I can’t believe it’s been 18 months since I launched as a freelance social media manager and trainer, helping small businesses and charities to grow their social media platforms. 18 months working with clients, learning many many lessons and learning a lot about my little own self.
Launching a small business (my portfolio is here at www.emmacreese.co.uk) let alone one specialising in social media was never a career path I ever could have imagined for myself, and yet here I am.
And I still adore it.
I still love the freedom, the challenges, the clients that I work with, the creativity it allows me, the spreadsheets I have to wrangle, ticking off my multiple to-do lists, meeting passionate new people and having a furry Tabby cat as my Executive Assistant.
Chatting with friends and other freelancers, I keep finding myself saying that the highs are higher, and the lows lower than when working in an office, but now 18 months on, I can definitely confirm that it was the right choice to make for me. Even looking back on my three, six and nine and twelve-month updates as a freelancer only reaffirms this.
Let’s be real here – freelancing isn’t the glamourous mecca and lounging in cafes that people seem to idealise; you often have to hustle, there are late nights and early mornings, there are times you have to cancel plans because of deadlines and there are days where you seriously question everything that you’re doing.
But. There are moments when every bit of strategising, hours of hard graft and awkward networking meetings pay off.
I’ve somehow managed to land dream clients, developed a nice boutique portfolio of retainer and project clients, worked with some incredible organisations making a real difference in the world and simply haven’t looked back. The majority of my long-term clients have come through word of mouth recommendations which is so lovely – and I’ve picked up project clients through a variety of places – and I’m working on a couple of more latent income streams.
I’ve been so lucky to have had mentors that have guided me through stressful patches, I’ve discovered supportive networks who totally understand the problems I’ve uncovered and common sense has stood me in very good stead.
Challenges have not only taught me new skills but helped me to realise what doesn’t make me happy. I also still haven’t decorated my office properly – I still end up working in front of the TV, namely episodes of Xena Warrior Princess – though Mr Kiwi helped me to pick a lovely new desk and chair arrangement.
Bring on 2019! I’m so excited to see what the year may bring – I’m already starting to get planning in the pipeline to meet the oncoming year the best way that I can and looking into some upskilling before the New Year rush.
How about you?