I hope you’re well and the weekends treated you to booze, food and retail therapy! A few people have asked how I manage to work full-time along with trying to build my own business on the side lines. Now before I go on, I am not anywhere near ready to work for myself. There is so much more I need to learn before undertaking the title, “boss”. And please, let’s stray away from that term girl boss.
Day one of my journey quite simply began with not having any clue what so ever about working freelance or even how I wanted to pursue the likeness of my blog. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, it has ultimately come down to a lot of trial and error.
Balance and being organised:
Balance is key when it comes down to juggling hobbies, career, friends family, eating, sleeping, socialising. You name it theres a lot to juggle right? If you can crack this then you’re laughing. When I first started blogging, I spent my weekends, evenings and days trying to create content. I ended up being a little bit too obsessed with trying to get content and actually forgetting to have an actual life away from it. I stopped going out as much and my mobile was stuck in the palms of my hands almost 24/7. Its an unhealthy habit of mine that I am still trying to master. I’ve massively gotten better. Knowing when to put work to the side and enjoy life for what it really is, is so important. So I came up with my own rule, that content will only be created once a month in bulk. It really does come in handy when you’re still working Monday to Friday. You then still have seven free weekend days to see family and friends.
Being organised really does help when It comes to content creating. I often plan my social feed weeks in advance so I know exactly what I am posting. I plan days/ nights out with friends and family in advance but also always leave a few days free for downtime and those days when you might just want to be a bit spontaneous. Oh and lastly book your content creation day in a month ahead of schedule so you can get planning.
If you can, get yourself a photographer who understands you:
Not everyone uses a photographer but if you can find one or someone that knows and understands your style, you feel comfortable with from day one, they’re worth the investment. Especially if your only shooting content once a month like me. Book a photographer once or twice a month depending on how much you’re getting paid that month to create content. you can shoot 7/8 outfits in 2 hours so it really does mean you’re sorted for posts and content. I always book mine in for the end of the month so I know that I then have a month to earn the extra income if needs be.
Whats your plan?
If you’re like me, you’ll have endless note pads scribbled with notes and endless lists. I find that lists often clear my mind and put everything into perspective. Whether its work related or just general errands to run, lists are my best friend. I use whats called the dot system. I actually picked this up from a past job role and ever since its been something I swear by. Its simple. Once the thing on the list is complete colour the dot in next to it! Plan ahead and set yourself goals that you want to achieve monthly. That way you’re not looking to far ahead but the future and getting ahead of yourself. I’ve learnt that slow and steady really does win the race.
Do your “How to freelance“ research first:
For me, I’m absolutely clueless when it comes to anything to do with tax, self assessment, keeping a recons of what expenses etc. So far I keep my own ledger with every single job/ Lightroom preset sale I make. This currently works well for me but I need to get it onto a desktop version in the next few weeks. Make sure you know your dates for self assessment. The tax year runs April to April so be ready when the time comes to declare any additional income. Setting up a separate bank account to store your tax is also a good idea (one on my to-do list this week for that matter). Get yourself a spreadsheet going and an expanding folder to keep record of every expense. Make sure you keep track from day one though!
Oh! Lastly, if you’re unsure of anything, always ask for help. Whether that be a relative, friend or an accountant, or even another blogger, it’s worth tackling this all early and making it a good habit.
Who are you creating content for/ Do you believe in the product?
Whether your being approached or a brand has approached you, theres one thing I have learnt and thats to never offer your services for free. You wouldn’t do this in any other industry so whats different here? Try not to work for free, I know its more difficult when you start off but at the end of the day this is a job and it will affect you in your later blogging career, as well as fellow bloggers, if brands see you posting for free all the time. Always ask yourself, do you genuinely believe in the product or brand before saying yes to a new contract? I have turned down a few jobs down recently. Even when the money is good, it doesn’t make sense if I don’t believe in the product in the first place.
Your full-time job:
Whatever you do, keep working full-time until you are 1000000000% financially ready. I rent and have bills to pay so it would be utterly Ignorant if I were to walk away from my job anytime soon. I am a long way off blogging being able to pay the bills, but for now the extra income has opened a lot more doors for me. Its a tough ride but you’re not as busy as you think you are. Plan ahead, see friends and family and dedicate 1/2 days a month for content and it will all come with ease.
Don’t forget to have fun:
We have all been there, instagram has the tendency to put us down at times and it can really affect the way we think. Before the summer started, I began to forget why I took up blogging in the first place and I practically fell into the trap of solely using my blog and instagram to make money. WRING WAY TO THINK. I lost authenticity and really got myself into a rut. I then taught myself that it isn’t about the likes or the follower game. I mean, it is lovely when you receive virtual love when all your hard work pays off but its not all about that. Don’t forget why you started your blog/ instagram in the first place and keep that with you all the way to the end.