So, you want to be a freelancer?

how to get into freelancing

Freelancing can be challenging at times, but it may also be the best decision you ever make. If you’re in a position to work from home or want to work on your own time, a freelance career may be just the ticket. I opted to ‘go freelance’ instead of returning to work full-time when I came to the end of my maternity leave. I really didn’t feel ready to leave my 12 month old daughter five days a week, and I wanted to pursue a better work/life balance where I could still be present as a mum.freelancing - what does it really take?

 

I recently took part in the ‘Mummy in Business’ series run by Lynn over on New Mummy Blog. If you’re thinking of going freelance, you should definitely check out her series of interviews with other mums who have done just that. Here’s mine…

What do you freelance in?

I’m a freelance PR and communications consultant.

Did you work in this area before?

Yes I worked in PR and marketing agencies for eight years before leaving my full time job to go on maternity leave.

What are your tips for freelancing and juggling kiddies?

It can be pretty tricky, especially at first when you’re trying to build up your client base and don’t make enough money from it to justify nursery fees. You really do have to put the work in and make the most of nap times (if your children are still at that age) and give up your evenings in order to get things done and pitch for work. My daughter still has one nap time each day so I use that time to do work that needs doing during working hours, such as client phone calls, media relations and responding to emails. I then use the evenings to produce proposals and write up features I’m working on.

freelance PR

 

My daughter started nursery two days each week from April, which has been a huge help and given me more structure to my week. I also find that I treasure those days I do get with her that little bit more and I’m not constantly thinking about what I have to do or checking my emails/phone.

Why did you decide to freelance?

It was something I always wanted to do, but there never seemed to be a good time before maternity leave and it seemed like too big a risk to take. When the time came to consider returning to my previous role it was a bit of a no-brainer really. I just didn’t feel ready and the thought of only spending weekends with my 12-month old daughter and not being able to put her to bed every night was something I couldn’t get my head around. I know that not every mum has the option and I’m so thankful that I did.

About Me - Mum in Brum

I know for a fact that I would never have taken the plunge if it wasn’t for the year I had at home on maternity leave. We realised that we could get by on just the one salary, so there was no major pressure for me to be earning the same as I had done before immediately. Which was a good job really as it was much harder than I expected to secure my initial freelance jobs. My hubby was extremely supportive which I think is so important. Freelance jobs aren’t going to come rolling in overnight, but I’ve found that persistence definitely does pay off in the end and you can earn a lot more and have a far better work/life balance than you have as an employee.

Slides at Hatton Country World

Do you have any tips for any other mummies who are thinking of becoming freelancers?

Realise your strengths and don’t be afraid to shout about them. After taking over a year out of the workplace I really did feel a little like I’d forgotten everything I’d learnt. I had to immerse myself back into the world of PR again and remember everything I’d achieved in my career and how hard I’d worked to get there. Don’t always think that other people are better than you – they aren’t. I wrote about this in another post, ‘Should we all be more Kanye?‘ I’m a firm believer in the ethos that if you really want to achieve something then you can and you will do it.

home-office

It will probably take a while to build up your business and you won’t see instant results. I found that some of the companies I initially contacted and said they had no requirement, got back in touch with me months later with opportunities. I made it my target to send out ten cold emails every week – all individually written and personalised to the particular company. Freelancing can take a lot of time and can be disheartening when you have no success initially but ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again.’

Are you a freelancer, or have you ever considered taking the plunge into freelancing?

Enjoyed this post? Please Pin it! Thanks a bunch 🙂

what it really takes to become a freelancer

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24 Comment

  1. Sarah | Digital Motherhood
    August 19, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I do a bit of freelance as well as working 30 hours a week – I’d love to go totally freelance but my worry is finding the work! #picknmix

    1. Natalie Mudd
      August 19, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      It is definitely a challenge and one I haven’t mastered yet!! I’ll let you know when I do ☺

  2. Laura @dearbearandbeany
    August 19, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Some fab advice. I am starting to think about doing some freelance work, just a bit nervous about it and taking the plunge. It’s knowing where to start with it. x #picknmix
    Laura @dearbearandbeany recently posted…Review: Proud to Print with Bonusprint…Plus a Giveaway!My Profile

    1. Natalie Mudd
      August 19, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      It can be daunting at first but you really don’t have anything to lose and you just have to believe that you can do it and you will. Go for it! X

  3. becca farrelly
    August 19, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Great advice, I would like to start freelancing but its making that ‘leap’ isn’t it! At the moment I’m lucky enough to stay at home with Mia and not have the pressure to need to work however I would like to start making ‘my own’ money soon to feel like I’m contributing something! 🙂

    #PicnMix
    becca farrelly recently posted…Beets Blu Bluetooth Smart Scales ReviewMy Profile

  4. A Cornish Mum
    August 20, 2016 at 12:37 am

    It has been a little bit easier for me to make the decision to work from home in any way I can, as due to my son’s Type 1 Diabetes and also the sheer cost of childcare compared to the average wage down here, I wasn’t working before I started blogging and doing bits of freelance writing.

    I need to concentrate on building on it though, as well as things have gone in the last 19 months I would love to be earning a full time wage instead of a part time one in the next 6 months or so if I can. It would make a big difference for us.

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix and well done for putting yourself out there and making such a success of it.

    Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…Photos of Cornwall – A Few of My Favourite ThingsMy Profile

  5. Kristin McCarthy
    August 21, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Thanks for the honest post regarding freelancing, esp. the part about it taking time.

    Patience is a challenge.

    #KCACOLS

  6. Fran Back With a Bump
    August 21, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Well done for taking for the jump. It’s all about balance isn’t it, being financially stable but also having time with our little ones. #kcacols
    Fran Back With a Bump recently posted…The Hunt For The Perfect Day NurseryMy Profile

  7. justsayingmum
    August 21, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Thank you for this … love your ethos … a really inspiring post that I’ve taken a lot from … I’m taking a different view on things from September with my blog and am looking forward to taking it in a different direction … but you’re right – you have to work hard! #KCACOLS
    justsayingmum recently posted…Dear BloggerMy Profile

  8. Alex Fihema
    August 21, 2016 at 9:37 am

    A lot of respect has to be given to anyone who has the determination and strength to freelance or work for themselves. Well done what an amazing achievement! #KCACOLS

  9. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    August 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I am an inadvertent freelancer! I’d made the choice while on maternity leave not to return to my old job as I couldn’t face working full time and the hours and commute did not work with childcare availability. I worked out we could just about cope without my salary. But then an opportunity landed in my lap to pick up a client on a freelance basis, doing exactly what I was doing before but just 2 days a week, from home. It was too good an opportunity to miss! I’m just over a year in now and I love it – it’s the perfect balance for me. There’s no denying it’s hard work though, and unpredictable at times. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  10. Sonia
    August 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Brave decision but obviously the right one! I’ve been self employed for years and found it so much easier once having kids as I could take on more or less work when I wanted to. Great to hear other people’s stories #KCACOLS
    Sonia recently posted…A Holiday at Viva Sunrise, Alcudia, MallorcaMy Profile

  11. Themotherhub
    August 21, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Love this post , such an inspiration, thanks for sharing ! #kcacols

  12. Rebecca Taylor
    August 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Great advice, thank you. Well done for taking the plunge. Hard work and persistence really does pay off. I hope your work continues to grow. #KCACOLS
    Rebecca Taylor recently posted…Mindful Mondays #8 – Reasons to be GratefulMy Profile

  13. Cheryl
    August 24, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Hello again fellow freelancer!! Great to hear more about how you got started and it sounds very similar to my experience. I agree, it can be hard work and tiring trying to fit work in around childcare, but somehow more rewarding working for yourself. Well done for making it work. #KCACOLS X
    Cheryl recently posted…For Alice on Your 5th BirthdayMy Profile

  14. Emma me and b
    August 25, 2016 at 10:09 am

    love your goal of ten emails per week. ive been trying to do similar with pitching. just going for it. and you cant take anything personally – just keep going and know your self-wroth and value #KCACOLS
    Emma me and b recently posted…Six Lunchbox Tips – Variety is Key!My Profile

  15. Madeline (This Glorious Life)
    August 25, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Love your target of sending out 10 cold emails a week, that’s the sort of thing I need to be doing, pushing myself out of my comfort zone more and more to make contacts and attract clients. Fab advice. x #KCACOLS
    Madeline (This Glorious Life) recently posted…What’s in a name?My Profile

  16. Silly Mummy
    August 26, 2016 at 12:37 am

    Really interesting to read. I have considered it – I would look at copywriting or proofreading. Would like the flexibility but be concerned by the lack of security. #picknmix

  17. OddHogg
    August 27, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I don’t freelance….. I don’t work at all! i’d love to eventually find a job I can do from home, but for now I’m enjoying my time with Piglet #kcacols
    OddHogg recently posted…30 Day Shred – Week 3My Profile

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  19. Rock and Roses Mama
    September 9, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    So much love for this <3 I'm stuck in retail management but throughout uni I adored writing, considered journalism but figured I'd try make it as a freelance writer/blogger… This was one month ago… Let's see where the adventure takes me!! I'm hoping to gradually cut down my hours at the day job! Your story is very inspiring thank you <3

  20. A camera-shy lifestyle blogger?
    September 14, 2016 at 10:27 am

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  22. Tatyana
    October 3, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Excellent tips for those who are wondering whether to start freelancing or not. It s always great hearing some first hand advice. Freelancing can be really tricky for those who are not familiar of what they re getting themselves into, and advice like these can really be helpful.

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