Useful lessons for freelancers – #8: Market yourself

Without regular, persistent, thoughtful marketing, most freelancers would not last long out of regular employment.

So don’t forget to market yourself. You are a brand, a business and a person. All three are marketable. Some people shy away from marketing, perhaps because it sounds too American and corporate, but to me ‘marketing’ just means telling people that you exist. If you’re offering a good, professional service there’s no reason why you shouldn’t let people know.

Bizarre Signage

I had to share this with you, even though it has a tenuous connection to copywriting… I’m not even going to try to justify it:

Seen in a fisherman’s club in Eastbourne –


I love the anger in the writer’s words. Don’t talk about the f@!?ing bingo!!!

Useful lessons for freelancers – #7: Don’t expect other people to do it all for you

If people offer to put you in touch with rich veins of work, thank them, but act as though it isn’t happening. Never rely on other people to do your work for you. And always assume that those helpful people will forget to carry out their promises, just in case they do forget.

But never resent people for forgetting little things like this. Remember that everyone is just as busy as you are.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #6: It’s a fight

This thought is probably more useful to people considering a freelance career, rather than those who’ve already taken the plunge:

Freelancing is not an easy option. Freelancers are constantly finding jobs, losing jobs, finding jobs, losing jobs… Freelancing means fluctuating fortunes, financial roller-coaster rides, and a constant fight for success.

And I love all that – but it’s definitely not easy.

A Missed Opportunity

What is this?

till receipt

It’s a missed opportunity.

As I sorted my receipts (for expenses purposes), I took a trip down memory lane. I remembered meetings and coffees and lunches and appointments and clients and friends. When I found the receipt above, I remembered thinking that the cafe had failed to set up their till properly.

So rather than being reminded of this particular cafe, and seeing their name again, I get an advert for the Sharp XE-A212 till.

Maximising potential

Marketing is all about little opportunities like this. It’s just about gently reminding people that you exist.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #5: Don’t rely on anything

Don’t rely on anything.

Projects fall through, get put back. If you’re relying on one project or one client then you’re in a dangerous position. Have fall-back options. And sometimes it’s better to be slightly doubled-up with work because so many things get delayed. If you space everything out too much you will probably find yourself waiting for things to happen, earning nothing.

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