The Highlights and Lowlights of freelancing
I just looked at the date of my last blog and realized that it’s been a month since I posted. Eek! I had great intentions of doing a series on productivity but life and business (mostly business) got in the way. I also decided to write the productivity posts for larger authority sites. That said I can’t complain. Being busy is a good thing but I wanted to update you on how my freelancing life is coming along and what I’m working on going forward. My plan is to break my SMART goals down into increments throughout the year.
As I said, the last month has been crazy. I shot right out of the gate in January and had a steady flow of clients. I experienced a bit of a slump in March which was seriously a little depressing. I got my head back in the game and April ended up being the best month so far. I made more in April than I did the first 3 months combined which consisted of writing gigs and social media clients.
Here are a few wins and losses from the first 5 months of the year as a full-time freelancer:
- Published in The Huffington Post 2x’s. Read here and here.
- Created online store to sell my first digital product that helps freelancers onboard clients. I’m working on more products but more on that below. I need to market this product more.
- Published in Nia Magazine, an inspirational digital magazine geared toward African American women.
- Obtained a part-time Marketing Specialist position for an awesome company called $99 Social. I’ll be working with the founders to create and implement marketing campaigns and strategies. The best part is that it’s also flexible working from home. I love it!
- Secured my Public Relations client, Salon D’Shayn, a spot on a local Arizona TV news station. She killed it! Check them out here talking about the best tips to get a great wax!
- Grew another client’s early adoptor list by over 150% in 2 months.
- Narrowed down my niche to health & beauty since nearly all of my clients are in the health and/or beauty industry. All the time I was pondering my niche and it found me.
- Increased my rates and obtained new writing gigs and social media clients.
- Grew my email list 75% by offering content upgrades in posts.
- Attended 2 networking events or conferences each month with another scheduled in May. This was a personal goal of mine.
- Reached over 1,200 followers on Twitter.
Those are some of the highlights and lowlights of the last 5 months of working as a full-time freelancer. I’m really proud of what I’ve done so far. My goal when I quit my job at the end of November was simply to control my schedule and have more flexibility. I wanted to be able to attend my child’s school functions without sacrificing my dignity…I hate to ask for anything. I wanted to work from my patio or a coffee shop or anywhere in the world while still contributing to the household financially.
I sacrificed for 2.5 years paying off debt and living on nothing (no Mani/Pedi’s, fancy lunches or new clothes). I say that because it’s important for people to know that nothing happens overnight and I also have a long way to go in my eyes!
Here’s where I’m going and where I plan to focus my energy:
- Write for health & beauty related websites/publications.
- Create at least 2 more passive income-producing products before year end (possibly ebook and webinar).
- Focus on high-level social media and digital marketing strategies.
- Soak up knowledge and kill it in my job as a Marketing Specialist.
- Grow email list to 1,000+ subscribers.
- Provide more value to my clients.
- Blog consistently to increase page views.
- Outsource by hiring a virtual assistant and a housecleaner. Praying for this one by the end of the month!
I’ve learned a lot as a new freelancer and my goals are HUGE but I believe it’s all coming together as far as where my business is headed. The picture becomes clearer every day. It still feels surreal but it hasn’t been easy. In fact, I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s been such a blessing to have lunch with my daughter weekly or to meet my husband for lunch on a whim without looking at the clock.
Of course, the downside of freelancing is that you’re always “hustling” for work. That’s the case with most entrepreneurs or small businesses though I think.We don’t have a big brand name like Starbucks behind us. It’s a constant marketing dance but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that.
On the bright side, my income is nearly back up to what it was between my part-time income and my business. What’s most important is that I have the flexibility I’ve always dreamt of as a wife and mom. My goal is to at least double my previous income by the end of this year. Hopefully, I can hire an assistant soon to grow my business even more.
Anywho, that’s where I’ve been and where I’m headed. I’m focusing on contentment and gratefulness although my sights are set quite high. The sky is the limit but it’s really about my lifestyle and freedom these days. Life is too short to be somewhere doing something I hate!
How is your journey coming along? Have you reflected on your wins and losses? Comment below.