Podcasts & Interviews

  • 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.

  • The Freelancer’s Tea Break Podcast: Do you reward yourself enough?

    Got three minutes? Plug your earphones or speaker in and have a listen to this week’s three minute Freelancer’s Tea Break podcast. This episode, I tackle rewarding yourself. Do we reward ourselves enough as freelancers? Having spoken to other freelancers, and recently finished reading Lucky Bitch (affil link), I realised how easy it was to forget to take the time to celebrate those little self-employed victories, whether it be landing a new client or aceing a presentation.

    Have a listen to this week’s episode and let me know in the comments if and how you reward yourself!

  • 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.

     

     

  • The Return of The Freelancer’s Tea Break podcast

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    The podcast is back! After writing about podcasts earlier this week, I actually found myself recording one straight after. Got three minutes? Pour yourself a cuppa and sit down for three minutes of freelance chat! 

    Last week was a somewhat tough one for me. Between client problems and wobbly moments, I was in desperate need of a little positivity.

    I’m a big believer that the right attitude can entirely change your day. Being miserable all day because you stubbed your toe when you got up is unlikely to yield happy results. I’ve been reading Lucky Bitch recently by Denise Duffield-Thomas, and it’s definitely reinforced this belief that we can choose how lucky we’ll be simply by changing our attitude.

    But what do we do when it seems like life is sending us a bunch of curveballs? I have a few techniques for getting out of a grumpy funk, or get rid of nervous stress when I’m waiting on a client’s email, chasing payments or waiting to dial in for a conference (I hate conference calls! But that’s a whole other post).

    Find out in this week’s podcast….

    [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160664056″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

    What do you do on stressful days? How do you shake yourself out of that mood?

  • The best podcasts for freelancers in 2014

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    I am a huge fan of podcasts. In fact I’ve listened to them for (showing my age here) over 10 years. Essentially, podcasts are the laziest way to consume lots and lots of new content. What’s not to love when you’re time poor?

    The interesting thing about podcasts is the split between people who think it’s very much outdated, and people who are very passionate about them. Often, those that dismiss podcasts tend to be those that have yet to give them a try. The podcast fans on the other hand are always keen to find new and interesting podcasts. In fact one of the most popular posts on my blog is a roundup of my favourite podcasts.

    While I understand that podcasting has a tendency to have a bit of a stuffy image, the reality is that there are lots of people starting podcasts which are interesting, entertaining, funny and, more often than not, led by fun and fabulous women. Plus, they’re free! You can download them and listen to them when you’re in the car, getting ready for work, commuting, cooking dinner…anywhere you can pull out your smartphone really. Each podcast will automatically update when the latest episode comes out too, much like when you subscribe to your favourite channels on YouTube.

    Want to give listening to podcasts a try, or update your subscriptions? Download one of the number of podcast apps (I like Apple’s Podcasts app but Stitcher, Soundcloud and newcomer Overcast) and download some of these for your audible pleasure.

    Interview podcasts

    • John Lee Dumas Entrepreneur On Fire – Love interviews with inspiring leaders? John Lee Dumas shares his interviews with some of the top entrepreneurs, including some top tips on how you can replicate that success
    • Cherished Ideas – A newcomer, Simon Knapp has already picked up speed with a selection of podcast interviews with freelancers (keep an ear out for him interviewing me in the next few weeks!)
    • Maternity Leavers – I know many freelancers are parents entering back into the workplace, so the Maternity Leavers podcast is a must for them!
    • Jo Gifford’s Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter – Jo’s podcast is full of interviews, productivity and tech tips and how to run a business when time is limited.
    • The Work Happy Podcast – Jo Casey’s podcast is one of my current favourites, again combining interview with savvy, realistic advice.
    • Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn is a bit of a podcast legend, and his series on smart passive income is a must listen if you do anything online.

    Discussion podcasts

    • Off the Charts Business Podcast with Nathalie Lussier – Some of you may recognise Nathalie’s name from her very popular (and free!) 30 Day List Building challenge. Her podcast is just as useful, plus most of them are under 5 minutes. Perfect for a tea break inspiration
    • Untrap Your Life – Kirsty Bartholomew’s podcast is a new one to me, but I’ve been really enjoying it so far. A mix of interviews, discussions and debate about how to live a more free life.
    • Ask Pat.com – If you download any podcast, I highly recommend you start with Pat Flynn’s short podcasts answer questions. He covers so many different topics for entrepreneurs, and posts a new podcast EVERY day.
    • A Little Bird Told Me – A rather brilliant discussion podcast from freelance writers Phillippa and Lorrie. They’re packed full of useful information, from writing for agencies to extra ways to earn money on the side of writing.
    • Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield – Use Facebook advertising? Amy’s podcast is essential listening. She also covers things like Pinterest and Twitter, and I’ve definitely seen improvement in my results since listening to her podcast.
    • Marketing In Your Car – Russell Brunson records his podcasts while he’s driving somewhere, so each one is usually under ten minutes.

    Tutorial/Tips podcasts

    • The 10-Minute Marketing Show – I like my tips in short, intense bursts. The 10-Minute Marketing Show is a great way to get useful tips you can put into action straight away.
    • Get-It-Done-Guy – Part of the ‘Quick and Dirty Tips’ series of podcasts, Get-It-Done-Guy is all about (surprise surprise), being more productive.

    Lifestyle podcasts

    • The Marriage Challenge – This is a cute little podcast which interviews couples about the truth of marriage.
    • A Slob Comes Clean – I am a slob. Nony’s podcasts on how not to be when you’re not a natural clean freak are fantastic.
    • The High Tea Cast – The UK has a really gap in the market for funny, sassy female podcasters, but Sam and Lea from The High Tea Cast are leading the way.

    You may notice that a number of these podcasters are American. That’s because the USA is so much further ahead in the podcasting world then we are in the UK. In fact, many of the cars in the USA come with the Stitcher app included.

    I’d LOVE to see more people, especially women, in the UK giving podcasting a try. It’s super easy to do (the Soundcloud app in particular is good for beginners), and you don’t even have to dress up or put any make up on for it – you could record it in your pyjamas and no one would know! So what’s stopping you?

    EDIT: 10 minutes after writing this post, I ended up resurrecting my podcast. If you’ve got three minutes, listen in to The Freelancer’s Tea Break on SoundCloud!

    [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/160664056″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

    Which podcasts do you rate as a freelancer? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • 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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  • A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer: Joanna Shock

    9bb04f6852127ed1b77064a23c8da9b2Tell us a bit about you!

    I’m Joanna Shock, a freelance editor based in London. I specialise in secondary school materials (with a focus on maths) and health & fitness materials, but I take on other areas of editing too – any sort of non-fiction copy really.

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

    I left a 9 to 5 job in November last year so I’ve only been freelancing for a few months. I wanted a life where I could build my days in my own way, and not be structured around someone else’s requirements (except my clients’ requirements of course). I was also keen to leave behind some of the corporate politics and associated nonsense, though it was definitely a pull to freelancing rather than a push from anything else.

    Let’s talk about the start of your day – early bird or night owl?

    In an ideal world I would be a night owl, but my day actually starts at 7.45.

    What time do you start work?

    I start at 8 with a few bits and pieces of admin or catching up with a blogs or industry goings-on.

    Do you work from home?

    Most of the time. I do use some co-working venues and really like working in cafes now and again for a change of scene.

    What’s your working routine before you start work?

    Just grabbing breakfast. My whole morning is a mixture of work and other things so I pretty much get started straight away.

    Do you take a lunch break?

    No. I tried to when I first started freelancing but as I’ve never done it before, it didn’t quite feel right. I tend to take a long break late morning to work out so at lunchtime I’m just starting to settle in to some proper work.

    How do you tend to spend your afternoons?

    Generally sitting (or standing) at my desk, focused on my current project. I may be in a cafe if the work is conducive to that sort of atmosphere.

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

    I find approaching deadlines particularly motivating! But I also break everything down into small chunks and just focus on getting through those little by little.

    I also just remind myself that it’s a job and it’s not always going to be fun so I just have to get on with it. I love having flexibility in freelancing so I remember all the good things that come with it when faced with a lack of motivation.

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

    Either at 6 when my boyfriend gets home, or at 7 if I have a lot to get done that particular day.

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

    Flexibility to shape my day however I want to. It will be built around the work I have to do but I love working wherever I want, in whatever chunks of time I want and mixed up with anything else I choose (even if that’s just doing the washing up, it frees up time in the evening!)

    And your least favourite thing about freelancing?

    The uncertainty of what might be coming up in the future. I’d always like just a little bit more information than I have.

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

    It’s very simple, but I find Evernote really useful. I have a lot of to do lists, project-related lists, ideas, thoughts and general notes to make and Evernote works really well for keeping everything in order.

    I like coffitivity.com when I need a little background noise but don’t want music.

    Where can we find you online? 

    Visit me at http://www.joannashock.com, tweet me @JoannaShock or connect to me on LinkedIn: Jo Shock

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

    I don’t think I’m there yet, but I’m certainly still enjoying being freelance because I’ve met some wonderful people (both on and offline) who are carving their own path too. Even if they aren’t in the same field, it’s amazing to see who’s out there and everyone always seems happy to help.