Freelancing in the Digital World

Sorry it’s been a while - Freelancing is actually much busier than working in-house ever was - who knew, eh?!

But I have actually been busy writing, just not for my own platform. I’m writing blog posts for clients such as this one, and this one. I’ll soon be researching and writing new website content articles for this one.

I’ve also written a guest article for Digital DNA, whose conference is getting nearer by the day (15th October, get your tickets here!) and I’m really looking forward to their line-up of Digital Business speakers. As well as that I’ve been writing regular guest articles for local eCommerce Platform IRP Commerce and their members.

See, I’ve been very busy!

And you can see a theme appearing here, too. All these companies are digital retailers, i.e. they sell their products/services online to a global consumer audience. And they enlist me to promote their wares, using a mix of social media content, digital PR and copywriting for SEO benefits.

I’ve also been contacted by a UK agency to possibly work for them here in Northern Ireland and I’m excited to meet with a Digital Agency of our own to see if we can work together.

It’s all very exciting/hectic and I know I’m very grateful to have landed on my feet so quickly [for those who don’t know I was thrown into freelancing back in June when family circumstances meant I had no childcare]. I had neither planned nor prepared to work for myself. Yet within a month I had paid work, weekly networking meetings and regular subcontract agency projects, which eventually led to my name being recommended (thank you all!) and building up a client base of my own.

But was it lucky? Well, true to the beliefs of what I do in the Digital World, I don’t think it was. The reason I have been able to build up a business in the space of four months is mainly due to the fact that I had spent years building a reputation online, networking, growing a social media presence, blogging about my industry and my skill set, and generally just getting in front of everyone I admired so they would know who I was. Then all I had to do was work for them and prove I could do a good job.

So it’s no surprise that I get asked quite regularly by peers and students how they, too, can go it alone. And I am always very honest with them. I never wanted to do it. I don’t think I’ll do it forever. I am NOT entrepreneurial! But I made it very easy on myself by (unknowingly) putting in the groundwork years before I had to sell myself.

And at the end of the day, that’s often what I’m doing for clients. Social and Digital Communications (as I explain in the articles linked above) often isn’t the answer-to-your-marketing-prayers sales tool that it appears. But that doesn’t mean it’s a waste of time.

Quite the opposite.

It means that you can build a platform for communicating with an engaged audience when the need arises. It means you can present a voice and personality and grow that gradually with trust, to one day supersede your competitors. It means you have direct channels for customer service and with dedicated, quality content, you are creating a feeling, building a loyalty and cultivating an overall environment for selling that may just be that extra push a customer needs at the point of purchase.

I’ve always advised people to practice what they preach and, likewise, only purchase services from those who do so.

I am proof, in a small localised way, that it can work.

Now if people would just pay their bills, if the coffee maker turned itself on and if the Belfast traffic wasn’t so bad, maybe this Freelancing gig would be all fun and no stress!



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