I’m very lucky that I love what I do for a living, which is why on top of my full-time job in the field I’ve worked very hard to launch as my freelance side gig as well. But it all didn’t magically happen over night, and it will also continue to grow as I gain further experience in the field. I’m very proud of my successes and what I’ve achieved thus far in my career and I get a lot of questions as to how I started out, so here are some of the most common questions I get.
What was the first thing you did to launch your freelance career?
It started as a project in my post-graduate program that I continued along with as a hobby, but creating my own website was my first step to creating my professional brand. Buying my domain name, teaching myself how to use WordPress and starting to write my own articles as a way to showcase my writing and experience. I had to learn everything from how to post an article to properly source or designing images to use. Learn what focus keywords were, and install plugins that would help my site. This was a self-taught project with a lot of googling and research involved, and still, to this day, I’m learning new things about my website all the time.
How do you get hired for these opportunities?
I will start by saying that I was much more eager to enter the blogging world when I first started that I volunteered for a majority of the outlets I wrote for. For me, that was a way to get my name out there, be featured as a contributing writer on different websites, practice my blog writing and build my portfolio. It wasn’t until months after I launched my website and started contributing to local blogs that I landed my first paid role as a content contributor.
Do you do more than blog?
Yes! Some of these blogging opportunities have helped lead to other projects like social media, communications planning, media relations support and crisis and issues management. I now currently do consistent work for two businesses, as what I call my “part time jobs”, managing their social media accounts and blogging for them. Projects like these are my bonus paychecks every month and give me a bit more financial freedom other than my regular paycheck.
Where do you find the time?
Because I have a full-time job on top of my freelance work, I do have to be picky in the freelance work I take on. Some projects are a one-time deal and other projects are much more of a time commitment and it all comes down to managing my time to make sure I’m able to complete the projects. I don’t believe in being “too busy”, as you prioritize what you want to do, but there are days that I find there are not enough hours to get work done. To-do lists are also key in managing your time and projects and I’m old school as I still use post-it notes and a physical agenda!
How do you charge for freelance work?
This is one of the most popular questions I get. And I do not have a definitive answer. It all depends on numerous factors including the scope of work, resources needed and time it will take to complete. Sometimes I bill hourly, and a lot of the time I do project budgets that lay out the costs and everything associated with that cost so there are no surprises. Every business is also different and being transparent with the client is essential. I also make sure to charge HST in my project quotes as a lesson learned after tax season a few years ago.
Overall, I love gaining new experiences in my field, working with a variety of businesses and highly enjoy my professional career. And things like being awarded PR in Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 for all the work I do was a great recognition and achievement that has encouraged me to continue to take on new challenges.
If you have any ideas or have any questions, feel free to contact me!