Tell us a bit about you!
My name is Emma-Louise Trotter and by day I am a Freelance Creative Consultant, Community Manager and Blogger Outreach Specialist, by night I am a blogger and working towards becoming a published author. I am located in the stunning spa town of Harrogate.
How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?
My freelance life started 6 months ago, when I became disillusioned by the huge agency I was working for. Working crazy hours, making them chunks of money and me on a paltry wage with huge creative limitations. I wanted to do more for clients, help them really understand social and brand presence.
Let’s talk about the start of your day – Are you an early riser, or a night owl?
I am both! Depending on the mood I am in, also depending on what work I have on. There are times when my creativity strikes at 11pm and if that is the case then I embrace it wholly and have been known to stay up til the wee hours. However, as I manage social channels for my client I am up and about for the usual ‘office hours’ as well, however some times those hours I am in my pj’s in my home office!
What time do you start work?
If it is a gym day, then I am up at 7 get a few hours in before hitting the bar bells and box jumps
Do you work from home?
I am lucky enough to work both from my home office and from a co-working space in Leeds called Duke Studios. The mix of two environments is incredible for productivity and inspiration. My best blogs and novel writing happens at home, however the co-working space I frequent is filled to the brim with other freelance creatives, from photography, design and social to writers and artists, it makes for a really vibrant atmosphere, perfect for pitch writing!
What’s your working routine before you start work?
Up, emails read in bed usually. Then off for a walk with the dogs, fresh air is so good for the brain, clears the cobwebs. Then home for a green juice, then either the gym or swim. I try to be active in the morning, I find it sets me up for the day.
Do you take a lunch break?
No, I have a funny eating pattern, I tend to eat when hungry. Which isn’t the most healthy of options! However when I do eat it is always colourful and partnered by heaps of water. Something I cannot stress the importance of enough
How do you tend to spend your afternoons?
Afternoons are spent uploading content, scheduling social posts, pulling together reports for clients. I also like to arrange calls with clients, both current and perspective, always seems to catch people in a better more creative mood in the afternoon!
How do you stay motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?
I have two little tricks;
1. Rewards – they come in the form of magazines usually. I don’t allow myself to indulge in magazine reading until my To Do List is completed. I am incredibly strict with this!
2. I get all the ‘rubbish’ jobs on the list done first, the most complicated, least enjoyable ones, that way they are done and dusted and then I can move onto the fun ones. This works really well as I am a sod for putting things off until the next day!
What time do you tend to sign off for the day?
As far as clients go I am done and dusted by 6pm however in reality it’s more like 10pm!
Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?
Has to be the creative freedom I have in terms of the clients I work for. In agency life you are doled out clients, in freelancing I can be much more selective and work with people with similar out look and views as me which makes for a much more harmonious creative relationship.
And your least favourite thing about freelancing?
Always being ‘On’ – as a freelancer there is no real down time, you always have to be on the hunt for work, on top of accounts, you wear so many hats it can be a little draining.
What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?
http://www.ifttt.com – which allows you to create ‘recipes’ for posting and sharing on social, it’s a real game changer
Feedly, this app has changed my blog reading life, I have to keep on top of so much for clients in terms of stats etc, this app allows me to enjoy reading blogs for myself as the format is clean and simplified, love it!
Hootsuite App – I spend so much of my life on the go, this app is a life saver!
Lastly it has to be a note pad and pen, yes I know we live in a digital world but nothing beats a pen and pad!
Where can we find you online?
You can find me over on my blog
The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?
My unwavering belief in myself and the work that I do, I am my biggest supporter and promoter. I go into the world with a big smile on my face and work my back side off.
It isn’t always about working hard, but it is about working smart!
Emma-Louise specialises in community management, content writing and blogger outreach management. She’s also a pro at workshops, and will be joining me on the speaker list at Blognix next month. Want to know more? Drop her an email on email@example.com and mention The Freelance Lifestyle, and she’ll give you 10% off any service!