4 Tips for New Freelancers

Happy Monday!

In this blog post, I will be sharing 4 tips I recommend to new freelancers. Whether you want to be a freelance writer, editor, photographer, or website designer, these tips will be applicable to you.

In the next week or so, I have EXCITING NEWS regarding my own freelancing to share so make sure you are following me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

I believe I began my freelance journey a year or so ago when I was at the end of my grade 12 year. I went straight to websites like Fiverr and Upwork and got a few gigs, but they were not exactly what I was looking for and I felt they didn’t benefit my portfolio. Since then, I have refocused my freelancing vision and have written for newsletters for local companies and the MS Society, published articles in my school’s newspaper, The Martlet, and so much more. Now, I am a freelance writer at Flanelle Magazine where every month, I pitch articles and they are published on the website. As a freelancer, I know the ups and downs of the business like the back of my hand, which is why I am dedicated to sharing my own advice.

Here are my 4 tips for new freelancers.

1. Take Advantage of FREE Resources

As a new freelancer, you will not make much money right away which is why you want to keep your expenses at a low cost. However, there are some things every freelance just needs and it differs depending what type of freelancer you are. For example, I need a laptop, I need an application to create graphics on for social media, and I need a website. Some of those things are costly, but others are not! While I cannot get a good laptop for less than $500 or a website domain for less than $100, I can get necessary and helpful tools for free!

Check out my blog post on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS because I include 3 helpful tips and a bunch of cheap or free resources for you to use. These resources are for everything from photo editing and design to SEO and writing related tools. I highly recommend checking it out before spending money you do not need to spend.

2. Become a Pro Networker

Your best opportunities are going to come from personal connections you have made through putting in some effort and networking. They are not going to come from websites like Upwork or Fiverr because there are so many other writers and editors and photographers that have a bit more experience than you. Instead, focus on finding people through past colleagues, family members, friends, etc and the people you meet online. LinkedIn is a great resource for this. Not only can you network with other professionals in your field who might be looking for the work you offer, but LinkedIn also offers a free 1 month trial for their LinkedIn Learning where you can develop a bunch of essential microcredentials like navigating Excel, editing, proofreading, and more!

Here are 3 tips for networking:

  • Be Personable and Personal – Be friendly when you message someone and also make it a personal message. Express your interest in their company or their work and share your own story. Don’t copy and paste the same type of message to every writer or editor or photographer you find on Instagram.
  • Be Active on Your Social Media – When networking, it is essential to be active on your platforms because after reaching out to people, they are going to check out your social media. You want to ensure you have recent posts and content for them to browse through and it shows you are dedicated to your work and brand.
  • Have an Elevator Pitch of Yourself and Your Services – Whether you are networking to meet other likeminded creatives or find a job, you must have an elevator pitch of you and your services ready to go. Here’s an example: My name is Zoe Mathers and I am a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. I have been writing creatively and on my blog for over 5 years. Now, I offer copy editing, proofreading, manuscript critiques, social media content creation, and copywriting services on my freelance website.

3. Be Your Own Cheerleader

When freelancing, you do all the work. You produce the content, you market yourself and your services, and you organize interactions with clients. It is tiring and challenging, but you have to be your own cheerleader. You have to constantly shout about your services and market yourself on your social media platforms. It is especially important to be a super-star cheerleader the 7 or so days leading up to your business launch and the two weeks proceeding your launch. This can get tedious and tiring which is why I recommend scheduling posts in advance and reposting posts you have already created about your services. For some scheduling tools, check out my blog posts on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS.

4. Always Be Willing to Learn and Grow

Even though I have been writing and creating content for years, I am learning new things every day from the people around me and my own experiences. I also am constantly learning because I take Coursera and LinkedIn Learning courses on social media, marketing, writing, editing, and more. These are skills you can always improve and grow, and there are so many free resources you can do this through. You can also learn and grow by just creating and doing so constantly. Get experimental with the content you create and only post things you are proud of (to an extent). The freelance journey means you never know what you are doing and you are always learning. It is one of my favourite things about it!


Those are 4 tips for new freelancers from me and I hope they were helpful! If you are a freelancer and have some more advice, please leave it in the comments below. I will definitely post a part 2 to this as my last tip indicates, I am always learning and growing so I will have more to share in the future.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: 6 Books I Want to Read This Summer

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How to Save Money When Starting a Business

Your easy guide to saving money through free resources and conscious thinking

Before I get into this blog post about saving money when starting a business, I wanted to announce that I now have a Patreon! If you like my blog posts and want to support me, it would mean so much 🙂

You can check out my Patreon HERE

How do you save money when starting a business? Isn’t it expensive? What if I don’t have much money to spare and put towards my business?

If any of these questions crossed your mind, don’t worry! You don’t need buckets of money to start any business. Sure, having some is needed and how much really depends on what type of business you are starting. However, I have created this guide to help you save money where you can.

This guide is for anyone who is thinking about starting a business, is in the midst of planning their business, and those who already have a business.

Here are 3 tips on how to save money when starting a business.

1. Write Out an Expenses List

You must write out a list of all possible expenses when starting a business. If you don’t know what you have to spend money on, how can you save any? Include everything from domain hosting costs to shipping. These are things that you will most likely not be able to get out of paying, or find a free alternative. But knowing how much money you will need will give you a good idea of how much to save before launching your business or continuing on with it.

Have a number in your head of how much your first month and first year might cost you. This way, you will know how much you need to make back for this to all be worth it.

2. Connect with other Business People

Connecting with other likeminded business people will not only help you create relationships that can benefit your business and theirs, but it can save you money. These are people who are going through what you are, or have. Maybe they have already launched a business or two and have valuable tips and pieces of advice that could save you time and money. It is really worth scrolling through Instagram, finding people who are in a similar field as you, and then reaching out to them with a friendly message. Compliment them on their progress and explain your story.

If you are having trouble making meaningful connections, YouTube is a great resource…and it’s free! So many YouTubers who have started business are on there, posting videos of the Do’s and Don’t’s when starting a business and how to avoid this and that. Here are my recommendations:

3. Do It Yourself!

Do as much of the start-up, planning, and creation yourself (if you can). If you have to create a website, take the time to watch YouTube videos or reach out to friends who can help. Don’t spend money on ads until you are financially able to, instead, focus on being active on social media because it will be way more effective!

Don’t buy anything you don’t NEED right at the moment either. If you don’t need a business plan on your website right away, or don’t need a premium MailChimp plan till later on, hold off until as long as possible. By the time you really need them, hopefully, you have saved up more money and it is easier to fork out!

Basically, be cheap!

12 FREE resources that will save you SO much money.

Design

Canva – This is a great beginner design tool that offers you so much for free. I highly recommend Canva because you can create images specifically for blog headers, Pinterest pins, Instagram stories, and more

PicMonkey – I used to use PicMonkey and I still think it is a great resource! I know it is good for making YouTube thumbnails, so a good tool for any YouTubers out there too

Courses

Coursera – I paid a lot of money for a membership but that is because there were a lot of specializations I wanted to experience that I can’t at my university. However, there are so many amazing free classes and you can audit any class for FREE

Pivot, Passion, Profit Workshop – I am an intern for Gypsy Journals who created this lovely workbook and playback for any creative entrepreneurs looking to thrive in their passions. I highly encourage you to take a look and explore her other courses with Ouiwegirl.com too!

Social Media Organization

HootSuite – This is a social media post scheduler and with their free plan, you can connect 3 social media accounts and post 30 posts a month. That is good enough for me, and it is super easy to set up and use

Later – Another social media planner that I used to use, but switched to Hootsuite just because it was more of what I needed. However, the layout of Later is great and is super helpful overall

Email

MailChimp – MailChimp is SO easy to use and the free plan is so far, all I need. When starting out, building a email following is essential for any business and including a newsletter will help to grow that. Which is why I use this handy tool

SEO & Writing

Google Keyword Planning – helps you find keywords that are popular and will lead people to your website/posts

Nibbler – gives you a popularity and effectiveness report on whatever website you enter

Grammarly – if you are writing lots, you have to have Grammarly. Especially if you are doing all the writing yourself! Grammarly ensures your writing is grammatically correct and consistent

Invoices

Invoicely – A free invoicing tool for small businesses and not to mention, it is simple to use! With invoicing, I look for simplicity which is why I like Invoicely

PayPal – I love PayPal and sometimes use it depending on the client, however, its free plan isn’t the best for businesses. It is still good to have free account with them though

When starting a business, it is important to be thorough, conscious, and critical. Not all businesses make their money back right away and you need to keep that in mind. That is why when starting a business, it is good to keep your expenses to a minimum until you are seeing progress.

When you finally start making money back, that is when you can spend it on premium plans and tools that will make your life easier. However, until then, the free options are here for you and honestly, they are pretty great!


I hope you found this post helpful and that it will save you money in the future. If you have any other free tools and resources, drop them in the comments below please!

And don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: July Writing Goals

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Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur

5 essential tips and tricks for beginner and experienced creative entrepreneurs alike

Happy Friday!

What is a creative entrepreneur?

A creative entrepreneur is someone who uses their creative skills to make money such as vlogging, freelancing, writing, etc.

Since I freelance write and edit, and am always doing side projects for some cash, I am what you consider a creative entrepreneur. Are you? Or is a creative entrepreneur the type of job you aspire towards? Whatever the answer is, I will be sharing crucial tips and advice for new creative entrepreneurs, experienced entrepreneurs, and those of you who want to become a creative entrepreneur and make money doing what you LOVE.

DETERMINE YOUR REGIONS OF CREATIVITY

It is important to determine the creative regions that you want to focus on and grow into a successful business. The wonderful thing about being a creative entrepreneur is that you do not have to stick to one creative pursuit…you can be known for many! For example, Kristen Martin is a vlogger, business coach, writer, and I am sure there are a couple other titles thrown in there too. When you are a creative entrepreneur, you have the freedom to be creative and aspire to the careers you want.

If you are just starting out, write down 1-3 creative careers you want to work on. For me, that would be freelance writing and editing. Those are still my two main ones that I am constantly growing and spending time on. It helps to keep my “eyes on the prize” so to say.

5 TIPS FOR CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS

1. WRITE DOWN SHORT-TERM & LONG-TERM GOALS

One of the first things you must determine about your business is what are your short-term and long-term goals. What do you want achieve? Whether it is something small like reach 10 clients by the end of my first month or something big, like collaborate with Nike by the end of my second year (I don’t know, something crazy like that!), you must carve some sort of path you want to take your business down.

When creating these goals, include DEADLINES and STEPS THAT OUTLINE HOW YOU WILL REACH THEM. Otherwise, your goals might not go anywhere.

2. CREATE A FUND & BUDGET

Drop everything right NOW and set up some sort of system (bank account, jar, etc) that allows you to put money towards your business every week, month, or whatever works best for you. It is also crucial to curate some sort of budget. It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate, but make a list of possible fees and expenses you might come across in your business journey. This is especially helpful in the beginning of your business.

If you find that you are able to launch your business for only a small cost, use whatever is in your fund for a cushion or emergency funds for your business.

Do not think that you have to pour bucketloads of money into your business fund every month. Look at everything you have to pay for like bills, food, utilities, transportation, etc and figure out what you have left to spare. For me, I only work 2 times a week so I only contribute $40-50 a month. However much I end up putting into this account, it is nice to have money that is specifically for my freelance business to use if I want to run ads or update my WordPress plan.

3. BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media will be the best place for you to share and grow your creative business. Depending on your business, different social medias will be the best choice for you but try to focus on no more than 2. If you attempt to be active on more than 2, you will stretch yourself thin and quickly burnout. You want to create new and fun content for your followers and the less accounts you must do this for, the easier it will be.

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What Social Media is Best for YOU?

Writer – Instagram, Twitter

Artist – Instagram, Pinterest

Crafter, DIYer – Pinterest, Instagram

Vlogger – Instagram, YouTube

Blogger – Instagram, Twitter, WordPress/Wix/etc,

Business Coach – Instagram, WordPress/Wix/etc, Twitter

However, you choose where you think your platform will flourish! These are just suggestions.

4. LEARN TIME MANAGEMENT NOW

Whether you are a part-time creative entrepreneur who still has a job, or a full-time creative entrepreneur, your time management skills will make or break your business.

When you are working another job, it is important to not let your creative side hustle take over the job that makes you money! Starting out, your profit as a creative entrepreneur will be small and slow. That is why having a main source of income is necessary. Ensure you don’t get too caught up in the excitement of starting a new business and forget to focus on the job that pays the bills.

Excellent time management is also important for full-time creative entrepreneurs because you need to define the line between work and life. I know for me, when I am working on projects I love such as freelance writing and editing, I get so caught up in it that I forget to take breaks and live my life. At the beginning of your business, this isn’t the worst thing, but as your business settles into a steady rhythm, you have to know what hours of the day are spent on your business and what hours are spent enjoying life.

5. TOOLS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR

There is a LOT of behind-the-scenes work that goes into being a creative entrepreneur. From posting on social media, keeping track of your goals to creating content, there are so many tools at your fingertips that will make your life so much easier. Here is a list of my favourites!

Hootsuite – This is a tool for scheduling social media posts. The free plan allows you to connect up to 3 social media accounts to the site and create posts through there.

Trello – Keeping all your content ideas, goals, and notes in one place saves SO much time when you are doing everything for your business which is why I love Trello. You can create boards for different projects and add to-do lists, notes, pictures, etc all in one easy-to-access place.

Colorpick Eyedropper – If you are creating content on Canva, Photoshop, or some other application, this tool is super helpful. If you want to know what colour something is when browsing online or admiring the profile of another creative entrepreneur, Colorpick Eyedropper allows you to find out what the colour is. It’s super easy. You just click it (it is a chrome extension so you have to download it) and hover the cursor over what colour you want to receive the code for.

Wordtracker – This is for SEO and finding out what words/phrases are being searched up. If you write blog posts, captions, bios, etc, this will help drive traffic to whatever you create. There is a free version, however it is pretty limited. This is something that would be a great business investment!

Canva – If you want to create your own ads, social media posts, Instagram stories, etc, Canva is a MUST. It offers you a user-friendly place to create eye-catching graphics…and it’s FREE!


Those are all my tips and pieces of advice for starting and developing your creative business. I hope they were helpful and inspiring! If you have any others, share them in the comments and spread the knowledge.

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Beginner’s Guide to Greek Mythology (part 2)

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