By Freelance Heroes
Each week, we will put your questions to experts with the aim of making the lives of freelancers better – whether that’s through better efficiency, productivity, motivation, or something else. We’ll also be speaking with business owners who not only work with freelancers but truly understand the joys and pains of the freelancing community. For more information visit www.freelance-heroes.com and follow #FreelanceHeroes across social media.
Freelance HeroesNov 18, 2021
#60: Looking After Number One ft Michala Leyland
Michaela Leyland is the founder of Wood For The Trees Coaching and a "hybrid" freelancer, as a performance and mindset coach, for the last 7 years.
Michala believes that freelancers, and other business owners, should have greater clarity of their vision and then live their vision now, because our vision is very much possible right this minute, even when we set future-forward goals.
In this episode, Michala talks about the freelancing journey that has brought her to today. She also shares some of her experience and wisdom to help you plan for the coming weeks, months, and the year ahead too.
#59: Connect - Collaborate - Celebrate
#EFWeek 2021 is an annual event focused on recognition and community building — providing freelancers with the opportunity to come together, focus on issues close to them and take collective action. In this episode, I chat with 2 of the founders of European Freelancers Week with other freelancers chipping in too.
We talk about the state of freelancing, what collaboration looks like, how Governments can (and should) do more to help, and much more too.
Get involved at firstname.lastname@example.org and #FreelanceHeroes across social media.
#58 We're All In It Together - ft Steve Folland & Frankie Tortora
Steve Folland and Frankie Tortora are two heroes of mine, for all they give to supporting freelancers around the world. They run their own communities, podcasts, book clubs, and more and, in this episode, I felt it was time to get to know them a bit better. What made them set up their own communities? How does it help them and their members? What have been their own highs and lows of their freelancing journey? These questions and more are chatted about and more. About Steve Folland Steve is a video/podcast producer, running his business whilst also looking after his two kids. His other babies are the long-running Being Freelance podcast where Steve chats to freelancers from around the world about their story. And co-hosting the award-winning* Doing It For The Kids podcast - a fun Q&A for those parents freelancing 'with kids in the mix'. He does this with his friend, co-mentor and founder of the Doing It For The Kids community, graphic designer Frankie Tortora. These days Steve spends a lot of time hanging out in the Being Freelance Community where he brings together self-employed creatives from around the world for support, fun and biscuits. *Bronze for Best Business Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2020 and shortlisted again for 2021! About Frankie Tortora Frankie is a freelance graphic designer, mum of two and founder of Doing It For The Kids — a community by and for freelance parents. Through the DIFTK blog, Facebook community, face-to-face meetups and podcast, Frankie is proving that all sorts of good stuff can occur when self-employed parents are given the opportunity to connect. Connect with Frankie at francescatortora.com and doingitforthekids.net.
#57 - How To Be a Published Freelancer
“If you don't see the book you want on the shelves, write it.” ― Beverly Cleary, American Writer
But what is the writing process? Should I write with an ebook in mind or a printed version? How many words should it be? And, arguably most importantly, should I pitch it to a publisher or self-publish it?
Even before your pen has been put to paper, then are many things you should know about the book you are about to write, and Eloise Cook, Publisher at Pearson, is here to help as she answers your questions.
About Eloise Cook
Eloise is Publisher of the Trade, Consumer and Professional Business Publishing list at Pearson, and looks after the Financial Times Publishing and Pearson Business imprints. She is an engaged hands-on editor who's part author coach, part content editor, working with authors to help develop and shape their idea from concept to publication, and always on the hunt for practical, informative and engaging books that help readers improve their personal and professional lives. So if you're a subject expert with something interesting to say, get in touch via email@example.com.
You can find 10 Questions about your Book idea here - https://www.linkedin.com/in/eloisecook/.
#56 - Freelancing in a Pandemic - One Year On
Ayo Abbas started her Marketing Consultancy with verve and energy. Then, a few weeks later, a global pandemic hit which impacted Ayo's ability to grow the business as planned. Did it dampen her spirit? Not at all. Like many freelancers, Ayo had to dust herself down, look for the opportunities in front of her and grow her not let the world around her affect her new freelance business any more than it needed to.
In this episode, Ayo candidly tells her story and shares her experiences to help any new freelancer, or experienced one, looking for diamonds in the rough to help their freelance business kick on.
Ayo Abbas, Marketing Consultant, Abbas Marketing
I'm Ayo Abbas, marketing consultant and founder of Abbas Marketing. I have 20 years' experience in B2B marketing and have represented many major construction and professional services firms and think there's a gap in the market for practical business advice for SMEs. firstname.lastname@example.org or www.abbasmarketing.com
Link to marketer without a brand - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ayoabbas_branding-builtenvironment-marketing-activity-6758362378586349569-XMhM
Link to my website www.abbasmarketing.com
Link to Carilion blog https://www.abbasmarketing.com/blog/carillion-fall-construction-broken
Link to the Times piece (£) https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/toxic-and-dysfunctional-industry-in-race-to-the-bottom-kmd8n7ct9
#55 - Why Freelancing is the Future of Work
How has the pandemic changed the perception of freelancers? What value do freelancers truly add to the wider business community? How can freelancers get in front of the exciting businesses they truly want to work with, and the right people who work within them? How can freelancers help themselves when it comes to late payments?
These topics and more were discussed at Freelance Heroes Day and this episode is a recording of one of the panel discussions. This episode looks deep into the future of freelancing and its relationship with start-ups and bigger businesses.
Joining Ed for this recorded Zoom chat are:
* Coconut were also proud sponsors of Freelance Heroes Day and you can find out more about them at: https://www.getcoconut.com/freelanceheroes
#54 - Starting a Freelance Business in 2021 ft Nakita Gilbert
What is it like to start a freelance business in 2021? How do you attract and win your first client? What is the transition from an office environment to a company of one like? How should you manage your time? There is a lot to focus on, both big and small, when starting a freelancing journey. On top of that, there is the matter of a pandemic too.
This week, Ed chats to the third in a series of conversations with freelancers who launched their business in 2021.
About Nakita Gilbert
Nakita is a graduate of the University of Cambridge where she read Politics, Psychology, and Sociology (specialising in Psychology). Since graduating, Nakita has spent several years in research (resulting in several papers of which she is a co-author). Nakita then went on to work as part of Human Resources coordinating Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion-related projects. This included working in higher education and supporting the construction and submission of Athena SWAN applications, the building of wellbeing programmes, and critical analysis and action planning following staff surveys.
This background and experience led Nakita to set up Five Ways Consultancy to bring together interrelated areas of work under the heading of staff engagement. Five Ways now offers a range of packages and individually tailored services to help companies critically assess and improve staff engagement.
Connect with Nakita on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/nakita-gilbert-910b3aa5 and her website at https://www.fivewaysconsultancy.co.uk.
#53 - Starting a Freelance Business in 2021 ft Gareth Hawkins
What is it like to start a freelance business in 2021? How do you attract and win your first client? What is the transition from an office environment to a company of one like? How should you manage your time? There is a lot to focus on, both big and small, when starting a freelancing journey. On top of that, there is the matter of a pandemic too.
This week, Ed chats to the second of in a series of conversations with freelancers who launched their business in 2021.
About Gareth Hawkins
Gareth Hawkins is a time-served Managing Director and an MBA Graduate, He has acquired, built and sold businesses over a 20-year career in the industrial engineering sector, and, in Q1 2021, he founded Enterprise Insights Ltd.
#52 - The Geek’s Guide to Growing Your Freelance Business
“Look back to learn how to look forward.” - Jo Girard
There is so much data available to us that understanding which data is most relevant to our freelance business, and how to use it efficiently, can be a daunting task. This week, we start to unearth the hows, whats, and where, to understand where we are in order to move forward.
Katie Thompson In Her Own Words
Professional content marketing with a sense of humour – if she says so herself.
If you’ve ever tried researching a blog post, writing an ad, or even throwing a bio together, you’ll understand how difficult it is. Good content – that which inspires, educates, and entertains – takes time. It’s an art and a science, and goodness knows you don’t have time for both.
That’s where Katie Lingo comes in. Whether you need a website rewrite, an in-depth blog post, magazine interview or simple press release, we’re here to help. Let us handle the content, the house style, the grammar, and the tone, while you focus on growing your business. The right message won’t just keep the Google gods happy. It will excite your audience, and push them to convert.
Connect at email@example.com and www.katielingo.co.uk
#51 - Starting a Freelance Business in 2021 ft Deborah Frampton
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” – Walt Disney
What makes someone start a business in 2021? How different is it from when you started yours? This week, Ed chats with the first in a series of freelancers who launched their freelance careers in 2021.
In this first episode, we meet Deborah Frampton, a VA from Trowbridge in Wiltshire to learn why she started and what the journey has been like for her so far.
Deborah Frampton (in Her Own Words)
I help busy business owners leverage the Pinterest platform to drive traffic to their website and increase leads. As a search engine, Pinterest provides answers to questions that people are searching for along with eye-catching graphics.
I also assist the busy business owners with their email management, calendar management, and appointment booking, so they don't need to worry about forgetting to send that zoom invite or double booking their time.
Facebook groups are a fantastic way of building community with your potential clients/customers. However, they are very time-consuming. I offer to manage the day-to-day community management (post scheduling, commenting, event scheduling, etc) so the busy business owner can focus on other things they cannot outsource.
#50 - Managing Clients, Communities & Circles, Jots & Tittles
Last week, Ed spoke with Freelance Heroes members, Les Howard, for (almost) weekly "Thank Freelance it's Friday - Live" show on Youtube and Facebook. As ever, during the conversation, they spoke about the hot topics raised in the Freelance Heroes community. This week, they covered:
Tips for Managing Clients
What is the Imposter Syndrome to you?
Community and Circles
Jots and Tittles
Tips for Tracking Time
...and, of course, VAT.
You can watch the show here on Youtube and, when you do, subscribe to be alerted ahead of the next show.
About Les Howard
Cambridgeshire-based, Les is a partner in VAT Advice. They are a specialist VAT consultancy practice that works largely with Charities and Churches and also provide support for other professional advisers. He blogs a lot on VAT issues for a number of technical websites and, from time to time sits as a non-legal Member of the Tax Tribunals.
Les has also added a number of valuable tools to his Freelance Heroes profile too, which you can see here.
#49 - Collaboration, Happipreneurs, and Why Micro Biz Matters
Some people dip their toes in the pool of support offered to others. Tony Robinson OBE dives into the deep end and has been a long vocal campaigner for freelancers, micro-businesses, and (more recently) those excluded by Government support during the Covid pandemic. What drives him on? How can freelancers, and other business owners, help each other? How would Tony's business world differ from the one we're in now?
All these and more are discussed in this week's podcast.
About Tony Robinson OBE
Tony Robinson OBE is the Micro Business Champion, multiple business owner, #PayIn30Days Campaigner, Co-Founder of the Annual #MicroBizMatters Day and Movement, Co-founder of the Micro Business Awards UK, Founder of the SFEDI Group, Chair of Yorkshire in Business Limited and Patron of the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank.
Tony has been awarded an OBE for services to small firms and two Lifetime Achievement Awards for Enterprise. He was the National Enterprise Network's Enterprise Support Champion 2019. He is a judge for the UK's most prestigious entrepreneur awards competitions and a prolific author of fiction and non -fiction.
Tony's latest business book is the culmination of a two-year project with co-author, Taryn Lee Johnston, to write the new 'Small is Beautiful ' entitled 'The Happipreneur - Why MicroBizMatters?'. He is on a never-ending tour with his 'Who Wants To Be A Happipreneur?' talk to raise funds for the #ExcludedUK Hardship Fund.
Find out more at: https://TonyRobinsonOBE.com
You can also order Happipreneur from your local bookstore or here at Amazon
#48 - Productivity, Procrastination, and Overcoming the Struggle
Of the many technologies and emotions that freelancers need to juggle, productivity is one that is so often talked about in the Freelance Heroes community. It comes up time and time again, since before the pandemic began, during (unsurprisingly), and it'll no doubt come up after.
However, we know why we are freelancers and what work we need to do, so why do we struggle so much with being productive? How to try to avoid it before spending all day doing nothing? Do we procrastinate to put off doing what needs to be done, or is it our subconscious saying "Hold on, I haven't worked this out yet"? Is procrastination a form of stress relief?
All these questions, and many more, are discussed when Ed chatted with Grace Marshall, Productivity Ninja and author of "Struggle - The Surprising truth, beauty, and opportunity hiding in life's sh*ttier moments".
Order your copy of the book here: StruggleTheBook.com
#47 - How to Motivate Yourself When You're Just Not Feeling it
How do you fan the flame of creativity and keep going when doubt and fear are threatening to put it out? How do you find motivation when you don't know where you're going? What's the difference between motivation and a spark? What can I do to get myself motivated in the morning?
Motivation matters. But it’s also mysterious. We all know what it feels like to be driven to act, but we don’t always know why we feel that way. Nor do we always know what we can do about it?
These questions, and more, are discussed when Ed meets Louise Harman, and aim to inject a heavy dose of motivation into your freelancing lives.
About Louise Harman
Lou runs an online business support service for small businesses and entrepreneurs who are struggling to get things done due to lack of time or simple overwhelm. Lou has a team of VAs, each with their specialist area ranging from admin to digital design, marketing, content creation, and copywriting. Lou provides strategy sessions with clients and considers herself a pro sh*t sorter-outer.
She loves helping people figure it all out and get cracking on whatever it is they’re putting off. She’ll force you to get out of your own way and get sh*t done, so be sure to contact her if you need some tough love and a helping hand.
Connect with Louise at https://louiseharman.com/
#46: You're The Business ft Anna Codrea-Rado
Anna Codrea-Rado is a journalist, podcaster, and campaigner, and her writing appears in the New York Times, the Guardian, BBC, Wired, and many others. She writes about business, culture, and technology, with a particular focus on working life.
In 2021, Anna published her first book, "You're The Business" which includes everything from finding clients and setting rates, to saving for taxes and dealing with insecurities, You're the Business will help you build a long-lasting career you love. Packed with everyday examples and transformative insights, this book will remind you that although you're now going it alone, you don't have to be alone.
In this chat, Ed Goodman (Co-Founder of #FreelanceHeroes) chats with Anna about why she wrote the book, what Anna has learned about herself and freelancing, how she sees freelancing changing in a post-Covid world, and so much more.
Order your copy of "You're The Business" from your local bookstore now or here on Amazon.
#45: Pitching Your Business: Getting It Right Online
Last week we looked at tools to grow a freelance business and those who play the biggest part in that are our clients. This week, we look at how to best pitch ourselves and our business, when speaking with new and existing clients. To help you with this, Ed speaks with Jenna Davies, who has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners to pitch with confidence and impact.
Topics we will be covering, and questions we will be answering, include:
- What are the key things that make a big difference when pitching your business online?
- Tips on how to come across more confident online
- How much of a difference does investing in quality equipment make? E.g. camera, microphone, lights, etc.
- When I have the opportunity to pitch my business to someone, how can I make a great first impression every time?
- How should I structure, start and end a pitch?
…and so much more.
About Jenna Davies
Jenna is a highly experienced training professional with a flair for public speaking. Since starting her career as a broadcast journalist, she has successfully navigated an exciting and varied career path that has led her to become a specialist in empowering others to up their game with their communication skills, through her business, The IAM Hub.
Jenna has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners to pitch with confidence and impact while supporting teams of all sizes to present, network, and speak up with influence, reaping the career and business development rewards that come with it.
She is a speaker, event host, and pitch coach and her expertise has supported a wealth of organisations from start-ups to large corporates, alongside ambitious founders, to engage and inspire their audiences.
Connect with Jenna at www.theiamhub.com
#44: Releasing The Handbrake from Your Freelance Business
In this latest episode, we take a look forward to how you, as a freelancer, can pick up the pace of growth in your business. Ed talks with author, entrepreneur, and business coach, (and Guinness World Record holder) Robin Waite, about the actions he has taken and the lessons he's learned as an agency owner and freelancer. Robin also answers your questions too, including:
- How about getting in front of the right people
- How to discover what one’s single defined goal is
- How to scale in an hours-based business
- Are there times where value-based pricing and time-based pricing can co-exist in one’s business?
- What are the top 3 tasks to focus on, to help grow quickly?
- How would you prepare for rapid, unexpected, growth?
- What is a healthy marketing campaign to facilitate growth?
- How do you manage personal values versus the need for income in order to generate ethical growth?
- How do you / would you approach charging more?
...and so much more.
Robin is the Founder of Fearless Business, a regular speaker at various business events and bestselling author of several books, including Online Business Startup, Marketing Machine and the recent popular release Take Your Shot.
#43: Building a Generation of Freelancers
Since setting up in 2013, Digital Mums have supported thousands of women and mothers to learn new skills and to gain digital confidence, and even have big ambitions to support a million women by 2025.
In this week's Freelance Heroes Podcast, we speak with Digital Mums' Co-Founder, Kathryn Tyler to learn more about the Digital Mums story, We learn more about what drives them to make a difference to the many women and mums they support, as well as the good, bad, and bumps in their efforts.
About Kathryn Tyler
Kathryn is a social entrepreneur on a mission to lower maternal unemployment and support mothers into flexible, rewarding careers. She co-founded Digital Mums, which offers career-focused training and support designed to do just that. Kathryn has worked alongside the top education experts in the world and used these learnings to inform Digital Mums' award-winning learning models. Kathryn was awarded the Red Woman of the Year and the Marie-Claire Future Shapers awards in recognition of her work supporting women in the workplace. She also hosts the Digital Mums podcast. Follow her on Twitter @kathryntylerDM and find out more about Digital Mums at digitalmums.com.
#42: Pricing, Saying No, and the Image of Freelancing
This week, we cover 3 key topics that affect all freelancers. It's all part of a new weekly Livestream called, "Thank Freelance it's Friday" in which Ed is joined by a guest to chat through the most popular topics that have been raised in the Freelance Heroes community.
The 3 questions that we answer in this podcast include:
What does it mean to be a freelancer?
Should Freelancers display prices on their website?
What is the impact of saying "No" to clients?
About Helen Hill
Helen Hill is a self-employed Digital Learning and Content Designer at Unlikely Genius Ltd.
Unlikely Genius is based on the principles of ensuring the user comes first, communicating in plain language, and making content available and accessible to all, living by the mantra 'The content you make is not for you'.
Being an eternal student who picks up new hobbies by the week, Helen fell into the eLearning industry by accident and found her place in the world – creating enjoyable learning for others.
She works as a contractor for eLearning agencies in the UK and Europe, plus has ongoing projects with the NHS, charities and a number of private sector clients in industries from health, to technology and media.
Helen lives in semi-rural West Yorkshire with the long-suffering Graham, and two extremely fluffy, diva rabbits Tiffin and Strudel.
#41 - Why Freelancers Are Key to ContentCal's Success
Freelancing does have an image problem. This is why, across the Freelance Heroes community, we like to play our part on improving that and shout about the benefits of freelancers to many bigger businesses out there.
From time to time, as we have done previously with Coconut and Farilio, we like to talk to a business that truly understands the freelance community.
ContentCal is more than a content management tool used by many freelancers. Since its conception in 2016, it has also relied heavily on freelancers to help grow its business to where it is today.
So, what is it about the freelance community that it connects with? How employing freelancers has helped? How can freelancers be attractive to companies like ContentCal and successfully put themselves in front of those businesses? The best person to talk to for this is Andy Lambert. Director of Growth for ContentCal, and who has a lot of positives to talk about when it comes to the freelance community.
#40 - Solo: How to Work Alone (and Not Lose Your Mind)
If you’ve ever worked for a bigger business, you will be aware of the experience of immediately slotting into a structure of work that was in place before we arrived. The hours, the tools, the environment, etc., have already been set. We just need to learn what they are so we can do the job on day one. However, when you started, did you think about the structure and processes you need for your business to function? Rebecca Seal didn’t and didn’t know a single solo worker who did.
In September 2020, Rebecca published “Solo”, which addresses what we gain but also miss when we shift from the structure of an office environment to the solitary confines of our homes or studios. It’s a fantastic book full of the stories we will all recognise in ourselves as freelancers.
In this episode, Rebecca shares some of those stories and talks about why she wrote the book, what she learned about herself as a freelancer while writing it, and how she sees freelancing evolving in the coming years.
About Rebecca Seal
Rebecca is an award-winning food, drink, lifestyle, and personal development writer, based in London. She also runs a photography studio, Kemble House.
She has been freelancing for over 10 years and, in an attempt to help other solo workers navigate, survive, and thrive in the strange world of working alone, wrote Solo: How To Work Alone (And Not Lose Your Mind. It’s an evidence-based book, pulling on behavioural science, organisation psychology, and economics. The book includes interviews from TED talkers, other solo workers, and many, many academics who specialise in work and well-being.
As well as all this, Rebecca has also written eight cookbooks, many of which have been published in different languages. Her journalism is published worldwide in broadsheet newspapers and magazines, and she regularly appears on UK television and radio, as well as podcasts and in short documentary films.
#39 - The Legal Side of Freelancing
Do all freelancers really need a client contract? If so, what should it contain and is an email sufficient?
What is IR35, how does it affect me and what do I need to do?
What is the best way to get clients to pay me on time?
What does GDPR mean for Brexit?
How important are privacy policies and what do they cover?
Do freelancers need to register a trademark?
In this latest Freelance Heroes podcast, we address all these questions are more and uncover the legal responsibilities of freelancers, as well as deal with any myths. Some of the questions asked have been submitted by the Freelance Heroes community. For this, we need to point out that this podcast is for information only and cannot be considered as advice. For that, speak to Babs via the links below.
About Barbara Jamieson
Babs advises on UK and US law, mainly on a wide range of corporate and commercial law matters. After she saw the issues with the legal sector, Babs was on a one-woman mission to shake things up! She has worked in big law firms, and with lots of small to medium-sized businesses, and knows there is a disconnect between what clients are looking for, and how big firms treat their clients.
Babs places huge value on building relationships - understanding a client's business, supporting a growth journey, and being that port of call along the way. She firmly believes that all legal advice should be easy to understand, straightforward and easy for small business owners to understand and apply.
#38: The Relentlessly Helpful Guide to Linkedin
So, what are the no-brainers when it comes to updating your LinkedIn profile, such as the image and headline?
How much information should I put into my “about” section?
Is there a line that separated Linkedin from Facebook?
What is the etiquette when offering your services to those you think might be interested without coming across like a spammer?
What’s the best way to go about marketing an event on LinkedIn?
When should I post?
How often should I post on Linkedin?
All these questions and more are answered by self-confessed Linkedin Nerd, author of Content DNA, and fine fellow too, John Espirian.
About John Espirian
John Espirian is the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter, all-round LinkedIn nerd, and author of Content DNA.
John writes web pages, blog posts, case studies and LinkedIn profiles for B2B clients.
Find John at espirian.co.uk or follow him on LinkedIn.
#37 - Managing Mental Health as a Freelancer
The results of a report, to be published by Leapers, states that "64% of freelancers state that stress, anxiety, or poor mental health has had a negative impact on their ability to work, but only 29% say that looking after their own mental health is part of their plan to build a successful business."
In this week's podcast, I put your mental health and wellbeing questions to Danielle Bridge - founding Chief Executive of ABC Life Support CIC, an associate instructor for MHFA England as well as the Chair of the Cambridge Mental Health Network.
Questions include: is it really okay to not be okay?, What habits can we employ that help to create positive mental well-being?, how open do you think you should be with clients about your mental health?, and so much more.
Show notes and details are at: https://freelance-heroes.com/podcast/podcast-episode-37-managing-mental-health-as-a-freelancer/
#36 - Freelance Positivity for 2021
How positive are you feeling right now? How do you look for the positives when you’re feeling the opposite? How do you stay positive? And what impact does this all have on your freelance business?
This week's Freelance Heroes podcast aims to bring some positivity to you and your freelance business, and Ed would love to know how you go about that yourself, however, you are feeling. For example, you may be a generally positive person anyway or you may be feeling worried or anxious or something else and looking for those morsels of positivity. Do email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today we meet Sophie Cross who is very much a positive person. Who Ed met on social media, either Linkedin or Twitter, about a year ago. Recently, Sophie hosted a Freelance Heroes Twitter chats which focused on the big wins, small wins, planning, and general positive outlook on freelancing. We find out how Sophie has kept that way in a difficult 12 months while moving to a new house…twice. We also learn how Sophie sets her goals and how she deals with so much chaos around us.
About Sophie Cross
As the travel and hospitality industry shut down in 2020, a lot of my freelance marketing and copywriting client work went with it.
After more than a couple of very long, thoughtful walks, I knew this was the time to start doing my very best marketing - to stand out, stay positive, and support others.
I decided to put all my experience into creating marketing and mindset courses for ambitious freelancers and small businesses which would also put me at the forefront for clients. But as the client work started to pick up again, I was already getting really good feedback and sales for the courses, not to mention loving doing them.
My priority now is to lift other freelancers and business owners with online courses that give them the confidence to market themselves and grow businesses they truly love. Find free marketing courses and resources at Thoughtfully.co.uk.
And I am hoping soon to be Editor-in-Chief of FreelancerMagazine.co.uk.
Make sure you connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter if we're not already in touch. And excuse the fact that for some inexplicable reason I've started using more emojis than my mum. 👋😎
You can connect with Sophie at:
Subscribe to Sophie's marketing mindset blog > https://www.thoughtfully.co.uk/marketing-blog
Get free marketing courses and resources > https://www.thoughtfully.co.uk/thoughtfully-marketing-school
#35 - Just Ask: Why Seeking Support is Your Greatest Strength
In Freelance Heroes, we often talk about how no business owner, freelancer, etc knows all that’s needed to run & grow a business, and if 2020 taught us one thing, it’s that we frequently experience new challenges that we’re unprepared for. This is why having a reliable network is invaluable, to help you navigate it all and, if you haven’t already, help yourself now by growing a trusted network. Then, when you have, ask them for help when you need it.
As you’ll hear, in this week’s podcast, asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign you want to remain strong. So why don’t more people do it? What stops them? Where does it come from? And how can we break through that feeling of vulnerability and ask for help more often?
Andy Lopata has written a book called “Just Ask” and we learn many of the lessons and stories are written about in the book.
About Andy Lopata
A specialist in professional relationships and networking for over 20 years, Andy Lopata was called ‘one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ by the Financial Times and ‘a true master of networking’ by the Independent and Forbes.com. A very experienced international speaker, Andy is the author of five books, has been quoted in a number of other business books, and regularly quoted in the international press. Andy is a Fellow and a Board Member of the Professional Speaking Association UK & Ireland (PSA) and a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute as well as a Master of the Institute for Sales Management. He is also one of just 26 recipients of the PSA’s top honour, the ‘Award of Excellence’.
#34 - Telling Your Freelance Story During a Pandemic
This week’s guest, Helen Deakin, recently wrote a blog post for Freelance Heroes entitled “Telling Your Freelance Story During Coronavirus” in which she included “Telling your freelance story – explaining who you are, how you can help, and demonstrating your values – is more important now than ever.” She added “As a freelancer, you have your own brand to protect. Taking some time to consider how you are communicating during this crisis will help you build and maintain your reputation.”
We have all got a lot to deal with at the moment, so what better way to kick off the year with a clearer direction of how we help ourselves to stand out to our audience, amongst the noise and show the authenticity that makes us more attractive.
As Maya Angelou famously wrote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
#33 - Songwriting in the Rain: The Impact of 2020 on a Freelance Singer-Songwriter
2020 has affected freelancers in so many different ways and in this week's episode, we focus on the musical career of singer-songwriter, Paul Henshaw. Paul had a goal to build a business as a performer and to be entirely self-sufficient from it. All was going well having released a new album towards the end of 2019, but we all know what happened soon after. So how did lockdown affect him, as a performer, as a human, and as a business person? What did he do to mitigate the damage? What are his goals for 2021?
During this episode, Paul gives us an exclusive performance too. We also finish the podcast with a festive treat, the lyrics of which are at https://freelance-heroes.com/podcasts/.
About Paul Henshaw
With a catalogue of albums encompassing Henshaw’s solo and full band work including the highly acclaimed "Five Compass Lighthouse" released in November 2019, and the 2020 release of the Henshaw & Booth (Dan Booth of Ferocious Dog) duet album “Revisit”, the growth Henshaw has experienced is clear. His songs are written from the heart with life experiences and stories clearly having the biggest influence. Paul Henshaw albums are always a roller coaster of emotions. As a songwriter, Henshaw’s lyrics have been likened to poetry, painting scenes that take you on a journey to the very place or situation being sung about, from the sad story of a young man who took his own life or going to an Iron Maiden concert with his 76-year-old Nan. Whether playing solo, with the backing of his band (The Scientific Simpletons) or as the Henshaw & Booth duet, he knows that an exciting and energetic live show is the key to making a performance a personal and memorable one, a message echoed over and over by his established and ever-growing following. Henshaw has shared stages with the likes of Mark Chadwick (The Levellers), Ferocious Dog, Pigeon Detectives, Newton Faulkner, Tony Wright (Terrorvision), Gary Stringer (Reef), and has played numerous festivals including the 2019 Glastonbury Festival. Paul Henshaw is a committed, professional, and experienced songwriter and performer who strives to make interesting music with songs that are deep and drenched in honesty. Find out more at https://www.paulhenshaw.com/
#32 - A Freelance Christmas Party
This time of year can be a lonely one when you’re a freelancer, with no office parties to attend. Highlighted, of course, by the restriction of movement in a pandemic. But all is not lost. Put on your Christmas jumper, and grab your favourite festive food and drinks, as this week, we invite you to our first Freelance Christmas Podcast Party.
We will be joined by Beth Jowett, Helen Hill, Virgil Ierubino, and Francesca Irving too, and enjoying a Christmas quiz, music from Iona Fyfe, prosecco, and mince pies, We also chat about the highs and lows of the last 12 months, and look ahead to 2021. Cheers and Merry Christmas!
#31 - The Personality of Freelancing
Seth Godin once wrote that “people do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic” Mark Schaefer wrote that “Research shows that trust in companies, brands, and advertising has declined worldwide 12 years in a row. Who do people trust? Other people!”
The advantage we have as freelancers is that we are our brand. We don’t have to rely on others to convey our message behind why we do what we do, as we get to tell that story ourselves.
In last week’s Freelance Heroes podcast (Episode 30: A Podcast about Podcasting”) we learned how podcasting can be a highly effective way of getting our voice out there. Today, we learn why personality and tone of voice are so important too. So how can we showcase our personality? What are the benefits and risks? What if we don’t consider ourselves to have a personality?
About Dave Harland
Dave is a senior copywriter with over 15 years’ in-house and agency experience in marketing and advertising. He specialises in helping brands speak to their audiences with clarity, authenticity, and personality, and has written for the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Emirates, Nespresso, and Standard Chartered Bank.
#30 - A Podcast About Podcasting
Podcasting is all about giving your freelance business a voice. As we learn, in this episode, the average number of different podcasts that a podcast fan listens to is 6. In this week's episode, podcast producer and expert, Charles Commins, shares his knowledge on the reasons for starting a podcast, the equipment you need to get going (whether on a budget or not), sponsorship, timings, content ideas, software to use, how to promote your podcast and more.
Charles Commins has presented and produced over 500 podcasts for people all over the world. He has worked on branded podcasts for companies (such as Proofpoint and Malwarebytes), charities (like Human Story Theatre), and independent bedroom podcasters too. He also produces and presents his own podcast about his beloved Northampton Town Football Club, which is called It’s All Cobblers To Me.
You can connect with Charles on Twitter at https://twitter.com/charlescommins and don't forget the #FreelanceHeroes hashtag.
#29 - Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
If this year’s pandemic wasn’t enough to create a business strategy rethink, Freelance Journalist Jenny Stallard also moved to a new house from the city of London to rural Oxfordshire.
How did the move impact Jenny’s freelance business? What about her close network of freelancers who lived near her? And what does the future look like? All these questions and more are answered in this week’s podcast.
Find out more at https://freelance-heroes.com/podcasts/
#28 - Why Asking For Help is a Sign of Strength
Manchester-based freelancer, Lisa Gust, is not one to ask for help. But in November 2020, this translator, copywriter, and teacher of German as a foreign language, wrote a heartfelt post, asking for help, in the Freelance Heroes community. Why now? What was it about her current situation that made her feel that this was the right time? What impact did it have on her and her business? Would she do it again?
#27 – The Strength of a Freelance Community
Being part of any community takes time and commitment. Like a physical networking event, you cannot just walk in and expect others to come flocking towards you. So how much time should you commit? And how do you measure what you get out of it? Also, if it’s not all about selling and letting people know what you do…what is the point of it all? In this episode, we travel to Northern Ireland and meet Dawn Baird, and here her answers to these questions, and how being an active part of a community has helped her own freelance business to start and grow.
Once you listened, please leave a review, and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. Then, join the Freelance Heroes community to chat about the topics covered in this podcast and more, at https://freelance-heroes.com/freelance-superheroes/
Meet Dawn Baird
Dawn Baird is a straight-talking Content Developer from Northern Ireland. Together with her husband Allen, she established communication consultancy Sensei in 2006. Their strapline is: Communicate Better. She is inspired by the enabling and liberating principles of Dweck’s Growth Mindset, Langer’s brand of Mindfulness, and anyone who has the cahones (Dawn’s own words here) to call a spade a spade. Over the last few years, Dawn has nailed one of her key professional goals – location independence – and loves to combine work with travel. In this episode, Ed chats with Dawn about… [left this bit so you can put your own spin on it]
Here is the blog mentioned in the episode:
Why Your Non-Entrepreneurial Family And Friends Don’t Understand What You Do: https://sensei.ie/why-your-non-entrepreneurial-family-and-friends-dont-understand-what-you-do/
You can also connect with Dawn at:
#26 - Understanding Marketing for Freelancers
Marketing is a topic that comes up frequently in the Freelance Heroes community, so it's a surprise that we've left it until Ep26 to talk about it. Well, it is worth the wait, as Ed puts your questions to Marketing Strategist, Georgina Lewindon.
Georgie is the owner of Glew Marketing and a strategic marketing consultant who specialises in helping small businesses develop a more measured, structured approach to their marketing.
A qualified Chartered Marketer, Georgie has over 16 years' experience building and managing marketing functions across a diverse range of industries and sectors.
She is also a board member for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in Wales, and enjoys writing about the parallels between marketing and parenting on her Marketer Mum blog when time allows!
#25 - Survival Skills for Freelancers
Sarah Townsend is a Freelance Marketing Copywriter and Editor, who set up her business in 1999. In June 2020, she published her first book, "Survival Skills for Freelancers: Tried and tested tips to help you ace self-employment without burnout" and in this episode. Ed chats with Sarah to understand how freelancing has changed for her in the last 20-ish years, what compelled her to write the book, and what did she learn about freelancing (or other freelancers) during her writing journey.
You can buy the book on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Survival-Skills-Freelancers and connect with Sarah on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahtownsendeditorial/
#24 - Being Freelance and Black
The Office of National Statistics reports that 2% of the UK's self-employed population class themselves as "Black/African/Caribbean". In this episode, Ed talks with Lauren Rosegreen, Toks Adebanjo Coyle, and Ella Orr about being freelancers and black.
Lauren is new to freelancing, having set up her business in 2020 providing content, marketing strategy, and analysis of data for Socialb. In June, Lauren wrote a heartfelt account of events this year which brought the Black Lives Matters conversation back to the forefront, "The BLM movement from the perspective of a mixed-race female."
You can also connect with Lauren on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenrosegreen/
Toks (Adebanjo) Coyle
Edinburgh-based Toks is an award-winning Virtual Assistant to busy coaches and creatives and launched "Toks Adebanjo Virtual Assistant" in 2016.
Ella is a Social Media Marketer and helps business to believe in the power of social media to help build that all-important Know, Like, and Trust relationship with their potential clients.
Connect with Ella at https://muchmoresocial.co.uk and on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/ella-orr-socialmediamarketer.
Share your stories at email@example.com and across social media using #FreelanceHeroes.
#23 - Growing a Freelance Business
Alex Hughes hasn't had a conventional upbringing. He was almost kicked out of home, became a father at 14, and left school. Since then he has grown as a person and has spent the last 4 years building a portfolio of businesses in varied industries that continues to scale, with a brilliant team of Directors in each business driving them forward, and with over 50 employees across the businesses too.
In this episode, Alex shares his lessons of growth and answers your questions about growth, such as How to grow, When to grow, Risks of growth, How to prepare for growth, When not to grow, and so much more.
It's a fascinating and lesson-packed episode and you can connect with Alex at https://shifties.co.uk/.
#22 - Why Big Business Needs Freelancers
Matthew Mottola is the co-author of "Human Cloud: How Today's Changemakers Use Artificial Intelligence and the Freelance Economy to Transform Work" and Co-Founder of Venture L, a platform for freelancers to run their business. In this episode, Matthew talks about the importance of freelancers the startup and growth of bigger businesses, how they can go about finding the right freelancers to support them, and offers tips on how freelancers can get in front of those bigger businesses too.
Connect with Matthew at https://matthewrmottola.com/
#21 - Freelance Business Month ft Elina Jutelyte
Freelance Business Month is an initiative designed to unite the European freelance ecosystem and to show the power of growing independent businesses. It was founded by Freelance Event Manager, Elina Juteyte, who tells us more about what lead her to start the event, why being part of a community is so important to her, and how she sees the European freelancer ecosystem evolving in a Covid19 and post-Covid19 world.
Find out more about Freelance Business Month at freelancebusinessmonth.com
#20 - How Freelancing Has Changed in 20 Years
Mary Whitehouse quit her job in 1998 and launched her Copywriting and PR business. In this episode, we learn from Mary how freelancing has changed for her, and how her lessons learnt over the last 2 decades can help those running or setting up their freelance business in 2020. Learn more about Mary at word-service.com
Episode 19 - Starting Out in 2020 - 6 Months In ft Amy Solon
In Episode 11, we met 3 brand new, fresh out of the box, freelancers, who chose this of all years to start their freelancing journey. In this episode, we catch up with one of them, Amy Solon, to learn more about how her journey has been, what she's learnt, what the highs and lows have been, etc - all aimed at helping anyone else who is thinking of starting their freelancing journey. Find out more about Amy at elementshypnotherapy.com
Episode 18 - Starting Out in 2020 - 3 Months In ft Carla Barker
In Episode 11, we met 3 brand new, fresh out of the box, freelancers, who chose this of all years to start their freelancing journey. In this episode, we catch up with one of them, Carla Barker, to learn more about how it's been, what she's learnt during her first 3 months, the highs, the lows, etc - all to help anyone else who is thinking of starting their freelancing journey. Find out more about Carla at greyrose.co.uk
Episode 17 - Starting Out in 2020 - 6 Months In ft Jyoti Rambhai
In Episode 11, we met 3 brand new, fresh out of the box, freelancers, who chose this of all years to start their freelancing journey. In this episode, we catch up with one of them, Jyoti Rambhai, to learn more about how it's been, what she's learnt, the highs, the lows, etc - all to help anyone else who is thinking of starting their freelancing journey. Find out more about Jyoti at jr-media.org.
Episode 16 - 5 Top Tips for Freelancers
This week, we look back at some of the 15 episodes so far and rediscover a few of the many lessons learned, thanks to Merlie Calvert, Bernie J Mitchell, Kate Atkin, Dr. Meg Aroll, Kathryn Peden...and a bonus tip too. Enjoy.
Episode 15 - How a Community Saved My Business
Sarah English is, like 2m others in the UK (and millions more across the world) a freelancer who, in May 2019 did something radical. She reached out to a business and asked for help. What makes this story stand out is how vividly she painted the desperate state her business was in, and then what followed. It's a fascinating story. https://www.writeidea.me.uk/
Episode 14 - ExcludedUK ft Anneka Hicks
In May, Anneka Hicks teamed up with two other colleagues to create ExcludedUK with a goal of creating a long-term supportive community of like-minded individuals who were all passionate about supporting one another through the Covid crisis, having been excluded from the same support as other taxpayers. In this episode, Anneka talks openly about the challenges being excluded has had on her, her business, and those in her community too. https://www.excludeduk.org/ #FreelanceHeroes
Episode 13 - Freelancers Union ft Rafael Espinal
Freelancers Union has grown extraordinarily since it's launch in 1995. Set up to support freelancers in New York, there are now 500,000 members across the United States. In this episode, Ed chat's with their President, Rafael Espinal, to learn more about who they are, how they support their many members, and we compare notes about freelancing in the US v UK especially in this Covid-ridden year. https://www.freelancersunion.org/ #FreelanceHeroes
Episode 12 - Anti-Sell ft Steve Morgan
Steve Morgan is an SEO Consultant with over 10 years Online Marketing Experience. In 2019 he published "Anti-Sell: Marketing, Lead Generation and Networking Tips for Freelancers Who Hate Sales". In this episode, Ed learns more about Steve's freelancing experience that lead him to write this book, as well as explore a few of the nuggets contained within it. Enjoy. https://anti-sell.com/
Episode 11 - Starting as a Freelancer in 2020
This week, we meet Carla Barker, Jyoti Rambhai, and Amy Solon who, – in the middle of this new world we call 2020 – have just started their new freelance businesses and have agreed to take us (and you) with them through the highs, lows, and lessons of their new journey. First, Ed chats with all 3 to learn more about who they are, why they're starting now, and what lessons have they learnt so far. Enjoy!