the background.

    And I have this rule – I take the phone off the hook and divert everyone to my emails.

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

    I often tweet my schedule and talk about deadlines. I do this as an accountability thing, so I’ve got something to say “look you’ve to do it now!”

    I also remind myself why I’m doing it.

    And most days, I reward myself with a swim and Jacuzzi.

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

    Hmm… it varies. At the time of writing this it’s nearly 1 am. But, that’s through choice because I decided to take a few hours off today.

    Some days it’s about 5.30 pm or the nights when I’m not swimming 8 pm.

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

    Gosh where do I start? The freedom, the ability to make my own decisions, set my own working hours, wage and to work with who I want to.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    The fact that my business has replaced boyfriends.

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

    I’m probably the most technically un-evolved person that you’ll ever meet. Ironic really that I’m a ‘digital writer.’

    Let me put it out there… I don’t own a smart phone or any mobile phone. I don’t use a tablet or an i thing. I have a lap top – it’s not even a MAC but it works, just.

    The tool that really helps me is HootSuite and a time management book that I just read called: 21 ways to manage the stuff that sucks up your time. It rocks!

    Where can we find you online?

    http://www.twitter.com/clhadenwrites (work account)
    http://www.twitter.com/clhaden (personal)
    http://www.lovinglifeinwellies.wordpress.com (personal blog)
    http://www.clhadenwrites.co.uk (work site)

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

    Mind set and the understanding that words have power.

    They’re both interlinked.

    If you want to do something then tell yourself that you can do it. Keep telling yourself. Go out and do the stuff that you need to do, to prove that little inner voice other wise.

    Oh and I read The Secret and The Magic.

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

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Web Developer: Travis Bennett

    YD7_2T36Tell us a bit about you!

    I’m Travis Bennett, a freelance writer and web developer based out of Bangkok.

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

    I started freelancing almost 2 years ago, as was looking for some extra income on the side. I stopped as I had a couple of demanding jobs that followed, and then took it up seriously mid 2013 focusing on creating and turning it into a business. Haven’t looked back since.

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

    Early riser, but have seen the sun come up on a number of occasions when deadlines needed to be met.

    What time do you start work?

    9am

    Do you work from home?

    Predominantly yes, though enjoy the social atmosphere of coffee shops and co-working spaces when I’m not on a time crunch for a deadline.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Hot cup of coffee, shower and get out of your pyjamas. Despite what they say about being productive in your underwear – I don’t buy it.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    Yes

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    Working! If I’m on top of everything I like to go to the gym or to Muay Thai.

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

    Traditional to-do list. Have a target goal for profits each day and make a plan in the morning of what needs to be done.

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

    Depends. 6pm on a normal day. Others work all night.

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

    Being able to set my own schedule, and choose clients that I want to work with.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    Not having co-workers around for a chat when you need 5 mins of down time.

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

    Laptop is key, as well as a massive external hard drive for all my stock photos, design stuff, etc. Love the bluetooth mouse and keyboard that lets me work from the sofa while my screen is up on the TV.

    Where can we find you online?

    Business: http://studiodigita.com
    Personal: http://www.travbennett.com
    Twitter: travbennett

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

    Do it better than the other guy. If you want the highest paying gigs, you need to be miles ahead of what the competition is offering, whether it’s on quality, services, or ease of doing business.

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

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Hypnotherapist: Chloe Brotheridge

    screenshot751Hello freelancers and freelancers-to-be! I’ve got a big batch of new freelance interviews coming up in the next few weeks, and we’re kicking things off with the lovely Chloe Brotheridge. If you suffer at all with stress and anxiety (*raises hand*), this one is a must-read.

    Tell us a bit about you!

    Hi! I’m Chloe Brotheridge, hypnotherapist and expert in helping clients to feel calmer, happier and more confident. I live in London Fields in Hackney but see clients in the city near to Old Street as well as via Skype.

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

    Previously I worked as a nutritionist within the NHS part time and saw hypnotherapy clients on my days off while I built up my business.

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

    I’m definitely a morning person, usually up at 6 or 6:30am. I’m terrible at staying up late!

    What time do you start work?

    I’ll often do some social media stuff quite early and perhaps respond to a few emails. I usually sit down properly at about 9:30am.

    Do you work from home?

    Yes, at the kitchen table, although I see clients at my practise on Old Street.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Usually I’ll to the gym or for a run. Then I have breakfast, something like a protein shake and then I try to fit in some meditation and journalling. Of course this doesn’t always happen if I have to be out really early!

    Do you take a lunch break?

    I’ll often try to sit away from my computer so I can focus on my food, other times I’ll watch a training video or a TED talk.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    If I’m not seeing clients that day, I’ll prepare for the next days hypnotherapy sessions, write blog posts, go to meetings or networking events, interact on social media or read books and websites relating to hypnotherapy to update my skills. I also try to fit in a walk if I happen to be at home all day.

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

    I write my to do list the night before, making sure I don’t put too much on the list so it’s not too overwhelming! I use a pomodoro timer to time 25 minutes where I’ll work steadily on a single task, before taking 5 minutes break for guilt free internet surfing or Facebooking!

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

    I’ll often see clients until 9:30pm in the evening, however if I’ve got the evening off it’s usually around 6pm. However the work is never finished and I may return to it later on. Actually, it doesn’t feel too much like work since I do a lot of social media and that’s just fun!

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

    Being in control of my own life. Not having to get the tube at rush hour. Making my own lunch at home 🙂

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    Seasonal variation; December can be quieter for clients, but it just means more free time to invest in other things.

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

    I love ‘Audible’ so I can listen to audio books at the gym or while walking to work – it literally changed my life!

    Where can we find you online?

    My new website is focused on helping clients to feel calmer and to manage stress and anxiety http://www.calmer-me.com (editor note: She’s also got a brilliant free hypnotherapy mp3 on there!) 

    On Twitter @Cbrotheridge
    Instagram chloebrotheridge
    Facebook http://www.facebook.com/easywaytochange

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

    Getting advice from people who know more, not being afraid to fail and getting plenty of sleep.

    Thanks Chloe!

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

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance consultant and coach: Sherry Bevan

    sherrybevan

    Tell us a bit about you!

    Hi, my name is Sherry Bevan and I’m based in London. I am a performance consultant and coach, working with the business services teams in law firms. I work with managers and leaders to help them build teams to be proud of. You can find out more about my work at http://www.sherrybevan.co.uk.

    I also coach women who have lost confidence after a career break through my private coaching company http://www.inspirationparty.co.uk.

    I also work as a breastfeeding counsellor in my local community.

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

    I have freelanced for more than two years now. I had always wanted to run my own business and freelancing gave me the opportunity to combine my passion for supporting women, and at the same time continue to work with law firms. I know lots of people want to get out of the corporate life in the City but I love it! Freelancing means I can be more flexible with my working hours and fit in around my children’s school activities.

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

    I tend to be an early riser – though if I have a big client project on, I’m a night owl too. But early riser suits me – I have the house to myself for an hour or so before I walk my daughter to school.

    What time do you start work?

    By the time I get back from the school run, it’s 8.30am. When I’m working with a client in the City, then I will generally arrive at their offices around 9am/9.30am.

    Do you work from home?

    Much of my work is done from home however it really depends on what client work I have on as I might be on site for a few days. My coaching clients are mostly done over Skype – they could be based anywhere in the UK and I’ve worked with clients in other countries too.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    I am usually first up in the house. I have a cup of tea, and might check my email/social media or write a blog then. When my eldest daughter gets up, we have breakfast together. My second daughter doesn’t need to leave so early. Then we get dressed and I walk my eldest daughter to school. It’s a mile each way, so it gives me quality time with my daughter on the way there. On the way home, it’s my thinking time. Some of my best ideas come on that walk back. I get home just as my husband and youngest daughter are leaving. Then I might relax or sometimes I’ll go straight to the gym or meet my Thursday morning running group.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    Yes always thought it might only be a short break. I like to sit in the garden with my sandwich and cup of tea.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    My routine is not that fixed so it really depends on what clients I am working with. If I’m doing interviews for my newsletter, these tend to be in the afternoons. The children start arriving home from 3.30pm so it’s a bit noisy for an hour or so. I sometimes will stop then and go back to my desk in the evening when they’ve gone to bed. Quite a few of my private coaching client sessions are in the evening.

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

    I write in a reflective journal each week to focus on my successes the previous week and what I plan to accomplish in the coming week. I have a vision board on my PC backdrop to remind me why I work, what I want to achieve, and what I need to focus on.

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

    I tend to sign off around 6pm but if I have clients in the evening, then I’ll take a couple of hours break before the session starts at 8pm. What time I sign off depends on what else is going on in my running life – if I’m training for a marathon, then I try and fit my long sessions in during the day while it’s light, and work in the evening.

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

    I love the freedom and flexibility to work my own hours, mostly. I love that I can get to the Christmas Carol Concert at school. I love that I can pick and choose my clients. This has enabled me to do my breastfeeding counsellor work.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    If you are running your own business, not only do you have to work in the business, but you have to work ON your business. You always have to be looking ahead to the next client. Sometimes that’s hard.

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

    Surprisingly perhaps I LOVE my paper diary. At a previous firm, I was the electronic diary evangelist. But since running my own business and being on different client sites, I have found it so much easier to work with a paper diary that I always have with me as there are fewer repeat meetings that you have in a corporate. I like to use EverNote to capture ideas. I love my BlackBerry and being able to use an app such as Hootsuite to manage my social media.

    Where can we find you online?

    Main work

    Website BlogTwitter

    Inspiration Party

    WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebook

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

    Hard work, determination, taking action, professionalism and integrity. Holding myself to high standards. Plus I LOVE what I do!

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

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Writer: Gemma Press

    profile1Every Friday, The Freelance Lifestyle finds out a little bit more about other freelancers. This week, it’s the lovely Gemma Press from London

    Tell us a bit about you!

    Hi! I’m Gemma and I’m a freelance writer living and working in London. I also dabble in social media and ecommerce. I spend most of my days writing blog posts, web copy and social media content or teaching brands how to do this for themselves. I also run my own online jewellery shop, GEMAJewellery.com.

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

    I’ve been freelancing for just over a year now. I started because I discovered I could! I didn’t really know a lot about self-employment before I started my first job in online editorial & social media after university and as soon as I figured out I could write and tweet for a living, on my own terms, it was really all I wanted to do.

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

    When I started working for myself I was really strict. I thought I needed to be up and ready, sat at my desk for 9am every day, like ‘normal’ people. Over time I’ve relaxed a little (with the help of my penchant for lie ins!) and just make sure I’m up in good time according to what I’ve got on that day.

    Do you work from home?

    Yep. I commandeered our dining room table a while back but I’m hoping for a home office when we move as I think it’ll really help me to switch off in the evenings – I’ve been known to slink back to my desk after tea if an idea pops in to my head..

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    I usually ease myself in gently with a bit of E News (The Kardashians is my guilty pleasure!), yoga or a walk. I’ll have breakfast at my desk and no doubt I’ll have already had my fill of social media scrolling in bed so from there so I just get stuck in. I’ll try to avoid my e-mails for about an hour, just so I can check in on my client’s social channels and blog comments before dealing with new projects and questions.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    I’ll usually check e-mails, my client’s social channels or edit one of my own blog posts while I eat my lunch at my desk (some form of grain-y salad or something avocado-rich) but then I’ll make sure I take a half an hour walk at some point in the afternoon when I start to lag. I’m conscious that downgrading from commuting for 3 hours/day to working from home means I’m a lot less active (!) so I try to eat healthily and get out as much as possible.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    My afternoons are usually spent on bigger tasks like writing blog posts and newsletters for clients, editing press releases or organising new social media campaigns. I’ve recently started running monthly social media workshops for startups and new businesses so I’ll try to squeeze in a bit of planning for that or I’ll actually be presenting the workshop or working on the ebook to go alongside it.

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

    Enjoying my life and work is a really big motivator. When I get a bit lazy or lost on the ASOS new in page / BuzzFeed for too long I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to do this and so I shouldn’t waste time. I try not to take for granted that my work is so flexible.

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

    Usually around 6pm when my boyfriend comes home from his job. When my boyfriend is out of town I really miss this little end of the day indicator and tend to carry on working till around 8pm without realising or until I get hungry for tea!

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

    Being a bit more selective about the projects I take on is brilliant as I’ve really been able to hone in on my experience and passion for fashion, beauty, travel, food and new business.

    Also the extra time. Not having to commute / work to someone else’s schedule has left me more time to work on my own projects like my fashion and food blogs and growing my very own jewellery business – something I would not have had the time or confidence to do before I started working for myself.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    I’m sure I’ll sound like a broken record but, payment. It’s really sad that some companies think it’s okay to pay freelancers late and it can sometimes impact on my attitude towards my career-choice. That is my ONE negative though – otherwise I love love love it.

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

    I rely heavily on my reach-out-and-touch it notebooks and diary and would be lost without Post It notes. I also use the Reminders app on my iPhone to remind me to publish posts at certain times and Citymapper is a huge help when I’m trying to get around London for client meetings quickly. Also Canva – it’s free and great for re-sizing pictures, creating Facebook / Twitter banners and quick blog images with text.

    Where can we find you online?

    http://www.gemmapress.com

    https://twitter.com/GemmaLucyPress

    http://www.DressWithPress.com / http://www.MakeEatSleep.wordpress.com / http://www.ALittlePlaceCalledBlog.wordpress.com

    http://www.GEMAJewellery.com

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

    I think if you want to be successful working for yourself you have to be a go-getter. I’m constantly striving to be better at what I do and seeking out new opportunities. Plus I make the most of the life this kind of working has allowed me, which I think makes me successful but in a different way.

    Thanks Gemma! Gemma is running a social media for startups workshop for freelancers looking to get their services online too.

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Stylist – Emily Jayne Phillips

    screenshot721I’m really excited to have freelance colour and style guru Emily Jayne Phillips on the blog today. A few months ago, I had a 1-2-1 style consultation with Emily over Skype, and I really couldn’t recommend it more. I was in a bit of a ‘wear all the baggy black clothing’ funk, and she persuaded me to dump the darks (not a flattering shade on my very pale, redheaded colouring), embrace buying new, bright pieces that fit my personality better and stop waiting until I lose three stone to treat myself. While it had a great impact on my external appearance, for me the biggest impact was on how I felt. Plus, I took FOUR bags of (mainly black, unflattering) clothes to the charity shop this week. Something of a miracle. 

    Her online 1-2-1 consultations are going to available very soon, but if you’re in Birmingham you can also find details below of how to book a face-to-face appointment with her.

    Tell us a bit about you

    I’m Emily Jayne Phillips, I’m based in Birmingham, and I’m a freelance personal stylist/blogger/digital content/social media consultant!

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

    I’ve been freelancing since 2009 (eek!)

    I sort of fell into it to be honest – I fell completely out of love with my previous full time employed job (an IT recruitment consultant!) and had been dabbling in personal styling as a bit of a paying hobby (I had always loved fashion). Things came to a bit of a head at work and I decided to quit my job and launch my styling business properly.

    I’ve always been a bit of a geek and loved blogs since Live Journal days. People realised that I knew a little about this social media stuff and started asking me to help them, so I took on a few contracts to supplement my income whilst setting up my styling business. I realised that I really enjoyed it and have continued to do digital content and social media work alongside styling.

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

    Definitely a night owl! It takes a large mug of black coffee to get me out of bed every morning!

    What time do you start work?

    This varies depending on whether I have meetings or appointments, but where I can I try not to schedule meetings before 10:00am, and if I’m working from home I try to be sat at my desk by 9:30am most mornings. I just don’t really function properly before this time!

    Do you work from home?

    A lot of the time I work from home. However I also have a studio where I do my styling appointments, and occasionally if I start getting cabin fever or if I have gaps between meetings when I’m out and about I’ll get some work done in a coffee shop or in the Library of Birmingham.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    My other half brings me a coffee before he gets ready for work and wakes me up (I know, I’m a lucky girl! However if I’m up before him for a styling appointment etc. / meeting I make sure that I bring him a coffee!)

    I then do a social media check from bed over coffee, and organise my inbox a little (deleting rubbish, taking note of important emails and *ing them, replying to anything that just needs a quick reply). Once the boyf is out of the house and gone to work I have some breakfast and write my to do list for the day.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to keep going! I try and take a ‘proper’ lunch break when I’m working from home – stop work and catch up on blogs or even watch a little Neighbours! Every couple of weeks or so I’ll try and meet my best friend for lunch near where she works as it’s only a 15 minute or so walk away.

    If I’m out at the studio or meetings etc. then it’s likely to be more of a ‘working’ lunch, I’ll still make sure I stop to eat, but also will probably check emails/social media/return phone calls etc.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    If I’m at home then I will have tried to get any ‘adminny’ tasks sorted in the morning, so the afternoon will be spent writing/creating content/working on projects whether its for myself or clients.

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

    To be honest I find the fact that when you’re a freelancer if you don’t work, you don’t get paid pretty motivating! A lot of people say ‘ooh I wouldn’t get any work done from home, I’d just watch daytime TV all day etc.’ but after a pretty short time doing that you’d find yourself with no home to work from!

    I also feel incredibly grateful for the lifestyle I have – I love its’ flexibility, and the fact that I’m doing something that I love. Even the bad days aren’t that bad! Therefore I’m motivated to keep working as I really don’t want to have to go back to a ‘proper job’!

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

    This really varies – most of the time I’ll try to stop work at around 7pm ish so I can cook dinner and spend some time with the other half. However, if I have a deadline then it’s not been unknown for me to take a break for dinner, and then work into the early hours of the morning!

    Also styling appointments can often be in the evening, and I often have events to attend that can go on till 10pm or later. I also work a lot of Saturdays/Sundays as these are the days that most people have free for appointments!

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

    The freedom, the flexibility, the chance to do something I’m passionate about on my own terms, and the amazing people that I have met along the way.

    LiFuOWjpAnd your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    I think the only things I miss about a ‘proper job’ are knowing definitively how much you will be paid every month and when, and also the sense of community in an office. However I’ve sought to remedy these as best I can by aiming to have some long-term contracts that I have established good payment terms on so at least for these I know how much I’ll get every month and around when, and also I actively seek to be involved in communities with other freelancers who I can regularly meet up with or at least have a google hangout!

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

    I have a convertible windows tablet/laptop thats handbag sized and does everything I need. As long as I have this, my iphone, wifi and access to a power outlet every 18 hours or so (the other great thing about my laptop? immense battery life) then I can work! I can cope without my camera if needed, but prefer to have it to hand.

    Coffee/cake are optional extras but make work/life much better!

    Where can we find you online?

    http://www.emily-jayne.com
    http://www.freelance.emily-jayne.com
    http://www.facebook.com/emilyjayneimage
    http://www.twitter.com/emilyjayneimage

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

    Hard work, a passion for what I do, and a network of incredibly supportive people around me.

     

     

  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Social Media Consultant – Jayne Robinson from Jayne’s Kitschen

    Zo91paTrTime for another Day In The Life Of A Freelance interview! This week, it’s beauty guru and tweetaholic Jayne Robinson, who gives us a peek into her daily life. 

    Tell us a bit about you!

    I’m Jayne, I’ve lived in London for the past four years but recently relocated to Brighton. I’m a freelance social media consultant and offer my services as a copywriter and blogger relations consultant with a speciality in the beauty industry.

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

    I started freelancing about six months ago. I’ve always wanted to be flexible with my workload so that I could pursue personal projects in my spare time and manage health problems that made it difficult for me to work a normal 9-5 job. After four years working in-house and agency side in digital, it was a scary move but so far it’s been the best thing for me for sure.

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

    I’m very flexible, because of my health it really depends how I’m feeling as to how I work. I don’t work everyday either. Most of the time I prefer working in the afternoon or evening and find I work best with a film or TV show on the background. Weird I know, but it helps me concentrate and keeps me smiling.

    Do you work from home?

    Yes, I mostly work from home, which is my preference. I like being able to be flexible with my time and if the weather is nice I know I can pop out for a walk at any point without being restricted to an office environment. I’ve done freelance contracts in an office too, which works well when you need an income boost or some new experience, but in the long-term, I’d prefer to work from home.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Again, it really varies depending on what else is going on in life for me and that’s what I love about freelancing, I like being my own boss and working to my own schedule. I don’t like routine, so it suits me that I don’t really have one, everyday is different.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    Yes, I’m fortunate that I don’t work normal office hours, so always make time to enjoy some time to myself and time to share with my boyfriend everyday. I work my freelance work around my personal life and personal projects instead of the other way around. Pretty amazing right?

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

    To do lists are my saviour! It’s a tiny thing but I find it extremely satisfying to be able to cross things off a list. Also, it gives me a simple way to see how much there is to do by a certain deadline. Simple but effective. I also set goals, like I’ll go for a walk after I’ve finished this content plan.

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

    I adore the flexibility, I don’t have to work any set hours most of the time and I can fit it around what I want to do. It’s how life should be in my opinion, more focus on what makes you happy instead of what makes you money. I also love that I’ve been fortunate enough to specialise in beauty, which I’m incredibly passionate about, doing work that I’m enthusiastic about doesn’t feel like work.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    The risk is not fun. A lot of freelance work is unpredictable and doesn’t have the safety nets that full-time work gives. So to get around that I’ve got a part-time retail job which is my safety money, it means that whatever happens I know that I’ll have the money to pay my bills which lifts a massive weight off my mind.

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

    The only things that are essential to my freelancing life is my phone, GoogleDocs and Hootsuite. I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 which has superb battery life and holds all the apps I need for managing social media. Google Docs makes sharing documents super fast and simple and Hootsuite keeps all my social media platforms in one place.

    screenshot716Where can we find you online?

    EVERYWHERE! Social media is on my mind 24/7 since it’s my career and my passion, on most networks I’m @JayneKitsch and you can find my fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, where all of this stemmed from my blog.

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

    Passion. I think that’s the only key to success in anything, if you love something enough it shows and that passes on to everyone you work with making you a great person to work with and memorable. I don’t think enough people have a passion in their work lives.

    Thanks for your time Jayne!

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  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer: Miss Sue Flay

    F7y9TW_nTime for another Day In The Life Of A Freelance interview! This week, it’s the lovely Jo Christy, who lets us peek into what she gets up to. 

    Tell us a bit about you!

    Jo Christy, also known as Miss Sue Flay – you might want to read it aloud to yourself for a moment – I’m based in Cambridgeshire, but I’m a wannabe traveler with a renewed passport and an excitable energy to meet new people worldwide!

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

    I created my alter ego and started off as a pop-up supperclub host around 5 years ago now. It started as a hobby and I had no idea just how much my life was about to change with it!

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

    I’m not good with early starts, definitely not a morning person out of choice – opting for a later morning start most days if I can get away with it.

    I will stop for an hour around 2pm to exercise with my personal trainer, then re-fuel with a healthy lunch before continuing my day.

    I will work for my clients in the afternoon, looking after my own blog/website/social media channels after a light bite with my partner throughout the evening.

    I do tend to go to a lot of networking events and get invited to launch parties or openings, so a fair few evenings are taken up with these sort of commitments. When I get home, I will follow up with any contacts made, as I’m usually buzzing and won’t be able to sleep!

    What time do you start work?

    I tend to start work at 10am, usually with a client meeting or two to allow me the rest of the day to squirrel away. This used to make me feel guilty, as most people will have been at their desks in their “normal” jobs by 8-9am, so for years I thought I had to be doing the same. It wasn’t until I read a blog post written by Kat Williams at Rock ‘n Roll bride that I realised that I need to do what works for me and my lifestyle.

    Do you work from home?

    I have a home office, it’s a great space, but there’s always something to distract me, I’m terrible. I work best writing creatively in my local coffee shops, coffee is my friend! I also use Regus co-working spaces for a cost effective way to hunker down and get serious – their business lounge access is only £19 per month and gives you a wifi connection and a makeshift office space during the working week, it’s fantastic.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    I hit the snooze button at least 6 times before I groan and leave the BEST bed in the world! A hot shower and a cuddle with my 10 year old pup, Eddy, usually does the trick to get me moving.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    I tend to eat on the run, so my car is full of lots of tuppaware boxes filled with nuts & seeds for a quick snack and I tend to take leftovers from dinner and pick at it between meetings.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    I work better on my client work in the afternoons, by this time I will have had enough caffeine to fuel me and my meetings have already taken place. This gives me time to focus and plan for the next day if it’s going to be a busy one.

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

    I spend a lot of time reading blogs, having signed up to Bloglovin’ a few years back, there’s no lack of entertainment and inspiration within my inbox. Surrounding myself with other creative businesses and an extensive network of freelancers means that no matter which city I’m visiting, there’s always somebody to meet or visit, it’s a friendly world!

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

    I like to be finished by 8pm at the very latest if I have nothing on that evening, but sometimes I just can’t help myself and I might still be writing or indulging in a new idea at 3am. I have a fairly addictive personality and new business ideas have to be reigned in from time to time!

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

    The freedom. I can work when I like and from wherever I am in the world, it’s a lifestyle I had never considered previously. I worked within the hospitality & service industry for thirteen years and I worked all hours under the sun, so to go back to that world, under a management team fills me with dread – I wouldn’t fit back into it easily.

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    The uncertainty can be stressful, it’s hard work trying to build up any brand or business and I’m learning to deal with the quieter periods in a much more positive way. I use the quieter times to focus on my blog or website and use it to catch up on everything else that’s made its way down to the bottom of my “to do” list.

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

    My phone takes a battering, I use it too much, so my “Juice Cube” is a lifesaver when it comes to needing to restore my battery power on the run. (Editor note – I’m a huge fan of the Juice Cube too, especially as it’s so dinky!)
    I’m a Twitter fiend, having used this social media platform for years, I’m slightly addicted and I don’t think that’s a particularly bad thing. I’ve made so many contacts and friends through social media, it’s had a huge part to play in the building of my business. Through this, I’ve managed to create a new professional services platform through http://www.stirupmedia.com to support others in using Twitter to promote their own businesses.

    Where can we find you online?

    http://www.misssueflay.com &http://www.stirupmedia.com
    http://www.misssueflay.com/blog
    Twitter – @MissSueFlay & @StirUpMedia
    http://www.facebook.com/missflay & http://www.facebook.com/stirupmedia
    Instagram @MissSueFlay @StirUpMedia
    Pinterest: misssueflaystirupmedia

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

    Be yourself! People buy into you for YOU, so don’t be somebody you aren’t, your clients will soon see through it. They will want to work with you because they believe in you and your values, so don’t be scared to be yourself, it’s going to be one of the most exciting elements of your business.

    One more thing…

    I’ve recently created a support network for Cambridge-based creatives with Stir Up Media (#StirUpCambridge) and I have plans to expand this, so if you are a creative or freelancer looking to join this expanding network, please do get in touch!

    Thanks for your time Jo!

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