Natalie is a CERT 5 qualified marketing professional with 15 years of experience. She is a member of the CIM, and holds the CIM Advanced Certificate in Marketing and Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
I worked in the corporate world for nearly 10 years. Then in 2010 my daughter was born and I decided I didn’t want to work full-time. I couldn’t find any part-time roles that utilised my marketing skills so decided to go freelance. It has helped me balance my work and home-life.
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
I was the Marketing Events Manager for Wyevale Garden Centres.
How did you come across PPH?
I was just searching for jobs on the web when I came across PPH, I thought it looked really good so I signed up!
What is a typical day like for you?
I start work at 9am by checking my emails and PPH messages, then I review my work schedule for the day. Each week I plan out the activities I’m working on and when I’ll complete them.
After I have checked my emails, I’ll set to work on the day’s tasks and take some time to check out the new jobs on PPH. I work until 3pm when I collect my daughter from school. Then in the evening when she’s in bed I’ll start up the computer again and work for another hour or so.
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
It has pros and cons. Pros for me are the flexibility, I can take my daughter to school and pick her up, which is really great and if she’s ill I can rearrange my work around caring for her.
The cons are that if you don’t work, you don’t get paid, so being ill when you’re a freelancer is hard as there’s typically no money coming in.
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
I’ve been able to work with customers across the UK and even globally, which is amazing. I wouldn’t ever have met these customers if it hadn’t been for PPH, it really does broaden your reach as a freelancer and opens up whole new markets that wouldn’t normally be accessible.
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
I would like to continue working on PPH and expand by working in collaboration with other PPH freelancers so that I can offer a wider range of services.
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
• Keep persevering. I submitted many proposals before I won a job, but after winning one job and getting good feedback and reviews, I won new jobs much more quickly and easily.
• Make sure your profile looks professional, you have a really good portfolio and that everything is up to date.
• Always be professional when communicating with clients and potential clients and make sure you complete work to agreed deadlines.
• It may be beneficial to carry out a task at a rate lower than you would normally work for, just to help you build up your profile. Then as you get more work and positive reviews on your profile you can increase your fee.
• Make sure you qualify for a potential job before applying for it. Then check out the client, do they have good reviews? Do you definitely have all the skills to complete the task? Can you complete the work to the required deadline?
What are your top 5 social media tips for small businesses?
• Create lists on twitter of companies that you’ve met networking or potential customers so you can engage with them more easily.
• Don’t rely on social media. It’s not a guaranteed way of generating new inbound business calls.
• You don’t need to have a presence on all channels, just choose the ones that your target customers are most likely to be using.
• Be consistent. Post regularly to keep your accounts active.
• Make sure your profiles look professional and are complete. Social media pages and profiles help reinforce your brand so it’s important they present a consistent image.
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