If you follow us on Instagram, you saw that I mentioned I have begun to freelance/consult for various brands. We had an influx of DM’s asking great questions so I wanted to be as in depth as I could when answering!
First, a quick summary of my background and why I am currently in this position. I started my career in traditional public relations for a few years after college and then began to focus more heavily on digital marketing and social media. For the past 4.5 years I worked at a digital marketing agency and worked on clients like P&G, Taskrabbit, Doordash, Norma Kamali, Rent the Runway, Zola, Verizon, etc. I worked on the digital marketing team and created and executed influencer marketing campaigns, brand partnerships, celebrity partnerships and digital-first events. Court and I have also been bloggers/influencers for the past 7 years, so we have always been on the forefront of what brands are doing in the social media space. During the pandemic, I left my full time job to pause and reset, if you will. I spent the summer working on the blog full time and absolutely loved it. However, I have always loved working on the client side as well so knew that I wanted to continue that work in some capacity. That’s where freelancing comes in! Below, I have pulled some of the most frequently asked questions from you guys!
What kind of freelancing do you do?
I primarily work with brands on their influencer marketing campaigns. That is my bread and butter. I help brands create strategy, structure for their programs and execute on the actual content. If you are looking to get into freelance/consulting work, I would recommend specializing in a few specific things. Brands want to work with individuals who bring something to the table, know the industry inside and out and who can jump right in without much onboarding.
How to get your freelance rate?
So there are a couple of ways to do this. Part 1: calculate how much you would need to compensate for the lack of having your full-time paycheck. Keep in mind, you will have to pay for your own insurance and benefits so I recommend increasing your full-time salary by at least 30% to cover those costs. For example, if you make 70K at your full time job, you would want to make at least 91,000 to match that paycheck and still have money to put aside for your insurance, 401K, etc. Then, divide that number with how many hours you are looking to work per week and you will get your hourly rate. Part 2: TALK TO YOUR PEERS and do your research. Talk to people in the industry who have similar industry experience to help shape your rate. Especially with women, I have found that talking about money is “taboo” but it is so, so important to be open with each other because that is the only way you can find out if you are being undervalued. I am lucky enough to have a group of women where we all speak very openly about what we are making so it is easier to benchmark when you are negotiating your rate.
What does your day look like?
To be completely honest, I am still figuring this out. Right now, it doesn’t feel too different from working at an agency because I am used to jumping from project to project as opposed to focusing in on one thing. What I am working towards is setting aside my mornings for freelance projects and then afternoons to work on the blog.
What would you say has been the most helpful thing identifying clients?
Most clients or potential clients have all been from past colleagues that I have stayed in touch with. It is so so so important to stay in touch with your colleagues. Whether they were a past fellow intern, an assistant, your own intern, etc. stay in touch! Make sure you are connected with them on LinkedIn but also reach out via text and Instagram at least once a year. It’s good to just keep in touch! Those are the people at brands and companies that are now making the big decisions. I have also done some cold pitching to brands that I love. I think it makes an extremely compelling case to pitch to brands that you yourself are the target market for as you can speak as an expert on the demographic and industry trends. For example, if you are younger and looking to get into the social media world, become an expert with TikTok. Brands want to invest in the Gen Z/TikTok audience now and are willing to work with younger people starting in their career because they themselves are the target market.
I work full-time but am looking to do freelance work on the side, any advice?
Trust me, I am all about having a side hustle but before you start, make sure you look at your contract with your current employer. Most companies do not allow freelancing on the side and it could be cause for termination!
How do you include “you time” during the day?
Honestly this has not been an issue for me yet. My goal is to have 20 hours a week with freelance/consulting clients and then the rest dedicated to the blog. My routine everyday is pretty consistent in terms of carving out “me time.” Every morning I wake up around 8am and go for an hour walk and listen to my podcast. Typically around 5pm i’ll do a 30 minute workout and then go for another walk. I may have a few more calls after that but I try and maintain a “typical” work schedule as it helps me compartmentalize especially since we are all working from home!
Hope this was helpful. Shout with any questions!