I love my job, but I just can’t get on with working for this person/in this company. Has anyone else thought this, but then immediately told themselves how lucky they are to have a job and how hard it would be to go freelance?
Meet Lizzie Davey, who has successfully made the leap and shared her experience with me.
How would you describe what you do?
In the most basic sense, I’m a freelance writer. But, more specifically, I create long-form content for marketing brands and tech companies that help them connect with their audience and convert more readers into buyers.
I also help brands put together engaging content strategies that help them reach their goals and get their brands out there.
Have you always done this? When/why did you make a change?
No! I started my freelance career as a travel writer, because I was living abroad and travel was my biggest love. I soon realised that the pay in that sector is pretty shoddy, and the writing became repetitive.
I have a background in marketing and I love reading up on current trends, so it made sense to make the switch. I made the change about a year and a half into my freelance career (I wish I’d done it sooner, though!).
Was there a particular trigger for changing your work/lifestyle?
Yes. My ex-boyfriend was an English teacher and we’d discussed living abroad so he could earn more money and I could get to see some fun places. He landed a job in Spain that started a month later, so I kinda had to get my stuff together pretty quickly.
I think if I hadn’t have had that complete cut from normal life, I wouldn’t have gone all in with freelancing.
How did you feel when you made the decision to go freelance?
Absolutely terrified! I was convinced that it wasn’t a viable way to make money and I thought I’d be struggling to earn enough each month to pay my bills. It was also pretty liberating though, and I was proud of myself for finally taking the plunge on something I’d wanted to do for a LONG time.
What are the highlights and lowlights of a freelance career?
The highlights are definitely working with some amazing brands and seeing their stories come to life. On a more personal, selfish level, the freedom I have to work with who I want, when I want, and do what I want is a huge high.
But it’s not all fun, fun, fun! There were months at the start of my career where I didn’t make enough money and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to make a consistent income. Now? There aren’t as many lows, but I do often wonder what’s next – like, whether I’ll still be doing the similar work for similar clients this time in ten years.
Do you have any advice or tips for someone considering a freelance career?
Yes! It’s totally possible if it’s something you really want, but it’s really not the right lifestyle for everyone.
You have to be incredibly persistent and cut yourself some slack when you think things aren’t moving quickly enough. It took me almost two years to find the balance in my business that I craved, and there were so many points along the way where I was ready to pack it all in and go back to full-time employment.
I think a sensible place to start is to plan everything meticulously. Where do you want to be next month? Next year? In the next five years? And be realistic, too. Freelancing isn’t an overnight thing. It takes time to create and build a business you’re happy with.
Is there one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Great question! There is absolutely tonnes of things I’d love to have known when I was younger.
Career-wise, I think I would have told myself that things will work out because they have to. Nobody knows what they’re doing most of the time, so just keep being curious, keep asking questions, and keep creating connections.
What new challenges/plans are in the pipeline?
I’m currently re-working my packages this summer to include more strategy-based offerings. I LOVE helping brands figure out the message they want to put out there and then putting that into action through really juicy content.
I’m also writing a new course for prospects who can’t afford my full services, but still want help creating an engaging content strategy.
As for Creative Freelancing Freedom (my course for freelancers), I’ll be closing that up soon and re-opening it two times a year for a more focused approach.
You can find out more about Lizzie and her work at wanderful-world.com
If you know what you want to do, but can’t seem to make it happen – get in touch for a chat about how I can help you start doing your dreams.