Taking the plunge into the Freelance Marketing world during a pandemic

Taking The Plunge Into Freelance Marketing | Freelance Marketers
Kat Shepherd
Kat Shepherd
January 28, 2022
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As of October 2021, there were a record 4.2million self-employed people actively working in the UK, according to data company Statista. A combination of the change in remote working and various lockdowns fundamentally changed the way businesses worked and with it came an emphasis on having an online presence.

With so many of us being driven online for services usually found in physical shops and on the high street, businesses quickly recognised the importance of having an online presence- and importantly, a presence across social media channels.

Timing her move into the world of Freelance from an employed position, just before 2020, Senior Paid Social & Digital Marketing Specialist, Rachel McNulty, took the brave move to be self-employed; “I actually went freelance a couple of months prior to the pandemic hitting. Perfect timing hey?! The panic set in a little at the time as I'd just left my comfortable role and salary as Head of Digital in a creative agency. Like so many others it was a bit of a rollercoaster and forced me to evaluate my approach to freelancing pretty quickly. Pivoting and repivoting everything from my website to my business model at first.”

Diving straight in at the deep end, Rachel was faced with both a big career move and a sudden shift in how we worked, lived and, importantly, how businesses carried on making enough to survive. “While in so many ways freelancing felt like a dream, it meant living with a pretty constant fear that I could wake up from it all at any second. Especially as my initial clients started to panic about how they were going to keep their heads above water.”

I think doing the kind of work we do as freelancers requires grit and partners with adventurous spirits who are down to shake things up and do things a little differently.

Like most freelancers during the depths of the pandemic, Rachel found many clients pulling back in fear of what the virus might mean for their business and new business enquiries reduced drastically. YunoJuno provided her with an opportunity to discover new businesses that were actively looking for support:

“I came across YunoJuno in the latter part of 2020 and they saved me a little at the time. It brought some ultimate high moments working with some truly inspiring clients and agencies who became friends and friends who became clients.”

As her experience quickly grew working on various briefs and projects, we asked Rachel how she integrated with client in-house teams and whether she experienced challenges working with other teams.

Rachel shared “When I first started out, I took on a project (from a different platform) where an incorrect brief had been put out by mistake. It transpired that someone separate from the team had taken on the role of putting out a brief while someone was off sick and hired me - an advertising lead as opposed to an events lead. On day one of the project I was introduced to their client as the Project Events lead (as opposed to the advertising lead) which was a bit of a shock to the system as this wasn't what the brief had been, and I definitely didn't specialise in events management.”

Clearly communicating to clients comes as second nature to freelancers who have to make sure they’re understood on various platforms. So it’s no surprise Rachel’s main advice for someone looking to start out in paid social & digital marketing is to communicate well.

“Communicate your availability from the get-go. Be honest and be transparent with how you might approach their brief to make sure you're on the same page.”

Rachel is also keen to recommend that anyone thinking about branching into paid advertising and digital marketing to consider “avoid becoming a jack of all trades where some things you enjoy and others you don't. For me, paid advertising is my specialism but when I first started out I'd come from a role where I was managing multiple digital disciplines and it got confusing when applying to briefs.”

If you’re looking to learn some extra digital marketing skills or want to focus on your skill set as a freelancer, Rachel recommends checking out “some of the Facebook Blueprint courses for the basics. A few of these are free. I'd also say keep up to speed with different platforms - they change so regularly and it can be pretty major if you're not prepared.”

As Rachel and many other of our fantastic freelancers have found since joining our platform, it’s far more than simply a platform to apply for briefs in a time of need; “Essentially YunoJuno provides the community and security that felt like both us as freelancers and companies had been robbed of by the pandemic - protecting both parties with written contracts, payment terms and vetted profiles - as well as a lovely community to interact with.”

Finally, we asked Rachel what it was like when she heard she was a finalist in the Freelance Awards 2021 “truly humbled. There are so many talented people on this platform and to be honest I didn't really believe it until I saw the page. YunoJuno changed my whole approach to freelancing and has provided so many awesome opportunities with some truly inspiring clients. I feel very honoured to be even considered for a nomination, so thank you.”

Looking to book Rachel for your next project? Get in touch with her here.

I am former Head of Digital Marketing for a Top 100, award-winning, Creative agency based in London. I've serviced clients across a multitude of sectors including finance, health, luxury hospitality, travel and real estate. I now offer my services as a consultant for a fraction of the rate.
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