Freelance, Social Media

Why I’m Going Freelance in 2016

At this time of year, I tend to think of the year that’s just gone, and begin to look forward to the year that’s ahead. I started 2015 up to my neck in my dissertation on digital natives and how they use social media when purchasing. I finish 2015 with my degree in hand, having been hired and left my first job, and started a business (sort of). An eventful year. 2016 is shaping up to be challenging, but potentially the most rewarding year I’ve ever had. The business I’ve started is investing in myself, my knowledge, and my expertise.

I’m going freelance. But why?

The possibility has been there for a while. Once I knew I was leaving Velocity, I had two options: find a new job, or go it myself. I tried to do both and hedge my bets. I went to interviews, prepared intricate presentations and multi-network content calendars and wrote up proposals for freelance clients I didn’t necessarily know I could follow through on. I was even offered a job, but it just didn’t feel quite right. But one piece of feedback I received had me pondering:

“You probably know more about social media than 90% of the marketing agencies in Scotland.”

Whether he was right or just buttering me up, it was a terrific compliment, and one which told me I could go it alone. Someone could pay me for, in essence, my brain. My knowledge. My expertise.

But really, why?

Part of my decision is based on being a first-mover. I think freelancing is going to become the prevalent source of employment for marketers within agencies in the next 10 years. Check out this great piece by David Gallagher, CEO of Ketchum PR Europe about this very topic. The ‘uberisation’ of the workforce, I guess. Similarly, I value my time above all else. Freelancing means not being stuck in an office for 35-40 hours a week, potentially twiddling your thumbs. Instead, you can work whenever you want is necessary and possibly wherever. My job is not work, for me. I can truly say I love what I do which at 23 years old, is a pretty lucky thing to say. As long as the work gets done to an exceptional standard, does it matter if I’m sitting at a desk in Edinburgh or 1000s of miles away? Personally, I don’t think it does. And lastly, it’s the accountability aspect. I have to win work, and provide clients with work, otherwise I end the month with no money. Whilst I’ve mitigated as many of the money risks as possible by living at home, it’s still not a nice feeling going from having a wage at the end of the month to having nothing.

So, you’ve decided. What’s next?

The work! I’ve got some irons in the fire and cracking on with what should be a challenging, rewarding and eye-opening 2016. You get out what you put into things, and I know I’ll put in 100% into this. I’ve got some ideas of businesses and causes to approach that I’d love to work with, and naturally, if you’ve read this and you’d like to have a chat about your social media or digital marketing, please feel free to click here!