I’m Emma Cossey, a long-term freelancer, mum of toddler and all round digital geek, and I’m happy to welcome you to The Freelance Lifestyle.
I launched this blog in 2011, to provide freelancers with down-to-earth support, and practical advice. I wanted it to be a kind, supportive place to get tips and advice on living a great freelance life (without the constant narrative of ‘earn six figures or you’re failing’).
Since then, the community has morphed into that friendly and honest place I dreamt of visiting when I first started out as a freelancer back in 2009. The space to celebrate successes, discuss the challenging elements of freelancing, and to connect with others on the same path. Because working on your own shouldn’t mean being alone!
What’s here for you?
I’ve spent years building up my own freelance business. I’ve been a pro blogger, a social media consultant, a copywriter, a teacher… but my passion is helping people just like you take the next step. So whether you want to pick up tips from the blog, listen in to the podcast, come join the Facebook group or get some more focused 1-2-1 support with my coaching, there’s something here for you.
Find blog posts and podcasts all about freelancing and working from home, including interviews with freelancers about their daily lives, pitching tips, finance facts and lots of free resources to help you live your best freelance life
Looking for 1-2-1 support, accountability and mentoring from someone who GETS freelancing? I'm your coach! I've been freelance for over ten years, and I love supporting other freelancers to achieve their goals.
Apologies for the late summary post for Monday’s #FreelanceUK Twitter chat . Ironically, it was all about work/life balance (something I’ve clearly failed at this week).
Anyway, I’ve finally got round to creating a Storify summary for those of you who missed it but wanted to find out what was said about work/life balance. Interestingly, there were certain concerns nearly every freelancer involved admitted to.
Guilt. This cropped up A LOT. Everyone seems to suffer from a sense of guilt when they’re not working (which leads to most of us working far more than we need to), but also guilt if they don’t spend enough time with family/friends.
Workload. While some people admitted to having a very large workload, others discovered that their workload was manageable, but that as a freelancer there’s always something else you CAN do. Whether it be pitching for more work, updating a website or catching up on blogs. A freelancer’s job is never done.
Late resolutions were made to exercise more, set work hours and try some more productivity methods.
I think perhaps the biggest change you can make to your work/life balance, is to change your mindset. Accepting that you’re never going to finish ALL your work might make finishing on time easier. Structure too, can help you finish on time. I know personally, if I don’t set a finish time, I don’t have the focus to get the job done and I end up working until 9pm. I know after the week I’ve had, I’ll be getting back into a structure next week.
Do you have any top tips? Why not share them in the comments below?
p.s Pop the 4th March in your diary for the next #freelanceuk. Any requests for topics?
The second #FreelanceUK Twitter chat took place last night, with a particular focus on pitching. We covered everything from how to pitch and who to pitch to, to debating whether pitching is necessary.
In summary, here are a few of the most interesting points:
Don’t be afraid to pitch over the phone. There was a great debate about the pros and cons of phone pitching vs. email pitching. It really seems to depend on your comfort levels and the industry.
For a lot of freelancers, a big barrier to pitching is simply confidence – fear of rejection or being laughed at. Samantha Sparrow made a good point here – “they can only say no”!
It’s fine to reach out to an editorial contact on social media, as long as you follow-up with a well thought out pitch afterwards.
A debate started over whether pitches should be long and thorough, or short and clear. Personally, I’d suggest keeping it short and clear, as there’s a danger that your pitch might be replicated in-house – and you won’t get commissioned.
I’d have loved to have explored the issue of some publications using taking pitches without commissioning freelancers more, but we ran out of time.
Have a read of some of the tweets from last night below. I’m planning another Twitter chat for early February, so I’d love to hear what you’d like to talk about next.