What’s the most worrying thing about being a freelancer?
“You’re not sure about being paid every month”. True, go on.
“You’re missing working in a team”. Maybe, go on.
“Sometimes, you have to work more than 8 hours per day to complete all the tasks you have assigned to yourself”. Baaaannnggg. False.
I don’t think so. It’s true that if you’re a freelancer, there are many things you need to do on top of your standard tasks. For example, finding new clients or creating new partnerships and collaborations. But I don’t think you have to work more than 8 hours a day to complete all of them.
Working in tech as marketing manager and growth hacker, I learned that, as soon as you launch a new business, there are things you need to do yourself and others that you don’t.
The tasks you need to do yourself
As soon as you go freelance, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with things to do. Building a website, creating content for your own blog, updating your social channels, looking for clients…
These are the tasks you need to take on yourself — you can try to outsource some of them, but it doesn’t mean they will take less time.
All of these tasks depend on you because you’re the only one who knows how to work to complete all of them in an efficient and reasonable way. And you need to learn by spending time and effort on all of them.
Which company is a good fit to host your website? Which CMS? Which social channels are relevant to you? Sure, you can get help from freelance consultants to guide you on your social strategy, but you’re the only one who understands which content is driving engagement and which channels are generating the best ROI.
And it’s a lengthy process — you won’t have it figured out overnight. If you outsource this activity, you won’t learn from it. You won’t know through which channel your potential customers are finding you.
3 Quick Tips For New Freelancers
So, if you’re jumping into a freelance career, 3 early-stage suggestions for you:
- Create a website and add a portfolio to show what you’ve been doing. You can use WordPress, About.me, Tumblr, Squarespace, or Wix.
- Write compelling content. It’s not only important for SEO reasons but also as a way to build public recognition for your brand, in this case, yourself.
- Build your social channels through which you can distribute your content and share news updates with the industry you want to focus on.
Which tasks can you automate?
Once you kick off and start spending time on social media, you’ll need to have a strategy for all the channels you use. If there’s no strategic value in spending time on a particular social channel, you should not use it. I mean it.
You can’t afford to spend 3 hours per day publishing content on channels that bring no value to your freelancing business (it’s a business after all!). And you can’t open a social media account without updating it regularly (this leads to random users landing on your page and thinking your profile is not good enough). It’s better to optimise your online presence and focus on a few channels that work very well.
Now you’re ready to automate your tasks. So how can you do it?
Use Zapier to automate tasks
you’re doing on a regular basis
What’s Zapier? It is an online tool that helps non-technical people connect apps and services they use and carry out automated functions. Automated tasks are called Zaps. You can also make Zaps between 3 or more apps and services. The automation or commands have an “if this, then that” structure.
For example, the Zap: “If I write a new blog post on WordPress, save a copy of that file to Dropbox” can help you create a list of drafts to start your next article.
Use IFTTT to automate your social stuff
What’s IFTTT? It is not very different from Zapier, apart from the fact that it’s totally free, so it has fewer options you can implement to automate your tasks. It literally means “If this, then that”. You can automate just two actions and it includes fewer apps than Zapier. I would recommend using IFTTT to create automation tasks for your social channels, and Zapier to increase your productivity and time-related tasks.
Create a lot of alerts
This is my personal growth hack, as I can follow a lot of topics and be one of the first to share articles dealing with specific topics as well as news. You can also create alerts for your name, your agency or your competitors and be notified when someone is talking about someone else’s activity. I use Talkwalker, Google Alerts and Mention, as I really don’t want to miss anything!
The more you understand about yourself, your channels and what you’re good at, the more you can automate the things you need to do but have little time for. Focus on the activities that really benefit from your personal touch and have tiny robots working on the rest!
About the Author
Alessia Camera is a freelance Digital Marketing, Growth and Content Consultant, based in London. Apart from working with tech startups in the city, she writes about all things tech on her blog and on Wired and she’s the co-founder of Secret Sauce Conference, a series of conferences to help early-stage startups become successful.
If you think she can help you building and boosting your amazing online project, you can hire Alessia on PeoplePerHour.
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