Survivial Skills for Freelancers

You’re the boss! How to take back control of your freelance business and say goodbye to overwhelm

Remember how you loved the idea of working for yourself?

How you were drawn to the freedom and flexibility of freelance life? How you’d get to be in control of how you spend your time and energy, and to pick the clients – and the work – that inspires you?

What happened?!

It’s common to come off the treadmill of employment only to find yourself on a whole other treadmill.

You’re working crazy hours just to get by, no more in charge of your time than when you were employed, and what’s worse, you’ve swapped one boss for multiple bosses (hint – they’re not you!).

You’re not alone.

According to research by Leapers, 61% of freelancers are stressed by long hours and tight deadlines.

But there is a better way.

It’s okay to say no to work that doesn’t fulfil you.

It’s okay to admit you can’t do it all, and to ask for help.

And it’s okay – scrap that, it’s downright essential – to set boundaries that protect your energy and prioritise your mental health.

So, how do you take back control of your freelance business, and get more enjoyment from self-employment?

The empowering magic of saying no

When you’re self-employed it’s tempting to take on every piece of work that comes your way, especially when you’re starting out. Money is tight, paying clients are scarce, and you’re trying hard to build up your reputation.

Once you’ve established a handful of regular clients and a steady flow of work you have a little more freedom to ask, “Is this right for me?”.

Ask yourself:

Does it suit your skills?

If a client is asking for skills you don’t have or services you don’t offer, be honest and realistic. While you may be able to upskill in a particular area, taking on work that’s way beyond your capabilities is a recipe for stress and overwhelm

Is the timescale realistic to do a professional job?

We’ve all been there: “I’ll need it back tomorrow,” they say. If you don’t have the capacity to fit work in at short notice – and, frankly, most good freelancers won’t – ask if there’s wiggle room in the deadline. You can’t do your best work when you’re stretched to your limits, and most clients are prepared to wait for the right person to do the job.

Is the pay worthwhile?

Don’t undersell yourself. Knowing how to price your work as a freelancer can be tough. As a bare minimum, aim to charge standard industry rates for the job, as well as covering legitimate expenses. (Remember, as a freelancer you don’t get sick pay, holiday pay, a pension or any of the other financial benefits associated with employment.) You might find the Work Notes pricing guide helpful here.

What is your instinct telling you?

Being stuck in a cycle of attracting and accepting the wrong work takes the joy out of freelance life. But what is the wrong work? Your gut often recognises it before you do! Perhaps the client shows signs of not respecting the value you provide. Maybe they’re quick to quibble over your costs, telling you they can get the work done much cheaper elsewhere. Perhaps they’re vague about job specs or set unrealistic deadlines. If your instinct tells you to steer clear, listen to it – it’s usually for a good reason.

Takeaway tip: Being honest, professional and businesslike from the start will help to establish respect and trust from potential clients – and save you a lot of stress and aggro later.

Ask for help if you need it

As freelancers, we wear a lot of hats! It’s easy to feel like you have to be your own accountant, do all your own admin, troubleshoot your own tech, and be your own life coach.

Newsflash: you don’t.

It took me a loooong time to realise this, and I could’ve saved myself a lot of time and stress had I learned it sooner!

Outsourcing the tasks you don’t enjoy, you’re not good at, and that don’t make you money is just good business sense. Spending half your time on tasks that drain your time and energy can leave you questioning why you went into business in the first place!

The more time you spend doing the thing you love – and the thing that makes you money – the more fulfilled and happy your freelance life will be.

So, how do you decide what to outsource? Start by writing a list of the tasks you do each day and rate them according to:

  • how good you are at them
  • how much you enjoy them

The tasks that score low are those you should look at outsourcing first. Many freelancers start by outsourcing their accounts and IT support.

Finding the right person for the job may take a little while, but soon you’ll have a team of experts working for you and supporting your business while you get on with doing the thing you love.

And that feels good.

Set healthy boundaries

Freelancing can feel like a constant juggling act – between different clients, tasks, projects and deadlines. To stay on top of your game, you’ll need to set healthy boundaries with realistic expectations of your time and attention. Feeling like you’re permanently on call is a recipe for burnout.

  • Consider setting an email auto response that lets clients know you just check your email a couple of times a day – and stick to it! It reassures them that you’ve received their email, manages their expectations on when to expect a response, and sends a clear signal that you won’t be pulled off task every few minutes when you’re working for them.
  • I know many freelancers who don’t publish their phone number, and for good reason! Unplanned calls can be a real distraction when you’re focused and productive. Unless you really can’t avoid answering the phone, let calls go to voicemail and encourage the client to book an appointment at a mutually convenient time when they can expect your undivided attention. Apps such as Calendly and Acuity Scheduling are great for this.
  • Freelance life isn’t about the 9 to 5. Ultimately, your clients don’t care what hours you work, as long as you get the work done on time, so set working hours that work for you. Communicate them in your email signature and terms of business.

Takeaway tip: Setting clear, professional ground rules makes life easier for both you and your client – and helps you avoid burnout.

The bottom line…

Follow these golden rules to take back control of your freelance business and get more enjoyment from self-employment:

  1. Set boundaries
    Remember – you’re the boss! Learn to say no to the clients and work that aren’t the right fit for your values, experience or schedule. By doing so, you’ll open up space for the projects that are a good match for your skills, personality and passion – and that’s pure gold!
  2. Get clear on your process
    Communicate clear ground rules on what each project does and doesn’t cover, and on when you will and won’t respond to emails or phonecalls. When you manage your clients’ expectations, they’re less likely to micro manage, and more likely to trust you to deliver when you say you will.
  3. Ask for help
    It’s a sign of strength, not weakness! You’ll have a team of experts in your corner and you’ll get to spend more time doing the thing you love – which is the reason you went into business in the first place, right?!

Create clear boundaries that work for you and you’ll find yourself with less stress, a richer work–life balance, and a more fulfilling freelance life.

And who doesn’t want that?

 

How to market your freelance business in 6 simple steps

Knowing how to market your freelance business can be a real challenge.

You want your business to grow and thrive – but unless people know it exists that’s never going to happen! So how do you get your name out there, find those dream clients and build your freelance business?

In the bad old days (believe me, I’m old enough to remember) marketing involved a simple choice: you sent a mailshot, took out an ad in the local paper or picked up the phone and made the dreaded cold calls.

Thankfully, those days are gone – and, thanks to the internet, you’re now spoilt for choice* when it comes to marketing your freelance business.

(*read overwhelmed – anyone?!)

So where do you start?

Here are six simple steps to get your business noticed – without sapping too much of your time, energy or cash.

1. Get your website working for you

Think of your website as your shop window to the world. It’s often the first stop for anyone wanting to find out more about your business.

According to a 2019 study, an incredible 40 per cent of UK businesses have no online presence. When you remember that a well-written, well-designed, SEO optimised website could be working for your freelance business 24/7 that’s a lot of missed opportunity!

With free web-building tools such as Wix and Squarespace readily available, there’s really no excuse for not having a website, though investing in professional web design and copywriting can help to give your freelance business the edge.

2. Start blogging

Blogging is a great way to create value for your audience and to position you as an expert in your chosen freelance field.

Think of your blog as a conversation with your audience.

  • Get clear on the purpose for each post.
  • Aim to inform, engage and entertain by sharing helpful tips and advice.
  • Remember to include a strong call to action – somewhere interested readers can go if they’d like to know more.

Don’t just rely on search engine traffic to gain readers. Once you’ve published your new blog post on your website, share a link on your social media channels to increase your audience.

Fun fact: the word blog comes from the word weblog

3. Email marketing

Business emails fall into two categories: irritating spam emails for products and brands you’re not interested in (please tell me why I keep receiving invitations to attend engineering seminars!?) and emails you actually look forward to receiving each month/week/fortnight.

Your job is to ensure yours fall into the second category.

How? Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What do they want to read about? (Send a short survey to a handful of trusted clients and ask them!) How can you solve their problems, make their life easier, add value or even just brighten their day with an inspiring story?

To help you get the tone right, think of your email marketing as a direct conversation with a client. And make sure it sounds like you! Business speak and jargon are far more likely to turn people off.

Want to see how I do it? Subscribe to my monthly email newsletter. It contains a mix of news, advice and useful tips for freelancers and business owners and a no hard-sell guarantee.

Pro tip: keep it short, keep it helpful, keep it regular (but not too frequent).

4. Build your network

When it comes to spreading the word about your business, support can come from unexpected places. Don’t discount friends, relatives and former colleagues. They may not be in the market for your service, but with a little encouragement they may be happy to help you spread the word.

Keep an open mind when you’re talking to someone who doesn’t appear to be a potential client – you never know who they’re connected to!

As Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Aim to make a great first impression. You never know where it might lead.

Pro tip: remember, networking is about being part of a mutually supportive community so skip the hard sell!

5. Use social media: don’t let it use you!

How many times have you reached the end of the day and wondered where on earth the time went? When you learn that the average person spends around 2.5 hours Every. Single. Day. on social media, it’s easy to see why.

While platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be great ways to build your network and spread the word about your business, they’re also a huge distraction – sapping your time, energy and productivity.

Instead of trying to conquer all platforms, pick one or two where your target clients hang out and focus your attention there. Resist the temptation to check for updates every two minutes and turn off those notifications – your brain will thank you for it!

6. Ask for recommendations

When you need a plumber or a decorator, you ask your network for recommendations, right? The same applies whether you’re a graphic designer, photographer, chiropractor or copywriter. In fact, 77% of consumers are more likely to buy from a business that’s recommended by someone they trust.

Five-star reviews are the best free marketing tool your business has.

Let that sink in.

Testimonials tell people we know our stuff. We deliver. We’re credible. We’re creative. We add value. We make their lives easier. We’re fun to work with.

So make the most of them!

As soon as you’ve completed a project, ask the client if they’d be willing to review your service for LinkedIn, Google or Facebook. Chances are they’ll be happy to help. You could even build your testimonials into project profiles or case studies to showcase your services and the problems you solve for your clients.

Check out this post for more on using recommendations to build your reputation.

Pro tip: find more stats on the importance of reviews and recommendations here.

The last word…

Many freelancers feel uncomfortable with the idea of selling and marketing their business – but you won’t succeed as a freelancer without it!

If this sounds like you, focus on the end result you deliver to your clients. Perhaps you save them time, or help their business become more successful.

Either way, you provide a valuable service and people won’t know about it unless you tell them! So, don’t be shy about promoting your business. A little marketing can go a long way.

 

Strengths, weaknesses… and the key to freelance success

If you want to rock the socks off self-employment you need to play to your strengths and ignore your weaknesses – right? Wrong. Here are 6 reasons why knowing your strengths and your weaknesses can play a big part in freelance success.

  1. Know what makes you special

In business speak, this is known as your USP – your unique selling point. It’s the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd, and the reason clients will choose to work with you over your competitors.

Perhaps you offer a unique or unusual service. Maybe your strength is an ability to work quickly and efficiently. Perhaps working alone means you can provide a tailored, personal service to your clients. Or perhaps you’re highly experienced in a particular niche or market.

When you’ve identified your USP, reframe it from the perspective of your clients. What pains do you solve for them? What benefit will they get from working with you? Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops!

  1. Play to your strengths

What qualities and strengths do you bring to the table? Perhaps you’re great at listening to your clients’ needs and coming up with creative solutions to their problems? Or perhaps organisation is your superpower, and you’re great at managing projects, timetables and budgets?

If you find it hard to recognise your positive traits, ask a trusted friend – or, if you’re feeling brave – ask clients why they’d recommend you (the answer may not be what you expect!).

Knowing your strengths – and what they mean to your clients – can help you recognise the clients and projects that are a good fit for you (and the ones to avoid!).

  1. Reframe your weaknesses

In the process of writing Survival Skills for Freelancers I asked the self-employed community on Twitter for the one quality they thought was vital to become a successful freelancer. Two answers that came up again and again were patience and thick skin.

I have neither. And that’s okay. Because being aware of the qualities you lack can work in your favour. Most weaknesses can be reframed as strengths. For example, impatient people are driven. They get things done. And my sensitivity makes me a great listener – an essential skill for freelancers.

Would life be easier without weaknesses? Sure, but they haven’t held me back, and they shouldn’t hold you back either.

  1. Know your personality

Are you naturally outgoing and extroverted, or more of the shy and retiring type? Being aware of your personality type enables you to develop working patterns that suit you.

Extroverts like me may benefit from building time into their day to chat to friends or colleagues online. Sharing ideas, advice and laughter with others can give extroverts the energy – and the productivity boost – to smash through an afternoon of deadlines with ease.

On the flip side, introverts may need to build in quiet time to recharge after a morning of online meetings or networking as, for them, being around other people can be draining. Spending the afternoon focused on productive output can be a great way to achieve this.

  1. Know your market

Before you spend time and energy on marketing your business, make sure you understand what your audience needs.

A little research into your target market – and some time spent asking the right people the right questions – can give you a valuable insight into the challenges that potential clients face.

Put yourself in their shoes. What are they struggling with? What pains can you solve for them? How can you make their life easier? Where are the gaps you need to fill? Use this inside information to market your services.

  1. Offer solutions

Essential purchases aside, people don’t make buying decisions based on facts and logic – they buy based on emotion.

Instead of focusing on practicalities such as your level of experience and qualifications, try answering your client’s primary question: “What’s in it for me?”.

How will working with you make them feel? Will it bring a sense of order and control? Will it provide peace of mind, knowing an important project is in safe hands? Will it help them meet their deadlines, and make them look good to their boss? Build this into your sales pitch.

As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

As a freelancer, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your own company! The better you know yourself, the better positioned you are to work on your weaknesses and play to your strengths. Get comfortable with who you are and you’re more likely to find freelance success. Go for it!

Writing the book on freelancing… quite literally!

Fellow freelance copywriter, Nigel Graber interviewed me on the launch day of my new book, Survival Skills for Freelancers, and shared the post in the Copywriter Stories segment of his website. Did he get any sense out of me on the most exhilarating day of my career?! Here’s the interview…

“I always thought legendary Cotswolds copywriter and editor Sarah Townsend wrote the book on freelancing. But now she’s actually gone and done it. It’s even been released on National Freelancers’ Day. Let’s turn some pages.”

So your shiny new book, Survival Skills for Freelancers, is out today. How excited are you?

Oh, you can’t imagine. It’s like a milestone birthday and Christmas all rolled into one. Everything has been leading up to this day for so long, and I can’t wait to see how well Survival Skills for Freelancers performs out there in the real world! Can’t say I’m quite as excited about the inevitable adrenaline crash that will follow, but hey – it’s all good!

Did you always plan for publication on National Freelancers’ Day?

I did. There are five million self-employed workers in the UK right now, and over two million of them are freelancers. That’s a lot of us going it alone with very little support. I needed a publication date to focus on, and National Freelancers’ Day seemed like the perfect date.

What inspired you to write it?

Last year I wrote a blog sharing the things I’d learned from 20 years of freelance life. It proved to be by far my most popular post, and generated an overwhelmingly positive response.

People loved the honest, no-frills advice, combined with the heart-on-your-sleeve confessions. I realised I could use my experience to create an indispensable guide to the highs and lows of self-employment. A book that 29-year-old me would have loved at the start of my own freelance journey.

Does it deal with freelancing in general or is there a bias towards copywriting and editing? Is it as useful for, say, a freelance web designer as it is for a copywriter?

It’s very much aimed at freelancers in general. While the anecdotes and stories relate to my experiences as a freelance copywriter, the advice is relevant to anyone who’s already self-employed, or who’s thinking of going solo.

What else can we expect?

It provides advice on the issues we all experience as freelancers, such as:

  • Strategies to deal with isolation
  • Knowing your worth – and what to charge
  • Trusting your instinct, and learning to say no
  • Achieving balance and avoiding burnout
  • The importance of investing in your business
  • The qualities that help you survive and thrive as a freelancer.

It’s a crowded market. What do you think makes your book different?

Think of all the books you’ve ever read on copywriting. Do you ever say to yourself, “I enjoyed Copywriting ABC, but it was just like Copywriting 123!”? I doubt it. That’s because no two journeys, no two voices, and no two approaches are the same. So yes, there are other books on freelance life out there, but none quite like this one.

I didn’t want Survival Skills for Freelancers to feel like a conventional business book. Yes, it’s packed full of tried-and-tested strategies and practical advice, but it’s more than that. I wanted it to feel collaborative and supportive – like I was there on the journey with you.

Fellow copywriter Anna Gunning sums it up as being, ‘like having your own personal business mentor’, while my first ever Amazon review said, ‘Reading this book was like settling down with a good friend for a business chat’. I actually teared up when I read it because that’s exactly how I wanted it to feel.

How long did it take to write? And how many hours per day?

I had the idea at the end of last year and I’m publishing in mid-June, so I guess it took about eight months from start to finish.

I know people who’ve spent years conceiving, writing and publishing their books but that wouldn’t have worked for me. The only way I know how to do something is full on, 100 miles an hour. I’ve lived and breathed the book, the publishing process and the marketing for the past four months – possibly longer.

It’s ironic that it’s about balance and boundaries, because – particularly in the past couple of months – mine have gone out of the window. Yes, having a deadline has kept me laser focused, but I’ve found myself so engrossed in – and energised by – the writing, editing and sheer learning involved that I may, occasionally, have forgotten to look after myself. I imagine I haven’t been that easy to live with recently!

Did you have to put your day job on hold?

I set myself the goal of getting the first draft written by the end of January, and I gave myself a month off client work so that I could get it done. So yes, I did. For the past few months, and throughout lockdown, I’ve been juggling client work and book work. That’s been tough. Really tough. But I am SO happy with the end result that the long days have been worth it.

What did the writing process look like?

Actually, much the same as any copywriting job, but on a far grander scale. I’m (generally) hyper organised, and I think you have to be to make a success of this process. I started with thoughts, ideas, and a structure. I wrote, I edited, I revised the aforementioned structure… rinse and repeat. It’s like any writing job, I think. You start with all the elements and gradually fit them together in the right order, like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Was there much research involved or was it all stored in your head?

It was a pretty good balance of stuff I needed to research and stuff I knew inside out. It’s very much written from the perspective of my own experience, so that bit was easy!

Copywriters are a friendly bunch. Did you get much help from the community?

They really are. Without the support of the freelance community, Survival Skills for Freelancers would be a very different book! Each chapter ends with quotes and opinions from freelancers on everything from impostor syndrome and what to charge to the importance of connection and when to say no. It also includes mini case studies from copywriting legends such as Nick Parker and Graeme Piper.

Many of my copywriter friends are helping me to spread the word about the book because they believe in the importance of what I’m trying to achieve. They’ve been sharing pics of the book and reminders of the launch date all week. They’re amazing! So supportive.

What made you go down the self-publishing route?

I knew exactly what I wanted the book to look and feel like, and exactly how I wanted it to be structured. I would have struggled with not having complete control over cover design and content, so I knew from day one that I would self-publish!

What effect would you like the book to have?

I’d like it to help people get more enjoyment from self-employment. There’s a lot to love about freelance life, but it can be tough, too! I’ve been through a lot in my 20 years as a freelancer. I’ve done things that worked, and things that didn’t, and it took me a long time to get to a point where I felt like my own success was sustainable. Readers can use what I’ve learned to fast-track their own freelance success and make fewer costly, time-consuming mistakes in the process.

What advice would you give any other aspiring authors?

Acknowledge that it’ll take a LOT of time – and that there’s a lot more to the process than just being able to write. Within a month of getting started, I had an A4 folder that was two inches thick with information: print quotes, freelancer quotes, research, resources, useful articles, marketing tips… And I have over 400 documents in the Survival Skills for Freelancers folder on my Mac!

If you’re planning on self-publishing, be prepared to do your research – there’s heaps of information out there – and don’t be afraid to ask colleagues who’ve been through the process for advice.

Brilliant. Finally, how can we get hold of a copy?

Survival Skills for Freelancers is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats, and there’s more information at survivalskillsforfreelancers.com. I’m all set to record the audiobook, too – just need to find the time to do it!

Tips and tricks for a happy, healthy freelance life (an interview with ProCopywriters)

I recently took part in a live, one-hour interview with ProCopywriters, the professional association for copywriters in the UK.

We chatted about the wellbeing aspects of freelance life ­– dealing with the ups and downs, as well as the importance of boundaries, community and asking for help – and I shared tips to help freelance copywriters become more successful with less stress and burnout.

The interview touched on some of the tips and topics that are covered in my new book – Survival Skills for Freelancers. Here’s a transcript.

Q Welcome to #ProCopyChat, Sarah! Please tell us a bit more about yourself.

A Hello! I’ve been a freelance marketing copywriter for over 20 years. I love freelance life, but I reckon it took me the best part of 15 years to get good at the business end of it – and I made a lot of mistakes along the way.

I’ve now written a book for freelancers – Survival Skills for Freelancers to share my experience and help freelancers reach their definition of success a whole lot quicker than I did!

Q Sounds great! Can you tell us a bit more about the book for freelancers, and how it came about?

A Sure! So, most of us decide to go freelance because we have a skill we want to share. But in most cases, we’re unprepared for how relentless the business end of freelance life can be, let alone the challenges it can present to our mental health!

The book is designed to help freelancers become more successful by working smarter, not harder. I’m hoping readers will learn from the things I’ve done that worked as well as the things that didn’t!

It’s a combination of heart-on-your-sleeve anecdotes and tried and tested advice based on my own experience, backed up by research, resources and quotes from the freelance community.

Q How and why did you become a freelancer?

A I was working as an editor and account manager for a magazine publisher in Clifton, Bristol when I became pregnant. I knew I didn’t want to go back to full-time work, and liked the idea that I could fit freelance work around family life. My employer promised to provide the odd piece of work, so it seemed like a good decision.

I worked on my brand and sent out cold enquiries while I was on maternity leave, then worked three days a week while my daughter was at nursery. My business grew as my family grew. And here I am – now with grown-up kids – still loving freelance life.

Q4 What do you believe are the most important qualities to make it as a freelancer?

A Good question! I don’t think you have to be a particular type of person to make a successful freelancer. There are always exceptions. But there are traits that help and others that hinder. Skills and talent alone aren’t enough to guarantee success.

It helps if you’re determined, motivated, organised, ambitious, disciplined, confident, outgoing, flexible, reliable, personable, patient, thick-skinned… it’s a pretty long list!

Q What would you say to anyone reading that list who knows they don’t have all those qualities?

A I’d say don’t worry too much. No one will tick off every quality on the list. If you don’t have any of them, you might struggle more than most, but I’m neither patient nor thick-skinned and I haven’t let that hold me back!

Q Isolation is a real challenge for many freelancers. How do you recommend we deal with it?

It absolutely is. So many of the freelancers I’ve talked to loved the idea of working from home but found themselves completely unprepared for the loneliness! It’s easy to feel like no one understands what you’re going through – but they do!

Connection is vital when you’re freelance, and there are three fundamental ways to find it:

  • online communities (like this one, or the many Facebook groups that exist for freelancers)
  • networking groups and events
  • coworking spaces and coffee shop working

The great thing about the online community is that – under normal circumstances, at least – it spills out into real life with events and conferences. This means it’s possible to make great real-life friendships with people who are in the same boat as you, and who really get it.

We may be facing a temporary ban on face-to-face networking and coworking, but many groups are already taking their meetings and events online and getting great results. And, of course, we won’t always be facing the unprecedented situation we’re in right now, with COVID-19.

Q How have you dealt with the unpredictability of freelance life over the years?

A I don’t think you ever really get used to the peaks and troughs of freelancing. Quiet spells are pretty rare for me now, but I still keep a list of projects I want to work on, blogs I want to write and books I want to read, in case work does drop off.

Having too much work can be just as problematic as not having enough, though. Either you work yourself into the ground, boundaries go out the window and your mental health suffers as a result, or you can do what I do – have an arrangement with a small team of trusted freelancers who you can pass work on to when you need to. You’re solving the problem for your client and helping another freelancer into the bargain.

Q There’s a lot of talk about imposter syndrome. Do you suffer from it, and how do you deal with it?

A Yes, absolutely – even now! Self-doubt can hold you back if you let it, so don’t let the fear of failure get in your way. Celebrate your wins – even the little things – so you can see how far you’ve come. And don’t compare yourself to others!

It’s easy to put things off if you keep striving for perfection but know this: there’ll never be a right time and you’ll never be completely prepared. Just do the best that you can do. Sometimes good enough really is good enough.

Q You have a chapter in your book about avoiding burnout. Can you share a few tips here?

A Of course! This is something I feel very strongly about and I go into a fair bit of detail about it in the book. In a nutshell, it’s about setting boundaries, asking for help, learning to say no, and taking simple steps to look after yourself.

It takes time to learn what works for you, but most people need fresh air, exercise, a balanced diet and decent quality sleep as a minimum. It sounds obvious, but if you’re not feeling your best you can’t do your best work.

Above all, it’s important to know it’s okay not to be okay. You’re not alone, you’re not the only one who feels this way, and you are perfectly normal. Respect your boundaries, prioritise your own wellbeing, and keep talking!

Q When and where can we get hold of your book? And will you be promoting it at any freelance events in the future? (Coronavirus permitting!)

A My book for freelancers, Survival Skills for Freelancers launched on 18 June, and is available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and soon to be audiobook formats.

As for events, I have a few podcast interviews lined up and I’m always keen to do more. Ultimately, I’d love to speak on wellbeing and mental health for freelancers. (Spread the word if you know any event organisers who might be interested!)