Freelancer Magazine | Issue 6 | The Let's Get Together Edition

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freelancer Issue Six

For a freelance life less ordinary



Let’s Get Together


Stories and strategies of kindness, community and collaboration for B2B and creative freelancers.


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see there being two main purposes of this magazine. The first is to connect you to other freelancers - by sharing stories and knowledge, by sharing social media profiles and with events like our weekly virtual coworking. The second is to help you to see yourself as a business. To give you strategies to create that separation between your personal and professional lives so it feels easier to set boundaries, charge the rates you deserve, be ambitious with your goals and grow in whatever way you want to. From day one, I’ve been keen to get more freelancers working on the mag but it’s been (and continues to be) a tricky balancing act between growing a team and keeping a close eye on cash-flow. But it feels very apt that this issue ‘Let’s Get Together’ is the first time I’m introducing a little freelance editorial team who I know have already made this magazine better for you (please hit them up on social to tell them if you agree). Collaboration with, or outsourcing to, other freelancers can be a brilliant way to feel connected and help you to see yourself as a business. It’s working for me.

Sophie x


Issue 6 - Let’s Get Together

We’ve made you an especially curated playlist for this issue, so grab a coffee, sit back and put on the tunes while you read. You can scan the Spotify Code using the Spotify app to listen to the playlist.





Freelancer Magazine

The Freelancer Magazine Team

Sophie Cross Editor White van woman & burrata enthusiast /sophcross

Angela Lyons Creative Lead Part-time Cockney & full-time fitness fan /angelalyons1

Penny Brazier Features Writer Music nerd & slow runner @penthemighty

Mel Barfield Features Writer Middle child & failed minimalist @allcopymel

Jo Watson Columnist Underachieving perfectionist & overbearing mother /jo-watson-agoodwriteup

Ed Callow Features Writer Pun slinger for hire & embarrassing cat dad @edcallowwrites

Abi Sea Featured Contributor Cheerful procrastinator & collector of good people @thelaunchlifeline

Amy Nolan Doodler Ginger, bed sock wearer & Eddie Stobart spotter @inkypix4u

Danny Abbasi Proofreader Human Grammarly & starter of too many books @abbasidanny

Issue Six // August-October 2022

























Thank you so much for all your emails and messages. Please keep sending them in and let us know what you want to see more of.

 I just wanted to say a quick thank you so much for the article about me. I’m so honoured to be a part of Freelancer Mag. Every issue is just pure gold! Thank you thank you thank you. You and the Freelancer Mag team absolutely rock. :D Beth Kennedy, Playwright  Just polished off the mag. Absolutely loved it. Such a cracking read about lots of like-minded people. Can’t wait for the next one. Adam Faulker, CreativeAF  Huge congratulations on producing such a fabulous magazine! I’ve read four issues of The Freelancer now; I’ve learned so much and have made some great connections. Thank you for all the hard work you must have put in to make it such a fantastic read. Rowan Ambrose, Copywriter

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 Just a quick note to you and the team you have around you… brilliant, just brilliant. I’m loving the magazine. It is such an amazing tonic for me at the moment. I’ve just spent 10 years as a freelancer. Starting a solo consultancy and accidentally building a team over time, only to exit with a sale of our baby, our business, our brand to a US competitor. The two miserable years of lock-in are over - and I’m free now to start again… and your magazine has been just the thing to focus and inspire. So much so, that I’m gifting a subscription to some friends who are in a similar position. Justin North  This is quality work, an amazing magazine. Thank you for your hard work and thanks to everyone who has contributed to this magazine.

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Freelancer Magazine

Are Free l Better Eq ancers To Hand uipped le Chan ge?  Callum and I wanted to say thank you very much for our copy of this month’s Freelancer Magazine which we received on Saturday. What a fab edition! You’ve done an excellent job, Penny, pulling all the interesting articles together. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you so much, Sophie, for asking the right questions, listening to us and writing the best article that has so far been written about us! You’ve totally understood our mission, our work and our passion fantastic journalism! We are over the moon. :-) And, Angela, the layout is great and the photos you have chosen fit perfectly. Caren Launus-Gamble, KreativeInc Agency  Just read my first Freelancer Magazine. Hugely disappointing! Where were the stories of smug creatives working a two-day week and earning six-figure salaries? I mean, all I got were heart-warming, inspiring articles about tenacity, resilience and hard work. Hopeless! PS: Can’t wait to read the next issue! Helen Gent, Copywriter, Trumpet Media Issue Six // August-October 2022

 I’ve now read Penny Brazier’s article in Issue 5 of the Freelancer Magazine (Are Freelancers Better Equipped To Handle Change?) and now feel incredibly empowered, reassured and resilient! Thanks, Penny! It’s now covered in a highlighter pen. I knew you were good, but that article has made the price of the whole mag worthwhile for me (don’t worry, I’ll still read the rest). Lynda Thompson, Customer Insight & Qualitative Research  I’ve always shielded myself away from virtual coworking, I didn’t “get it” but I’ve been proved wrong. I saw the Freelancer Magazine crew had weekly 2-hour sessions and signed up knowing I had SO much to do this week. OH WOW. I got so much done. Three news stories written for my upcoming business news website. AND a whole pizazz of mojo and umph. Nice to see some familiar connections in almost-real-life too Penny Brazier, Helen Hill, hey gals!! Kerri L Watt, PR Consultant & Coach





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We’d love to hear your thoughts on the magazine, the articles that struck a chord with you and your freelance life. Send your emails to or tweet @FreelancerMagz. Every issue we give the sender of our favourite message a highly sought after Freelancer Magazine mug! THE ISSUE SIX WINNER IS: Justin North


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The Micro Column

On Kindness


indness is underrated, don’t you think? The quality of being friendly, generous and considerate can be seen as a weakness. That, somehow, by being a decent human, you are a pushover, not assertive enough, too nice to do well in business. This is, of course, total horse poop. Kindness is, in fact, a form of respect. By conducting yourself with compassion and empathy, you are respecting yourself, your clients, your colleagues or anyone who has the good fortune to cross your path. By running a business with kindness, you live by your values, proving you are loyal, trustworthy, passionate, and fueled by others’ success. Continually adding to your piggy bank of trust, inevitably attracting the right clients who share your values, the ones you want. But be mindful, don’t be the person who just tarmacs their own road. If someone has taken the time to support and cheerlead you, do it right back, and if you can, do it louder. Share work that inspires you, share top tips, collaborate with peers, celebrate their success and do it not to further your own agenda but because you can. I’m with Maya Angelou, ‘…people will never forget how you made them feel.’ So how do you want people to feel when they think of you and your business? Take a second to answer and adjust accordingly. Kindness is not a luxury for a thriving, successful business. It is a necessity. by Heather Pownall /heathers-hub

Issue Six // August-October 2022

Dunk with us


The three most popular links from the latest Dunkers…


The Digital Marketing Union’s best books for freelancing and self-employment d-freelancers


11 things on Netflix to watch when you need to feel more creative


The art of getting your shit done The Dunker is our fortnightly business and creativity newsletter, especially for freelancers.

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The Power of Words “There is no bigger life hack in the history of the world from getting where you are today to where you want to be than the people you choose to put in your corner.” Scott Dinsmore, How to find work you love TED Talk

Where I

♥️To Work

This is Tamper Seller’s Wheel ( – by far the best coffee in Sheffield (I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise). It’s a busy little cafe that has lovely industrial interior design, lots of plants, and friendly staff. It offers delicious coffee and sweet treats to fuel an afternoon of copywriting. Meghan Downs, Freelance Copywriter /meghandowns

Three Tips Online Networking Meeow is the world’s first on-demand video networking platform, which allows freelancers to network in groups of up to four during every hour of the day (although they don’t recommend 24 hours of networking at once… they did it for Comic Relief and it was hard work). Online networking tips from Chris Rabbitt, co-founder of Meeow: 1. It’s not about the people in the room. Don’t worry if you don’t find your ideal client in your online breakout room. Although there isn’t the same chat that you get in face-to-face events, networking isn’t about selling to the people that you speak to. Get to know people, have real conversations and let them open the door to their own networks. 2. Hone that pitch. Again, you don’t get the informal coffee moments in online networking, so make sure that your introduction is clear and concise. Remember to add stories that show your value and don’t speak in industry jargon. That’s a surefire way to lose your audience. 3. Don’t multitask. We can all tell when you’re not paying attention and are checking your email / WhatsApp / Candy Crush. Pay attention like you would in an in-person meeting because you never know what you’re going to hear.


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Our favourite freelancer pics from the Gram.









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“When I started out I would’ve given my right buttock for this” Lauren Taylor, Marketing Coach

Podcast - Community - Course - Buttock Saver

A Day In The Life Of...

Lea Turner

Lea Turner is a 30-something lone mother to a 6-year-old boy, Dexter and LinkedIn Coach. Originally from Sussex, she has just bought her first house in Greater Manchester, where she lives with her little boy and her dog, Bronson. Can you tell us a bit about your work? I currently run a LinkedIn training business, which happened accidentally after my first business - a small transcription agency - was badly affected by Covid. I had started using LinkedIn a short while before the pandemic and had been getting a lot of business through it, to the point where people were asking me for help to make LinkedIn work for their businesses. With my first business struggling, I realised that I needed to do something else to be able to pay the bills, so I started offering LinkedIn training. Since starting, I’ve been pretty much fully booked. Using LinkedIn has taken me from 400-ish followers to over 150,000, from a low-income single-parent family on government support to a multi-six figure business owner, and I’m about to start my second business.


I get up at… The very last minute. I won’t get out of bed for less than… I have a six-year-old so getting out of bed isn’t an optional. By 6.30 am, I’m usually preventing a breakfast disaster from occurring. My go-to breakfast is… Coffee. My go-to lunch is… I’m not a creature of routine. If I remember to eat lunch, it’s just whatever I have in the house.

A typical working day might look like… After school drop-off and a dog walk, I usually catch up on admin, post on LinkedIn, answer messages, set tasks for my PA, check in on coaching clients and the private Slack community, and research my next coaching clients. If I have a coaching call or training session, that will be two hours at my desk. The best part of my day is… The drive back from school in the morning, listening to an Audible and having some “me” time before I start work.

Freelancer Magazine

The part I’d happily hire someone to do is… These days, I hire people to do all the bits I don’t want to! I wish I could… Live in a hot country and still be near my family. What I’m excited about right now… The launch of my second business - The HoLT - an exclusive business community I’m building that will provide masterclasses twice a month plus lots of other exciting things. Words to live by on a day-to-day basis… Don’t be a dick. After work… Currently DIY because I bought a house that needs a LOT of redecorating. Otherwise, doing homework with my son, cuddling my dog on the sofa with Netflix and, at the weekends, exploring fun things to do around our new city. Find me here… On LinkedIn and @leadoeslinkedin on Twitter, Insta and TikTok or visit ●

Issue Six // August-October 2022

LEA’S TOP 5 LINKEDIN TIPS 1. Show your face! Selfies on LinkedIn are fine, I mean, avoid the animal filters, but the more people see your face, the more they’ll start to trust you. It’s about familiarity, not vanity, and you wouldn’t leave your head behind for a networking event, would you? 2. ENGAGE with your network. Ask questions, respond to comments, and create conversations with your posts. The more engaged you are with the platform, the more the people and the algorithm will reward you. 3. Comments ARE content. If you’re not confident enough to post yet, start by leaving insightful comments on other people’s posts. Your comments show in your network’s newsfeeds AND will be seen by the network of the person whose post you commented on, so get seen that way instead. 4. Use ALL the profile features; cover video, banner, featured posts, about section, profile links, recommendations, name pronunciation a profile visitor is interested in you, so show ‘em what you’ve got! 5. Don’t just connect with/follow people who are work related. Follow some users who interest you, make you laugh, or teach you useful information. The more you enjoy scrolling your news feed, the more likely you are to WANT to spend more time on LinkedIn, and get involved in conversations, which means more visibility. And if you enjoy being here, your positive energy will attract people. Treat it like the office water cooler where you can chat with colleagues and friends, NOT like the boardroom where you’re on your best behaviour for your boss.


So You Want To Be A… Confidence Coach?

Ashleigh Frater is a Confidence Coach based in Dartford, UK. She supports introverts, especially women, to find their ‘quiet power’ and get ahead in life.

What do you do?

I’m a confidence coach. I help people, mostly women, feel more confident being visible at work and online. I especially enjoy working with introverts. Why introverts, specifically?

Because I am one! We introverts sometimes dilute ourselves or try to be something we’re not. In an extroverted world, it can feel like the bigger and bolder you are, the more you get ahead. Introverts can network, speak in public and do all the extroverted things. But at their core, they’re introverted. Confidence coaching is about embracing that side of you. Don’t dismiss it, then burn yourself out because that’s what happens when you try to be someone you’re not. You say you want to help people embrace their ‘quiet power’. What do you mean by that?

I believe all of us, especially introverts, have strengths and qualities that are overlooked. I don’t have a ‘hard’ skill. I have a lot of soft skills. For example, I don’t feel I’m good at writing, but people are drawn to my energy. We’re conditioned to think we need hard skills like writing or sales, and we dismiss the quiet stuff. But actually, that’s where the power is. How did you become a Confidence Coach?

I was always the smallest person in the room. It felt like no one saw or heard me. When people say “you need to speak up” or “you’re not assertive enough”, those tiny 20

Freelancer Magazine

little whispers land and keep that person quiet. When I got into corporate events after uni, I had to speak up. I got a mentor to help me build a freelance wedding planning business. The concept of coaching was new to me, so I dived into researching. Coaching is is about helping others to be forward-focused and to achieve their goals. So, I completed a life-coaching certification and got the tools to help people.

“When I got a coach myself, it was like I was looking for permission I didn’t know I wanted.”

What was it like being an introvert in the events industry?

I’m a 110% kind of person. Event work can burn you out if you’re being someone you’re not for the job. You’re draining your energy because you’re not using it the way you should. I want life to be slow, peaceful and easy. That’s my nature. How did you get your first client?

Before you can fully believe in yourself, your mindset has to shift. At the time, Events Manager was my identity. My first coaching jobs were unpaid. I found the clients through a Facebook group. I offered six free sessions each because I wanted to get really good at coaching. I knew after that I’d have the confidence. I ended up with twelve clients, and after the free sessions, four bought my paid package. My mindset shifted to “I’m a paid coach”. What’s your greatest client success story?

The one that brought the most joy was a woman who built her business while still working full-time. We transitioned her out of her nine-to-five into her own full-time coaching business. How do you market yourself?

I used to be so formal online, with no personality. Since starting on LinkedIn, I’ve been myself. “Write how you speak” is the best advice I’ve ever had. I just listen to people. You’d be surprised how many people don’t listen to others; they just wait to talk. About 90% of my clients have come through social media. Issue Six // August-October 2022

Do you think women, in particular, struggle with their confidence?

You need to know your limitations if you want to grow. The first thing I try and identify is the client’s trigger. For me, it’s that I don’t want anyone to tell me I’m wrong. We try to be perfect to overcompensate for that one thing without realising it. Women can struggle when they’re not aware of what’s holding them back. So, when they’re triggered, they’re blindsided by it. Knowing and embracing your limitations gives you power.

> 21

‘“Write how you speak’ is the best advice I’ve ever had.” How do you keep the love for what you do?

Helping people understand themselves and push past their limitations is my purpose. I’m passionate about the mental health benefits of coaching and helping women, specifically. I want to help reduce the number of women in mental health distress. That’s why I do what I do. What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting out in a career as a confidence coach?

Go with your curiosity because it reduces the fear of failure. You’re just curious to see where this goes. Don’t overthink it, just find out more. What advice would you give to your younger self? What’s the best thing about freelancing?

The freedom to pick and choose who you work with. In the beginning, it feels like you have no choice. You do. There’s flexibility in the hours you work, when you work, and where you work. You can be more creative as well. And the worst part?

As any freelancer will tell you - the irregular income!

If something isn’t the logical thing to do, but you’re interested, just go for it. When I got a coach myself, it was like I was looking for permission I didn’t know I wanted. As soon as I got it, I was off. My coach was shocked at the speed of my results. So, I’d say follow the curiosity and get support along your journey. Find Ashleigh Frater on LinkedIn. Freelancer Magazine readers can get a free 20-minute Connection Call with Ashleigh by quoting ‘FREELANCER’. ●

How long do you tend to work with clients?

The ideal time is usually around 12 weeks. Often, clients start really motivated but around week five they hit resistance. We get over that hump and keep going. By the end, clients are so proud of their transformation. 22

Mel Barfield is a freelance copywriter specialising in creative ad copy. @allcopymel Freelancer Magazine

“I first met Heather in 2012 when we worked together on the Magfest conference organising committee. Heather is a real joy to work with - overflowing with ideas and enthusiasm; she is kind, warm and brings a sense of humour to everything she does while being highly professional and efficient. ” Nikki Simpson - Director, The International Magazine Centre

This is Nikki

Hey, I’m Heather Your guiding light through the marketing and media fog! Heather’s Media Hub is a media, marketing and communications ‘plug in.’ Moving you and your team forward, offering ideas, strategy and clarity. What do you need? A podcast, marketing strategy, APP build or new ideas to engage with your audience? Then give me a shout. What I guarantee - goals will be met and fun will be had.



We caught up with Clint-Sanyika Odieté on the beach in Margate’s Walpole Bay, where he runs his personal training business, Beach Fit.

The beach was pretty much empty and I wondered why no one was using it for their daily walk or exercise. I’ve always known the importance of physical activity and how much people can benefit from it, so I had this lightbulb idea - ‘I’m going to build a business around this.’ I started dangling a carrot for people by doing my training on the beach. I’d pack up a bag of equipment and take it down there and do drills, run between cones and shadow box. I could see people looking at me thinking, ‘he’s keeping himself busy; he’s not letting the pandemic get him down,’

I 24

and people started asking me if I would t’s May, and the weather has just started exceeding 20 degrees every

train them too.

day. Balmy indeed for England, and even for Kent, which enjoys some of the hottest weather in the country.

At first, I put the legwork in with marketing myself - telling everyone, flyering

“This is when Beach Fit really gets into its stride when the weather

everywhere but now it’s all word of mouth

is like this. And it’s how it all started - during the heatwave in the first

and via my Instagram. I’m anti-website

pandemic, I’d just moved down to Margate from London. I only knew one

because I want to be as close to my

person here and he wasn’t around. I spent the first few days wandering

clients and interact with them as much

around and going down to the beach.

as possible. Freelancer Magazine


DM me and I’ll reply pronto. I can see my clients’ feeds and get a sense of who they are and if they’re a complete novice or already training. I build a strong connection with the client straight away. I want to erase any barriers and become mates with them immediately. I train with them too - I’ll huff, puff and sweat with them - the majority of trainers stand there with their hands in their pockets barking orders, but that’s not me.” Life before Beach Fit “For 12 years, I was a freelance writer. All the while, the fitness was there because I was also an amateur boxer. My dreams of going pro were extinguished because of a head injury and me being me, I didn’t have a plan B. I had tunnel vision on going pro as a boxer. I fell into a daze and depression. I made sure I kept myself physically fit but London was draining me. I was a South East London boy through and through. It was the centre of my world; I never imagined leaving, but it had become physically, spiritually, socially and financially taxing. I had a pal in Margate singing its praises, so I stayed with him for a while and I liked it. I was prepping to leave London when Covid kicked in, but I decided to go anyway.”

“The beach is the biggest and best gym. I use what I can see”

I litter pick every day; the beach is my studio and office; I’ve got to keep it clean and give thanks

Photos: Benjamin Eagle | @benjamineaglephoto

to the beach for giving me this opportunity to The beach is everything to me

for battle ropes and resistance bands. It means

train people, help people, feed myself, build my

“The beach is the biggest and best gym. I use

I have a permanent base, and the sauna is alive

business and meet incredible passersby. I often

what I can see - the bottom of the staircase for

again after being closed for a while. It’s a great

get into a conversation with a stranger, and

pull-ups, the steps for incline/decline press-ups, I

example of a symbiotic relationship and local

suddenly, an hour has passed.

skip on the concrete and run on the sand. There

businesses supporting each other.

are no distractions, just you and mother nature.

I came to Margate to create a new life, and I Now Walpole Bay has a natural fitness vibe with

believe everyone who has done that has to put

I have a partnership with Haekels. They own a

Beach Fit, the tidal pool, the Haekels sauna and

themselves on the canvas. We’ve got to flick our

sauna on the beach that anyone can use. I base

people doing yoga, walking dogs and working

paints - our different personalities and skills - and

myself next to it, open it up for them, and they

out. We’ve got big plans to put Margate and

we’ll create the most beautiful painting if we do.” ●

let me store my stuff in it. The sauna is an old

Walpole Bay on the map as the fitness and

Victorian bathing machine, so I use its wheels

wellness district of Kent.

Issue Six // August-October 2022

Follow Beach Fit on Instagram @beachfituk. 25

Ece Kurtaraner is a community and online events strategist based in Manchester and the cohost of Leapers Accountability Pods. She wants to help you become part of a community that works for you. What led you to a role in community management and strategy? My background was working in servicebased, fast-paced corporate events. In 2019 I left Turkey to move to the UK and from the beginning of 2020, there weren’t any events happening. I went self-employed and discovered the term community. I was feeling alone in a new country and working for myself so joined online networking events. The ones that I stuck with were the ones built around community and I understood the necessity of this as a freelancer. I now love working with freelance-focused businesses the most. I realised that community was already one of my values joining people together who have similar hobbies, interests and struggles.

I cohost Leapers Accountability Pods - a membership for freelancers for those who want structure and don’t have a team but want a team. Find out more at


Why is community so important for freelancers? It helped me to stop beating myself up about things like not having the motivation 100% of the time. I started listening to some podcasts and saw other people’s social posts talking about how they were struggling to market themselves and I thought, ok I’m not the only person having those feelings or that hasn’t got it all figured out. When you first go self-employed, that initial Google search isn’t that helpful. You find perfect websites and Freelancer Magazine

social media profiles but it’s the biggest misconception that everyone else has it all figured out. There are so many resources that can help you with this. You don’t have to work by yourself to work for yourself. Find your people friends and colleagues. People you happily choose to be around. Share struggles, help and cheer for each other even though you might have never met in person. It’s important to let someone get a sense of what you’re about - it’s how we find work and get referrals. Don’t shoot “Hi, I’m NAME, if anyone needs a JOB TITLE I’m available.” I need to find out more about you. Networking is not pitching yourself, you need to listen, you need to try and help other people.

How can you get the most out of coworking? (And how do you get any work done!) Confession: I don’t do work when I IRL cowork. I’m too excited to meet likeminded people, share interesting things and get third-person inspiration, so I go for that. What community-building tools do you rate? This depends so much on the situation. Rosie Sherry says that everything can be a community tool and I agree. A newsletter, Slack, a magazine, but it’s about deciding what my client and the community needs. You’re adding a distraction to somebody’s day so it needs to add value and it needs to be the right thing. ●

What are the biggest misconceptions about building a community? I prefer to use Butter over It’s not a marketing strategy, you have Zoom for online workshops and to connect people to each other. It’s not collaboration. a community because you decide it’s a community, ask yourself how are you going to create a space for your members so they can provide value to each other? Every business needs a community but maybe you need to grow your network in other You don’t communities. It’s not a have to work short-term project.

by yourself

What are the benefits to work for of online versus IRL? It’s what works for you but yourself. will largely depend on the location of the audience. Both have benefits - online is accessible, cheap, inclusive, and it’s easier to speak and show up. In real life, you can make better connections quicker and you’re more likely to get people’s full attention. Issue Six // August-October 2022

Top tip for building a community Don’t try to do it alone. It’s timeand energy-consuming. You (and members) need to show up every day but there are lots of members and only one of you.

Top tips for hosting online events and workshops 1. Bring in music - Freelancer Magazine has its Spotify playlist, The Marketing Meetup has its intro video. I play 2000s classics like JLo and Kylie that everyone knows. 2. Have one person to manage online events who sets the tone and leads by example. It’s important to deal with any problems as they arise. It makes it easier for other people to trust and follow the guidelines.

Ece’s favourite communities: ● Leapers ● Freelancer Magazine ● #ContentClubUK ● The Marketing Meetup ● Othership

Find Ece @EceKurtaraner on Twitter and LinkedIn and visit 27


Marketing And Making A Future Louise Major is a freelance marketing specialist from Hertfordshire. Alongside work, she supports her teenage son Archie, 15, who has autism, to build his cruelty-free bath products business, Castaway Cottage.

Louise How did you first get into marketing? The interior designer I was on work experience with was going away, so she left me with a marketing consultant at Marquetry. I had a few days of work experience, a summer, and then I took a year off Uni to work for them. Looking back, I didn’t appreciate how lucky I was. I was a designer, prop buyer, photography assistant, artworker, and account manager. I designed tableware which became Argos’ biggest selling tablemats. I stood in the Padstow sea with Rick Stein, holding a reflector to keep the photography lit right. At 21 years old, I approved artwork for the new Buxton label on a 3 million copy print run. I made amazing connections, which allowed me to freelance whilst at uni. How did your career change when you became a parent? It changed massively. A deadline is a deadline even if it means working until 3am. That doesn’t work as a parent. I went back part-time, 28

wedging five work days into three and still trying to be a great parent. Another guy in the studio had a baby and we both had a ‘what the fuck are we doing?’ moment. We set up our agency to be flexible around our respective families.

How was the move to freelancing? We closed our agency in 2020. Freelancing wasn’t a conscious decision; it just naturally happened. I quickly realised it would give me the flexibility to help Archie build “I’m not his business. He first fell in love swayed into with soapmaking after visiting things I can’t lavender fields in 2017. The deliver.” company is his future when he leaves school.

Who was your first freelancing client and how did you get them? It was Motive Exhibitions, by recommendation. All my work comes from old clients or recommendations. What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on as a freelancer? Probably the freelance work I did with Marquetry. I appreciate it now more than I did at the time. How do you market yourself as a freelancer? Without sounding arrogant, I haven’t had to. Sometimes I have to turn great work away. It doesn’t come naturally to an ex-agency owner to say ‘no’. If I needed to fill a hole in business, I’d take a leaf out of Gareth Freelancer Magazine

Turner’s book. He’s Head of Marketing at Weetabix and Founder at Big Black Door and recently delivered a masterclass on how to build a personal brand. How do you balance your work and Castaway Cottage? I learned the hard way not to overstretch myself. When I started freelancing, I had a PAYE job alongside to ease into things, but they expected me to do whatever hours needed to get the job done. I ended up having a suspected seizure after a particularly long day. It was my body saying STOP. So I jacked in that job and now I choose who I work with. I’m a night owl, so I’ll often work late, undisturbed. We’ve had orders from wholesalers who supply Selfridges, Harrods and Moonpig, so it’s going very well. We have peak periods with Castaway, so Christmas is a pressure cooker for Archie as his school routine goes out the window alongside business being busy. We can’t predict everything, but I’m not swayed into things I can’t deliver. I have a great network of other freelancers I rely upon. My clients think Castaway is pretty incredible, which spurs me on. Though one recently asked, “do you ever sleep?” It’s a real family affair, isn’t it? Yes, we have fantastic family and friendships we can call upon to help in busy periods. A dear friend experienced trauma, and she’s said making our products is like therapy for her. That could be what Archie CEO likes about it too - the fact it’s tactile and sensory. Archie What are your goals over the next few years? To have a professional balance of my ‘before kids’ life as a marketing specialist whilst helping Archie grow his business, ready for when he leaves school. I wouldn’t do Castaway full-time. I get a lot out of working in marketing, continually learning from others. Instead, I’d hire freelancers to help with Castaway. Hiring freelancers is a great way of bringing in specialist resources. Find Louise on LinkedIn /louisemajor. Issue Six // August-October 2022



Archie What’s it like working with your family? It’s enjoyable to be around people that I love. How do you balance the business with your schoolwork? I don’t get too much homework, so it’s quite easy to get home and get involved with the business. A lot of the work can be done out of hours and at the weekend with the support of my family. What hopes and plans do you have for the future of Castaway Cottage? I want to be able to repay what I think people deserve for all their help running and growing the business. I want to move into a bigger space where we can grow our retailer and online product offer, brand presence and capacity. Our capacity is limited at home.

“It’s enjoyable to be around people that I love.”

What’s been your favourite product so far? The Ukraine soap is a great product that enabled us to do good, raising money for Ukraine. We turned the idea into a product in record time. It usually takes about a year from idea to market, but we turned it around in two weeks. What’s the best part about having your own business? The opportunity it gives me for when I leave school and the social element, going out and meeting people. ● Castaway Cottage is at and on Facebook at CastawayCottageUK.

Writen by Mel Barfield. Freelance copywriter specialising in creative ad copy. @allcopymel


Money Prevent Overdue Invoices

“It is always wise to invoice as soon as the job is complete.”


How to prevent overdue invoices in 8 easy steps with Gary Prince, Chief Strategy Officer at SimplyPayMe. It was reported earlier this year in the Guardian that 440,000 small firms in the UK were at threat of closure due to the late payment ‘crisis’. Cash flow is of utmost importance to small businesses. And when customers are late with payments, it can end in disaster for the business owner and their staff. The best strategy is to eliminate the problem from the start by preventing the situation from happening in the first place. But it’s not always easy to know how to do that. Here are some tips for avoiding overdue invoicing before it happens. 8 easy steps to prevent overdue invoices 1. Create and enforce explicit payment terms When payment terms are not explicitly laid out at the beginning of a contract, you are opening the door to ambiguity and wriggle room. So, before any work is undertaken, it is vital that you state not only when payment will be due, but when it will be overdue, and the consequences that will attend overdue payment. It is not unreasonable to levy an additional overdue payment fee. Many businesses work incrementally, with fees increasing according to the time elapsed. If it is clearly stated within your contract and your terms are agreed to, your clients

have no other recourse. This also provides an excellent deterrent against ‘overlooked’ invoices. 2. Use credit checks Running credit checks before onboarding new clients can seem like overkill. But if you’re going to be dealing in large sums of money, then a credit check can be a sensible step. It helps you to ensure that your clients have the wherewithal to fulfil their payment obligations. And gives you confidence that the people you are dealing with are trustworthy. Helping you to make an informed decision before risking your income. 3. Implement automated payments Implementing automated payments is one of the simplest ways to prevent the late payment of invoices. It’s a relatively new solution, but with direct payment platforms like SimplyPayMe available, it is possible to simply set up a system of instant and automatic invoice processing. Saving you worry, and your clients time and effort. 4. Request deposits Requesting upfront payments can be off-putting for clients. But a pre-work

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Money “A pre-work deposit is an easy concession on both sides.” deposit is an easy concession on both sides. Relieving you of worry, and making payment completion easier for your client. 5. Practise instant invoicing There are occasions when monthly invoicing is appropriate. But if you’re working on a fixed project, it is always wise to invoice as soon as the job is complete. It both fully signals the end of the job and puts the onus on the client to complete their side of the bargain as promptly, while your work is still fresh in their mind. 7. Create and schedule reminder emails Sometimes, a late payment is genuinely down to oversight. By sending polite reminders, you can ensure that oversight and poor memory never become an excuse. And with automation software available, you can do this without creating any extra drag on your time. 8. Get to know the people who pay you It’s easy to ignore a faceless email. It’s harder to blank the person who enquires about your family, wishes you a good holiday, and remembers your details when you call. Whether you’re working directly with the business owner, or the accounts team, establishing a good relationship will help streamline invoice payment. Partly because they will be more inclined to help you and partly because they will be more embarrassed if payments are not met.

Issue Six // August-October 2022

8. Create a system for chasing invoices It might just be a British thing, but there is something awkward about chasing payment. We don’t like doing it. So, we leave it and hope for the best while the situation and our cash flow worsen. Creating a system for chasing invoices helps to normalise it and removes the awkwardness. So, calendar an invoicing system that you use with all clients at all times. Check what the client needs from you in terms of invoicing. Send your invoice in a timely fashion. Automate reminders as you feel appropriate. Two days, five days, ten days. Make contact before your invoice becomes overdue, and when it does, reach out to ask if there are any problems. Schedule regular reminders once payment has become overdue. And select a cut-off date for escalation. Decide what that escalation might be. And stick to it. Chasing invoices is one of the most-hated tasks of small business owners. And yet, overdue payment can not only hold back a business but break it. Taking control of your invoices, and finding ways to reduce overdue payments needs to be the first priority for any SME. ● Visit for more information.


Jess MacIntyre and Natalie Moores are Mac+Moore - a creative brand studio based in London that they’ve been running for six years.

Do Give Up Your Day Job 32

Tell us about your work lives before Mac+Moore Nat: We met while working together in-house. We’d only been working together for three months before we started our business but in those three months, we’d realised that we worked really well together. The company went into administration and we had no redundancy package so we went for it, full-time from day one, there was no phased approach to it. Jess had thought she’d do her own thing at some point but I hadn’t before. Jess: We both worked in Head of Marketing roles. We’d both worked in creative agencies and departments and had 20 years of experience between us. We’d reached a level of experience and understanding and felt like we’d needed to have that beginning in-house being around managers to teach us things. We’d both worked in adtech and media businesses that had failed so knew there was no such thing as a safe job. We thought, why don’t we put ourselves in the driving seat and make sure we’re the ones making the decisions. Freelancer Magazine

Were people surprised? Jess: People weren’t surprised on my behalf. I’ve never been afraid of taking risks or taking on new challenges. I was feeling extremely bored after a couple of years in any one business and I’m not a huge fan of authority, especially from people I don’t respect. How has your business developed over six years? Jess: People think it’s an overnight success thing and it most definitely isn’t. At first, failure feels like the scariest part. It feels very exposing if it doesn’t work. There is the need to make money versus enjoying your job and feeling respected. It took a few years for us to get the confidence to walk away from something that didn’t feel right. From there it was about learning to build boundaries to feel like we had autonomy, choice and control over who we worked with. Clients can be very difficult so who you choose to work with is crucial. Nat: The business was deeply connected to our own identities being Mac+Moore. It felt like it would have meant we had personally failed if we failed – you’re selling yourself, your own creative department. How can you switch off when you are the business? We’re in our second or third stage now. Going freelance is such a big leap but once you’ve established yourself with a steady stream of work, you know your offering and what you charge, you enter a new rhythm. Six years in we’re much more confident about what we do and how we do it. Jess: At first, we didn’t think about the consequences of being honest and transparent about our journey. We didn’t know that putting ourselves out there and not having boundaries in place would come back to haunt Issue Six // August-October 2022

people were also working remotely and finding struggles with it. There was also a natural coming of age and luckily we wanted the same thing. We put together a list of boundaries and both stuck to them. Nat: An outcome we wouldn’t have predicted coming out of this process is that it improved our commercial side. When you’re wrapped up in it being you it’s really hard to charge your worth, increase prices and really back yourself in the value you create. us because we were so passionate about helping other freelancers. We felt so deeply connected to everything. It was difficult to take a step back and see work as work. It was a massive learning for us to understand the boundaries between our personal and professional lives - no one gives you a toolkit for it. I recently had a baby and it wasn’t until then that I could let go of my first baby (the business)! How did you manage to introduce those boundaries? Jess: Being able to vocalise and articulate it helped. We had a lot of time to think and talk about it during the pandemic when more

“Don’t be afraid of wanting to earn a lot of money as a creative, don’t equate money with selling out.” - Nat

Jess: Starting out you’re just seeing if it works. Winning a pitch and getting an invoice paid feels like success. Life changes like buying a house and having children caused a shift in focus - we needed to earn more money. We figured out what we wanted to earn and knew that had to be our ultimate focus. In the creative freelance world, the biggest challenge is to get paid for value, not just time. Now we enjoy the work more if we’re confident in pitching a punchy number. Nat: I was guilty of hand-to-mouth forecasting and not thinking about our skillset. We worked really hard to overhaul that mindset and work out the real value of our business in the marketplace and we’ve got proof points now. To put on your businessperson hat is fundamental.

Comparison of employment versus self-employment: On how you get clients/work… Nat: In an agency, we’d be told what to work on but now we genuinely turn down clients that aren’t right. And we can dial up or down based on personal circumstances. Word of mouth and referrals have always formed a big part of our business, so we’re

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always conscious to try and get good testimonials and write case studies after any projects, but we’ve recently started a more proactive approach. This was only possible after we really nailed down who our target customer is (and therefore who isn’t!) and it’s been really beneficial in terms of working out what value we add to the right kind of business, then being able to create a tailored approach in trying to speak to them. On what times you work… Nat: We recently implemented a four day week and we decided that and implemented it within a day. We’ll test and review it later in the year but at the moment we’re both happy with it. We don’t answer emails out of hours. Jess: Working smarter not harder is something we always come back to. We’re a service-based business and work hard to focus on value, not time. On stress levels… Nat: We stress about different things now. We don’t stress about decision-making, work, or clients being difficult. Now it’s about hitting new targets but it’s a normal level of stress. I don’t like to glamourise stress for the selfemployed. We made ourselves unnecessarily stressed by not putting boundaries in place. On how you work… Jess: We now work as an extension of the client’s team and you always get Jess and Nat working on it. It’s an iterative process, the commonsensical way. We’re not here for quick fixes. We step in and help solve problems through creative communications. If you’re going to create real value you have to think about what you want to achieve.


“In the creative freelance world, the biggest challenge is to get paid for value, not just time.” - Jess On working with others… Jess: For both of us, it’s felt more comforting to be in a partnership. I’m five years older and naturally took the driving seat initially with a bit more age and experience but it evened out over the years. I’m a people person and miss being around a team sometimes. There is a weight of just having one person (not a team) to bounce ideas off but we work with other freelancers too and we’re getting to see more people we work with in person now. Having a support network is crucial reading other people’s stories, building connections and understanding other people’s experiences will help you to have an aligned and successful career. On earnings… Nat: Don’t be afraid of wanting to earn a lot of money as a creative. Don’t equate money with selling out.

On creativity… Jess: You have limitations in-house but you do need them - deadlines, a solid brief, structure. Now we’re able to take the best bits of that to decide how long something will take us and where we’ll do it so we’ve refined our own processes. Nat: I tell Jess, “I’m going into my Creative Hole today.” On flexibility… Nat: We can change direction quickly to be reactive. Jess: I have flexibility now as a parent. It takes one less worry off the table. Employers need to wake up to the fact that lots of parents go freelance as they don’t have another option. Find us @macandmoore on Twitter and Insta and visit

Freelancer Magazine

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Stop! Collaborate And Listen

When we get together, magic happens! Discover the stories behind three cracking freelance collaborations, as told to Penny Brazier.

Murugiah, illustrator, collaboration with: Macarena Luzi, textile designer. Murugiah worked with Luzi on: ‘Blind’ – a 59 x 45” hand-tufted rug. I’ve been an illustrator since 2012. The art style I’m currently working in is very bright colours, and surreal, busy compositions, all influenced by my Sri Lankan heritage. I used the pandemic as a way to reset what I was doing with my work. At first, I created piece after piece on my own. I needed that time alone to really understand who I was as a human being and what I had to offer the world. Then when the pandemic started dying down, new opportunities started to arise. That was when I started to collaborate. Now if a client approaches me, I’m always interested to know who they are and what they do, to see if I can build that into my work. Everybody is unique in the way they approach the world. Even if I’m not collaborating with someone on a project, it’s always interesting to know what other people are thinking. You never know where it might take your brain. 36

At the beginning of my new style, I knew I didn’t want to do just digital. I wanted it to be screen prints, sketchbooks, sculptures, rugs, textiles… I want the work to be translated into as many forms as possible. I’d been following Macarena Luzi on social media for some time. I had an initial drawing which I wondered if she could turn into a rug. I contacted her on Instagram to see if she wanted to collaborate and she said yes. To start with, it was a very friendly back and forth of suggestions. Luzi said some of the colours I’d used didn’t fit her colour palette and asked if it would be ok to change the colours to

“Everybody is unique in the way they approach the world.”

Freelancer Magazine

Macarena Luzi Issue Six // August-October 2022

work with both her style and mine. I was very open to that. At that point, I hadn’t used dark blue in my work, but now I use it. The beauty of collaboration is that it can change the way you approach future projects. I had seen that Luzi worked with different pile heights, so I suggested having variations on different sections of the rug. Then it turned out we couldn’t have the exact skin tone of the character in the design, so Luzi suggested a few alternatives. It was important to me that it was a person of colour, so I made sure we didn’t stray too far from the skin tone of the initial drawing. Finally, we established a design that had her colours, my design, the pile heights and skin tone – and Luzi went away and started making the rug. The rug took about three months to finish. I deliberately forgot about it so I could get excited when it arrived. Although sadly it’s still wrapped up as my partner and I are in the process of buying a house – I promised Luzi that it would be unwrapped in the new place, and that still hasn’t happened! So I haven’t seen it in physical form yet, but thankfully Luzi took a lot of pictures. And hopefully, it won’t be too long!

What’s the best part about collaborating? “Working as a self-employed commercial artist can be very solitary. It’s fun getting to work with somebody else, understanding the way they approach their own work, and then offering that approach to the way you do your own work.” Any tips for a successful collaboration? I would say the first thing is to be respectful and friendly. Tell them what you like about their work. And have a clear idea of what you want to work on together. Then don’t let the ego take over. If you have too much of an ego about the project and your own ideas it’s pointless collaborating with someone else! Collaboration works best when people have a really clear understanding of what they do, but they’re open to mixing it in with what their collaborator has to offer. Murugiah has a clothing collaboration with a to-be-revealed collaborator coming in winter 2022, and a new mural coming very soon. You can follow his work at and on Twitter and Instagram @murugiah. Find more of Macarena Luzi’s work at > 37

where people say if you buy from a small business somebody does a happy dance – this was exactly that. Having that existing relationship really helped. I knew Steve would be fun to work with. I knew he’d be the kind of client who would be ok with giving me the creative lead and he was. It was a tight turnaround but because I knew the client already, I knew the magazine it was going in, and I knew the designer of that magazine, I didn’t even need to think about it, I knew it would be great. I have said no to those last-minute projects in the past, but because of all those factors I knew this would work – and it did. Bhavini Lakhani, brand identity and print designer Collaborated with: Steve Folland, audio/ video producer and founder of the Being Freelance community Bhavini appeared on the Being Freelance podcast, and then joined the Being Freelance Cookie Collective. Steve hired Bhavini to put together his ad in Issue #5 of Freelancer Magazine. The first time I really got to know Steve was when he asked me to be on the Being Freelance podcast in 2020. It was the first time I’d ever done a podcast and I almost said no – I’m really glad I didn’t. We had a really good chat! Then he started up the Being Freelance Cookie Collective – the mastermindthat’s-not-a-mastermind as he refers to it. It came along at the right time for me – I had the idea

for my book Wise Words around the time of the third call and it all went from there (Wise Words has since been published). I signed up for the second round of the Cookie Collective too and got just as much out of it this time as the first time – I got a sales page sorted out for the digital edition of Wise Words, and help with pricing. The Cookie Collective definitely moved me forwards in my business. I outsourced things I didn’t have the skills or time for, like the copy for the landing page and the build. I wouldn’t have done that otherwise and it was definitely the right decision. Then Steve hired me to do an ad for Freelancer Magazine! You know that thing

Any tips for a successful collaboration? Be open to suggestions from each other. You know the person you’re working with is going to bring stuff to the table, so don’t close yourself off to their ideas. Find Bhavini at and Steve at



C okie


What was the best bit about the project for you? I’m a print designer at heart, I love physical printed stuff, magazines, leaflets. So when the magazine arrived, getting to pick it up, flick to that page and see the ad in print was the best feeling in the world.

“Be open to suggestions from each other.”


Freelancer Magazine

Katie Sadler, marketing consultant for authors Collaborated with: Sam Missingham, founder of The Empowered Author Katie works with Sam on The Empowered Author, a community that helps authors market their books. Sam and I met working in-house at HarperCollins. We were on different teams but we worked on a few projects together and got on well. Sam went freelance before me. I left in 2019. We’d see each other on Twitter and always said we’d go for coffee but then the pandemic hit! But we’ve always kept an eye on what the other one was doing and been supportive. Sam runs The Empowered Author, a membership for authors. When I decided I wanted to create my own marketing membership for authors, I wanted to run it past her, just to talk about how they would sit side by side and make sure that I wasn’t stealing her thunder! I could see they’d be different, mine would be a free community with paid-for resources like workshops sold within it, but I wanted to get her thoughts. Sam got back to me and said she’d be fine with the idea, but asked if I would be interested in joining the Empowered Author with her. Which I was! I’m so glad she suggested it. It was really easy to step into and has been a great way for me to connect with authors at every stage of their writing journey. The community is free now, and we’ve grown it from 200 members to over 1,000. It’s very active. We do videos together, which is much less pressured than doing them alone, Issue Six // August-October 2022

“Clarify what you’ll do together and what’s separate as early as you can.”

Katie Sadler

and as we have two different skill sets and perspectives I think the members get so much more from us. We have lots of plans for the future, it feels like we’ve laid a good base together and now we have room to grow. The best bit about collaborating? That I feel so supported. I think we support each other. Sam is a single mum too, but ten years ahead of me, and our situations are more similar than I realised. It’s been great to be able to chat about that stuff alongside work. Any tips for a successful collaboration? Clarify what you’ll do together and what’s separate as early as you can. If you’re feeling nervous about anything you feel you should or shouldn’t be doing – have that conversation and get it sorted out!

What would you say to someone thinking about collaborating with another freelancer? Have the conversation! I had no idea Sam was thinking about asking someone to join her – we could easily have ended up doing our own separate things and missing out. As long as you can see benefits on both sides, just ask. The worst anyone can say is no! ● Find Katie at and the Empowered Author at

Written by Penny Brazier, a freelance writer and copy coach based in Leeds. @penthemighty


30 under 30 is so 2015. Let’s give praise to the people still choosing to freelance in their seventies.

Celebrating 7 Over 70 Name: Lesley Naylor Age: 70 Based in: Comrie, a small village in Perthshire, Scotland What do you freelance as? I design and make mostly handbags and cushions. I love to sew and I’m passionate about Harris Tweed, so I make lots of other things too. Most of my customers come to me for bespoke gifts - for themselves, family and friends. I think that’s what I enjoy the most, the chats before, during and after the make. I’ve recently been making Harris Tweed bow ties and cufflinks for a wedding party. It was great fun choosing different colours to suit the personalities of the male guests. Matching handbags to personalities is always enjoyable too, and discovering 40

whether cushions are for hugging or placing strategically and definitely not for lounging on! I love my customers. How long have you been doing this? I’ve been working for myself and freelancing for exactly 10 years. I retired from nursing, and friends and family encouraged me to open up my studio as a little shop and I’ve never looked back. What do you see as your greatest achievement as a freelancer? My greatest achievement is the many, many friends I’ve made along the way. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, and the fact that the business survived the pandemic. Although I have to admit I had a great mentor at that time. I thought my business would disappear

but I reached out to another small business owner via Facebook. Melissa of Wildcurrant Marketing held my hand through the maze of social media and set up a fantastic website for me. Although we’ve never met, we chat often and have become great friends. I’m not sure my business would have survived without her. What advice would you give to others starting out on their freelance journey? The advice I would give any freelancer starting out at the kitchen table or in a home studio is, just go for it. There’s nothing to lose and so much to gain. And never be scared to ask for advice. Find Lesley on Insta @LesleyMacMaking or visit Freelancer Magazine

“Be sure that you enjoy what you do.”

Name: Bettye Haskins Age: 75 Based in: Baltimore, Maryland, USA What do you freelance as and how long have you been doing this? For the past thirty-five years, I have made my living developing and implementing curricula and workshops. The driving force behind my work is a simple, yet powerful statement -- “Never stop learning. “ It is the reason that I am a freelance trainer -- I love learning new things and sharing my knowledge and reflections with others. Because of my love of learning and sharing, I have a wide range of knowledge and a myriad of interests. Consequently, I develop workshops and curricula in Issue Six // August-October 2022

many areas including adult literacy, early childhood literacy, learning disabilities, and financial literacy. In addition, I am certified to train in health and nutrition for seniors. I consult with AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) to provide workshops to volunteers who work as tutors in elementary schools. I am also exploring opportunities in the world of professional storytelling. (In fact, I am doing my first public performance on Saturday.) Is this what you thought you would be doing? I come from a family of free-thinking individuals. My father, even though he was illiterate, had a flourishing home improvement business; my mother, a nurse, preferred to be a private duty nurse who could select her own clients. My grandfather was an entrepreneur owning a confectionery store; my uncles were businessmen who were into real estate. The fact that I come from an African American family makes this lineage all the more interesting and quite frankly, unlikely. So, though it took me a while to become a freelance trainer (I have had 11 different careers including a military officer, computer engineer and caterer) I believe that I was destined to be a freelancer. What do you see as your greatest achievement as a freelancer? I love what I do because of the reaction that I get from the participants in my workshops. They are excited because I’m excited; they are excited to learn because I am excited to share knowledge with them. Participants report feeling empowered because of their new knowledge and

they let me know this by staying in touch long after the sessions are over. I am still in touch with many of my participants 20 years later. This has given me the opportunity to watch them as they use the information to grow and flourish in their careers and their lives. How do you get clients? I have been very fortunate that business has knocked on my door. Because I’m not in this for the money but rather for the joy that comes when I share information, I do not advertise and do not have a website or any social media related to my work. Most of my business comes from referrals from clients. What advice would you give to others starting out on their freelance journey? My advice to anyone wanting to be a freelancer is to be sure that you enjoy what you do. There are long hours, many of which you will not be paid for - hours of preparation and reflection.

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Name: Lynn Breeze Age: 74 Based in: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire - it’s full of artists, musicians, writers and freelancers. What do you freelance as? An illustrator and author of mostly children’s books. How long have you been doing this? I’ve been fully freelance since 1981. How did you start freelancing? I went to art school in Kingston-onThames and then was the art editor of a small regional magazine. Where I didn’t have photographic material in the files, I chose to do most of the illustrations myself because I wanted to. It got me used to deadlines and was great practice for drawing all the time.

I also designed greetings cards for a local firm in Suffolk and an agent saw them and made contact with me - it was one of those strokes of luck. Another stroke of luck came when I was going to an interview in London at the BBC for Jackonory and I met a friend at the station who happened to be a graphic designer. I sat with him on the train and showed him my folio and he gave me a list of publishers to visit. I had hours to kill before my interview so I visited them all and got work from them all and Jackanory. After this, I was at home feeling very tired and needing to lie down. I thought, ‘I’m going to have to phone a client to tell them I can’t do the work.’ I phoned them but they didn’t answer and then I found out I was actually pregnant so I gave up my job instead and focused on being freelance and the client work.

Lynn with Quentin Blake

Is this what you thought you would be doing? I don’t make plans very much but thought I’d end up as some kind of artist, probably in an attic in Paris with my palette, in a smock and beret, not making any money! I didn’t expect to be an illustrator or be able to bring up my family on it. What do you see as your greatest achievement as a freelancer? The best achievement was managing to put a roof over the heads of my children and food on the table. Being able to do that and have them around me at the same time while doing

something I love. I’m very lucky that my job is also my pleasure. And my children liked seeing my drawings on Jackanory if it was good for them, it was good for me too. What advice would you give to others starting out on their freelance journey? I went to art school and had a good time, things fell into place after that but not straight away. I think you need to serve some sort of apprenticeship outside of art school and find out all the things that you didn’t learn in art school. You will work on your own a lot, so it’s hard to know how other people get on. Talk to others and listen to their advice in terms of etiquette and how things work. Try and get an agent. I’d also say try not to turn anything down as the client might not think of you first the next time. Settle on the style that you want to draw as it’s better than having a range of things in your folio. I only had seven illustrations to Walter De la Mare’s poems in my folio and it got me all my work. Put in your seven best pieces of work that you like doing. You can find Lynn at Freelancer Magazine

Name: Edward Mills Jr. Age: 75 Based in: Upstate New York What do you freelance as? I’m a Global Strategic Sourcing Consultant in the manufacturing industry. How long have you been doing this? I’ve been freelancing since 2018. Over the last 40 years, I’ve had different positions in manufacturing in the pump industry - from supervisor to pattern maker, purchasing manager to operations manager. For another company in Kansas City, I was materials manager and then global strategic sourcing manager. In 2018, the company restructured and I was already over 70 but then other people I knew in the industry around the world asked me to be a consultant for them so I set up my own business.

solve their problems by talking between suppliers and company engineers. I also helped a supplier in Mexico build a complete foundry from scratch. They are now able to do close to £30,000,000 of business with companies in the US.

“Consulting gave me more freedom.”

What advice would you give to others starting out on their freelance journey? Just because a company reorganises and you’re not included in the picture going forwards, you can figure out a way to take your knowledge and use it to your benefit in other ways. Consulting gave me more freedom - I run my own timeframe and I still have all the relationships I developed. Use those previous relationships - I get clients from my reputation within the industry and word of mouth. Find Edward Mills Jr on LinkedIn.


Is this what you thought you would be doing? I always thought I could do it with my experience. From the engineering part (from live development to actually manufacturing tools) to being involved in the quality assurance and machining parts - I have a unique knowledge that no one else has. I can cover the whole gambit without having to have other people travel with me who are experts in each one of these fields. What do you see as your greatest achievement as a freelancer? I set up a supply base for the pump companies in Mexico pretty much by myself with my experience from the last 20 years. I have lots of relationships with people in Mexico and China and Issue Six // August-October 2022


Name: Margaret Hubbard Age: 73 Based in: The West of Scotland What do you do as a freelancer? I’m a tourist guide, storyteller and genealogist. How long have you been doing this? For 16 years - I was a school teacher for years and took early retirement and retrained as a tourist guide. Storytelling and genealogy emerged from this as they are all closely tied up together. Is this what you thought you would be doing? No, I really enjoyed teaching. I used to say they; will carry me out of my classroom in a coffin. Then I just got to a point where I simply wanted a change. I reached the end of the line and the relationship had run its course. I wasn’t ready to stop working and knew I wanted to do something else. Many “Believe. years before I’d been in Don’t give Alaska and I’d been on a tour. The tourist guide was very up.” good and I thought it must be a wonderful job. I thought, ‘if I ever stop you’re talking about. I trained teaching (which I won’t) with the Scottish Tourist Guides this is what I’ll do.’ Association. The assessment is practical and knowledge-based and involves writing What do you have essays, exams, being assessed on a coach to do to be a tourist and in the howling wind and pouring rain! guide? You’ve to learn a bit of everything You need a passion the land, sea, history, geology, flora and for it - to love your fauna, architecture, cultural aspects, art, subject matter and what medieval engineering. You’ve got to be 44

able to answer any questions you might be asked and be able to manage people physical crowd management and also to keep them gripped. You’ve got to take that knowledge and turn it into a story - the must tells, should tells and could tells. What do you see as your greatest achievement as a freelancer? I worked for a company based in Boston who caters for very old and very wellinformed people. At the end of the tour I told them, ‘this is the start of your relationship with Scotland. That’s the end of chapter one.’ I’m most proud of those that write to me about the relationship they’ve continued with Scotland. I’ve not just given them a holiday but opened for them a whole new interest. I had one lady come back for six months on an island to paint the seascape. People want to know more and visit again. It’s about opening minds. How do you get clients? When I started, the Scottish Tourist Guides Association matched me up with people and it grew from there. I work part-time and have enough work. I panicked during the pandemic and got a website. I’m lucky that the companies I predominantly work for have survived the pandemic. They give me repeat work and pass me on to others. What advice would you give to others starting out on their freelance journey? Allow yourself to panic and allow yourself to believe it will be ok. Take the steps to make it ok. Believe. Don’t give up. Take the steps you know you need to take. Visit Freelancer Magazine

Name: Stephen Hearnden Age: 76 Based in: Strumpshaw, Norfolk What do you do as a freelancer? I import and sell French wine. How long have you been doing this? For 20 years. Is this what you thought you would be doing? No. I trained in hospitality and worked for a few years in London hotels and a private member’s club in restaurant operations. Then I went into academia where I taught restaurant operations, oenology, gastronomy and marketing. I retired after 30 years then moved to Norfolk and took over the village Post Office and shop and started Tastebud Wines. I’d run a wine club in London for years and thought I’d end up teaching but I didn’t think I’d retire that early to start a third career in retail. Because of my knowledge of wine, I got an alcohol licence for the Post Office and started importing and selling it. What do you see as your greatest achievement? Teaching and encouraging people to drink, understand and enjoy French wine (and buy them!). And teaching students who went on to have great careers. It was a very satisfying job for me, encouraging young people to think and do. I loved my 30 years in teaching and I’m very proud of them all. I’m very lucky, I’ve had a super life in that sense. Issue Six // August-October 2022

What advice would you give to others starting out on their freelance journey? In theory, having a clear vision of what you wish to achieve. Anything and everything is possible if you put your mind to it. I can’t tolerate lazy people. I was brought up after the war when life was tough. You shouldn’t be bored in life, there’s always something to learn. Every day is a school day.

“Every day is a school day.”


Name: Derek Myers Age: 71 Based in: Cornwall, UK What do you freelance as and how long have you been doing this?

What do you see as your greatest achievement as a freelancer? There have been so many good times working with different professional companies and people.

I do export sales and project management and have been for 25-30 years.

What advice would you give to others starting out on their freelance journey?

Is this what you thought you would be doing?

Get yourself fully prepared before you make the move from employment. Do your research and get ready to work from home.

No, I started out working as a photographer.


BEING EDDIE SHLEYNER Eddie Shleyner is a copywriter, content marketer, and founder of a blog and newsletter called He lives in Chicago with his wife, Kelsey, their baby son, Beau, and their pup, Sydney.

How did you become a copywriter? I majored in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. My focus was 20th-century literature. I studied minimalists and realists: Raymond Carver, Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemingway, and many others. I wanted to write like these people. I wanted to write novels and short stories. And I wanted to write for money. Before graduation, I asked one of my professors if he thought I could write for a living. “Maybe,” he said, “someday.” “Someday?” I said. “Yeh.” After graduation, I moved to Chicago. Me and two buddies from school rented a shitty apartment. It was beautiful. I also got a job. Sales. I didn’t like this job. It made me sad. I wasn’t writing for a living. A year went by. The apartment was still shitty and beautiful. And 46

the job still made me sad. Then my roommate told me his company was looking for a writer. “What kind of writer?” I said. He pulled up the job description. “Says here,” he took a beat, “they need a copywriter.” “A copywriter?” “Yeh.” I applied and got the job on the back of my English degree. I’ve been a copywriter since. What is your first memory of having a love of words and language? I was born in Kyiv in 1988. Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union then. When I was one, my family fled the USSR for Italy, where we lived as religious refugees until we got a green card to come to the States. We settled in Chicago. My parents went to work and I stayed home with my grandma, my babushka, Sofia. She spoke Russian to me. It was my first language. When I eventually learned English, I began noticing cognates — words that sound and mean the same thing in Russian and English. I loved these words. Probably because as a small boy, the outside world seemed so different from the world inside my home. Outside I spoke English. Outside I ate pizza and Subway sandwiches. Outside I played football. Inside I spoke Russian and ate borscht and played chess and backgammon. My life was so binary. But these cognates, somehow, stayed constant. I guess this is my first “language” memory? I guess. What led you to go freelance? I became a full-time freelancer in October 2020. I left an excellent, rewarding job — I was Copy Chief at — during the height of the pandemic because the opportunity cost of working for an employer was becoming too great to ignore. At the time, VeryGoodCopy already had a decent following, both inside the newsletter and on LinkedIn. So my leads were entirely inbound. I didn’t do direct outreach. I just sent my weekly Freelancer Magazine

“Sharing my knowledge, generously and consistently, has opened more doors for me than anything else I’ve done.”

newsletter and worked to move my content around the internet efficiently, and consistently — and interesting opportunities came to me. One day a company offered to pay me what I made in 3 months at G2 for 10 days’ work. I showed my wife. “Wow,” she said. I took the gig. Now, as a freelancer, I focus about 50 per cent of my energy on marketing and building the VeryGoodCopy brand: creating content; securing newsletter sponsors; growing my email subscribers; growing my LinkedIn audience. I spend the other half of my time on client work. Leaving G2 was difficult, and scary, but I’m glad I did it. Issue Six // August-October 2022

How did VeryGoodCopy start? VeryGoodCopy started as a way to teach myself copywriting. When I learned a persuasion principle or technique, I challenged myself to write an article about it. I thought if I could teach this principle or technique to someone else, I was ready to use it in my own work. I did this for a while. I read copywriting books and collected my learnings in a running Google doc, where I did my best to write about them in a clear, concise, engaging way. Eventually, I bought and created a Squarespace and published my work online. > 47


I caught a break when HubSpot featured one of my articles in their newsletter. The piece had a backlink to in the first paragraph. Thousands of people clicked it and hundreds filled out my “contact” form asking if I had a newsletter. I got a MailChimp the next day and sent my first newsletter on November 10, 2016. Though I didn’t take it seriously — I didn’t publish and send consistently — until 2018. What’s the best career decision you’ve made? Almost everything good in my professional life stems from VeryGoodCopy: Sharing my knowledge, generously and consistently, has opened more doors for me than anything else I’ve done. What did your biggest professional failure teach you? The day I quit G2, I launched a subscription product called VGC Plus, a private community on Patreon. For $10 a month, I promised to share “premium” content several times a week. In hindsight, I overcommitted myself. Between my client work and the effort I was putting into the VeryGoodCopy newsletter — all the writing, the syndication, the growth projects — I didn’t have time to deliver the quality and value I wanted people to get out of Plus. I quietly put the product on a hiatus, which felt like a failure at the time. It was the right decision because it restored balance to my life, but it still felt wrong, like I was quitting. Now I understand quitting things is part of the process. Leaving things that don’t make sense anymore is part of the process. What’s your favourite type of client/project to work on and why? I’m a direct response copywriter first, so I enjoy writing splits: Companies hire me to write emails and landing pages. Then they test — or “split” — my work against their current campaign asset, also known as the control. If my email or landing page has a higher conversion rate than the control, I did my job. And my asset becomes the new control. I like this work because it’s trackable, and it keeps me accountable. My impact is black and white. I can see it. The client can see it. It feels good. Freelancer Magazine

Who do you look up to and why in the copywriting world? I admire 20th century direct marketers and copywriters: Eugene Schwartz, Gary Bencivenga, Phyllis Robinson, Claude Hopkins, Joe Sugarman, John Carlton, Gary Halbert, Drayton Bird, David Ogilvy. These people pioneered our industry, inventing and standardising the principles and techniques copywriters everywhere use today. What part of your day would you happily give someone else to do? Admin work is tough for me. I’m lucky to have a wonderful wife who also happens to be a CPA, so she helps me with invoicing, accounting, and all the other things that feel tedious to me but come naturally to her.

is a lifestyle,” said the late, great Joe Sugarman. “It’s a hunger for knowledge, a curiosity and desire to participate in life that is broad-based and passionate.” What question do you wish you had been asked (and please answer it)? On, I publish “micro” interviews with copywriters and marketers I admire. I always ask folks to share a “parting piece of advice.” Mine is this, one of the most poignant things I’ve heard, something Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a speech: He told the audience to imagine life as a game of five balls you manipulate in the air. Like a juggler, you’re trying not to let them fall.

“Now I understand quitting things is part of the process. Leaving things that don’t make sense anymore is part of the process.” What won’t you compromise to keep your life/ work on track? I read somewhere that when you have a baby, like we do, every couple of months they transform. They enter a new phase of development and, in a way, become a new person. And this is so beautiful but also so poignant, and sad because the person they were before is gone. Those behaviours and moments and feelings are gone. So I won’t compromise time with my wife and son. How do you like spending time away from the desk? When I’m not working I spend time with my family, mostly, but I’m not very particular about what we do or where we go. I welcome randomness, spontaneity, new things, unusual things. I like having first experiences. It’s fun. It’s also good copywriting practice: “The preparation for becoming a great copywriter Issue Six // August-October 2022

The five balls are: 1. Work 2. Family 3. Health 4. Friends 5. Soul All the balls are glass except the ‘work’ ball, which is rubber. If it falls, it will bounce back, unlike any of the glass balls: if one falls, it won’t be the same. “It’ll be damaged, bruised, cracked, even scattered,” said Pichai. “You have to be aware of that and strive for it,” he said. “Manage your work efficiently during working hours, take the time to be assured of your sincerity, give the necessary time to your family and friends, take appropriate rest, and take care of your health.” If these glass balls — family, health, friends, soul — are damaged, it’s difficult, and at times even impossible, to make them whole again. I think about this often. I hope it helps someone. ● 49

Photograph: Jes Abiola

The UK startup bringing FREE business education to the world! Freelancer Magazine members claim your FREE copy of the book and 12 months of support. No catches or nasty surprises, we just like Sophie. E-mail: to apply. First come first served. Include a dog picture to increase your chances. Find out more at or follow us on socials @RoadmapMBA.

Freelance Communities You Might Not Know About… Doing It For The Kids (DIFTK) 2.0


The legendary community for freelance parents run by Frankie Tortora has had an upgrade for 2022 and now features a membership over on Circle. Frankie gives us the lowdown…

How long have you been running it? I’ve been running DIFTK as a whole — community, podcast, meetups — for over five years now but this new version of the community is only a few months old.

What’s DIFTK 2.0 all about? DIFTK 2.0 is a new and improved version of the free Facebook group I’ve been running for freelance parents since 2017. While the setup might be different — 2.0 runs on a new community platform called Circle and there’s now a monthly fee to join — the idea remains exactly the same: to carve out a safe space for freelance parents to connect. Connection is what DIFTK is all about — camaraderie, collaboration, virtual high fives and a lot of laughs (because sometimes if you don’t laugh you cry, am I right??). It’s a corner of the internet to chat about the everyday practicalities of running a small business around small people. Childcare. Tax. Snacks. We cover it all.

What do you offer your members? Connection. Understanding. Support. Laughs. Access to other people who really get what it’s like running a small business around small

“First and foremost you’ll make friends, but you might just meet your next co-mentor, collaborator, team member, or business partner.”

Issue Six // August-October 2022

people and all the madness that comes with that. And all well away from the noise and distractions of the big social media platforms. There are no ads, no suggested content, no heated debates about who let their dog poo on Margaret’s lawn in your local Facebook group — just us. First and foremost you’ll make friends, but you might just meet your next co-mentor, collaborator, team member, or business partner. Via the new Directory, members can easily find your skills and services or you can shout about any products you sell on the DIFTK shopfront. There’s a space specifically for new and expectant parents, there’s a jobs board where members share opportunities, there’s a section to share your freelance lunch wins/fails, a space to celebrate your wins, share funny nonsense from the internet... Who needs colleagues when you’ve got DIFTK??! What do we need to do to join? Go to, fill out a quick form and away you go! Membership costs £14/month or £140/year

(that’s two months for free that is). There’s also a lower, no-questions-asked rate of £6/month for 6 months for anyone on parental leave, in their first year of business or just unable to pay the full price right now for whatever reason. Email for the discount code. What’s your favourite thing that’s happened in your community so far? So many amazing projects, collaborations and friendships have come out of DIFTK over the years that it’s hard to pick just one. But that just goes to show how an active, thriving, real community full of incredible people is such a powerful thing. DIFTKers actively buy from each other, work together, hire one another, start new businesses, make new friends, meet up... I don’t think we’ve had any DIFTK marriages yet but maybe one day! Five words to describe your vibe Supportive. Funny. Honest. No b*llshit. 53

Below Radar A space for folks to figure out how to run a successful business without big tech, founded by Work Notes creator Dave Smyth. What’s Below Radar all about? Below Radar is a space to help people reduce their businesses’ reliance on big tech and marketing techniques that fuel surveillance capitalism. It’s incredibly easy to accidentally build a business that’s dependent on Google, Amazon or Facebook, so Below Radar is there to help people find alternatives. There are a couple of parts to it: a soon-to-be-expanded site with resources and guides, a newsletter and a Discord community of just under 250 people. Anyone who runs or markets a business can join: the community includes lots of freelancers and small business owners, but it’s also open to marketers who want to understand the privacy implications of using various tools or techniques to reach their audience. How long have you been running and how’s it going? Below Radar launched in October 2021. Weirdly, a few hours before Facebook had a massive outage that knocked their services offline. It’s still early days but the concept seems to resonate with people. Lots of members have told me they wish their business didn’t have to use a specific platform or they want their business to more closely reflect their personal approach to privacy. There’s a lot to learn but the community is open to sharing things they’ve learned, which is super important. What do you offer your members? Below Radar gives people immediate access to a community of like-minded folk. People who have been there, done that, had the same concerns or are going through the same things right now. We have occasional meetups where people can talk to other members and talk things through. 54

The project also aims to demystify some of the topics. A lot of people want to run ethical businesses but aren’t necessarily aware of the harms of some techniques (for example, running personalised ad campaigns or using spy pixels in emails), especially for more technical topics. The community and resources help to make these things more accessible and offer practical steps they can take towards positive change. How do we join? All that’s needed is an interest in the topic, an open mind and an email address! Visit What’s your favourite thing that’s happened in your community so far? A couple of things have really stood out. Firstly, the project seems to really resonate with people: they see the downsides of big tech/ surveillance capitalism and want to make positive changes. The best thing is seeing the actions that people have already started to take. There’s a huge range of actions that people can take, depending on their business and the tools they use. In the community, lots of people have been taking small positive first steps such as switching Google Analytics for a privacy-focused alternative, moving away from Google Workspace or turning off spy pixels in their marketing emails. It’s really amazing to see businesses embrace these changes that, at first glance, could seem quite scary. Five words to describe your vibe Open, practical, ethical, positive, curious.

#copywritersunite Started by copywriter Vikki Ross almost a decade ago, #copywritersunite events are informal, in-person meet-ups held around the world for anyone with an interest in copywriting. What’s #copywritersunite all about? #copywritersunite nights are informal drinks in a pub. No fee, no agenda, no speakers. Just copywriters. And copy lovers. I used to want to keep the nights just for us because there are no other networking events just for copywriters, but I couldn’t ignore the people who wanted to come and hang out with us. Now art directors come looking to partner with us, creative directors come looking

to hire us and marketing people come to understand us. How long have you been running and how’s it going? I started the #copywritersunite hashtag on Twitter in 2012 and a year or so later, copywriters called for us to take things offline and meet IRL. I was far too scared to sort such a thing so Andy Maslen arranged our first #copywritersunite night in London. Five of us turned up. But it was brilliant. We had so much in common and wanted to meet more like-minded people so I organised the next one a few months later and about 30 people turned up. Before the pandemic, I hosted quarterly #copywritersunite nights in London when 40-80 people would come. And fellow copywriters hosted nights too - not just across the UK, but around the world. We’re back in action again now with more nights happening all the time.

What do we need to do to join? Follow @copynights on Twitter to see when a night is coming to a town near you. Then just turn up. I never wanted there to be any barriers to meeting like-minded people so a #copywritersunite night is a night at the pub with people who have plenty in common. And that last bit is important - it’s not easy turning up to something on your own but it is easy when you know that pretty much everyone else is in the same situation, and pretty much everyone else is a copywriter so there are lots of things to talk about. What’s your favourite thing that’s happened in your community so far? What I love about the #copywritersunite nights is how much everyone else loves them too. I also love that copywriters have made friends and found partners, mentors and jobs. Five words to describe your vibe Oh, do I have to?! (that’s five words BTW)

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The Two Lauras Laura Davis and Laura Moore are on a mission to help other freelance social media managers develop and flourish. They run a free Facebook community and a paid membership. What’s The Two Lauras community all about? Our business is all about supporting freelance social media marketers to start, launch and grow a profitable business. We mainly hang out on Instagram @thetwolauras and in our free Facebook community The Social Media Managers Hub. We primarily support people in our membership, The Inner Hub and we also offer our social media managers toolkit to help people get started and our programme ‘social prf’ which is all about getting a deeper understanding of psychology-driven social media marketing.

More communities for your list…

How long have you been running and how’s it going? We joined forces in 2019 and our membership opened in 2020. It’s going great, we’ve supported thousands of freelancers from around the world. What do you offer your members? We give them a space to build a business with the support from not only us but hundreds of other social media marketers who have been where they are or are going through the same things as them. We also help them stay on top of all the never-ending changes on the platforms and provide ongoing learning opportunities by bringing in guest experts. What do we need to do to join? Visit our website What’s your favourite thing that’s happened in your community so far? There’ve been many but one that sticks out recently was when we asked our community to come together to help us to create a fundraiser to support the people affected by the war in Ukraine. In a matter of hours we created a collaborative project helping business owners with social media marketing tips and we raised over £16k in a week.

IPSE - The not-for-profit association for the unemployed. Offers advice, legal support and more. Underpinned - A platform to help freelancers find work, manage leads and invoicing, and get other practical support. Leapers - Freelance and self-employed community with a mental health focus. Free Slack group plus accountability “pods” for extra cheerleading. #ContentClubUK - Weekly Twitter chat for content creators of all stripes. Great way to get to know other freelancers while sharing useful advice (11am UK time, Tuesdays). Found & Flourish - Online network, media and events platform for self-employed women and non-binary people. The Marketing Meetup - Free and feel-good in-person and online events for anyone interested in marketing. Babes on Waves - Networking, events and membership for the next generation of diverse freelancers, founders and creatives.

Written by Penny Brazier, a freelance writer and copy

Five words to describe your vibe JFDI (we are all about taking action), Collaboration, Fun, Supportive, no BS. ● 56

coach based in Leeds. @penthemighty

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Our days are starting to have the look and feel of prepandemic life, but everything has changed – most of all us. How do we recalibrate? Penny Brazier investigates.

The World Came Back, But Where Did We Go? 58

Freelancer Magazine


estrictions have been lifted for a good few months, foreign travel is back, and the likelihood of another lockdown seems a distant prospect. Life is as close to pre-pandemic times as it has been so far, and yet, from where I’m standing, everything still feels pretty damn wobbly. As a home-based copywriter, I’ve been able to keep working through most of the chaos, but while my fingers kept typing, my mental health slowly fizzled. This year, at last, there have been glimmers of lost energy returning, but it’s been slow and sticky progress. Whatever our experience of the last few years has been, it’s going to take a while to piece ourselves back together. And when we do, I’m not sure anyone will be quite the same. So how is everybody else in freelance-land dealing with 2022 life? Does anybody have it figured out yet? Getting people back together Emma Bearman is the founder of Playful Anywhere, a not-for-profit that brings people together to connect and create, mostly in urban spaces. It’s a business with a cheerful surface and a serious purpose and relies heavily on the nuances of in-person human connection. Is it starting to feel better now we can hold events again? “It is getting better slowly, although you have to plan events differently. You have to prepare for the fact that your plan A might not be the one you get to do,” says Emma. “And we’re all more aware of each

Issue Six // August-October 2022

“When I try to remember my “before” self, it feels a bit like peering down the wrong end of a telescope.”

others’ needs. I work with associates and most of them have families, young children, older parents that need caring for. Everyone feels more stretched, people haven’t got their energy levels back yet. So while it is definitely getting better, and I am optimistic, there’s still a real sense of before and after.” When I try to remember my “before” self, it feels a bit like peering down the wrong end of a telescope. There’s somebody there, but they’re far away and indistinct. A perky thing who posted regularly on social media, had thoughtful things to say, and confronted every working day with pluck and pep. The

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“Anxiety is a constant background whirr, like a MacBook fan loudly reminding me that my tabs still haven’t quite been restored.”


Freelancer Magazine

“after” self is a slower, sleepier, more lumbering thing, more apt to stare off into the distance, less likely to know what day it is. And while I’m mostly pleased with how my work is going, it seems to take me a hell of a lot longer to produce it than it used to. A call-out on Twitter revealed a lot of freelancers are feeling the same. There’s definitely a restlessness that simply wasn’t there before – a distractibility, a battle to stay focused on our work. But why? What happens when the work’s not working? Tech writer Craig Wright wondered “if it’s the pandemic making me reassess what really matters. It kinda made me realise what I already knew – the only things really worthwhile in life are family (if you have a good ones!), friends, nature, exercise and refuelling. Everything else is just a way to fill time until you die, so try to fill it with more good stuff and less work.” A shift in priorities to focus on things that actually matter – that has to be a win? Meanwhile copywriter Mel Barfield puts it down to the fact our nerves are basically shot: “My theory is that being on constant high alert along with WFH multitasking for so long during the early catastrophe times (remember when people were disinfecting their Tesco deliveries?) has left us unable to concentrate. It was all frazzle, no dazzle.” As a fellow parent-of-young-children, this hits home. It feels like there’s still a bit of my brain simultaneously fretting

Issue Six // August-October 2022

about elderly family members, trying to remember the latest set of rules, and bracing myself for a child to start screaming in the next room. Anxiety is a constant background whirr, like a MacBook fan loudly reminding me that my tabs still haven’t quite been restored. One freelance foot in front of the other Like most of us, I could probably do with at least a month off on a sunny beach. But after two years of financial yo-yoing, taking a long break feels like something I can ill afford. If getting off the work treadmill isn’t an option right now, how do we keep ourselves going? HR consultant Kirsten Smith says keeping up with the little things that do her good is keeping her afloat: “I have to be bang on exercise, nutrition, time for myself and sleep to achieve proper productivity. Planning the day to day – nutritious meals, exercise, eight hours sleep, a bedtime routine for myself, meditation and time out, less screen time.” This rings true for me. I recently signed up for a half marathon (highly out of character), which has forced me to put in place a good routine of eating, sleeping and getting away from my screen at lunchtime at least once every couple of days. It has lifted my overall mood, something I hadn’t anticipated. Neglecting my physical health over the last few years has probably been contributing to my general malaise – seems pretty bloody obvious now I think about it.



Making time for ourselves But I don’t think it’s compulsory to lace up your running shoes to get back to yourself. It’s about choosing your favourite restorative activities – things that put you in the elusive “flow state” – and making time for them. Brand strategist and writer Becca Magnus has been shielding for the last two years. She’s starting to get back out into the world, but it’s far from straightforward: ”Recovery from such a traumatic time is hard and definitely not linear. Walking helps – give the restlessness some physicality, feel it in my body, walk it out. I find making art helps too, putting my creativity into things that aren’t client work. It can feel like a luxury, a waste of time, but it’s anything but.” It is so hard to get past that fear of not being productive to make space for those non-work activities that will help us feel better, and work better too. Even when we promise ourselves that we’ll get around to them, they often slip to the bottom of the list. We may understand

“What matters most? What can drop? ”

that the answer lies in prioritising ourselves somehow, but in reality, we still need to (re)balance that against our other responsibilities. What matters most? What can drop? What isn’t serving us anymore that we can move away from, to make time for what we actually need? Start where you are So perhaps it’s about building a new life that works better for us, whoever we are now. Since I started to accept that I may never fully return to that perky “before” at the wrong end of the telescope, things have started to feel a bit lighter. And, actually? Things might feel different, even difficult, but we’re doing ok. We’ve been through a lot, and we’re still here, hanging on. As somebody whose work is rooted in finding happiness in messy and unexpected places, Emma agrees: “Ultimately, freelancers – whether we liked it or not – had a fragile existence even before the pandemic. Then we managed to come out of it, still here, maybe a bit bruised and battered, but we’re all still finding ways to keep creating value.” Taking the unexpected and rolling with it. As freelancers, that’s what we do best. ●

This article was written in June 2020. The landscape of the pandemic may have changed again since going to print (although we really hope not). Wherever you are in the world, we hope you’re doing ok. Love from the Freelancer Magazine team.

Penny Brazier is a freelance writer and copy coach based in Leeds. She’s been freelance (this time around!) for four years and still enjoys being in full charge of the office stereo 100% of the time. @penthemighty


Freelancer Magazine


Going It Alone Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely So you’ve done it. Pulled the trigger and gone freelance. Everyone was very supportive, of course. Very kind. But you detected a hint of scepticism in their voices, in the surprised glances, the raised eyebrows that said “giving up a stable pay cheque, in this economy?”


o you’ll just have to prove them wrong. You have to make a success of this. Positive attitude, forge ahead. So you start making a website. You want prospective clients to be confident working with you, so you make your solo operation sound like a much bigger company. You use stock images of corporate offices; putting your best foot forward through the glazed over smiles of people you’ll never meet. You want copy that exudes professionalism, so opt for “We offer holistic services.” The idea that a client might check your Instagram, or – even worse – might go on Facebook and dig up those photos from the full moon party in Thailand, brings you out in a cold sweat. So you lock down all of your social media. Except LinkedIn, where you change your title to something suitably impressive, like “CEO and Founder.”


You know that former colleagues and old friends work for companies that could use your services. But you don’t want to look desperate. So you don’t send that email letting them know that you’re freelancing now. After all, your website has just launched and the enquiries will be rolling in any day now. A few weeks down the line, though, your business still hasn’t become an overnight success. You need to secure those clients ahead of your competitors. There are other freelancers who do what you do, after all. So you check out their websites, Twitter accounts, and newsletters, to see how they’re getting the work you want. But you don’t interact. You don’t want them learning all your trade secrets. Don’t let anyone know what you’re working on, don’t mention any clients you do have, and keep your rate card close to your chest. So you make notes, silently, on where others are finding success. Breakthrough! An agency gets in touch through a job board, with the promise of lots of work. The rate is lower than you expected, but the Project Manager swears it’s competitive for the industry. And they would know, after all. So you dive in. Get cracking and start delivering the great work you know you’re capable of. So you work hard. The agency keeps sending more and more, and you’re lining up job after job. It’s maybe not exactly the interesting work you imagined for yourself, but it’s something. A foot in the door. You finish one project and immediately start the next. Deadlines are tight, so there’s no time to waste. And with the low pay, you need to do more projects. So you end up working later, skipping lunch. Friends and family ask how it’s all going. You say something non-committal. Something Freelancer Magazine

MENTAL HEALTH that will shut the conversation down, like “busy!” or “yeah plugging away.” They have plenty going on in their own lives, after all, no need to worry them. And they don’t know what it’s like to be a freelancer, anyway. The work keeps coming. You’ve made a success of freelancing. But it doesn’t feel like a success. Your work has become robotic, you barely see friends and family anymore. When you do, it becomes clear they have no real idea what you do. You just deliver project after project. Sometimes the PM forgets to even reply to your emails to confirm receipt. But you just keep on going. And suddenly you realise, you are so very, very lonely. It doesn’t have to be this way. Turn back the clock.


o you’ve done it. Handed in your notice and struck out on your own. You know that this is going to be tough. So you eat humble pie and accept that you’re going to have to ask for help. You tell your friends and family, your former colleagues, your neighbours – anyone who’ll listen, really – what you’re planning and ask them to rack their brains for any contacts that could be helpful. Someone you haven’t spoken to since school congratulates you and recommends a podcast about freelancing, and a couple of books. You pick up a magazine.

“So you throw yourself in and get involved with as much as you can.” Issue Six // August-October 2022

You listen to the podcast while you set up your website, an episode about personal branding for freelancers. You take the advice to heart: you are the USP of your business. Putting yourself out there makes you nervous, but you do it anyway. You build a website that’s a true reflection of you, with a big photo of yourself right on the homepage. You go on Twitter, and right there in the suggested tab is the host of the podcast. So you tweet at them, thanking them for the advice and linking to the website you’ve just built. “Looks great!” they reply. Other freelancers reply too. One mentions they live not far away and would be happy to meet up for a coffee and a chat. Another follows you and reveals that they share your passion for early 2000s pop-punk. A respected industry professional puts a heart eyes emoji under a photo of your dog. All of these people do such interesting things; networking chats, private groups, co-working, and mastermind sessions. They crack jokes and talk about their personal lives. They commiserate with each other about the tough parts of freelancing and celebrate when one of them scores a win. They talk about the average rates for the work you do and call out unfair practices in the industry. So you throw yourself in and get involved with as much as you can. Friends and family have started to come

through with some leads for you. A former colleague raves about you to her new boss. And best of all, someone you started chatting with a few weeks ago has just had an enquiry from a cake company and has remembered that you love baking. This company needs the services of someone like you, and would you like to be put in touch? The email comes through with a glowing recommendation from your fellow freelancer. You celebrate this new client on social media, and your friends celebrate with you. And suddenly you realise you are part of a community. ●

Ed Callow is a freelance copywriter, editor and screenwriter, who lives in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. He has had two attempts at this whole freelancing thing and is happy for you to learn from his mistakes. @EdCallowWrites


Newsletter Love Snooping behind the scenes on four of our favourite freelance newsletters.

Newsletter owner/ author Emma Gibbs De Oliveira I am a freelance… Artist and community building using Brazilian art and cultural activities. I am based in... Southend on Sea, Essex Name of newsletter For the Culturally Curious

What’s it about? Insights, ideas and reflections on living and connecting to others and the world around us. What was the subject line of the last one you sent out? 107# A Newsletter for the Culturally Curious What day is it sent on? Wednesday at 2pm How frequently? Weekly How long has it been going? 107 weeks

Email service provider used Squarespace How far in advance do you write your newsletter? Between 1 - 2 days (sometimes on the day) How do we subscribe? Where can we find you on social? Instagram: @brazilarte Twitter: @brazilarteuk


Number of subscribers 239


Freelancer Magazine

Newsletter owner/author Kat Dooney I am a freelance… Instagram Coach I am based in... Fleetwood (nr Blackpool) Name of newsletter The Social Sip

What’s it about? Rounding up stuff going on in the Metaverse (that’s Instagram and Facebook to us mortals) that I think small business owners will benefit from knowing about. Basically, I wade through all the crap so they don’t have to. The monthly round-up also features my thoughts/ramblings/rants about Insta. I want it to be a fun space, not one governed by algorithms and robots. Sod that! We’re here to do Insta our way. I also sprinkle in tips or advice to make Insta land that little bit easier. I also send out content prompts every(ish) Monday morning to help spark a bit of inspo and help people plan for the week ahead. I know how pushed for time most people are so they’re really easy and quick to do.

Number of subscribers 87 Email service provider used Mailchimp - though thinking of ditching the glitchy monkey for Flo Desk. How far in advance do you write your newsletter? Content prompts - the night before Round-up - I start putting it together a week before I publish How do we subscribe? Where can we find you on social? Insta @stripesocial

What was the subject line of the last one you sent out? Join me for my free Instagram Engagement Challenge What day is it sent on? Content prompts - Monday Round-up - last working day of the month. How frequently? Monthly and weekly How long has it been going? Since March 2021

Issue Six // August-October 2022


Newsletter owner/author Maria Soleil

Newsletter owner/author The New Happy

I am a freelance… Marketing consultant

I am a freelance… Founder of The New Happy

I am based in... Kent

I am based in... San Diego, California

Name of newsletter Marketing by Purpose

Name of newsletter The New Happy

What’s it about? It’s a monthly newsletter for purpose-driven business owners and leaders who want to do marketing with intention and impact. It includes a news roundup, ideas, inspiration and tips about marketing and growing a purpose-driven business.

What’s it about? Helping you to find lasting happiness using the latest science

What was the subject line of the last one you sent out? Why small actions make a difference, plus a B Corp update What day is it sent on? Around the end of each month How frequently? Monthly How long has it been going? Almost one year

Email service provider used Mailchimp How far in advance do you write your newsletter? I draft an outline at the start of the month and finish the email on the last day of the month. How do we subscribe? Go to my site or see my pinned tweet Where can we find you on social? @MariaSoleil on Twitter, and I’m also on LinkedIn.

Email service provider used Mailchimp

What day is it sent on? Sunday

How far in advance do you write your newsletter? 5 days in advance for the main elements, and then the timely links are added 2-3 days in advance!

How frequently? Weekly

How do we subscribe?

How long has it been going? Since 2018

Where can we find you on social? @newhappyco

What was the subject line of the last one you sent out? The Unintended Path

Number of subscribers (we don’t share these numbers publicly, hope that’s okay!)

Number of subscribers 63


Freelancer Magazine

“Blogging leads to 55% more website visitors.” “But it takes too much time, right?” “Not anymore...”



Content Ideas



Content + Templates




Promotion Checklist


The Working Lunch Susanne Wakefield is a freelance assistant and foodie. She writes the newsletter The Working Lunch, encouraging freelancers to show their lunchtime some love with four weekly recipes.

How long have you been freelancing and what do you do? I’d say I’m a VA or Virtual Assistant, but I really do think the industry has outgrown it as a job title and virtual working is now run of the mill. I work mostly with creatives and communities, helping them to do more and get more done. I’ve been freelance properly since the end of 2011. Food is my obsession, not my profession. Where does your love of food come from? I think my love of food comes from always being hungry. Maybe I’m just greedy? Actually, I think it comes from always being around it. Which is a strange thing to say when it’s such an everyday thing – we all need to eat. Mum ran a pub when I was a teenager, so my sister 70

and I would often get roped into helping to waitress, wash up and even do a bit of food prep. Even before then, mum always cooked proper food, so I guess you just inherit an interest and learn how to cook things and what to eat. Then working in a few pubs and restaurants along the way, some holidays and a summer backpacking in Spain opened my eyes even more to different foods. I love the atmosphere of a busy market or a bustling bar with all those delicious food smells spilling out into the street. But it wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I started cooking properly.

“Lunch is important - not just for the food, but to give yourself a break in the day.”

What is The Working Lunch? The Working Lunch is a weekly email that celebrates lunch breaks. It’s mostly written with people who work from home in mind, but everyone is welcome. I love food and I work from home; it seemed a good way to join the two. Lunch is important - not just for the food, but to give yourself a break in the day. This is a reminder to show your lunch break some love by taking the time to cook and eat a delicious meal – and not just to grab a piece of toast and eat al desko! It’s four lunch ideas every week. Meals that you can make ahead, food that can you can forget about while it cooks and you get on with work, rapid recipes that you can rustle up, and everyday eats that you can elevate with a little lunchtime love. Freelancer Magazine

Four Lunches Something on



Smashed peas We all know that toast is a freelancer’s favourite food, so here it is with some smashed peas. INGREDIENTS: - A large slice of sourdough bread - A handful of frozen peas - Salt and pepper - Fresh mint - Cold-pressed rapeseed oil - Lemon juice - Clove of garlic METHOD: 1. Cook some frozen peas in the smallest amount of boiling water. 2. When they’re done, drain them. Then mash them with a fork. 3. Season the peas with salt and pepper, finely chopped fresh mint, a good glug of cold-pressed rapeseed oil and some lemon juice. 4. Now for the toast. Get a sturdy slice of good bread, something with a substantial crust like sourdough. 5. Once it’s toasted, rub over with a cut piece of fresh garlic before topping the toast with the smashed peas.

Issue Six // August-October 2022





Feta and mint couscous salad A fresh and light yet substantial salad that will see you through the afternoon. I’ve called it salad, but it’s mostly cheese and carbs. Make it ahead of time, either in the morning or the night before, and keep it covered in the fridge. Depending on how much you make, it’ll feed a few hungry freelancers at home and works great to pop into packed lunches too. INGREDIENTS: - Couscous - Feta - Cucumber, chopped - Black olives, chopped - Salt and pepper - Oil - Lemon juice - Fresh mint METHOD: 1. Prepare the couscous according to the packet instructions. Then leave it to cool. 2. Once it’s cool, fluff it up with a fork and season it generously with freshly ground black pepper, salt flakes, lemon juice and a little oil. 3. Add in crumbled feta cheese, chopped up cucumber, black olives and fresh mint. No need to be precise with quantities, it’s your salad.


Cook while you work… Oven-baked tortilla This oven-baked alternative pays homage to a true tortilla (Spanish omelette) with less effort. It’s really not the same, you’ll need to lower your expectations a bit, but it’s a great option for work from home lunch as it only needs a few minutes of hands-on time, then it transfers to the oven to carry on cooking. INGREDIENTS: - 8 eggs - Tin of potatoes - 1 onion - Oil - Salt and pepper

METHOD: 1. Start with a warm oven and a pan on the hob. Choose a pan that will happily move from the hob to the oven. 2. Sauté some sliced onions in a little oil in your pan on the hob. 3. While they’re cooking, drain and slice a tin of potatoes and whisk together your eggs. I’ve used 8 eggs — to feed two with some leftovers to save for mañana. 4. Add the potatoes and eggs to the pan. 5. Season well and whack into the oven at around 185c for 20 minutes or until the egg is cooked through. 6. Bonus points for some crusty bread and some ketchup or aioli on the side. Freelancer Magazine


Just a sandw


Chilli-glazed halloumi flatbread Sometimes you need a distraction from work. So seek solace in the kitchen and immerse yourself in this homemade flatbread recipe, with chilli-glazed halloumi, pickled red onions and fresh tzatziki. INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2): - Block of halloumi ( 1/2 per serving) - 1⁄2 a red pepper - Chilli jam (you could use sweet chilli sauce if not) optional - 1⁄2 a red onion - 125 g Greek yoghurt - 1⁄4 cucumber - A few mint leaves - 80g plain flour + extra to dust your worktop/rolling pin - Cider vinegar (65ml maximum) - 1tsp sugar - Salad leaves of your choice - Salt and pepper - Vegetable oil - 50 ml warm water


1. To make the dough, mix 80g flour with 50ml of warm water, 1tsp veg oil and 1⁄4 tsp salt. Knead until it forms a soft dough. Leave to rest under an upturned bowl. 2. For the tzatziki, grate 1⁄4 cucumber. Sprinkle the cucumber with a pinch of salt and mix together. 3. Squeeze out the juice from the cucumber, then add the cucumber to 125g of Greek yoghurt. 4. Add salt and pepper, 1⁄2 tsp cider vinegar, and a few shredded mint leaves. Mix. 5. For the pickled red onion, peel and finely slice 1⁄2 red onion. Add 4tbsp of cider vinegar, 1tsp sugar and a pinch of salt. Leave to pickle. 6. To prepare the halloumi and red pepper, slice 1⁄2 a red pepper into thick strips and the halloumi into 6 pieces – 3 per serving. Put to one side until ready to cook. 7. To shape and cook the flatbread, divide the dough into two equal pieces. Shape each into a ball. Lightly flour the surface, and roll each one out to the size of a

dinner plate. In a medium/high dry frying pan, cook each side of the bread for a few minutes until it starts to bubble and you get some golden patches – you can see when the dough cooks as it changes colour. Repeat. Wrap the breads in a clean tea towel to keep warm and soft. 8. Wipe out any flour from the frying pan and add a little oil, then cook the peppers and halloumi for a few minutes on each side. Take the peppers out when they’re cooked. When the halloumi is golden, take the pan off the heat and add a teaspoon of chilli jam to glaze the halloumi. 9. Top a flatbread with some tzatziki, add a few salad leaves and then place the halloumi pieces and red pepper on top. Sprinkle with a few of the pickled onions. Either fold in half or roll up to eat.


WHY ONLY FOUR LUNCHES? Most people work five days a week so day five is a chance to wing it. See what’s left in your fridge and what leftovers can you use up. Subscribe to The Working Lunch newsletter at

Freelancer Magazine Zoom Cook Together of Aubergine Banh Mi

Susanne will take us step-by-step through making our own delicious aubergine banh mi. Thursday 20th October 1-2pm (UK time). This event is £5 the proceeds will go to Trussell Trust UK Food Bank charity.. Sign up at Issue Six // August-October 2022


Coworkers Thank you for sending in your pet pictures and stories. Keep ‘em coming to and we’ll keep featuring them.

In 2020, Winnie the Cocker Spaniel moved in with copywriter Ruth Sedar (@ruthsedarwrites on Twitter) and her family at just 8 weeks old. Winnie usually helps me work by singing the song of her people in the background on calls, by jumping up and getting all of the attention, ‘filing’ the paperwork (read: shredding the post) and being the most loveable, sassy nuisance you can imagine. Now she’s over a year old, I can leave her to her own devices more and let her get on with having a quiet snooze while I do some work. She’s a smart cookie and very affectionate. When we both need a break it’s lovely going to the park for a run around or to work on new tricks. Like a lot of people, I get quite anxious at times and she’s a calming presence. Looking after her reminds me to slow down and look after myself too. 74

Freelancer Magazine

Fluffy cat Thunder lives with Ness Cooper (@theladyness on Twitter), a Sex and Relationship Expert and Writer. Thunder is a cat trying to be a big cat, but really he’s all fluff. At just over 1 years old, he came to live at mine during Halloween in 2020 (very fitting arrival for a black cat). As a fan of woodlands, he regularly pops out on short walks with me during my writing breaks. As he walks alongside me so often, I have become known as the cat lady, which at 32 I think is pretty cool. When he’s not walking in woodlands, he’s eating all the food in the world and causing spritely trouble. He’s mostly approved of my long distance relationship with fellow copywriter Matt Sibley, but when Matt comes to stay, he still tries to get away with kitten-like antics and attack his slippers.

Issue Six // August-October 2022

Roley the 13-year-old Dalmatian is Social Media and Content Marketing Strategist, Tasmin Lofthouse’s furry friend and ‘colleague’. Roley’s been keeping me on my toes since he was a puppy - and remains just as bonkers as he was the first day we brought him home. At work, he can be described as that chatty colleague who is always trying to distract you. He’s high maintenance, dramatic, and very demanding. As such, he spends his working day in a separate office (AKA the dog room) with his far more well-behaved supervisor, Didier the Labrador. Roley helps me maintain a healthy work-life balance by starting his daily ritual of crying for food at 3:30pm until I eventually cave, turn off my laptop and finish work for the day (usually around 5:30pm). Without his constant cries for food, I’d probably work way into the evening! The daily post-work walkies are always a welcome breath of fresh air. An opportunity to leave the working day behind me and settle into non-work mode. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Find Tasmin on Twitter at @grandiosedays. 75


Freelancing and Self-Employment 43% of Brits say they’re planning to adapt a room permanently or build an extension for a long term home workspace.* Almost one in ten freelancers didn’t take any days off in the previous 12 months, and 14% took less than five days.**

As of 2021, the self-employed population contribute an estimated £303 billion to the UK economy.**

13% of the self-employed population moved to freelancing between 2020 and 2021. **

21% of disabled people reported that they had made the move into selfemployment for better work or job satisfaction.**

Almost two-fifths of freelancers (39%) have been working freelance for over 10 years.**

The majority of freelancers (58%) forecast an increase in their day rates over the next 12 months whereas a further 32% predict a decrease.**

Therapy professionals and media professionals have both experienced increases of 29% and 41% respectively since 2020.**

Over 60% of freelancers believe that there is a general lack of respect for the freelance type of work and community. ***

*Instant Offices ( ** IPSE *** Thrive My Way 76

Freelancer Magazine


Which of these 3 mistakes are you making in your freelance business?

Most freelancers are making one or more of the following three deadly mistakes in their businesses: 1. You have no system in place for attracting the right kind of prospects and tend to take what comes. 2. You fail to sell your services at the rates you know you’re worth and often give discounts or negotiate prices. 3. You have no reliable or robust process for predictably getting quality leads and converting them to sales. The good news is if one or more of those does apply to you... ... then your day is about to get a lot better. But before we get into why I say this, please understand one thing: if you find yourself dealing with the wrong kind of prospects and clients, running around from Zoom call to proposal, and constantly being led-on, fobbed-off and ultimately ghosted...

It’s NOT your fault

Although it is your responsibility to fix. See, you do things the way you do them mostly because that’s the way everyone else around you is doing them. And you don’t know what you don’t know because no one ever taught you any different. Unfortunately, you won’t learn to solve any of these challenges by taking advice from fellow freelancers who are still struggling with them. All they can ever do is give you advice on how to live with

the pain. You have only to look at the comments on the majority of complaining social media posts to see this is true. The fact is most freelancers have never learned how to market and sell themselves effectively. Somewhat ironic because it’s exactly the “how to” promise most make to their own clients, although they’re not being dishonest since they do know vastly more than the average twonk running a business. Yet when it comes to competing with their fellow freelancers they’re out of their depth, since they’re going toe-to-toe with equallyskilled professionals vying for the same business in an ever more crowded marketplace. Thus, they can help their clients yet find it hard to help themselves. A cliché, I know. But it’s a fact, and a costly one for your average freelancer. The solution?

The Well-Fed Freelancer

If you’d like me to share with you a drop-dead-simple, paintby-numbers system for attracting the best clients and selling to them at premium fees, all without resistance, anxiety, or having you resort to working for free, begging for attention, waiting for payment, or giving gouging discounts to get the work then I strongly urge you to help yourself to a copy of my new book, The Well-Fed Freelancer. And if you’ll promise me you’ll do the exercises I set out for you, I guarantee by the time you’re

Get your copy of The Well-Fed Freelancer and my Most Unbelievable Free Gift Ever for just £5. You risk nothing because of my personal unconditional lifetime double your money back guarantee.

done you’ll have a solid and robust system for making it all happen quickly and easily (I rely on the same system in my own business, so I’m not expecting you to do anything I don’t do myself).

My unconditional lifetime double your money back guarantee

If at any time in the future you decide for any reason or no reason at all The Well-Fed Freelancer is not going to add at least £50k to your bottom line over the next 12 months, let me know and I’ll not only refund the £5 you gave me for the book, but I’ll also double it and buy you a pizza. It’s my way of saying “thank you” for giving it a go (and you can keep my Most Unbelievable Free Gift with my blessing). To claim your copy of The Well Fed Freelancer and my Most Unbelievable Free Gift go to the page below and follow the simple on-screen instructions:

The Summer Edition by Abi Sea


Blooming lovely tea towels Makes procrastinating by doing the dishes truly joyful. 100% cotton, designed and screen printed in the UK. £12.50 from

Neon plant babies Embrace the house plant revolution without the fear of killing it off in a week. Surely the perfect desk companion? Choose from 4 designs, £40 each from

Peanut Rayu snack heaven Never look at cheese on toast the same way again. Elevates the most humble of hasty lunches…GF, vegan & organic. Made in Dublin, by way of China, Korea & Japan. €36 (6 pack)

Choose Love tees Classic t-shirts that speak out and put love back into the world. 100% of profits go to help refugees. Designed by Katharine Hamnett. From £25 at

Colourful, creative club Strictly no chintz! Discover a colourful hobby and learn new skills with this online, live monthly craft club. All materials & tools are included each month. £25 theedinbur

Sundown luxury candle & diffuser Perfect for those days when you’d love to be in the garden but you’re on a deadline. Blended with delicate florals and fruit scents (and the diffusers last for months). From £10

Cards for every occasion Dick’s work is all about love, relationships, the simple things in life and the great outdoors - truly a card for everyone in your life. From dickvincent

This Must Be the Place print Right here is where it’s at. A brilliant print to hang above your desk and keep you grounded on the most stressful days. A3 framed. £40 from Freelancer Magazine

If you’d like to suggest a product to feature in our next issue (the Summer Collection) then please email

Hey! I’m Abi Sea, The Launch Lifeline and I help business owners get ready to sell online with strong launch plans, aligned messaging and content that connects people. Life as a freelancer began in 2018 and I niched into the launching space in 2020. The people I work with are all good eggs, keen to make the world a better place for their own clients. By the

Maximalist stationery at its brightest Mouth watering colourways and cheery designs help to keep your productivity playful. Screen printed and designed in Glasgow. Various prices at

East End Press Garlands are for life, not just for Christmas. Beautiful, cheery designs to brighten the darkest corner. Hand printed on recycled paper in Glasgow. From £12 at

time they find me, they’re drowning in all the stuff that goes with launching new offers and ideas online. That’s where I swoop in and save the day! I love working with colourful people – creative thinkers with big hearts and dirty laughs. I guess that describes me, too – and the products I chose for Top Of The Shops are a selection of things that brighten up my workdays and put a bit of colour, love and humour back into the world. Find Abi on LinkedIn /abiseathelaunchlifeline or visit

Bad Gal Boocha Real, alive and unpasteurised ‘booch in delicious flavours delivered to your door. Tastes great with rum (just sayin’). Gut health rebels unite! Case: £22.50 from Issue Six // August-October 2022

Die Cry Hate hoodie The antidote to the Live Laugh Love movement & ideal vibe for chasing invoices. Hand-stitched in sunny Leith. £65 from

If you’d like to suggest a product to feature in our next issue (the Autumn Collection) then please email


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Roadmap MBA is a UK startup bringing free business education to the world. The Roadmap alternative MBA is a CPD-certified training course which provides the real world skills to grow a business. This course will aid your personal development, help you progress your career, or launch and grow your businesses. Their mission is to make business education accessible for 5 billion people. Find out more at

Mark Pollard’s Sweathead Membership

Join over 1,000 strategy friends and help your strategy instincts come alive with 44 classes on the fundamentals of strategy, events and a community who will help you to write better creative briefs, nail your insights and practice how you think. Find out more at


Freelancer Magazine

What We’re Reading... How To Build A Second Brain by Tiago Forte

What if you made use of the ideas, wisdom, and resources available to you online instead of stockpiling and hoarding information with no end in sight? What if you knew with total confidence that you could find the information you need when you need it instead of wasting time looking for notes you swore you’d saved? What if you could leverage technology to think better, clear your mind, and get more done instead of letting it disrupt you with constant notifications and demands? Learn how to combine timeless notetaking practices with modern digital tools to get organised and create the life you want.

Create and Prosper by Matt Essam

Matt Essam is a business coach, helping established freelancers and small businesses in the creative industries to do meaningful work and get paid what they’re worth. In this book, he tells you how to find your dream clients and build a freelance business you love. Freelancer Magazine readers can download a free digital copy and access bonus content here:

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What We’re Listening To…

JFDI With The Two Lauras

JFDI with the two Lauras is for freelancers looking for honest advice and ideas to help them build a business in the social media space. Each week they share their experience and views on marketing trends and give advice on running a business and an insight into how they run theirs.

Kate Toon’s Clever Copy Chats A brand new podcast that gets back to the

course, the real bottom warming stories of great

sticky, awkward, gloriousness of being a day-

clients and amazing writing that keeps us doing

to-day copywriter.

the do each day.

The woes, the ups, the bitty fist annoyance


So go with Kate on a journey through colons

of a client who won’t use track changes, the

and interrobangs, through client Zooms and

tips on how to write 5,000 words in 20 minutes

last-minute amends, and have some laughs and

because you forgot the deadline, and of

learn a thing or two along the way.

Freelancer Magazine

What We’re Watching... ISOLATED Talks

Advertising is about sharing ideas. It’s about sharing ideas that inspire us to help others. Ideas that persuade us to think differently. Ideas that reassure us when we feel vulnerable. ISOLATED Talks began during the pandemic from the belief that ideas should never be isolated. There are over 150 short, inspirational videos on the website from people across the industry and you can even submit your own.

Send your recommendations to

Issue Six // August-October 2022


Freelance Events and Meet Ups IRL is back and we want to know where you’ve been, who you’ve met and what you’ve learnt.

Presenter, Jon Burkhart

You Are The Media You Are The Media is a supportive marketing learning community, with its home at the beach in Poole, Dorset. The focus is to help freelancers, small business owners and creative entrepreneurs create the right content to get the audience they always wanted. The You Are The Media Creator Day was held at Lighthouse, Poole on May 26th and brought others from around the country for this workbookthemed day. The focus was to help people find their content momentum and build their personal brands. Presenters include Joe Glover from The Marketing Meetup and Sarah Townsend, author of Survival Skills For Freelancers. A dedicated section during the afternoon encouraged 84

attendees to work together in small groups to have their own cheerleading teams to help motivate and encourage each other to produce something they haven’t done before, from a blog, to a video, to a LinkedIn post. Event curator Mark Masters says, “We can’t go back to the way of attending conferences and passively learning from people talking at you. There is a way we can all work together.” Next up for You Are The Media is Chloe Yong

John Espirian, Ella Orr, Janine Coombes, Sarah Townsend, Jackie Goddard, Mark Masters

marketing legend, Mark Schaefer heading over from the US to the seaside for a lecture-themed event at Bournemouth University (Wednesday 7th September) followed by a lunch occasion by the sea (Thursday 8th September). You can find out more at Freelancer Magazine

SocialNorth SocialNorth is a new series of free networking and speaker events in the north of England. Originally founded in Manchester, the 2022 core programme sees SocialNorth travel further afield and run new events in Leeds, Newcastle, and Liverpool, as well as continuing in their native Manchester. Founded by Justin Clark and Lee Benecke, two long-standing digital leaders in the northern marketing scene, the pair were fed up travelling away from home to access the best meetups, conferences and training opportunities despite the high bar of talent and businesses in the region. After a successful test event in March 2020, further progress was halted by Covid-19. Rather than abandon plans, the pair decided to build bigger. The planning time was longer than expected but allowed them to conceive how their events programme could work across the entire north and serve all under their central mission to connect the digital communities across the region. So far in 2022, over 1000 people have registered and attended SocialNorth events and people continue to sign up for future events every day. The core

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programme is sponsored by leading social intelligence platform Meltwater and sees the biggest brands, agencies, creators, and platforms come together to meet IRL, connect, and leave with more knowledge than when they arrived. For the freelance community, SocialNorth gives skilled practitioners the chance to meet, connect and start a conversation. Those conversations have already led to work partnerships with everyone in attendance feeling the benefit of being able to openly talk with potential clients, partners and supporters. The stage

is also open for freelancers to speak. In recent months, independent creators and community builders, including Girls In Marketing and the creators of the Gender Pay Gap Twitter Bot, have shared the stage alongside brands and agency thought leaders. SocialNorth will be back in Manchester at the magnificent Stoller Hall on 24th August 2022 - this event promises to be the largest yet with four world-class speakers from the social media industry due to speak. Register for SocialNorth events on Eventbrite.


The Marketing Meetup: IRL The Marketing Meetup relaunched its positively lovely events series this spring. The post-Covid appetite for in person events has been demonstrated by the number of sell-out TMM events across the country, and the buzz of being back in the room IRL is just lovely. TMM is everywhere right now popping up in new locations with events happening every two months or so. If you’re in Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham or Norwich then there is already an event on your doorstep and new locations are being added all the time. The first TMM IRL event of the season 86

in Manchester saw Robin Skidmore of Journey Further take the stage. TMM IRL: London welcomed Jack Hinchliffe, CMO of KFC UK, who gave a thought-provoking talk on brand purpose, and the pitfalls of mistaking positioning for purpose. Freelancer Magazine’s Sophie Cross was even there. The very first TMM IRL: Nottingham was a well-deserved sell-out, with Impression’s Aaron Dicks talking through the gnarly implications of Google Analytics 4, and a spectacular culinary spread to follow. It’s been so heartwarming to see such engaged and friendly gatherings. People come along to TMM IRL events with

a hunger for knowledge, a desire for inspiration, and a buzz about connecting with other kindred spirits. People come back to TMM IRL for all these reasons, but also because the community produces such a lovely environment, with listening, saying hello, and being positively lovely at its core. It’s wonderful to be back connecting and inspiring marketers through our live events as well as our super popular weekly virtual webinars. There’s a live TMM IRL event somewhere in the UK every week or so - you can find details on the TMM website: They’d love to see you there! Freelancer Magazine

Photos: Ema Pruteanu

The Marketing Meetup: Scotland Bound! Over the last two+ years, TMM has been a constant source of inspiration, education, and fun. When we all found ourselves locked down, TMM did what it does best, and created a community of positively lovely marketers. Joe, James, El and the team were tireless in bringing the marketing community together through their webinars - and what webinars they were. Copywriting legend, Dave Harland, in a gladiator helmet will live on as one of the funniest and most enlightening webinars we’ve ever attended. Even when the speaker wasn’t defending Sparta, we found ourselves spoiled for choice with generous souls from around the globe who shared their insight and expertise so readily. But more than this, TMM gave marketers around the world a true sense of

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belonging when we were all stuck in our little square zoom boxes. However, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t ridiculously excited to bring TMM to Scotland, IRL – so that’s exactly what we did. On June 15th, the first-ever TMM Scotland exploded to life against the opulent black and gold backdrop of The Voodoo Rooms, buzzing with over 45 great human beings who’d come together to connect in person. The star of the show, Gin Lalli, a Solutions Focused Therapist gave a phenomenal talk on creativity, stress buckets, polar bears, and more. Gin effortlessly broke down some of the common misconceptions about needing to ‘hack’ your intelligent brain to be creative (spoiler alert: you don’t) and how things like depression, anger, and anxiety are signs that your primitive brain is doing a brilliant job! You just need to

figure out how to empty your stress bucket on the regular. As always, events like this cannot run on ideas alone, we are forever grateful to our core TMM sponsor, AdRoll, and incredible local sponsors White Light Media and The International Magazine Centre, plus Ema Prateanu, who captured the evening in all its glory. The next TMM Scotland event will take place in Glasgow in Autumn, with Laura Kelly, Future Generations Editor for The Big Issue. Keep your eyes open for more details coming soon. ● 87

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Copywriting, Creativity And Some Pr*ck Called Alan Dan Nelken is a Copywriter based in Vancouver, Canada. He recently released his first book “A Self-Help Guide for Copywriters: A resource for writing headlines and building creative confidence” and launched his first course, “Writing Under Pressure”.


here was a whole lotta love in the Zoom as Dan generously gave out tips, anecdotes and advice at the first-ever Freelancer Magazine Book Club. Ironically, given how many advertising peeps attended, Zoom didn’t convert and we lost the recording*. Good news for me because it meant I got to grill Dan one-on-one the following week. *I didn’t sabotage it I swear. So, Dan, the book’s been popular. Yeah. The first negative review I got was that it was too short. I didn’t think it was too bad because that was kind of the plan. Still, five stars on Amazon. Oh, man. I’m just blown away by the response. I wrote the thing in a vacuum, I didn’t have a team. I thought if this helps one person that’s all I need. It would’ve helped me when I started.


You say on page one that the book was originally meant to be a course. How did it evolve? I thought of making a course on headlines because I realised great headlines aren’t always great sentences, they’re ideas expressed in words. I also knew I could get better at them myself. I met this creative director Chris and told him about this course, the one I hadn’t actually made yet. He asked me to come in and teach it to his writers. I put it in my project quote but overpriced it to scare him off. But he said yes. I started work on the course handout. Unfortunately, Chris got canned (sorry, Chris). I realised the handout was almost the start of a book. I’d already started to feel like a volcano was building inside me. Like I had to do something or I’d regret it. My father is in his 80s and still feels like he might write a book one day. I wanted to set an example for my kids. So that was motivating. I just kept chipping away at it for

about five years. Everything just aligned for me and now I’m building the life I want. And now you’re turning it back into a course again. Yes, it might end up being a few courses. I wouldn’t do the whole thing as one course because people would get bored. The first course is Writing Under Pressure. What was it like self-publishing? I think sometimes if people who self-publish don’t do well, maybe it’s because they don’t already have an audience. So, for two years I shared bits of the book and refined them. I thought I’d be done within a year but it took two years because of the baby [Dan and his wife welcomed baby number two in 2020], and other things. But it meant I built up a bigger audience. I had a newsletter I never planned on having, it just evolved. So I had my audience. There’s definitely freedom in self-publishing. I completely changed the structure at one point, then two weeks before I published I changed it back. Freelancer Magazine

Any tips for people who want to write in a hurry? The concept “name it to tame it” is naming your emotions to reduce their power. Naming headline techniques gives them power because it means I can draw on them really quickly. When I have to write under pressure, my collection of techniques gets me going, like a fast track. That’s what the course is about. Does it feel like cheating, using a formula? No, it’s just figuring it out. I met with a creative director for Apple recently. He said he was working on a new campaign. And I said so it’s either gonna be one of these, one of these, or one of these. Because they use a set number of headline structures. He was kind of taken aback and said holy shit, I never really thought of that. What’s your favourite type of headline? The one I use the most is a list and twist, where you list at least three items but the last one is twisted or unexpected. I’d say something like ‘subscribe to my newsletter for tips on copywriting, creativity and the latest trends in squirrel pants.’ Did you always want to be a copywriter? I’ve never really had a plan. Before I went to ad school I was driving a forklift. I was 28 when I got my first agency job. So I was an older junior copywriter. At school you don’t know copywriting is even an option. Is it an ethical dilemma, selling stuff? Making money for the man? I’ve been on several podcasts and no one’s asked me that. I was actually afraid someone would ask me. I do struggle with it, especially the environmental impact of consumption. I’ve said no to clients who didn’t align with Issue Six // August-October 2022


me. The world is evolving though. And as a freelancer, I have more choices. I won’t work on anything that doesn’t align with my values, no matter what the creative or financial opportunity. What do you enjoy about freelancing? I value my time and happiness more than anything. If I work intensely for a few months, I love that I can take a month off. And I do. What’s your biggest obstacle to creativity? Right now, it’s probably choosing where to focus my time. Whether it’s the course, the content, the newsletter, the book, or client work. I’m learning what to say yes and no to. Is creativity finite, Dan? Can you ever run out? Ideas often get lost when they’re not ‘for’ anything. So as soon as you start doing something regularly, like creating content, you have a place to put your ideas. I never even thought about growing an audience. It just happened and now I get so many creative ideas. You can’t use creativity up. It’s about finding the time and figuring out what to focus on.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about copywriting? If you’re a creative, the myth is that it just comes quickly, or you’re different from other people. I don’t think that’s true. People who aren’t creative, they’ll sit down to do something, won’t get anywhere and within eight seconds they’re like, “fuck it, I’m not creative I’ll find someone who is”. They assume that that’s how we work like *BAM* here’s a line. But I need to lock myself in a room, put headphones on and think it through. It takes time. Any tips for creatives who can’t get agency experience? [Disclaimer: this is my own question - a shameless abuse of power] Creative ad agencies will always ask to see your work. If you don’t have that, or if the kind of work you’re doing for clients isn’t showing who you are it’s fine to make spec work. Ad agencies want to see how your brain works. They couldn’t care less if it’s real or spec work. Too many people that aren’t in the business and want to be in it, overvalue whether an ad actually ran. There’s a lot of not so good stuff that runs. And wins awards. You say not to edit too early. But when do you stop? When is it good enough? Never. I spend way too much time on most stuff. I think what helps it the most is walking away and coming back to it. Like with my newsletter. I send it on a Monday so ideally, I have the first draft written by Wednesday. Every time I walk away from it and come back it gets better. I often get ideas walking the dog.


I’ll never be done with the book. There are already a million things I’d love to change in it. If there’s ever a second edition, I’ll do that. How do you deal with pressure? I was on a project that wasn’t going very well. There was a senior creative there and I was like, “how do you deal with this?” It was driving me nuts. She said, “I just don’t care.” Creatives are generally more sensitive. We care, you can’t work on something and not care. When I find myself going too far, I just *click* [Dan puts his fist to his chest and mimics pulling out a plug] unplug myself. And it’s helping me so much to care less. I get less emotional and more determined. I figure it out. If it takes three weeks or three months, I’m going to get it done. How do you escape the dreaded self-doubt? Creatives all seem to have self-doubt, or impostor syndrome, which is part of building your craft. It doesn’t have to be seen as Freelancer Magazine

[he’s going full Danifesto now and I’m here for it] There’s no downside. If you share content, and nobody likes it, it doesn’t matter. You just get better at creating. And there’s always the chance that lots of people see it. When you’re able to express yourself however the hell you want it stings a lot less when things go south at work. It kind of puts it in perspective. Go make stuff. Make things. I’ll go one step Issue Six // August-October 2022

What does that life look like? I’d love to buy a holiday home. The Gulf Islands off the coast here in Vancouver are beautiful. There are seals, sea lions, and dolphins, it’s amazing. But really it’s about having control of my life. If you work for a company, you move up and you get this title and this promotion, you get validation and maybe some control. As a freelancer, you don’t have that progression. So really freedom is what I want. I want full control of my life, my schedule, and my money.

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How important is it to create your own stuff? If you’re a creative, the joy comes in doing. It’s the over-analysing and overthinking beforehand that’s the painful part. If you’re not creating, you’re not getting to feel what you want to feel. We try and feel it through paid client work. And then we’re constantly pissed off and disappointed. There’s such freedom in creating for yourself. Another thing that stops people is when they go on Twitter or LinkedIn and see so much garbage. [I apologise to Dan for trashtagging him on LinkedIn] Yeah, stop tagging me [I will not]. The percentage of stuff out there that’s valuable is so small. When good creatives don’t create it makes the internet worse. We can make it better with quality. Not the hustle stuff, just helpful stuff. And by putting out there who you are people will hire you because they like you and the way you think.

further and say making stuff can build your freedom. That’s what motivates me. There’s a certain life that I want and I’m gonna get it.

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a weakness. It’s part of being a creative. Understanding self-doubt and naming it helps. The voice in my head is Alan. He was a total prick. Now that I know who he is he’s not so bad, he’s just misunderstood. Pissy pants Alan.

azine Book ag M

I’m a freelance copywriter specialising in creative ad copy. I’m married with

Dan Nelken’s book A Self-Help Guide For Copywriters is available on Amazon or via where you can also sign up for his newsletter.

two daughters, living in rural Northamptonshire. My family was my motivation for breaking free from the chains of local government life. Freelancer Magazine

You can sign up for his course Writing Under Pressure here with a special discount for Freelancer Magazine readers:

was another huge influence on my decision to go solo, so I’m pinching myself right now. @allcopymel

The next Freelancer Magazine Book Club is on Thursday 25th August at 8pm. Sarah Townsend will be talking to me about her book

Survival Skills for Freelancers: Tried and Tested Tips to Help You Ace Self-Employment Without Burnout. To sign up for the Zoom call visit:


Hello, fellow Freelancer Magazine friends! This is me, Ece, a community strategist and co-host of the Leapers Accountability Pods. Do you host a freelancing channel, community or a podcast? I love talking about freelancing life, community power and mindful productivity. Let's connect! @ecekurtaraner

freelancer MAGAZINE

Virtual Events and Get-Togethers Sunrise Club

The first Monday of every month at sunrise wherever you are in the world.

Show Your Freelance Lunchtime Some Love

Freelance Virtual Coworking

Cook Together with Susanne Wakefield

Every Wednesday morning 9.30-11.30am with a different freelance host each week.

1-2pm on Thursday 20th October cooking Aubergine Banh Mi. £5 for a ticket to join. Proceeds to the

The Freelancer Magazine Book Club

Survival Skills For Freelancers with Sarah Townsend Mel Barfield will put your questions to author and freelance OG Sarah Townsend in this Zoom live. 8-9pm on Thursday 25th August Issue Six // August-October 2022

Trussell Trust.

All the info and sign up to join us at All times based on the UK (GMT/BST).


Ask Twitter

Chris Guiton @WealdWordsmith A self-employed friend of mine knew I was casting around for a change of direction. Realised my love of language sat welI with his need to raise the profile of his business. And asked me to revamp his website and sort out his social media. The rest is history, as they say!

What’s the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you in your freelance career?

Ness Cooper @TheLadyNess I got sent a notebook from the US, as well a colouring book for my son, plus a tip, all from one of my copywriting clients. It really made my week.

Vikki Ross @VikkiRossWrites Recommended me to potential clients. Word of mouth works wonders.

Matt Callanan @CoachCallanan My wife @andrea_callanan got me my 1st freelance gig and then told me to hand in my notice. She gave me the kick up the bum that I needed to make the jump.

Michelle O’Connor @SpeckyScribbler VERY early on in my career, I went for a coffee with @Keith_Farrell and told him about tone of voice and how one day I’d love to do it for a brand. The next day, he asked me to develop the TOV for his brand even though I’d no experience. That coffee changed my freelance path.

Craig Wright @straygoat Not really a work thing, but someone from the twitter content world sent me a letter and a couple of poignant kids books about coping with grief. It was a nice surprise, completely out of the blue, and the books did help. 94

André Spiteri @Andre_Spiteri I appreciate every single referral I get from other copywriters. It’s the biggest compliment anyone can give me.

Amy Nolan @inkypix4u People are endlessly kind and supportive to me and it’s hard to choose! But a cool moment about 20 years ago was when someone cheer-leaded and paid me to paint a mural for their kids nursery and it planted the seed that maybe one day I could have my own creative business.

Ruth Sedar @ruthsedarwrites @EdCallowWrites supported my fiction on Ko-Fi and gave me the reins of his account for the day on #IWD2022 Super grateful.

Emma Cownley @EJCownley @DropCapCopy showed up to watch my YouTube videos every week when I was starting out. His ongoing support made such a difference to my confidence.

Artimus Piledriver @apiledriver A pal transferred as many of his clients to me as he could when the firm he worked for closed down… gifted me the whole foundation of my current freelance career. That and word of mouth recommendations, by clients to prospective clients.

Katy Hope Katy Hope Connections (via email) The kindest thing someone ever did for me as a freelancer was to travel three hours to meet me in The Lake District, stay for two nights in a B&B (at their expense) and spend the whole time helping me with plans for my business. For no other reason than they believed in what I was doing I was blown away by their kindness and their belief in me It actually sparked a business partnership between us on a new business venture launching later this year Freelancer Magazine

Sally Fox @sallymfoxwrites Too many to count! But I’ll never forget @LorrieInCaps’s generosity and kindness in coaching me through a nightmare client situation. She was a fierce and compassionate supporter, friend and ally. I don’t know how I would have got through it without her.

Claire McCabe @copycontentw Loads: -recommended me -took the time to answer my newbie questions -welcomed me to ContentClubUK -surprise thank you chocs -surprise thank you gin -sent me a lovely illustration for £0 -many wonderful words of support when I’ve been wobbly I’m a v lucky person!Love you all

Bee @BeeCopywriting Explicitly asked me how they could make my job easier and more accessible as a freelancer with a chronic health condition.

Genieva Davidson Video editor and strategist (via email) The kindest thing someone did was when my daughter was born, she was in the hospital due to brain damage at birth. We found out there was an infection as well and that we’d spend a month in the hospital with her being treated. The client sent gift boxes, reminded me they were thinking of me with cards, and even a welcome home gift when she was allowed home and was miraculously healed of her brain injury. For just a freelancer, the client was so supportive and engaged. It meant so much to me!

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Cat Hufton @CatHufton Recommendations. They have made my freelance career. Takes literally minutes to send off an email bigging someone up but can totally change someone’s freelance experience.

Caitlin McEvoy @crmcevoy Little things like taking time out of their day to tell you how much they appreciate the work you’ve done for them. It makes you feel valued, but also like you do actually know what you’re doing (and you’re doing it successfully).

The Joyful Freelancer @TheJoyfulFreelancer Mentioned my book idea to her agent.

Heather Pownall @heatherhub At the end of last year I lost my mum, @PollyC84 & Katie Labak swooped in & took over my client work. My first ever advert for @FreelancerMagz was also due and @NikkiSimpson3 said don’t worry about it @tfiviking and I will create it. I will never forget their care & kindness.

Lynda Thompson @LT_customer1st A fellow researcher (who might otherwise have seen me as a competitor) was generous with her experience, knowledge, prices, contract, advice and actually gave me some of her work. Above and beyond, I will now always do the same for others (although they may not want my work...)

Fraser Southey @FraserSouthey My ex-agency boss went client-side then gave me a long contract to tempt me out of an agency he knew was going a bit rotten.

Anne East @AnneEast9 Making me realise my worth by telling me my rate was too low. Also, was sent a Starbucks voucher online by another writer who’d subbed work out to me - a small gesture but one of the kindest things ever!

Megan Collins Quinlan @collinsquinlan2 One client who I was working with during my marriage break-up knew I needed work, immediate invoice payment and understanding of delays and patchy quality. They gave me all of it and more. Mostly they built my confidence right when I needed it.

Irene Mipaña @j_irenemipana A client sent me money after Typhoon Rai wrecked our city and surrounding places. I bought a generator with it. Thanks to her donation I was able to continue freelancing, even if we lost power and internet for three months. 95


Free yourself from excessive contracts, data you don’t need and complex pricing. Introducing Moblox – It’s mobile, the freelance way: Join the MOBLOX community and get free business advice 25% off for first 200 freelancer readers Change anytime, leave when you like with 1-month plans Pay for what you need with low cost data, unlimited calls & texts Make an impact with carbon neutral & B CORP pending credentials

Jo Watson’s ‘We Were All Thinking It’… A new and ongoing feature on the pages of Freelancer Magazine, where the funniest lady on LinkedIn, Jo Watson, gives us her spin on something that we’ve probably all at least thought at some point, but have never in good conscience or for good reason said or written in a public space. Expect swearing, sarcasm, puns… and her disclaimer that if you take offence or miss the point, it’s not her - it’s you.


he’s here, people – your new columnist at Freelancer Magazine! And depending on how this all goes, my first column may also be my last! Anyway, you may not know who I am, and that’s about right, because although I’m okay at this writing shizzle, I’m a bit of a shit freelancer, really. I’m not creative, I’m not pioneering, and sometimes, I feel like I’d be much happier working in Aldi. In addition, I’m way too uncool to fit in at any of the lovely meet-ups you freelance folk are famed for hosting and boasting. Let’s take co-working, for example. You guys are owning it and using it brilliantly to take the hard working out of networking, but it’s honestly my idea of a living (and working) hell. Take my latest foray, last Tuesday… Firstly, none of you beautiful, happy, supportive people were even there! Instead, I was surrounded by uptight corporates, who instead of filling the

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room with collaboration, creativity and uplifting chatter, filled all of the space available with stress, pretentiousness and needless loudness. Less TGI Fridays, more KPI Tuesdays. Then, instead of being greeted with freeflowing hot beverages, freshly-baked goods, and a variety of wholesome yet indulgent treats that would re-fuel me across the day, I found myself faced with half a jar of Kenco, a dish of Sherbet Lemons, and a response of “there’s a tap” in my request for a bottle of water to quench my thirst. I can assure you, the temperature of said water was as luke bloody warm as the response that directed me towards it in the first place. And finally, the venue was a mere 12 miles away from my house, but thanks to the ‘prestigious city centre location’, it took me nearly two fucking hours to get there. Do you know how many times I could have gone from my home office to the fridge and back in that time?

Oh! And how could I forget?! I had to put up with Rob, too. I don’t know if that’s his actual name, but there’s a fella on LinkedIn called Rob who I really hate and this co-worker guy just gave me similar vibes, so… Anyway, Rob was the sheer embodiment of everything that my fouryear-old daughter strives to be; loud, obnoxious, and wholly lacking in respect for anyone else’s space, wellbeing or sanity. I had to listen to Rob for that many loud and lengthy phone calls, that I feel I know his business better than I know my own. Rob was so relentless in the brags, the boasts, and the BS bingo, that I became absolutely convinced I was being pranked on a hidden camera show. In the 75 minutes that followed until I killed him, I can honestly tell you, this thing with Rob wasn’t co-working. It was no-working. Read my columns, connect with me on social, but don’t ever, ever ask me to meet you for coworking. ● jo-watson-agoodwriteup 97

COMING UP Issue 7 | November 2022 | It’s Business Time The Tools and Confidence to Grow a Freelance Business You Love The Comaraderie of Competition // A Day in the Life of Albert AzisClauson // Coworkers

🐾 // Issue 7 Playlist 🎵 // So You Want To Be

A… // The Best Tools For Saving Time // Family // How Do I… Turn Clients Down? // Money: Giving Yourself Holiday Pay // What We’re Reading // What We’re Listening To // What We’re Learning // Your Messages // The Freelancer Doodler // Do Give Up Your Day Job // We Were All Thinking It // Events Round-Up // Events Calendar // Is It Shameful To Want To Be A Six-Figure Freelancer? // Freelancer to Founder with Piers Linney // Productising Your Service-Based Business // Newsletter Love // Food // Physical Health // Mental Health // How To Fail // Guest Editor Competition // Ask Twitter // The Freelancer Magazine Book Club Advertising booking deadline for Issue 7: Friday 9th September 2022

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