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Three years Freelance: What have I learnt?

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Blood, Sweat and Tears

I celebrated 3 years since going out into the wild in June. I feel really proud and usually mark the occasion in some way - but it wasn't a time for celebrating. It has been a challenging few months, keeping 2 young kids entertained whilst juggling my business.

Looking back over the last year, I have achieved a lot of my goals I set out at the start of the year. I have continued to work with a dream client, worked with 3 football clubs and created numerous new identities for local and global companies. I am thankful for all the projects I have been given the chance to work on.

3 years wild

Tough times call for tough people

Nearing the end (hopefully) of this testing, crazy & all-out mental time for everyone. I have been totally amazed by a lot of people in the industry, clients, and friends. They have supported me, committed, and adapted/embraced the new. You honestly have blown me away with your support.

Communication with each other has been the key during all of this. A simple call can make all the difference to someone who may still be struggling. I was in a challenging place mid-lockdown but a call out the blue from an old client made me totally change my outlook on the future. Check-in with each other. Support each other. Spread the love & positive vibes.

“It is a tough time for everyone but be more kind, good and positive.”

Survive and thrive.

I am looking towards the future being positive and looking to move forward with my business. I took a number of steps during lockdown that helped me survive and (hopefully) thrive:

1) I audited my business and life. What was working? What was not working? What could you improve? What direction do you want to head in now? The lockdown gave me chance to catch my breath and really think about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to achieve. It gave me clarity. Who knows what the landscape will look like in the next 6-12 months - but I am looking forward to the challenge and I have put plans in place and I am ready for action⁣.

2) Be kind. A lot of people were affected by the pandemic. I found a couple of ways to reduce costs as a small business - so I shared them on LinkedIn, a small gesture but hopefully it helped a few people out during a tough time. Big shout out to Adobe and Dropbox a couple of businesses that really helped their customers during this time - kindness is remembered.

3) Building more meaningful relationships on social channels and supporting each other. Connect with your audience. The lockdown gave me a great opportunity to connect and chat with people through social media. Forming lasting relationships with people in the industry - their support is something I won't forget and hopefully, we have helped each other through it all.

4) Be flexible & Adaptable. This unexpected situation in the world required massive adaptation for everyone. It is up to you and how you adapt to the new.

5) Work ON your business if you can’t work IN your business.

“Be ready to go all-in on your business once the clouds begin to clear.”

6) Communicating with your clients and old clients - you never know when they will recommend you or they need some design work completing. I contacted a couple of old clients during lockdown not a sales call just getting in touch and seeing how they were. Nothing came of it until a month later when an old client recommended me to another business.

Never burn bridges and always stay in touch with old and new clients.

My top 5 Freelance Tips:

  • ONE. Be prepared for anything. Literally anything. Someone may one day throw a new virus into the mix and it will shut down most of the world (still doesn't seem real). It is how you adapt to the situation - be positive and embrace the new.

  • TWO. Positive energy. Never stop being positive no matter what. I am not afraid to admit that at one stage it all got the better of me during the lockdown. I turned to inspiring myself and connected with people in the industry. I was massively inspired by Ben Tallon and Craig Black on Ben's podcast Creative Innovation Podcast. A positive chat and outlook from two furociously positive people, really resonated with me and it transformed my thinking. Big shout out to both of these amazing designers but more importantly great people.

  • THREE. Work ON your business if you can’t work IN your business. Be ready to go all-in on your business once the clouds begin to clear. New strategies and innovative ways to build your brand. Blood, sweat and tears all rolled into one.

  • FOUR. Support each other. I have been blown away with the support of all my clients, followers, friends, family, and people within the industry. The creative industry really is unique and it will not be forgotten. Spread the love and positive vibes.

  • FIVE. Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Since lockdown I have had a lot of opportunities that wouldn't possibly have come my way. It has been really encouraging to see the new opportunities come my way. It has been blood, sweat and tears that have got me to this point but having the clarity and time to be clear on my business strategies have played a key role in achieving a little stability during this challenging time.

“Thank you to all my clients keeping my pencil busy during this year and to friends in the industry, you are all incredible.”

Let the adventures continue.

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