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.
The purpose of the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat, is to get freelancers together to discuss the highs and lows of being self-employed – and tackle topics that we all deal with. It’s a way to network with other freelancers, without faffing about with making yourself presentable!
We’ve talked about a few things recently on The Freelance Lifestyle, which have got people talking. So why not vote below on what subject you want to chat about? Then we’ll kick things off at 7.30pm next Wednesday! Simply follow @Freelance_Life, and use the #freelanceuk hashtag.
It’s time for the Freelance Lifestyle Tea Break Challenge!
(Can we all pretend I’m not actually late posting this challenge? Yes? Wonderful!)
So, this week, it’s all about community. Working from home or freelancing definitely has perks, but sometimes you just want to talk to someone other than the cat. Getting to know your local community means you can meet new contacts, friends, potential clients and discover lots of new things about the area.
Check out the animation of five steps to get to know your community better, then let me know how YOU’RE going to get to know your community a little better this week.
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.
I was really chuffed to see how many people turned up for last month’s Twitter #freelanceuk chat to talk about all things freelancing, so I’ve decided to make it a monthly event. On the first Tuesday evening of each month at 6.30pm for an hour, we’ll be talking about a new freelance topic each month.
In January, the #FreelanceUK Twitter chat will be on the 1st. A lot of people requested the next topic to be about pitching, so feel free to leave a comment below if you have a particular question you want answered. We’ll be discussing everything from how to pitch, to the etiquette of pitching in the Twitter era. If you’re experienced in this area, please feel free to join in the chat and share your advice to up-and-coming freelancers too.
Don’t forget to follow @Freelance_Life for all the questions and retweets of the best and most interesting replies.
p.s You can follow Freelance Lifestyle on Twitter, Facebook AND Google+ now. I also recently launched two communities on Google+ for UK bloggers and freelancers, why not join in the chat? Feel free to leave a question on any of those accounts too.
Who’s on Twitter? Most of you? Marvellous! Let’s have a Twitter chat. I’ve been thinking about doing a Twitter chat on freelancing for a while, and the lovely Sam Sparrow has given me the kick up the butt I needed. So on Monday 3rd December (this Monday coming) at 6:30pm, I’ll be hosting a Twitter chat all about freelancing. I ran a poll a few weeks ago on what you’d like to cover, and the most popular response was “Clients – finding them and managing them”, so that will be the topic. I’m really excited to chat about that topic – I’d love to hear about the methods for how people source clients, and how they manage them around a busy lifestyle.
Now all we need is a clever hashtag. Any suggestions?
p.s You can follow Freelance Lifestyle on Twitter, Facebook AND Google+ now. Got a freelance question or request? Just leave me a comment on one of those accounts!
It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally got round to creating a Twitter account for Freelance Lifestyle (it’s not like I use social media for a living or anything…)
I’m keen to do a few things with the account, including a Twitter hashtag chat about freelancing. I’d love to hear more about other’s experiences and opinions on freelancing.
But what would you like to talk about? There’s a little poll below for you to let me know, but feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below. If all goes well, I’d like to make it a regular thing so all of these topics eventually get covered.
Also, if you have any good ideas for a hashtag, pop that in the comments too!
Ever had one of those amazing ideas that you just had to scribble down? Or just an observation about how someone could do something smarter, more efficiently or just a whole lot better? If you’ve got an eye for an opportunity and an idea of how you can solve a problem, chances are you’ve had quite a few moments like that. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs, freelancers and bloggers I know often speak about the dozen or so ideas like this they get a day.
So, what do you do with all those ideas? Write it in a notebook that no one else will read? Share it with a few friends (who may or may not be truthful about the potential for it)? Plop it into a witty tweet? Great…but not exactly pro-active.
Instead, why not pop your idea up on 7BillionIdeas?
7BillionIdeas is a forum where you can share your ideas with thousands of others, and read their honest feedback. It might be something as simple as a new way to recycle a household basic, or an innovative new approach to a problem that millions of people struggle with. They describe themselves as “an innovative social media platform to share the everyday fun, thoughtful or creative idea”
The idea came from five friends chatting, and has developed into a platform that aims to collect seven billion ideas. At the moment they’re in the early stages, but there is the opportunity in the future to potentially develop some of these ideas. So it’s worth jumping on board now.
The ideas on there now aren’t ridiculously advanced. They’re simple, lifestyle-related easy tweaks. Like putting more basket stations in the supermarket, or adding a section in your driving theory test about the dangers of drinking and driving (and how many units you’re allowed). But with more and more companies becoming social, it makes sense to have a place where those ideas can be published, voted on and potentially discussed with businesses.
So, what would be your idea? Something simple to do with everyday life? Or a real game changer?
Grab your freebie!
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