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the freelance podcast
since 2015 over 150 freelancers have shared their freelance stories, tips and advice
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Robbie swapped agency life in London for the beaches of Thailand when he upped sticks and set out on his own. He enjoyed his work and wanted to follow a creative path, but he needed more control over his time.
Armed only with a lump of savings and some marketable skills that he’d picked up at university, Robbie took the leap and figured out as he went along.
Sian took a leap of faith when she went freelance 12 years ago, and things didn’t work out as she’d imagined. But, despite “learning a lot about getting it wrong,” Sian’s found a way to make freelancing work, and she’s ready to share everything she knows.
Devon was hooked from the beginning. He worked full-time for several years while freelancing on the side, but eventually, the FOMO got too much.
When a friend’s mum told him “You can always make money, but you can’t always make memories,” Devon was convinced. He gave up his full-time job at Xero, moved to another country, and set out on his own. This is his story so far.
We've had some amazing Live Q&As in the Being Freelance Community this year.
So as a bonus here's some of the amazing answers Paul Jarvis and Kate Toon gave to questions poised by freelancers in the group. Don't miss out, come and join us!
Mel’s lived in Hong Kong, Aberdeen, Falmouth, and now Porthleven, with each new location bringing fresh inspiration for her career as a freelance illustrator.
As well as taking on commissions, Mel’s experimented with running workshops and selling products. Like Steve, Mel’s documented her freelance journey on YouTube, where she also publishes a video interview series with creatives in her local area.
Leif started freelancing on the side around a full-time job. 11 years later, freelancing is his full-time job and he now runs a successful side project, too.
Leif is the director of ProCopywriters, a professional association with over 850 members. He chats to Steve about how he got started being freelance, how he’s found work and built up his business, and how he manages to run ProCopywriters alongside it.
Stefano went freelance after 4 years in an agency, realising he wanted more control over the projects he took on. He’s an Italian living in London, and he says it’s meeting people at local events that has allowed him to find clients and build his business.
He’s done work around mindset, values and well-being too, and he shares some important reflections on how we can all be a bit kinder to ourselves as freelancers.
Out of luck finding employment as a copywriter, Emily turned to freelance work by chance when she met a web designer who was looking for support.
Emily got her business off the ground from there, learning as much as she could from online resources while also pouring time and energy into her website.
Within 6 months, Emily was ranking number one on Google for keywords like “Brisbane copywriter” and business grew from there.
Storm shoots celebrities in LA, and while his life might appear to be more glamorous than most, he still loves those working-from-the-studio days where he gets to walk to work in his underwear.
He chats to Steve about finding work, using an agent, putting himself out there, managing his work-life balance, and investing in his business.
This week we have not just one but TWO freelancers for you. They’re being interviewed by a freelancer, in a room full of freelancers, for the Being Freelance podcast. Which was, of course, recorded live on National Freelancers Day, at IPSE’s annual event. And now we’re sharing it with you - another freelancer! (Or aspiring freelancer).
That’s a lot of biscuits.
Tatiana’s taken on full-time roles throughout her career, as well as building up a studio alongside a partner. Knowing now that independence is what suits her best, Tatiana’s focused on working in a way that allows her to protect her own physical and mental health. She says money doesn’t control her happiness, and she doesn’t believe in forcing herself to work when she’s not inspired.
After being made redundant from the company she was with for 19 years, Cathy put herself through training and became a freelance social media manager. Five years later, she’s running her own digital marketing agency and has co-founded a second business - Go With The Pro, a membership site for freelance marketers.
Many of us start out without much of a plan. Other than wanting to do fun work with good people, we’re not really sure where we’re heading. And then, for some of us, that entrepreneurial spirit kicks in and we start thinking about scaling and hiring people. But what happens when you don’t have the skill-set (or love) for the kind of work that’s involved in building something bigger?
From bidding for jobs on freelance marketplace Upwork, to establishing herself as an expert and consultant, copywriter Paige has learnt how to develop her skills, build authority, and set up systems to keep everything running smoothly. She chats about the different courses and mastermind groups she’s been a part of, and shares some of her tips for scheduling, planning, and working strategically.
Steve caught the self-employment bug from family. He came from an agency background and started with one small client, building his business up over time. Now, he runs a meet-up, co-works, does speaking gigs, and he’s just published a book teaching freelancers how to sell without actually selling.
Steph began working on podcasts before they were even really a thing. With a qualification in audio arts, she spent a year producing audio and video at a marketing company before heading out on her own. Seven years later, Steph’s hired team members, spoken at a conference, and worked on lots of exciting projects. She calls it ‘lucky timing’, but maybe it has something to do with her unique approach?
Tom’s freelance career began when he was just 16 years old. It’s evolved significantly since then, but not without adverse effects on his health. We chat about work-life balance, dealing with serious burnout, learning from your mistakes, and the pitfalls of Hustle Culture.
Here's a bonus episode of the podcast, recorded live with IPSE at a WeWork in Manchester, UK, on 6th March 2019. It features previous guests Kelly Gilmour-Grassam and Ian Paget of Logo Geek. How have they grown their businesses in the years since we last spoke?
Like many of us, Lucas often finds himself working too much. And despite living in the countryside in Brazil, he says it’s keeping a good balance that’s the most difficult thing about being freelance.
We chat about how he manages his workload, what his plans are for the future, and how a school illustration project he took on led to having a book published and distributed to schools across Brazil.
What do you get when you connect community-minded freelancers who like working collaboratively?
You get a collective, that’s what. It’s a bit like an agency, but with more freedom and shared responsibilities.
Lyndsey formed her collective because she wanted to open herself up to some new opportunities. Bigger clients and meatier work. Let’s find out how it’s going, shall we?
Realising he was the bottleneck that was preventing his business from growing, Jared Gold took action. He now runs two design companies and is finding ways to use his own time more effectively. Jared talks about learning to prioritise sales ahead of exploring new systems and processes, learning from business books and industry experts, and working with a team of freelancers to scale his business.
As is the case for most of us, Jae’s career hasn’t gone the way she imagined it would. Instead of going down the expected path, she ended up following her intuition and her creative interests to build a working life that means something to her.
And for Jae, it all started with the brand. The business stuff came later. We chat about how she established that brand and grew it, what it means to her, and how she’s moving forward with it now that she’s committed to being freelance.
Sometimes you find the very best advice in one of the least likely places.
For many of our regular listeners, a drummer from Helsinki might not be an obvious guest. But it’s thinking outside the box that can often lead to breakthroughs.
And Kari has some valuable insights that can be applied to freelancing across the board.
Cath started out trialling freelance work alongside a full-time job. Within a month, she’d left the job behind and gone freelance full-time.
Cath chats about working flexibly from the deck of a cruise ship, speaking at an event in Las Vegas, using plugins and apps to create quotes and proposals, and what it’s like to be always learning.
Despite being a marketeer, Jan doesn’t market himself or his freelance business. Instead, he focuses on his network and building meaningful relationships.
We talk about work-life balance, self-development, being “perma-lance”, finding work when you’re not on social media, how to make the most of periods with no work, and what it’s like to be an associate and partner in a freelance collective.
Stephanie was forced into being freelance, but it turned out to be one of the best things that could ever have happened to her.
We chat about work-life balance and how she manages to take five vacations a year, why she still works from home even though her business is international and her team is 6-people strong, and how the best piece of advice she’s ever been given is “raise your prices”.
Alex took his time to hire a first team member, but it seems there was very little doubt it would happen eventually. He's always felt at his best when he's able to lead the way, and running his own agency had been on the cards for a while.
That agency is now made up of 6, and Alex is working with a mentor - The Secret Millionaire's Mike Greene - to manage its growth and set goals for the future.
After taking a career break to start a family, Xanthe was ready for a change. Office life was no longer appealing, and she soon found herself building a freelance photography business.
That business has developed over time, and Xanthe now produces creative visual campaigns for brands like Boden, Cath Kidston, and Etsy UK, while also teaching film making and finding time for personal projects.
She never had much of a plan, but she gets that you’ve got to give something a try if you want to learn more.
Dave’s been a freelance web designer for around 5 years now, and he’s picked up a lot of practical knowledge in that time. When he’s not busy sharing that knowledge with others on social media, he’s working on his new project, Work Notes, a collection of articles and resources for freelancers.
We chat about the importance of contracts, Dave’s experience using Upwork, some of his favourite resources, and how he handles working with clients based overseas.
“I don’t want busy to be my default state,” says Paul Jarvis, and he’s built a body of work to help other freelancers achieve the same.
Paul began his freelance career as a web designer, but now he’s a writer and published author who produces podcasts and online courses.
In his book, Company of One, Paul explores the idea that, if you want to live a fulfilling life and you prioritise time over money, your goal should be to build a better business, not a bigger one.
This is the story of how Paul built his very own Company of One.
Most freelancers embrace the opportunity to work independently. They avoid growth, preferring instead to stay the one-man (or -woman) band that allows them to avoid paying someone else’s salary.
Mariana isn’t most freelancers. She’s moved to an agency model because she believes she can do greater work when she’s part of a team. And she’s determined to create the perfect environment in which that team can thrive.
There are side hustlers and multi-hyphenates, and then there’s Kat. Photographer, blogger, consultant, podcast host, YouTuber, DJ, conference founder, wife and mother of three… there’s no easy way to define how Kat makes a living.
And isn’t that the beauty of freelance life? It takes away the limits and puts you in control of where you take your career.
For Kat, that’s meant being able to pursue all the fun and creative ideas she has. Find out how she got started and how she continues to make it work, even when late payments threaten everything.
Digital nomad Kelly has been travelling the world on a freelance income since 2011. After beginning her freelance career taking bottom-of-the-rung jobs from content mills, she’s climbed the ladder building a business that supports her lifestyle travelling the world.
Kelly says freelancing is a never ending puzzle. And that’s a good thing. She’s got plenty of clues to help you.
Illustrator Martha Williams set out to build a freelance business that would give her opportunities to explore and experiment with her work.
We talk about how she’s made that happen, including how she’s changed her personality to become more organised, learned to set boundaries and protect her own time and work, and got her head around the finance side of being freelance.
How do you put a label on someone who does so much?
From sports journalist to working in marketing for companies like Google and HubSpot, Jay is now a freelance show maker, creating video and audio for brands. He’s also an author, podcaster, blogger, and keynote speaker.
But the most interesting thing about Jay? Despite how it may seem from the outside, he doesn’t have it all figured out. Hear him open up about a recent confidence crisis, and find out how he overcame it with support form his newly appointed “Manager of Awesome.”
Nottingham-based designer Caitlin freelances around a full-time job. While it helps her put money aside for a rainy day, this goes beyond boosting her income. Once a finalist in IPSE’s Freelancer of the Year awards and now the designer behind a clothing range that promotes mental well-being, she’s doing her bit to make a positive change.
Hear Caitlin open up about her own mental health story and how it’s driven her to do work that makes a difference.
When it comes to freelance life, Chris has done it three ways. From working out of a bedroom in his parent’s home straight out of college, to building a name for himself and making it big in London. Chris is now settled in Somerset, where he manages his third business alongside being a stay-at-home dad of two.
Chris isn’t just designing games. He’s designing a work life that fits his family.
From learning HTML from a friend when he should have been in economics class, to building his own successful web development business, Jason Resnick’s been on a big journey over the past two decades.
Having reached his life goal of being around to see his kid’s first steps and hear their first words, Jason began looking for what was next.
We chat about how he developed the business sense to compliment his development skill set, and how he’s using his own experiences to help other freelancers achieve their goals.
Kirsten set herself a goal. To create a better work/travel balance. To see more of the world without giving up her job.
And that's where we find her, on the road - more than happy to NOT set a new goal, but instead enjoy living this one.
We chat about collaboration, remote working, making opportunities, digital nomad life, side projects and more. Kirsten's both a mentor and a mentee and thinks no matter where we are in our freelance careers there are always people just a few steps ahead that we can learn from. And others who can learn from us.
Let's be bolder. Let's push ourselves forward.
It's certainly working for freelance photogrpaher Jon Enoch. Bold enough to make and seize opportunities. From entering competitions, knocking on doors, filling in for people and then maximising the opportunity, pushing forward to be known for the work you want to do.
Jon chats about becoming more productive in co-work/office spaces, hiring help, regularly marketing, learning from others outside of your field and investing in himself.
Sarah and her husband always wanted to retire and go cruising around the seas and oceans. They'd work hard in the construction industry, save their money and one day set sail.
Then when the financial crisis hit 10 years ago things changed. Forced to sell everything and start living on a boat they realised maybe they didn't have to wait until they were older. Maybe they could do this now!
There are plenty of digital nomads. But few have a family of four to support. Even less live on a boat - taking the term 'remote' working to a whole new level.
You won’t hear Vicki say “Hi, I’m a freelance photographer”.
Instead it’s “I run a photography business”.
From the outset Vicki’s always put business before art.
When burn out threatened she hired other photographers to work with her. She’s diversified into teaching both online and in person. She organises workshops and retreats.
Right. Hit play and let’s get down to business.
For years Nathan’s been freelancing on the side of his full time jobs. It’s given him an extra income but also extra skills that have then got him better full time positions.
Nathan’s constantly learning - self taught, via groups, a Masters - digesting, discussing and sharing it with others in the freelancer community.
This feels like a lot more than a ‘side hustle’. This goes right to his core.
25% of her time spent self-marketing. That’s how Kate built her reputation. That and consistently nailing SEO to become the number one ranked copywriter in Australia.
Kate also chats about building a team, moving to a more 'passive' business, the work-life balance myth, podcasting, community building, starting a conference... A lot to get through, so start listening.
When you love what you do, it’s no chore to put in extra hours on the side to create something special of your own. Your own creative project.
It can help you experiment and evolve… and it can help you get noticed.
The very animated James Curran, better known as Slim Jim Studios, takes us through his freelance journey and the huge role his many substantial side projects have played in getting him noticed and getting him work.
First Slovenian freelancer Mocja built her reputation.
Through blogging, podcasts, speaking and social media she became known as the go-to-person for Facebook ads.
Then she hit ‘delete’ on all her other services to really focus on her niche.
Turns out when you get fired from your first job, you can convince the world to hire you.
First and foremost Gareth is a foster carer to three children.
Whilst he’s busy mentoring them, a business coach is helping him find his way. Creating a freelance business that can flex to fit around the demands of the home first.
He also proves that putting your face and story to your business (even reluctantly) can have a great effect. People know you. Understand you. Warm to you. Trust you. (Work with you).
What happens when we keep an open mind to the path we might take?
When we listen to the needs of others? When we experiment - see what works?
When we hire others? When we put our own lifestyle first?
When we try and be ridiculously useful?
For Val Geisler the answers took her on a path from store managing to expert in a niche (with a diversion via motherhood on the way).
Testing the need. Building community. Taking care of herself.
Listening for the whisper of the other paths.
Chad's a firm believer that his time working in agencies, has made him a better freelancer. He got to know the ropes - the techniques, the business, the rates, the people... and most importantly his niche of premium packaging design.
But it's interesting: he isn't one of those freelance guests who puts much 'personal' into his brand - he may know the ropes, but do we know him?
When Gareth was made redundant from the building trade he found himself out of work for months. A new dad at risk of losing his house, car, self-esteem... Until he found a freelance job site and started to wonder if he could make money online.
Gareth started writing. He didn't know that might have a job title. But years later here is. He's built himself a career in copywriting from the ground up.
Penny's always been freelance. We chat about when working for free has made a difference (and still can) and how being self employed has actually made being a mum easier (not sure it's ever easy!).
Despite a busy work-life schedule Penny seems really balanced. Maybe that's embracing work into your life. Or maybe it’s ditching the ‘day’ or ‘week’ mentality and instead looking at balance in the bigger picture.
In June 2018, Steve hosted a live version of the podcast at IPSE's National Freelancer's Day in London.
Not just one guest but two: athlete Gianni Frankis and business coach & digital marketing stratgeist Chichi Eruchalu.
They shared their freelance stories to the live audience - and now they share it with you and your ears!
Latasha's YouTube videos didn't just gain her an audience. She gained customers. Both for her social media business and her courses helping other freelancers.
Now, with her Freelance Friday podcast it's happening again.
There's a lot going on - and that doesn't happen unless at some point you stop listening and start doing.
Aussie freelancer Jacob has spent the last few years as a digital nomad. Freelancing on the road. And the plane. And the boat...
Before packing his bags, he packed a lot into building his personal brand. Growing his professional blog from his days as a student. So wherever he is in the world he knows potential clients will find him online.
When Emma became a mum, she also became a freelancer. Trading as Big Bear Creative, she thought she'd get 15 hours of childcare a week and do little bits of work... But her freelance baby soon started to grow and need more attention.
Now, not only is she working four days a week, but her husband has joined the business too. Big Bear got bigger. And so did their plans.
When Prerna’s husband couldn’t work due to ill health, her side project of writing suddenly became crucial for their family.
Over time they realised it had real potential, her husband joined the business, they hired others as ‘Content Bistro’ served up hungry businesses around the world. It’s an amazing story. She had no money, no other options and no fear. And no idea how much her life was about to change.
Are we stronger together?
Paris based freelance designer and art director Jonathan Da Costa thinks so. By collaborating with other freelancers he's managed to take on bigger projects - to grow his business whilst taking time out for his family.
The title may be unconventional - but so is Kirsty's story and what she does for her client's emails. From counsellor to copywriter via French farm hand.
Hear how Australian freelancer Kirsty discovered her skill, found her niche and figured out the business side. Still taking time for herself, finding wealth in life beyond money.
James should be used to a family business. Before he went freelance as a photographer, he worked for his dad. Now he's partnered with his wife - working from home with the three kids not far away.
Juggling the needs of his customers alongside those of his family. Where your business itself is like another child constantly after your attention as it grows.
After being made redundant Tia Meyers didn't just take her experience of social media and start being freelance. She also decided to take it and grow a community of other freelancing females.
2 years on, we chat about the many lessons learnt both in adjusting her services, getting paid and work-life balance AND from growing a Facebook Group of 8000 members with meet ups globally.
Ron's success as a freelancer stems from talent, hard work, generosity, seizing opportunities and... Instagram. The app is at the heart of it all. Giving him the confidence to be a pro photographer. Finding an audience and community. Bringing him to the attention of big brands and opening doors that he's more than eager to burst through. The power of putting yourself out there and making and taking opprtunities shines through.
Elliot doesn't shy away from making a change in his life. After a string of non-coding jobs, he self-taught himself WordPress and became a freelance developer. From that he built up a successful agency - Raison.
But when fatherhood beckoned he stripped back the pressure of being a boss to freelance once more. More flexibility, more time for his family, more ability to be a specialist. And plenty more to hear about too…
Roxanne is a planner. She plans what she's doing with her business 'by bun' two years ahead. TWO YEARS. And yet she'd never planned to be an artist.
She spent six years in a proper zero-creativity job before realising she could make a living through her art. And she's done that by growing an audience who enjoy her content across various social media platforms. Who support her, both socially and financially. But she realises plans can change, things change. And that's okay.
Not long out of college, Kayla quit her PR job to become self-employed.
She was seduced by the idea of being a 'one to many' infopreneur - making money online from being an expert, selling courses etc.
The dream of passive income soon became a nightmare of over-work in order to keep her sales funnel topped up.
After a year of crazy 80 hour weeks she switched from products to services and became a freelance copywriter. Now she's built a business that gives her time for her life, instead of taking up all of it.
Ben O'Brien, started out as a freelance illustator and animator, even forming a successful studio. But being creative was usurped by being a manager. So he went solo again and freelancer 'Ben the Illustrator' was born.
Ben tells us about being there for his family, making connections to peers around the world through an awesome survey and whether by knocking on doors or using side projects and social media - making himself unavoidable.
A few years ago Amber felt like she'd failed at being a freelancer. Hear what changed.
What she learned from being back in full time work, how she worked freelance on the side, grew her portfolio, experience, bank balance and most importantly her network. Because now, in 2018 she can't think of a better time for being freelance.
From working for mega corporations to teaming up with another freelancer to form an agency. It's been quite a journey for Jenni. Rules or no rules.
We chat about the importance of 'systems, systems, systems', taking time for your own creative projects, letting go by using other freelancers, taking time off and the secret to letting potential clients know what it's like to work with you.
Mark's been freelancing on and off for years in between spells in companies, agencies and even running startups.
He's always had side projects. And whether or not they're a 'success', the experience still feeds back into his freelance skills. But now he's bringing his podcasting project in from the side to be centre stage, giving it more 'full time' attention to make it the focus of his business.
Jess knew she wanted to work on her own terms.
What she didn't know, was what a 'virtual assistant' was.
And yet when an opportunity came up to be one, to work remotely and become freelance... she jumped at it. As years went by, the amount of work started to overwhelm her. So she hired her own virtual assistants to help out... and her company Don't Panic Management was born. Everything 'virtual' had gradually become very real.
It feels like Karen is being freelance on her terms.
With her own voice, her own style. Stress free. Quite possibly in pyjamas.
Here we chat about how she got started as a copywriter, how she got started making money from courses helping other writers and how she got finished with trying to be a digital nomad.
Through podcasts Michelle gained the knowledge and confidence to quit the 9-to-5 and start being freelance... and now years later her own podcast Creative Playdate is helping herself and others navigate being freelance, whilst also being a parent.
From starting out, reaching out and figuring it out as a freelance mum.
At the heart of Matt's success are other people. Sure, of course he's good at what he does. But it's the people he's met along the way that have helped him grow himself and his business.
Put simply: the more people you meet, the more chance you have of working with them in the future. Be that fellow freelancers or potential clients. Just keep meeting people!
Tidying her child's room Annie suddenly found a name for a business. With it she found a way to make work fit with family, she found meaningful work in a remote location and found a community of other freelancers to help her along the way. Now all she has to do is find time for herself...
Hear Annie's journey as self-employed virtual assistant 'Hello My PA', becoming one of the freelance heroes.
If you don't take yourself seriously, why would your clients?
South African photographer and digital artist Natalie chats about making connections, passion projects, hiring other freelancers, expanding her services and wrestling with being a workaholic learning when to say 'no'.
'Social Mouth' Sam has a story of reinvention, investment, belief and community.
We hear about the power of Instagram Stories and her Small & Mighty podcast in helping people get to know her. The benefits of a business coach. And the impact that ill health, a dog and a dad can have on your future.
When Dan was made redundant two weeks before his second child was born, he knew failure wasn't an option. He had to make a success of being freelance.
Hear how he's made that happen - the coworking studio, networking and adapting to a changing world - always learning new skills, reinventing.. and never with his shirt tucked in.
For German freelancer Uli, it all started with sharing. Using Twitter to share and make reality her dream of living and working in London.
Since then she's been sharing work spaces, sharing in communities, sharing thoughts, groups, content, challenges, knowledge and now she shares it with us
Carson has always freelanced on the side. Chasing the cash and the creativity that freelance opportunities would bring whilst still studying or working full time.
He's learned how to find the good clients, set expectations, communicate and avoid work overload (eventually).
After six months of struggling to get her freelance career off the ground, Lauren started blogging.
Every day. For a year.
It took off. Her diary booked up months ahead with a waiting list of clients for her business Elle & Company.
We chat about using a business coach, content marketing, hiring assistants, evolving a passive income stream and more.
15 years of being freelance has given Jon plenty of thoughts to share. Long term gigs versus variety. Finding other freleancers to set up a coworking space. Freelancing as a dad with babies to when their teenagers.
Portfolio polishing, book writing, conference speaking, side project creating, payment chasing. The guilt. Don't let freelance fill all your spare time. Let some of it be filled listening to this.
After six months of working remotely from home on her company, Katy realised she needed company. Eventually she founded a weekly pop-up co-work group called Freelance Folk. And that's who she found.
We also chat about taking on her niche, taking risks and taking the train with a forest of cardboard furniture.
It's our 100th episode! It's taken time to get this far and that's something Swedish freelancer Anton knows all good, long lasting things need. Be it a newsletter, a business, a reputation....
Anton shares his story - through finances, workloads, positioning... mastering freelance. Taking time.
Adapting her services to what her clients need. Meeting them. Listening to them.
Partnering with other freelancers to collaborate or refer work. While finding community and support in these relationships.
This is the studio of Fork & Dram - tuck into the freelance experience of Tara Sura.
After starting out portraying himself as an agency that covered everything graphic & web design, Matthew's discovered a) his natural niche of web development and b) that clients prefer knowing they're working with an individual.
He's stripped it back: dropped the 'everything' offering, refocused, rebranded and revoiced as 'I'.
Since leaving university Emmeline has been freelance, building her online presence and her business. In 2016 she was named as the UK's Freelancer of the Year by IPSE.
Here she chats about her side projects, making the most of the quiet spells and how she enjoys being every role in the business. Even the accounts.
Rachel always wanted to work for herself.
Once she decided to' take the plunge and make a success of it' there was still plenty to learn, like pricing, getting paid, client relationships and, you know, helicopters.
Hear how she fits work around life, instead of the other way round.
Second time round at freelancing, Colorado based designer Jimmy knew he needed to put himself out there and found a use for Instagram. Since then, people around the world have found him and his work - and he's found his voice.
Hear the lessons he's learned as he set out to diversify his income from band merch to his own products and beyond.
US digital marketer Josh took his skills, took his definition of success and took his passport as he travelled the world on a journey of epic freelancing.
Currently in Bangkok he shares how acting locally whilst thinking globally transformed his business. Doing the little things every day of creating, networking and... living.
After years of agency and in-house experience, Luan stepped out into being freelance. A story of spotting opportunities, maintaining relationships and self development underlines her solo career.
She shares her experience hiring coaches, writing a book, speaking, making courses by herself and alongside LinkedIn - and above all, thinking like a business.
Tokyo based illustrator and painter Tatsuro has been freelance since leaving art college 25 years ago. Working remotely with clients around the world long before the internet made it the norm.
He chats about adapting his style to get the work he wanted, being fine with being a workaholic and the need to look after ourselves.
In 2000 Jason and (his now wife) Hannah started 'Bouncing Fish'. Working first as freelancers it grew into an agency with a big team, big office and when the decade's financial crash came... a big problem.
Hear how Jason bounced back as a freelancer vowing never to let it happen again. Working from home with his four children (and a Tardis toilet) not too far away - we chat work/life balance, side projects, speaking, writing, a freelancer website and more...
Jess spent the first decade of her career in the corporate world. Branding, marketing and advertising for global businesses.
Now, she's a freelance illustrator, documenting her creative business journey on YouTube as 'Studio Jess' in Austin, Texas.
Hear how she finally made the move into following her passion whilst still drawing on her experience.
Bryce is the freelance writer behind the Clients From Hell blog and podcast... but how the devil did he get to where he is today?
He takes us through the isolation, the daily marketing habit of reaching out and how actually - maybe getting a job with an agency might have been a good idea.
Ran is a designer working amongst the start-up community of Tel Aviv. As part of that he also works on his own start-up and products.
For a year Ran's been documenting his freelance life with a daily YouTube vlog purely for the joy of creating. What really brings him work... is making friends. And a lot of lunches.
Paul shares his journey from agency life, to freelance life... to forming an agency... to losing it... to going solo as The Code Guy and becoming IPSE Freelancer of the Year.
And did we even reach the bit with the digital product yet? Grab a cup of tea (it's what he'd want) and enjoy!
Faye is a radio presenter turned freelance voiceover artist. Borrowing money to build her own studio, she's since built her reputation, her business and now her family too.
With that she's also created 'Freelance Mum' - part of which is networking events where it's okay to bring your kids.
An offer of a freelance project whilst Emelie was still at uni kicked off a 7 year journey. From managing Social to strategising and forming a 'networked agency'. From Stockholm, to Tokyo, to London.
Exploring the world, expanding her business. Learning to not always be 'so available' - there's more to life than work.
Paddy spent 10 years in agency life working his way towards the top... and then looked down at the view and decided to take a leap into being freelance. He'd grown too far from the actual creativity. He couldn't control what his day looked like. He wanted to grow a beard. A really big beard.
Through dedicated learning, taking action, blogging, networking and, well, working 6 days a week - Superlogoboy is soaring to success.
Hear how Amy went from being the person in town who knew about Facebook... to being a YouTuber, international speaker, video consultant and influencer.
When Gary Vaynerchuk is giving you a quote for the front of your book - you know you're doing something right.
Having started out as a freelance motion designer, Adrian realised all the things he didn't like about the industry and set out to create a studio of his own that would change that. Putting people and process at the heart of his team's creations.
From there he sought 'passive income', building digital products - Adrian thinks every freelancer should think about doing the same.
Katrin has used life as a freelancer to travel from her native Germany and is currently based in Sydney, Australia. Having founded her own Startups she now treats herself as the product, herself as the Startup.
Katrin shares her journey and lessons learned in her work as a UX Designer and Startup mentor.
Having trained in computer science, Kirk came to realise it was the visual design of software and sites that he most enjoyed. So he rebooted his career - self-taught how to develop as an illustrator, designer and businessman.
Kirk shares his journey including the results of experiments with working space, social media and pricing.
Femke manages to fit in a lot. Full time work, freelance clients, a podcast, speaking, blogging, conferences, a social life. A cat.
She shares her story: from New Zealand to Amsterdam, forming a 'studio' with her boyfriend, dispanding a studio with her boyfriend, growing in confidence, growing an audience. The power of connection. The power of reflection. Making goals. Making time.
In 2010 Andy started a blog exploring his passion for data visualisation. It led to a huge multi-national knocking on his door as his first client and that gave him the confidence to visualise life being freelance.
Hear Andy share his story, discussing the pressures of pricing, knowing when to hire others and the value of writing books on your subject.
When a 16 year old Emma started sharing her artwork on her blog, she had no idea how quickly she'd turn from teenager to freelancer and ultimately from freelancer into 'influencer'!
Hear the way she's diversified her income, copes with an RSI and shares tips on social marketing (including great success with Instagram Stories).
How does a builder from Jersey end up photographing a future King?
Hear how Matt took the plunge, followed his passion, knocked on doors and took every job that came his way.
Nowadays Matt's joined forces with other freelancers to form a studio that allows them to be creative and take on even more work. His passion for travel and underwater photography still shines through and it's all going swimmingly.
A year before he went freelance, Austin started blogging. Not only did it give him a space to document and reflect on his progress, but it brought him connections that referred him for work. Since then expanding his network through conferences has done the same.
He continues to think big, experiment, grow and develop his business chops.
When Sara went on maternity leave it wasn't just her child that was born. A business was too.
Sara's story shows what can happen when you find and connect with your people, with your audience. Her Instagram followers have given her the ability to quit her 'day job' and follow her passion for photography and writing.
How do you go from having no idea of a career... to becoming Net Awards Developer of the Year? In just a couple of years?!
For Lebanese freelancer Sara it's been a journey of self development as much as anything she's done for the web. Hear her story of learning, sharing, writing, speaking, teaching, creating... and then learning some more.
Paddy left agency life behind to satifsy a craving for creativity and diversity in his work. Dividing his time between home and co-work spaces, between client work and his own passionate side projects, all the time keeping his portfolio fresh.
A freelancer for many years, from magazine junior to TV presenter and wordsmith. Adrian shares his story from Top Gear to top wedding speech writer.
Plus, hear how he invests in Google marketing to get himself found and third party reviews to prove he's worth finding.
Full-stack web developer Louise didn't know any other freelancers... so she started a meetup. From that came confidence, fun, growth, friends, collaborations, work and even a business partner.
Hear how she got started with the event, manages as part of a double header company and stays focused daily.
Freelancing for the best part of 20 years has seen Andrew go from filming anything corporate for money to shooting his passion and creating exactly the kind of content he wants to be known for, finding his own audience and building his own platform.
With 'Walks Around Britain' he can choose his own path and now enjoys the freelance opportunities that find him along the way.
After a decade in New York, pattern designer Elizabeth swapped the city for the suburbs and a regular job for being freelance.
Despite her industry experience, it felt like starting all over with a new career. In this episode, Elizabeth shares her tips on marketing, diversifying her income streams and making it all with persistence.
After going freelance, Lee went from undervaluing himself and ignoring his family... to building an agency and reclaiming his weekends.
Learning from epic mistakes, facing his fears, nailing his niche and using podcasting to build his reputation and his business.
After starting out as a teacher, Janet made her dream of becoming a national press journalist a reality. Years later, now she's helping small businesses grow and get media attention as a PR coach.
Full of ambition and a think it, do it attitude, Janet shares her story and tips on building a network and community. Taking on hard work, content marketing and more than a few risks along the way.
From agency life to a freelance partnership with his wife that's seen him work with the likes of the UN. Ben's built a successful career on the back of his network and delivering great work.
He shares his experience of controlling growth by steadily oustourcing work and dabbling with the digital nomad lifestyle.
Pippa created a freelance social media business when she saw the need. The need of businesses local to her and the need of her family for her to have flexible hours.
In amongst her story, 'Social Pip' shares her tips for using local or industry niche Tweet Chats to grow your network and business online. Plus we hear how she reigns in potenial growth to stay true to the reason she went freelance in the first place.
Having begun freelancing whilst still at university, Kelly realised if she was going to be doing this for the next 40 years then she needed a plan.
Crowned young IPSE Freelancer Of The Year 2015, Kelly shares great freelance tips and insight as she outsourced, took on an employee, joined trade bodies and more so that her company 'Making You Content' was making her content as well.
There's nothing quiet about this Mouse. Millie's love of graphic and web design is amplified by her passion for business itself.
Millie shares great tips for using Instagram and LinkedIn to grow. Plus, from her base in Sydney, hear how she's built a remote team of freelancers around the world to help evolve 'Design By Mouse' even further.
There's a lot in here: how Ben carved out a name for himself when moving to a new country; how he diversified his offering so he could be location independent and protected for the future; how he developed online training in various forms and uses YouTube for marketing and income.
And yet through it all... with much honesty, isn't always motivated at all.
How do you go from working for a Russian newspaper to creating successful picture books? By getting on with it!
Sarah doesn't wait for things to happen, she makes them happen. Hear how she gets stuck in with communities on and offline, challenges herself, promotes herself and fights the corner for up and coming freelance illustrators too.
What are you still reading for? Hit play, subscribe and just get on with it!
When his band broke up, he learned Flash.
When Flash was killed by Apple (arrrrghhh!), he taught himself After Effects.
When his little girl came along, he started learning how to juggle freelancing and his family.
Now, he's wondering what to learn next.
In this episode Timmy shares great freelance tips on putting your work out there, nailing accurate time and budget estimates and being proactively creative to get new work with old clients.
Alison began in social media at the beginning of social media itself, setting up the first Facebook pages for major brands. From within agencies, she sowed the seeds for a successful freelance career: now managing, training and speaking for a range of clients.
Now those seeds have sprouted Avocado Social. As a brand she's growing in confidence, growing her team and growing her audience. Hear how she markets herself and Avocado to finally enjoy the fruits of her labour.
Kyle built up a successful freelance career for major advertising agencies and the likes of The New Yorker... and then he had kids.
He realised he needed to create things on a bigger scale, that took him on a fascinating journey of trial and error with digital products of various kinds. Now, illustrators around the world create their work using his Kylebrush.com Adobe Photoshop brushes.
Hear how this 'accidental expert' looks ahead, spots opportunity and finds ways to use his illustrative talents to cash in on trends.
Hear how university lecturer 'Mister Phill' reluctantly photographed a wedding... and then another... and then... well, that was seven years ago. He's not a lecturer anymore.
His 'triangular' approach to client acquisition is really worth thinking about for your own freelance business.
As a US military wife, being freelance is a perfect fit. Wherever in the world she might find herself, she has the ability to work remotely with clients to help them build their brands.
Kaye shares really great tips on remote working, branding and how she's used content marketing to make herself seen, understood and to build her business.
How do you go from taking the stage at a small event in your home city to speaking at the world's largest social media conference in the US a year later?
Hear how Ian got seriously social to grow his business.
Freelance writer turned career & life coach Emma takes us through automating her processes, creating online courses, hiring a VA and getting work done as a new mum.
Plenty of freelance tips and a reminder that for all her content creation, it's those referrals that are key. Oh. And eating that frog first thing.
Akash shares the networking tip that speaks for itself after it broke him into the video games industry as a composer and sound designer. From introvert to TED talker, it's game on for Akash and he's winning.
We also hear about mentors, pricing and how he's evolved his business to help other freelance composers as well.
Hear Kaleigh's strategies on using Twitter to find clients, collecting social proof, regularly raising her rates, getting higher quality, higher paying clients and how she ended up writing for Entrepreneur and Inc. No thanks to the cat.
But with 90% of her work remote, how does she cope with the isolation? And what's the danger of being in competition with yourself?
What if the world could watch you while you worked? What if they paid to watch? What if they interacted with you so you didn't feel alone while working? What if they then paid you for work AND paid to watch you?
That's pretty much where Twitch streamer/entertainer/illustrator Austen Marie finds herself. It looks like a lot of fun. But it's definitely still a job. It's a business.
Ben's on a mission to make a difference to global warming and that's what drives his business.
He's built a niche video content business serving the construction industry, laid the foundations to a membership site by building a successful podcast and aims to build his own house. He's always planning long term, thinking big.
Hear how a journalist with a passion for the outdoors and walking made her own route to being an award-winning Outdoor writer.
With 18 books under her belt, she shares how she's found herself where she is today and the importance of joining a trade guild to her career, skills and sanity.
Redundancy helped push Mike into a freelance career. Since then he's evolved, learned, focused, launched his own products, developed his own personal brand and formed his own design studio... and yet still regularly questions whether being freelance is right for him. Why?
You're 17. One of your stop motion films goes viral. A major TV channel calls comissioning you to make one for them. What do you? Start university as planned, or seize the moment and begin a freelance career?
For Graham, all of his tiny precise filmic movements led to a sudden leap forward.
London agency life was turning Laura into a zombie. Over-long days were filled with meetings and politics instead of being creative.
Now, she's alive again - as a remote freelancer. Out of the rat race, out of the city and into doing the work she loves. Not only could she start her own business, but she could start her family too.
Starting by selling Wordpress themes on Etsy, Kelly now offers an evolving range of branding services in amongst a generous supply of free resources.
From Brazil to a noisy New York City, we hear her story. And a few sirens. And planes. Drowned out by passion for her business.
After leaving the army, Andy soon found he had enough orders for capturing images of bespoke, tailor-made products, lifestyle and more to be a freelance photographer.
He shares his story on making a name for himself, making face-to-face connections and even making his own magazine to create his dream work.
"You have the chance to carve the career of your dreams, so dream!" Amy didn't just settle with regular copywriting gigs. She didn't just settle for speaking/training around the world. She kept 'checking in on herself' and tweaking her career path.
Today she will regularly hit publish on blogs, videos, podcasts and her own 'scalable' income online course - alongside the client work she loves.
Rachel's found inspiration, support, friendship and even clients in the communities she's joined online. Be it through courses she's paid for, Twitter or private Facebook groups she's joined (or started!), she's realised you don't have to freelance alone.
Hear her story: from finding her niche - the wake up call to her business, to finding herself in hospital - the wake up call to herself.
After struggling to find work after uni, with a year of bits, bobs and benefits, Kristian finally found the real benefits of a mentor, working for an established freelancer.
Now, he balances 2 jobs. One with a full time employer, the other: his freelance career. Kristian's experience of breaking out in to his freelance dream is full of ups and downs. Keep an eye out for lots of great lessons. Oh. And a daredevil cat.
Jamie went from gigging musician to composer for TV, film, games and stage.
Here he shares how it's all played out so far: heading back to uni, collaborating over Skype, mangaging his own band, the passive income of library music and how getting his own studio scaled up his work load and kept his home in harmony. Love a music pun. You keeping score?
Hear how Natalie went from the RAF to flying solo as a freelance illustrator.
Along the way she's found her niche, an agent and a dog... but almost not enough hours.
Col quit agency life to be his own boss. As you'd expect, he's very deliberate about selling himself; here he shares his experiences of SEO, content marketing, pay-per-click and even finding media opportunities to get yourself known. Plus how he turns down work to keep his hours down and his 'lifestyle business' where he wants it.
After a career freelancing behind the scenes in TV, Olly Mann has found himself in the media limelight. Found? Or put himself there? Olly's a writer for major publications, a national radio presenter, TV panelist and part of the podcasting elite. But how did all of these doors open for him? Not without knocking. And then pushing all of Olly Mann through.
After a year of the podcast Being Freelance... what's that 12 months actually been like being freelance for our very first guests?
In this, the second of two special end of year episodes, Steve Folland chats to CSS consultant Harry Roberts and illustrator Jessica Morgan. Their challenges, their changes, their epiphanies, their year being freelance.
After a year of the podcast Being Freelance... what's that 12 months actually been like for our very first guests? In this, the first of two special episodes, Steve Folland chats to photographer Tom Miles, designer Liz Elcoate and audio producer Chris Hollis. Their challenges, their changes, their epiphanies... their year being freelance.
Without Instagram would Jordan be shooting for some of the coolest fashion brands and bands around? A great mix of passion, talent, social media and social life has been the focus of his career.
The question is: if you're a creative freelancer can you afford not to be 'social'?
Canadian copywriter Joel Klettke is focused on results. When it works for his clients it's working for him.
This chat has a crazy amount of useful freelance tips in it as Joel shares thoughts on using a personal name vs a company one, what makes his freelance site stand out, how he came to be a TEDx speaker, networking, growing the business... and all of this whilst being the best looking man in the world.
Over 25 years of being freelance for acclaimed TV exec Jacqui Moore; this is like a box-set of experience to binge on. As well as diversifying her career to Live Events and consulting, she also helps mentor others in the industry, keeping pace with change and with New York.
She trained as a Linguist. Worked as a Translator. Dreamt as an Illustrator. Eventually Landysh brought them together: co-founding Lingvistov, a Skype based language service which also allowed her illustrations to speak volumes too, so much so they've now become a product of their own.
Hear how his side projects bring him clients, plus great thoughts on being a freelancing dad, the story behind his Full Frontal conference and how he found having staff and an office simply wasn't everything he'd dreamt it would be.
5 years after redundancy abruptly introduced her to self employment, exhibitions designer Rebecca Shipham was named IPSE Freelancer Of The Year.
Ahead of National Freelance Day 2015, a year on from her coronation, we hear how she succeeds in her niche, deals with isolation, finds confidence in trading as a company and how the win has allowed her to give back to the next generation of creatives.
Tim designs and develops for local SME clients in his home city of Minneapolis. They all come thanks to the work he puts into establishing himself as a digital marketing authority both with blogging and podcasting. All that whilst refining his trade with work in an agency.
Tim shares great insight into building a successful website for yourself as a freelancer.
Both Franky and her husband are self employed. How do they make it work for their young family?
Hear how Franky's blog 'Love Audrey' gave her the confidence and the connections to go freelance, how she balances work and kids and why it's important to question what it really means to be successful. Pass the biscuits!
Tim is a freelance storyteller. As a BAFTA nominated film maker, video creative and script writer, he sees 'side projects' as investments in his business: producing work you love should draw people you'd love to work with to you. This... is his story.
Louisa trades both as herself and as her company Superhuman Limited, travelling from her homes in Berlin and London to make a difference across the digital world.
A long career from startups and agencies to big corporations and even governments has given her great insights to share so hopefully we won't freak out. But will she?
Ian designs logos as a freelance side project, but by using social media has carved himself out as an industry authority.
This online brand means all of his work is generated by inbound enquiries. Worth geeking over.
Janet quit her job in the US to travel the world.
After finding herself she started finding clients as a freelance designer focused on e-books.
From the slums of the Philippines she's emerged as the E-book Queen. Now back in the States, she's switched the advice of monks for mastermind mentors. Listen up: it's quite a journey!
How do you become a leader in digital strategy? With 20 years experience as an employee, company director and freelancer who's figured out how to make his business work for his lifestyle.
With great thoughts on work/life balance Paul also shares how he built up his incredible personal brand through content marketing with podcasts, videos, blogs, books... Hear what it's like creating and living in Boag World.
Samar Owais arrived in Dubai. She knew her husband. She knew she could blog. What she didn't know, she's learned online, investing in courses that hone her writing and business skills.
With great tips on working with clients in multiple time zones, plus the power of remote mentors and guest blogging.
Data Designer Stefanie has exhibited at top galleries, spoken at conferences around the world and designed book covers for heroes, but it's her passion projects that she does on the side that really make a difference to her success.
Includes great thoughts on creating your own work space and appreciating the value of yourself.
How do you go from being a locksmith to the voice of Radio 1?
From house entries to House heroes?
As a voiceover and in demand audio imaging producer to the world's biggest DJs, Stevie's business took off but he had to figure out how to run a business too.
And when it all went a bit Pete Tong, he found help in a mentor.
Passionate about video production, at the start of the millenium Neil soon grew from being a freelancer to being a company owner.
But when the recession hit he realised being good wasn't enough.
He needed to be marketing his business. Having laid everyone off he set about growing again, but this time with lessons learned...
Danny Margulies quit his job.
Next he wrote 'how to make money writing' into Google.
Two days later he had his first client on freelance marketplace Elance.
Ebonie's successful Virtual Assistant business led to a very Real breakdown.
Hear how that became her 'breakthrough' as she retrained as a coach to other self employed 'misfits'.
Includes great insight into building a business via social media/blogging/email list.
Olly Newport's a 20 year old camera op/video editor who has never been anything but freelance.
Faced with a future of high univeristy fees he chose to take a film making passion into a freelancing career instead. It's been a steep learning curve in business.
Fraser Davidson is a BAFTA award winning director, animator and designer. He's been staff, he's been freelance and now he's a year into co-founding a company. From side projects to dream projects. Crafty and candid tips in here whatever field you work in.
Casey doesn't just take pictures, he takes every opportunity to build his connections and that builds his business. From local newspaper snapper to having leading entreprenneurs and even royalty in the frame.
Due to the nature of the TV/film industry, Sam's never had a 'proper job', so with over 15 years of freelancing under her belt has plenty to share on staying afloat financially.
Plus in recent years she's been balancing ambition with starting a family and doing something you love around those that you love.
Front End Web Developer Barry McGee on stepping out from the BBC and being freelance. Barry's experiment with paying for 'promoted tweets' to find himself work is a fascinating new technique to land his CVs on the desks of decision makers. But did it work?
Hear how Liz went from pension advisor to banking on a freelance career for her future.
It's not enough to be a passionate freelancer, you need to be a business person and this episode includes cracking thoughts on: payments, contracts, commanding respect and finding a niche.
Motion Designer & Creative Editor Stu Denbigh took a step back to move forward.
He chats about the importance of continually improving, finding a mentor and cash-flow - all part of being freelance for 10 years.
CSS Wizardry's Harry Roberts went from secure staff job to in-demand consultant and international speaker. Great tips on self marketing, the importance of your own site's language to getting hired and the difference in being a freelance consultant.
Hear how Gema went from secondary school teacher to TV host, channel announcer and voiceover, then self-styled her own direction as a craft blogger.
Includes: finding your specialism and not letting finances run the show.
Oh, and her dog.
Once a journalist for radio stations he switched to supplying them with jingles.
His strategy of creating an 800 strong mailing list to launch his business has had a huge effect.
Hear illustrator Jessica Morgan, drawing on her experience of being freelance: starting out; freelance sites; pricing; getting paid and restricting your hours.
Tom Miles, a photographer for the likes of Men's Health with over 20 years of being self employed. With awesome creative tips; pricing; portfolio and connections.