There’s so much advice out there on how to run a freelance business, but not all of it is worth following.
Here’s why: I’ve been managing myself since I was six years old and bringing homework to the dining room table before dinner. I know the time of day I work best. I know how often I need breaks. I know the kinds of clients I want and I know the ones who will give me mad anxiety.
If you’re honest with yourself, you probably know how you work best, too. And I’m not just referring to time of day.
Freelancers need to find where their audience is chilling online and be there. So, if your people are on Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr, that’s where you should be? If you ask me, no. I poke around for groups and platforms where my audience is chilling, but I only put energy and time into the ones that I actually enjoy. Tumblr is fine and all, but it’s just not my jam. I know that spending lots of time on a Tumblr would not be great for my mental health, so all I have is a super neglected page for Cockroach. I’m still pretty into Facebook and really digging Instagram right now, so that’s what I focus on.
The days when I start getting myself into trouble are the ones when my anxiety manifests as this powerful energy to get shit done. Now.
When I blow through my daily to-do lists for the entire week, I’ve been known to check out free online freelancer courses. In my surge of excitement I’ll start the course, re-evaluating my core values and mission statement. Then I’ll get to a part about needling to post x number of times on Twitter a day and lose interest because it’s just not for me or become super anxious because I feel like I’m doing this freelance thing wrong. Sometimes I actually go so far as trying to implement their advice, but that just ends with me losing all my steam and need to take a mental health day from trying to do too much that just doesn’t feel right for how I work.
The fact is, unless you’re being mean or unethical, there’s no wrong way to freelance. Being self-employed is all about working how works best for you, and that’s exactly what I do.
Something new I’m trying out is a weekly newsletter sending support, love and motivation to creatives who struggle with their mental health. It launched today, so sign-up now and you won’t miss another week of it!