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The Missing Skills You Need For Surviving (And Thriving) As A Freelancer | With Sarah Townsend

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You're finally out on your own as a freelancer… no more bosses, offices, fluorescent lights, and no more commute. 🥳
 
That also means you're now responsible for your own survival. No more regular paychecks, retirement accounts, paid time off, or coworkers who can cover for you.
 
Do you have all of the skills that it takes to make survive as a freelancer? If not, this is going to be a rough ride on the entrepreneurial roller coaster…
 
On this episode of 6 Figure Creative, I sat down to talk to Sarah Townsend, the author of “Survival Skills for Freelancers”. She broke down the skills she had to develop to survive (and thrive) for the past 2 years as a freelancer.
 
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • The importance of saying no
  • How to politely turn down a lead
  • Why working with the wrong people hurts you more than you think
  • Coping with self-doubt – you're not alone
  • How social media can be positive or negative for freelancers
  • Picking the right social media platforms for you
  • Managing your social media presence effectively
  • Why you shouldn't expect your followers to know who you are
  • How to focus on work as a freelancer
  • Separating personal and work time

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[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood, and this podcast. If this is your first time, I'll just go ahead and tell you now this is a podcast where I try my best. To motivate, inspire, educate do whatever I gotta do to twist your little creative arm into being a better business owner.

And if this is not your first time, if you've listened to this podcast before, then you already know this stuff. So we don't have to explain this to you. our goal is to keep you in this business as long as possible. To survive as a freelancer and our guest today wrote the book on survival skills for freelancers.

So I'll get into uh, that conversation here in a minute, but I have a couple fun facts about me to start this day off. I don't ever talk about myself that much in these intros, but uh, I feel like these are worth sharing.

I have two interesting streaks that I keep track of right now. The first streak is how long it's been since I last vomited. It has been about 25 years. It's hard to calculate the exact day or year that I last vomited, but I haven't puked in like 25 years. It's probably been closer to 30 years That streak is being challenged right now because my wife this week has been [00:01:00] just throwing up every day with a very bad stomach virus that you got, she got from someone else. and now like I'm just waiting. I'm waiting for the moment that I start to feel it in my stomach. this is gonna be a really interesting week to test that streak, to see if that ends up ending.

the second streak that I'm gonna talk about, or the second fun fact is the streak that I've been keeping track of for a while now. And this is a lot less growth and much more worth celebrating. And that is My streak for how long I've been unemployed . if you have a day job, that word sounds horrible.

Like no one wants to be unemployed because we need money. Right. But for me, that's a cause for celebration. As of the day, this episode airs yesterday I actually celebrated my 5,000 day um, without a day job. So technically unemployed, I guess it'd be self-employed I don't know, but it's like, I don't have a day job.

So I celebrate that and I, I want our audience to have that same streak. So if you're in our Facebook community by going to six figure creative.com/community, I'd love for you to share what, streak you've recently celebrated for how many days it's been since you last had a day job.

But I just thought that we're sharing. I love, the, the little [00:02:00] moments of celebration. We actually talk about it in the episode today. And uh, our guest is the author of a book called survival skills for freelancers. She's been a Lance copywriter for like 23 years.

So like, if I'm going to learn the survival skills for freelancing from somebody I wound up from somebody who's been doing this since like 1999, I think in 1999, I was in seventh or eighth grade, I was just on the verge of being a teenager. And so I hadn't even thought of freelancing at that point.

So she's been in the game for a long time and she knows her stuff. So we talked about everything from Getting clients, obviously hard is an important part of surviving as a freelancer, but also turning down work and being willing to turn down work. And this is being an important and crucial survival skill for freelancers longevity, because some jobs just aren't worth taking on no matter what you're getting paid.

we talk all about that. And we also talk about a lot about imposter syndrome Because most of survival as a freelancer and not just survival, but thriving as a freelancer is getting past our own imposter syndrome. So we talk a lot about that and I think this is one that many people are gonna need a lot of help with this.

We even talk about [00:03:00] how to stay motivated and productive when we're all kind of self-directed. as people working at home by ourselves, without a manager looking over our, shoulder, because like my last day job, I worked at game stop, which is a video game story here in America.

And at that job, I had a manager and the manager told me what to do every day. So I knew when to show up. I knew what I was doing at all hours of the day. I knew when I could leave. I knew which video games I could take home. That was the big reason I worked there. they led us, by the way, I didn't steal 'em let us, literally, that was one of the perks of the job is we could take home whatever game we wanted to play, as long as we brought it back before we took the next game.

but I had a manager that told me to do all the things. And one of the things I had to learn when getting out of the day job into self-employment is I had to learn to self direct. I had to learn To set myself up for success. And we talk a bit about that, especially towards the end of the interview.

So I'm gonna stop talking about this interview, but I think it's a wonderful one. Uh, so here is my conversation with Sarah Townsend. Sarah, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

thank you for having me on Brian. It's great to be lovely.

think I've had a string of bringing the British on the show uh, lately. I'm not sure why that happens to be, but I just, I love talking to people from across the pond, something about your accents. I grew [00:04:00] up in Alabama. So talking to somebody with a British accent makes me feel fancy as someone who grew up around rednecks So I think that I just like talking to British people. So again, I love, I love having on here. So One of the first things I wanna talk to you about is what I think is uh, one of the, best ways to survive as a freelancer, again, going back to your book title that I mentioned at the intro of this episode, survival skills for freelancers, there is a skill, I like to think of this as a skill of turning down work that people I think in our industry are really bad at because in some cases we feel like we have to say yes to everything because of the business element or in other cases, we feel like if we say no to this, we're going to be missing out on an opportunity.

And, one of the things I think you talk about a lot is turning down work for just the good of your mental health for keeping a healthy business. Talk to me about this as being a core, survival skill for

freelancers.

Yeah. Well, I think certainly having the ability to say no is definitely a core, survival skill for [00:05:00] freelancers. And I believe that when we start out in the small business world, I think that we feel that we can't do that. We feel that we have to say yes to every piece of work that comes our way.

And whether that's just from a fear or a lack of understanding on how to say no and kind of save face or to not offend anybody. I'm not sure. I do talk about a strategy in terms of this comes round to getting to know people within your area of business, other freelancers, building your community and making connections through social media and the like, because one of the positives of having a really sound basis of other freelancers that you can rely on for support advice, help collaboration, for example, is actually having somebody to recommend when you don't want to take the work on.

And that's really [00:06:00] important.

so having a good community to refer this work off to, I think this is like one of the most polite ways to turn down work, because you're not letting someone down, you're just redirecting what could be a potentially nightmare client or just someone who's not a good fit for you.

And, have a couple questions about this. before I even ask those questions, I wanna say that one of the most important parts about turning down work is putting yourself in the position where you can afford to turn down work, which comes with a whole other slew of things that we have to get done.

Like client acquisition, having savings for a rainy day. All these things we'll get to that in a minute. So for anyone who's like, I can't afford to turn down clients. We'll, we'll take care of you, but for those who are in the position where you are saying yes to work, you should not say yes to one of the things you're saying, Sarah is to have a good referral network that you can send this work off to.

But what if it's a client that, like, you would never wanna pawn

off even your worst enemy?

like, you don't wanna refer it out.

Mm yeah. Yeah. That is a tricky one. I

can't think that that has ever actually happened to me. I mean, I I guess anybody who approaches me for work [00:07:00] wouldn't necessarily know that that is my strategy. That if I don't wanna take on the work or I don't have the capacity to take on the work or I'm outside of their budget, which I regularly am they won't know.

Ordinarily, I would refer them out to somebody within my network. So I will just quite confidently just say, this isn't the right fit for me right now. Good luck finding the right person to do the work and do, keep my details if I want them to keep my details. If I don't, then I won't mention that.

But um, yeah, it's really important to say no to the work that doesn't fulfill you. It doesn't get you closer to where you want to be perhaps with your business. Certainly say no, if they're showing any signs of perhaps not respecting you and valuing you as an individual, Sometimes clients do come to us and they do this thing of sort of belittling what we do.

And they may, they may say, oh, oh, it's only half an hour's work. Or it's only half a day's work for me. That is a red flag straight away. So I'm the [00:08:00] expert they're coming to me because they trust or they value my opinion in theory. And what tends to happen when you take on work that you have that initial kind of gut feeling of, mm.

Something doesn't feel quite right about this, maybe it's something about the client's attitude or their type of business that they're in, maybe it's to do with budget, or maybe it's just a gut feeling. Cause it can often be that the only times in my business that I've not listened to my gut, those have turned out to be the biggest regrets and the.

Clients who are the biggest pain in the butt, to work with. And what happens with when you are working with somebody who's difficult, who perhaps wants to micromanage you or they're quibbling over scope creep, you know, or can you just do this? Can you just add this on? Well, that's a whole other subject, isn't it for another time, but like, just make sure that you've got that clearly [00:09:00] outlined and that you say yes, of course I can do that for you.

And that's gonna cost X amount more. when you have these people coming to you and you just don't listen to your gut, that tends to be when the client takes up more time and more head space and causes you disproportionately more stress than any other client. And what happens with that is when you finish the job, I, if they're happy, which let's be honest, quite often, they.

They're not cuz they're a difficult client and they'll quibble and they'll get extra sets of amends out of you or, or whatever. If they're delighted with the work you do, what happens is they tend to refer you on to other people within their network and like attracts, like we all know this and the chances of the person they refer you on to also being a difficult client are fairly high.

and I also believe that when you are not. Satisfied or happy with a particular job or a particular client that you're working with and your [00:10:00] heart sinks. When you see their name, come up on your phone, or you see that you've got an email from you. You get that sense of dread in the pit of your stomach.

But what happens with that is that, you know, you are not doing your best work. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You're not inspired. You're not motivated. You are not excited about working with this person. And as a result, you won't do your best work. And as a result, they won't be happy. And the chances are, they wouldn't have been happy anyway.

But conversely, if you work with the people who are the right fit for your business and who are fulfilling you and who excite you and you feel like they're, like-minded people, that's a big thing for me. I like working with people who I feel. They get me and I get them cuz it just makes life easier all around.

Doesn't it. And then they're delighted. And then they recommend you to their lovely clients and their lovely contacts. And it's, it's a, a

virtuous

You've made a, a lot of wonderful points [00:11:00] in that that I want to chat about. One of those that comes to mind is that birds of a feather fuck birds of a feather flock together. I can't even say that straight, but how, if when you say yes to that one client who you had, you knew in your gut, you shouldn't have said yes to that turned out to be an absolute nightmare.

And then they start referring people to you. Some of those people, you may not know they were referrals. Cuz a lot of times people show up in our inbox asking for work that was referred by somebody. You had no idea they were associated with this nightmare client. And now you're saying yes to more nightmare clients who may not be showing the same red flags that this first person shown.

So now you are making a very bad pattern in your business you've got this referral network of potentially bad clients. Whereas if you just said no to that one who in your gut, you should have said no to you would've avoided all that pain and that's assuming that you even.

Did a good enough job for them to want to refer you. What's gonna inevitably happen is they're not gonna be happy about anything you do. And man, I've, gosh, I've made this mistake so many times anyone listening right now, I cannot tell you how much of a survival skill this says, because it like a skill you have to hone in [00:12:00] practice over time saying no to work that you may need right now.

Because, as freelancers we can be FEAS famine. It shouldn't be, it doesn't have to be, but we tend to be Feasta famine. And when we're in those famine seasons, we are desperately grasping onto the clients that are coming in at that point. And it's, it can be difficult to say no, but what happens inevitably is we start to fulfill that work and work picks back up again.

And now we're dealing with nightmare client dragging their heels. doing all the scope, creep, nightmare stuff, not being happy with anything we do. And we're missing out on these wonderful opportunities that are coming up all along the way that if we would've just waited a little bit for the slow season to pass, we would've now seen the light at the end of the tunnel and said yes to all these other clients.

So this is definitely a survival scale that we have to have is being able to say no. And I think it's for our mental health, because what happens when we get these people and we should probably talk about this is they, beat us down and they hurt our self worth, which hurts all sorts of areas like our pricing.

It can give us more imposter syndrome, which I know you talk a lot about, but there's just so much to this one

thing.

[00:13:00] absolutely. God, there's so much there that I wanna unpack from what you said. There's one thing that I kind of wanna share. That's a tip that you basically said about, you may get clients coming to you and you may not realize that they've been referred from that particular en nightmare client.

It's always good practice to ask anybody who comes to you, how they found you. If somebody books, a discovery call through my Calendarly link. One of my Calendarly questions that that's like a, a scheduling link. I dunno if you guys use that over there.

we love ly on this podcast. I always

recommend it. It's a wonderful

tool.

great. It's so simple to use, but I just have one of my questions just saying, how did you find me? So if somebody recommends me, I want to know I want to thank them or avoid them as a result. But yes, the thing that is kind of it's surprising, I think the way you think about it, logically that turning down work is gonna leave a big gap in your schedule.

But what it actually does is frees you up time and head space and the mental ability to attract the right clients and [00:14:00] to focus on the work that really will bring you fulfillment. And when you are doing your best work and you know, boosts your confidence and your self worth, as you say, yes, working with these people, it can have a seriously negative impact on your self worth.

And what we are looking for is to work with the clients who. respect who we are, who we're prepared to work with us as an extension of their team. So I always kind of look at it as being on a separate even level. Whereas the clients who don't respect you, they're kind of, they see themselves up here as they're the client and you are the lowly supplier and every interaction that you have with them, it just tends to compound that feeling that you are not as good, you're not good enough.

And that's a horrible way to feel. Whereas working with the right people, when they treat you on the same level, they mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual understanding. You're both working together for the good of their business, [00:15:00] which in its own right. Has an impact on your business, which is super positive.

You talked about clients, not valuing your time. And I see this all the time in, in my background in music production, where the client thinks they know how long it should take to produce a song. And I'm like, well, if it takes that long, then you should do it yourself. Um, Because they're always under underestimating what it would take.

And I'm the professional. I know better but that's in every industry. And I love what you said about how the client, that doesn't respect you. they look down on you. They're up there on their pedestal saying I'm the client with the money in this project. And you're the lowly freelancer.

And you should be so lucky to get this project and they're gonna be an absolute pain in the ass. if you ever get that vibe from someone run the other way as fast as you possibly can. And I was actually talking to a freelancer. Yes. Yesterday morning. And she was in the position where her entire industry, is that where the types of client she's working with, they tend to look down at her service as a whole, and she's trying to find ways to pivot her entire business so that she's on equal footing, which is where it should be.

You should be trusting each other. The client knows their world really well, but you know, [00:16:00] your little universe very, very well. this moves to something uh, that I think is worth talking about that you were again known for is just talking about imposter syndrome. there was research that you, that I heard you talking about that 76% of freelancers don't feel talented enough.

I know that the client's not valuing us clients always telling us how things should be done. Clients haggling with us because they think it should be this much time, or this many hours that can start to battle away are way away at us in our, our mental fortitude towards maybe, I don't know this stuff, maybe I'm not good enough.

maybe I don't have enough talent to get the clients that, that would respect me. Like

how do we start to deal with that and impact that as, creatives specifically.

one thing that I found interesting just to kick this off is, to say that I've done a lot of training now of, freelancers and, and talks about this. And I discovered in my research, well, 86% of UK professionals, 86%, even higher than 76% of freelancers have suffered from imposter syndrome or that's at least have acknowledged or admitted , to this survey that they've suffered from it.

So it's [00:17:00] so much more common than people realize. Even professionals I've sort of started as a bit of a hobby kind of collecting quotes from people who you just consider to be legends, Tom Hanks Serena Williams, I've got a quote from Steven King.

He wrote one of my absolute favorite books about writing, which is cunningly enough, called on writing. There's a quote in there about how he questioned, whether it was worth publishing a little book on writing. Would anybody actually be interested? James Claire who wrote atomic habits? David Attenborough, who was an absolute legend here in the UK um, naturalist, it's everywhere.

So I think one of the things, the ways in which imposter syndrome has power over us is that feeling of, oh my God, I'm the only person who feels like this. I think just that realization that actually everybody from time to time gets these feelings of self doubt and, you know, I'm gonna be found out, like, I don't really know what I'm doing and, and I'm a [00:18:00] fraud and all these things, but it really does impact everybody from kind of the intern to the CEO.

So certainly in the creative industry, particularly when we're freelance, I think one of the dangers of working for yourself is unless you are working in a, do you call it co-working in the states.

WeWork and things like that.

Sure. So unless you're working in a

co-working space or you are part of a regular network and you have the opportunity to talk to your peers about these feelings and actually you feel okay with opening up and, being vulnerable.

And this BNE brown says it's a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness, right? Actually feeling that if you are working on your own, you're isolated, you are physically isolated and kind of mentally isolated from other people who are doing the same or a similar job to you. It's very easy to feel that nobody else understands what you are going through.

And I actually think that that compounds the strength of the feeling. And we can [00:19:00] take away a lot of its power just by talking about it. I don't mean Naval gazing and kind of going all like, oh, woe is me. I've got imposter syndrome, but actually just going, oh yeah. God, you know, I'm, Worried about doing this talk next week.

Oh, wow. You know, did one last week and it was fine and you'll be great. You've got this, just having a few words of encouragement. That's something that we do tend to lack when we work on our own or isolated. So I share six strategies for dealing with imposter syndrome in the book.

And they are things like, kind of start to gather the evidence of the fact that you do know what you're doing. I keep what I call and I recommend this often a folder of photos on my phone that I call a boost bank. And every time I get a testimonial of recommendation, a great book review a five star review, somebody raves about what I've done, somebody, thanks me.

I take a screen grab and I save it to my [00:20:00] boost bank. And then if I'm having a day where I just feel as if I'm not making progress, I feel as if I'm failing, I feel down on myself, the negative self-talk kicks in all of those things. We can all relate to that. Can't we? And I'll just take a look at my boost bank, or I'll have a look at the kind of evidence that I've collected, that I do know what I'm doing.

You know, hell, I've been doing this for 23 years as a freelancer, and it's a really long time and um, yeah, you know, sometimes it's not all bad, I think is worth mentioning as well because imposter syndrome can alert us to gaps in our knowledge. And one of the really important things when you're working for yourself is just remembering that you have to learn every day.

You are always learning. You cannot ever afford to stagnate. You can't ever afford to sit back. And say, do you know what I've got this? I don't need to try anymore. [00:21:00] The moment you do that you've failed. So we always have to learn. We always have to keep on top of our game. We have to keep up with trends in our industry.

We have to keep up with technology and tools that imposter syndrome feeling. If you kind of think, oh gosh, I don't really know what I'm doing. Sometimes that's just a trigger that we need to brush upon our skills. And that's a good thing. I also think that it keeps us from becoming arrogant cause nobody likes arrogance and kind of cocky behavior like, oh yeah.

You know, I'm the best at what I do. We need self-belief but we need a beautiful balance between self-belief and arrogance. I think.

I think our audience for the most part, our audience as a whole, if you were to, to take our audience, And put into a single individual, that person in no way struggles with being too self-confident and almost wholly has issues with imposter syndrome. So I wanna talk about a couple things you mentioned there.

One is, you said [00:22:00] always learning, which anyone listening to this podcast, I don't have to expound on that, cuz you're listening to this podcast already. So you're doing something to improve your skills, to get outside input from other people, which is very

important. Part of being a business owner.

we have to improve our skills and myself. I'm an Igram eight for anyone who knows that. I tend to go. To a five in stress, which just means the endless researcher when I'm stressed out about something. I naturally go towards learning new things, which is actually a pretty interesting way to deal with, my imposter syndrome is like, this is my 211th episode of this podcast.

I still get imposter syndrome from time to time when interviewing guests, especially ones that have done some major thing that I can't even comprehend doing. Like last

week our guest was James Victoria. He's got art in the Louv right now, which is like, to me, it

just seems like a really Cool, big thing. He still battles with imposter syndrome himself because he talked about how he has to have other people handle all the money stuff for him, cuz he doesn't like talking about pricing his work. So it's just one of those things that we all battle in our own weird ways. And finding ways to cope with [00:23:00] that.

For some people, it is learning more for some people it is talking about it, acknowledging it, knowing that 76% of freelancers deal with this. And I guess some of it's probably just. if you're not around a circle of people in a community to talk about this stuff, at least this podcast is at least addressing the issue in some way, shape or form.

Like this sort of content is helpful to know that you're not alone in this issue. Everyone struggles with it. Probably even

Sarah deals with it in some way, shape or form.

Occasionally, I don't wanna put words in your mouth.

No, no. A hundred percent do

the boost bank also, that was another idea you had that I thought was brilliant.

I have something similar. Um, Just going back to what you said, where you have a uh, an area where you keep all your testimonials and, and cool things has happened to pull from when you're filling down. I have it's a similar thing. I have something I just call my motivation folder in my Dropbox, which is accessible from every device I own.

And in that folder is any kind thing someone has ever said to me. Whether it is a testimonial, whether it is a happy client, whether it is someone sending me like their life story and an Instagram DM about how this podcast changed life [00:24:00] or whatever, like that sort of stuff, you cannot possibly walk away from that feeling down on yourself, after reading through those things.

And uh, that's a good reminder that it's probably time for me to go back through my stuff in there. I don't revisit it regularly enough. And I think it's creatives, at least this is my struggle is I don't celebrate the wins enough. I've talked about this in the past where I do these things.

they're all awesome things. Sometimes, sometimes they don't work out a lot of times they don't work out, but I'll do these really cool things. And my wife will make this big deal about it because it should be a big deal cuz I've hit a big milestone or something. Like The day this episode comes out is actually the day after I celebrated my 5000th day of unemployment, which sounds like a bad thing. If you're looking for a job, it's a really good thing. If you're creative and you never wanna have a job, but that's something that's been on my calendar for the last thousand days or so I wanted to keep that milestone to try to celebrate it more.

So I think celebrating these little wins is just a really good way of, of helping us get past imposter syndrome sometimes to just say like, this is all the stuff I've done and I need to acknowledge that and

celebrate.

It's interesting that you should say that, cuz I that's [00:25:00] actually one of the six strategies that I share in the book as well. So, um yeah, right with you with that. And I also think that celebrating the wins kind of Ts up with the gathering evidence thing, just reminding yourself that. You do know what you're doing, it might not be qualifications or, might not be a piece of paper that says that you can do what you do.

my case, I didn't go to university. I chose not to go to university. I just wanted to go out to work and it's, not held me back one bit. I'm running a successful business. I love my job. I get to choose my own hours. I get to have Fridays off, which is rather wonderful. celebrating your wins is such an important thing.

I'm an anagram one, I don't think that's a good thing to be. I'm very, very driven. I'm very direct. I'm very like bam, bam, bam. And that for me means that I finish a project and I'm just like straight onto the next thing. I'm just always, always achieving. Ticking things off the list.

Even for me, I was joking with my partner about this the other day, about the fact that [00:26:00] even for me, when I'm relaxing, it's like in my head, I'm like have half an hour of relaxation, have half an hour of sitting and reading and that's an achievement. Like I it's, like, I kind of gamify everything. My in my head everything's gotta be an achievement.

stopping pausing, reflecting. They're not things that come naturally to me, but they're really important. And actually looking at how a project went and what would you do better next time? What, how would you like to improve and what went really well?

You mentioned not going to university. I don't think I could have even qualified to go to university when I was uh, outta high school. Cuz my GPA was like a 1.9, which is just really bad if I don't know how your grading scale works in the UK, but I don't think I could have been accepted at any university so I weirdly have that as a badge of honor, which is why probably why I've mentioned this like a million times of this podcast, but it's not an imposter syndrome thing for me, but it does bring up an interesting thing.

I, I heard you talking about this on another podcast you were on Basically. One of the things that leads us to imposter syndrome is comparing our chapter one to someone else's chapter 50. And I think social media's a [00:27:00] big part of this, where you're you have this comparison syndrome.

Can you talk about that a bit? Cause I think this is something our audience, as a whole struggles with.

Yeah, I call it comparisonitis and I do honestly think that we were so much better off in that one respect before social media came along, because it is so visible. It's always there. I mean, how often do you actually put your phone down? I've got my phone in my hand or in my pocket, 99% of the day. And the first thing I do when I pick up my phone is check my social.

It's just natural. And we tend to zone into people who are doing what we consider to. The same or a similar job to us and, tend to be drawn to the people who are in our mind doing what we do, but better. Faster stronger fitter, and having what we perceive as being more success. And there's an element of wanting to keep a track of what other people are doing, because it can inspire us.

It can give us ideas that we can [00:28:00] not copy, but we can adapt for our own social media presence and kind of transform into being part of our own personal brand, like put our own hallmark on that thing and adapt and use it. But when we start comparing ourselves and our progress and our output to something that someone else is doing that really in itself has a, a very negative effect on our self worth.

I always say better to just stay in your own lane. And the only comparison you really need to do is. It's cheesy. Okay. I warn you, but you today with you yesterday, because as long as you are making progress in your own lane, that's really all that matters. Anne Lamont said, don't compare your insides to other people's outsides.

And I think that's precisely summed up in social media. What we have to remember is that social is obviously edited highlights. It's only the tiniest tiniest surface. It's like the froth off the surface of the pin of beer. It's like [00:29:00] the best bits. Isn't it. So. all we're doing is just judging everything, all the messiness, all the reality and the clumsiness of freelance life from our perspective as we are living it and actually.

we're not giving ourselves permission to edit out the bits that we're not seeing from other people. And as you say, the chapter one versus the chapter 50, if when I first started doing video, for example, was gonna name drop it, but I won't, it's so bad. I recorded a video and and I scripted it cuz I thought I can't just talk.

I scripted it. And then I had this auto cue type software thing and I thought this is gonna be great. I'm gonna come across so professional. And I did, I was professional, but I was wooden as hack and I look back at it now and it's just it's mortifying. Whereas now I just. Talk, and I've kind of embraced the fact that when I do webinars and when I speak on stage and [00:30:00] when I speak at events, nobody is gonna get polished perfection.

Cuz that is just not me. I tend to go off at tangents. I tend to forget what I was saying. I'm a bit oh, oh, you know, I remember doing a podcast interview once and I'm really into birds. So I looked out of my window and usually it's actually not now cause I can see the sunshine outside, but usually I have to keep my blind shot and a bird flew by and I went, oh look a

in the middle of a podcast interview.

So yeah, it's just kind of embracing. You, you do you, you know, embracing who you are and what your own personal strengths are, and don't try to be like anybody else take inspiration from other people. Sure. Take inspiration from people who are perhaps a couple of steps further forward on the journey, but don't be critical.

Give yourself time. Like the first time of everything for everyone is rubbish. We just get better and better and better with

practice.

I bring my wife into this podcast a lot, as [00:31:00] far as bringing up the things that she's going through in her life, cuz it's probably easier for me to, to think about and relate to than it is my own problems and issues, but has a TikTok account go follow it. If anyone's listening Meg's T room, I'm gonna give her a shout out and she's grown it to, I don't know, 35, 40,000 followers at this point, which is bigger than our TikTok account, which she's doing.

But all along the way, she's just had these little moments of imposter syndrome and where she's the comparison thing. Someone who has a hundred thousand or a million followers, how their content looks, how it's performed, how it's done, the, like how all of the elements come together in their, like, you know, their chapter 60 moment.

And she's on chapter like 15, you know, she's newer at this. She doesn't have the experience. And I have to ask her sometimes like, would it make sense given the time, effort and energy you've put into this, that it would look as good as someone who's three years into their account. The answer to that is no, it's, it, it doesn't make sense for it to be as good as them.

But if you look back at their content at, at the stage you're at now, you're far above where they ever were at the same point in the journey. And I think that's a, probably a much more fair comparison to make than [00:32:00] looking at someone else. Who's three years into a skill or a, social media account or whatever.

speaking of social and curated life and uh, everyone else's highlights real. Let's talk about yours for a minute. Um, you're pretty active on social and, as freelancers, social media, for the most part, shouldn't be something that's completely ignored.

I've tend to ignore it my entire life I'm not certain it's a hundred percent required, but I see the value in it. And I think the way you do it, we were talking beforehand. you do social media in an interesting way where you fit it in between the down times and your day, where you seem to be active on there.

I went to your socials and you're like pretty active on it. But it doesn't seem to, to rule your day or week or month. It's like, it's just, you fit it in the gaps. Can you talk about how you do socials and the effect it's had on your business

Yeah. Yeah, sure. So I think for me, the way I do social is probably not the way that the social media managers would advocate doing social. I don't have a content plan. I never have, I don't have a particular time of day scheduled. You asked me earlier if I knew how much [00:33:00] time in my week I spent on social.

And I would say it fluctuates wildly from week to week, but I don't have a. how much time I spend on there, as you said, I tend to do it when I'm waiting for something. I tend to do it. If I get a burst of energy and a burst of creativity, I'll just capture it in the moment and I will do a post and I'll save it as a draft and I'll post it later when my audience is active.

So I think first of all, I wrote a blog post. And I also talk about this in survival skills for freelancers about how social media can be such an incredible positive impact in our lives as freelancers, because it's free advertising. It gives us this enormous, incredible reach is always on. It's always a presence, whether you are there or not, the presence of your business and your personal brand is always there.

So, fantastic, great stuff we can build off following with kind of in some ways, very little effort, [00:34:00] but also it can feel like a full-time job. And unless your full-time job is being a freelance, social media manager, it shouldn't be. So it's really important to focus, I would say on not trying to be everywhere and all at once, but instead to do a little bit of research on where your clients hang out your target clients and focus on those two channels, but only if you enjoy those channels.

So say for me, if somebody said, oh, all my potential clients are. On Facebook. I still wouldn't use Facebook. I have a Facebook page. I only keep it up to date just by default because I cross post from Instagram. And I only started doing that recently. I hadn't posted on it for absolute ages. Haven't updated my Facebook profile picture of about five years.

It's just not my place. So I use the platforms that inspire me that energize me, cuz for me so much business is to do with energy. If I'm feeling the positive [00:35:00] energy or I'm feeling enlivened about something at any particular moment, that's the thing I wanna be doing. That's how I often decide my business priorities.

I don't tend to have goals. I always know exactly what I'm working towards, but if I create a goal, then that becomes my obsession and that's not healthy cuz addictive personality, obsessive brain. It's not a good combination, but yeah, I would say stick to perhaps to.

Platforms and do them really, really well learn how to do them well, but only use them if you feel comfortable with them. I mean, initially of course, you're not gonna feel comfortable if it's new to you, because it will take some time to get your bearings and to work out what works well for you and to work out how to best engage your audience.

just make sure that you give something of yourself, like plenty of yourself. I think really, rather than people saying, and I don't think this is so much of an issue in the freelance sphere, but people saying, oh, I have. A business profile and a personal profile. And on my personal [00:36:00] profile, I share pictures of my kids.

And on my business profile, I share motivational quotes, but never the Twain shall meet. So I was mentioning to you earlier um, Brian, that I have an Instagram account that I've had for donkey years. That is all photography. It's all taken on my iPhone. It's all photographs of beautiful cos word landscapes, cuz I'm lucky enough to live in the most beautiful part of, England.

And I have another account, which is. Copywriting. So that is about language. It's about words, it's language memes, it's personal stuff. It's also all the freelance stuff. That's where all the imposter syndrome, the mental health staff, all the know what to charge, all this kind of stuff shows up. I enjoy it there cause I've got a community there.

Got close to 10,000 followers now, but there's a bit of a story behind that.

actually. I wanna get to that story in a second, but I, I do wanna say mentioned a couple things you said there, cuz worth just kind of reiterating and giving my own thoughts on, on your thoughts. [00:37:00] You talked about only investing into time, effort, energy, into a platform that you resonate with.

And I, couldn't agree with you more and I think that's why I've, been so like inactive on social media is because I don't utilize it. If I look at my phone screen time app, I average maybe 30 minutes per week on all social media apps, total. cause I just don't like social media, I'm sorry.

Like I go on there to participate in our Facebook group that has almost 10,000 people in it maybe one or two other groups that I participate in because I enjoy the communities, but that's, it and then the rest of us, me just checking messages that I get sent that's, my social media experience.

I refuse to let's algorithm train to my personal preferences. So I never swipe on there. and that helps me, keeps me sane and gives me time back. But the area that I spend a lot of my time is listening to podcasts. And so that platform resonates with me, which is why I love doing podcast is why I want a podcast.

Now. That's why that's my content medium of choice. And it's not social media. So, with you, you do use social media, but you also use blogging as your content medium of. Because you're a writer. It makes sense. So for anyone who's like, I just can't [00:38:00] do blah, whatever this blah is for you.

everyone has the blah thing that they don't wanna work on because they hate it. It could be TikTok. It could be Instagram, it could be blogging. It could be podcasting. It could be YouTube. It's whatever these things are. you don't have to do it find, but find the thing that works for you.

Don't force something. But also whenever you do decide to do something, go all in with it. Because if you just decide to dabble in 10 different things, half-assing all of them, none of 'em are gonna work.

so let's, jump into that story you were talking about of part of the story behind your followers on, on Instagram, dropped a bomb on me right before we started recording.

I was like, I gotta fit this into the interview. I have no idea what is by the way, but you have an Instagram real. With 10.6 million views on it. And I just have to have the story behind this

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Well, just to give it some context before this reel went crazy, the highest number of views I had on any reel and I use reels a lot. I wouldn't say I'm especially good at them, but sometimes you just strike lucky. Sometimes something resonates. So the highest number that I had before was [00:39:00] 5,500.

And I share a lot of kind of productivity tips and like life hacky kind of things that are gonna make people's lives easier. And for me, anything that is a time saving tip when you're a freelancer is a win. So one day my son came home from work and said, mom I bought some gluten-free pastry, cuz I'm gonna make these pan Shaks cuz I know you love pan Shaks and you've not been able to have one since you had to give up gluten. So I was like, oh, okay, this looks great. And he's just like, oh it's super simple, super quick thing to do. So I was like, okay, phone at the ready, I'll start a time lapse video of you making these things.

And it is literally like a two minute prop, the chocolate on roll it up, put it in the oven job done. So. I did a video of it, a time maps video, and I thought, shall I share this as a real on my Instagram? It's not one of my content pillars. I do actually know what my content pillars are.

Believe it or not. That's about as planned with my social media as it gets. but [00:40:00] then I was sort of arguing in my head that maybe it was because it was still a time saving thing. It was still something that would kind of make people go, oh, oh, that's a good idea. So I shared it and it plateaued it about 4,000, views.

And about three weeks later, I suddenly started getting three likes per minute on this video. And I thought this is weird. Maybe somebody shared it. Somebody with a load of influences shared it, or maybe it's popped up on that. Discover page. Anyway, I never found out what the reason was, but it just kept climbing and climbing and climbing.

And I got so excited by the time it got to five figures that I actually shared on LinkedIn going, Ooh, I've got a post going viral and it's got 12,000 views. And I just should have saved it until it really hit momentum. it, I still get likes on it now and it's about how to make a pan Chala.

And now I have all these excess followers,[00:41:00]

Can you talk about um, your content pillars for social media, cuz this is an area I think you can probably touch on a bit and this is something that I don't think gets brought up much when talking about social media, people always want to know what is, what should I post about?

And obviously if you're a copywriter, this might be relevant for you, but if you're not, this may not be relevant, but you have to use sort of approach to your own, your own business and your own niche and targeting your own

people. But what are your content pillars and how did you come up with those?

So I've just had to open my Trello board because I confess, I can't remember what all five of them are unless I'm looking at my Trello board. So I have this really, really organized Trello board that I sat up after doing a one hour workshop That I booked through Instagram with somebody who is in my, what I consider to be my community.

and it was something like 40 pound only. And I thought, well, I don't do any content planning at the moment. I probably could learn a lot from this. And the first part was all about different types of content that you could post and getting better with the actual nuts and bolts and the mechanics of how to use [00:42:00] Instagram.

But the last 10 minutes, she shared her Trello board for content and I was just blown away. So just took a screen grab and just copied the way she'd set it out. So it's colorful, it's easy to use. So my content pillars are obviously freelance. Language, which incorporates um, consumables, which is to do with the next book tips and how tos, which tend to be the time saving tips and the kind of life hacks and the productivity tips, inspiration and lifestyle, which is kind of a bit more like particularly do a lot of reading, so I tend to show a lot of book recommendations, local recommendations, kind of, massively into nature.

So kind of nature and walks and that kind of thing, and then how to work with me. So those are my five things. And then I have a kind of an inspiration. So section at the top of each of those boards, and then underneath, I have specific posts. if I get stuck at any point, I can literally just go, okay, just go to the inspiration [00:43:00] board and just get something from there.

And I haven't got stuck since I literally have not run out of an idea of what to post since.

you use Trello, which I love Trello by the way. I use click up now, but Trello has been a wonderful companion through the years for me. But you just use Trello to organize any ideas you have for posts in those pillars specifically. do you actually set aside time to brainstorm these things or is this just an area

for you to like keep track of, ideas?

it's the latter. I know a lot of people use a tool, a software tool or an app of some sort to actually schedule their post and to put their post together. And I experimented with that, but I just found, I got a little bit lost, so I just stick now I have quite uh, Strong identity, I guess I wouldn't really call it my brand.

It probably is my personal brand in some ways, but I know what my post look like. So I tend to alternate from a kind of visual textural post and then a photograph and a visual post and a photograph. So if anything, I run out of ideas of what to post from my photographs and [00:44:00] never run out of ideas of kind of my instructive tip posts, advice, posts, they're all there.

And it, it is literally I just go into the board and I'll think, oh yeah, you know, I meant to um, do uh, how to post, for example, on saving hashtag groups. Cause you know, how time consuming it is to type in hashtags. no, no, you wouldn't.

don't, I don't know anything about hashtags.

I said that to the wrong person, but most of us it's just kind of like, oh, what should I use my hashtags I have and have had for a long time.

Multiple groups of hashtags to mix it up, cuz it's good for the algorithm. If you mix them up So when I come in to put my hashtags, I don't have to type out 30 or however many is the flavor of the month. They're just all there. So I've got book related, I've got language related, I've got Cotswolds related, I've got freelance related, imposter syndrome related, all this kind of thing.

So yeah, I have some specific ideas of posts that I haven't yet. launched and I'm never gonna run out of [00:45:00] ideas. I don't sit in brainstorm cause I find I don't need to usually I'll get it'll be like buses, you know, they say you don't get any ideas for weeks. And then three come along at once.

And that's very much the same with the way I use Twitter, actually. I have lots of scheduled, automated scheduled posts, which my VA sorted for me. I wrote them and she sorted them and they just go out as, and when, so I'm always there, but. When I'm actually there. And my brain is in Twitter mode.

It'll get a lot of tweets in one day and then nothing for a few days

There's a specific pillar. You talked about that. Cut my ear that I think I I'd love to, for you to talk about is you said content about what it's like to work with me or how to work with me. Can you talk about that? Cause I feel like that's an actual thing that many people are missing on their social media strategy, especially if you're a freelancer is actually having posts that are related back to what it is that you offer as a freelancer in order to get people to work with you.

Are these like straight promotional posts, are these just like giving an overview of what it looks like to work together, like [00:46:00] behind the scenes you doing work? Like what do these look

like and how do you do these?

Yeah, this is the weakest of my five contents. I'm not the biggest fan of doing shape promotional post, but I do realize that it's really important for me. It's more about building up the no like, and trust. So I will do things like the meet the maker kind of hashtag.

So meet the freelancer, meet the business owner, whatever where you kind of just. Introduce yourself again, rather than just assuming that everybody who follows, you know, who you are and what makes you tick and some interesting facts about you. So I find those, posts are super popular.

Just sharing a photo of me doing something that I love doing and kind of seven facts that you didn't know about me. So the kind of quirky things that people wouldn't guess. I don't know if I class that under work with me post it's probably a bit of a cop out saying that, but the direct post that I do, I do, I'll do a post for the book with, just reminding people who it's for, who helped at the fact that it's sold in 22 countries.

The fact that it's got [00:47:00] 350 odd five star reviews, all the kind of positive stuff, which actually after two years of releasing a book, you kind of feel like, oh, doesn't everybody know that already. I don't wanna talk about it. It feels slightly cringeworthy, doesn't it. But a lot of people do it really well. I'm not one of those people. It's something that I'm working on. It's a work in progress.

creatives in general, I think are, are just bad at, I say bad. They struggle with self-promotion and talking about themselves in a sales environment, but it seems particularly like in England, That culture doesn't like that the most like you guys are most allergic to pitching yourself to other people.

And I think it's interesting, but it, I guess it goes to show that like you don't have to do what other people tell you to do as a freelancer. You get to pick your own adventure. if you choose not to be that way, you can still make it work. You may have to work harder in some regards, if you just can't do a direct call to action towards what they should do, if they wanna work with you.

But at the end of the day, you, you get to be the one that picks how, things are done. So if you don't like that type approach,[00:48:00] then skip it. Like if you wanna be more polite and more friendly and you don't want to, you don't have to be aggressive by the way. But if you don't wanna be the aggressive, like go getter, marketer type, you don't have to be.

But that doesn't mean you, you should avoid all social media just because you don't like the way certain things are done by some people. I think that's the biggest objection I get when I, Work with people on um, doing a better job of self-promotion is their biggest fear that holds 'em back from doing any promotion is fear of looking desperate or fear of looking like they're trying to be bigger or better than they are.

And again, you can self-promote without ever doing either of those things. But it just starts with you understanding what strategy makes sense for your personality. Just like choosing what platform works for you. You, you're not gonna go with, Twitter or Instagram or TikTok or Facebook, if you're like me and you spend less than 30 minutes a week on any of those platforms.

so it's just a matter of like,

choose your own adventure. You can make this work, however

you want.

Yeah. I love that. And I, and I think one thing that's really um, helpful to realize if you are somebody who is, kind of finds yourself, shying away from the idea [00:49:00] of sales is to think of it as service rather than sales, because you have this incredible skill. And your client has this incredible need and you can help them.

You can solve their problems. You can take away their sleepless nights. You can aid their stress by providing this incredible service that you provide. So you are actually doing them a favor by telling them about what you do and how you can help.

someone who probably has done a pretty good job of this is James Martin from made by com I think is his URL, he does posts where he just shows what it looks like to work with him. he builds so much trust and credibility and gains followers. I think he has a couple hundred thousand followers now, but builds so much trust and credibility so that people know like, and trust him so that when they need design work done, they need a branding package or whatever that they know who to go to.

And actually funny enough, he's British. So he's, found a way to make that, that balance between being British and shamelessly self-promoting in a way that seems to still being appealing to people. showing your work off and helping people solve the problems that you [00:50:00] solve is a great way to get clients because.

proven in so many different industries that, that worked, but most people don't do it. And we actually had the author of the book called the go giver on this show probably 50 episodes ago or so. this is built off of the thing he teaches, which is go giver marketing.

I don't know if he calls it that, but I, we call it that here

where you're just, sharing helpful things, helping others. And building reciprocity so that when it comes time to hire you for the thing that you do, you're the only option they have, because they're not even considering anyone else because you're top of mind, you've already helped them in some way, shape or form, even if it's only showing clarity on how something's done.

For example, James Martin, he does branding for mostly bigger businesses with actual budgets and the stuff he creates on social media really appeals mostly to other designers because they wanna see the ins and outs of how he works, but it really builds trust with these bigger companies because they see how meticulous he is with this process.

They see the social proof of other people saying, I like your [00:51:00] work because of all the likes on the post. They see how he is as a person and then they build trust with him. So it makes the sales process so much easier. one last area to go to here. Sarah, if you don't mind talking about this before we wrap this conversation up is, Talking about this subject that I think so many freelancers struggle with, especially when you're first getting off the day job, train and transitioning into full-time working for yourself is staying motivated and productive when you're working from home.

And you don't have that manager over your shoulder telling you what to do every day. And so you have to wake up every day and say, what am I going to do? How do we, how do we approach that as, as freelancers? Cuz honestly I'm, at this point, this episode airs 5,000 in one days into my, self-employed career.

And there's a lot of days where I still haven't nailed this. And I am always looking for ways, like you said earlier, how we always need to be learning more and we can never sit back on our laurels and, and just say, I know everything, like, I'm always looking for ways to improve this. Like how do we, how do we stay motivated and productive?

not just working from home, it can be a coffee shop or anything, but like how do we do it when we are self-directed [00:52:00] and we

have to do the work ourselves and we don't have anyone holding us

accountable.

Sure. Well, there's a whole chapter in the book about this um, and there's quite a lot to cover, but let's just think of a couple of things that I could kind of share off the top of my head. First of all, I think it's worth mentioning that it does require a little bit of self-direction to go freelance in the first place.

I know if you're somebody that just cannot, cannot motivate yourself without being told what to do. And without being given a schedule that is directed by someone else, maybe freelance life won't be for you. So it's not for everybody. It does take a certain amount of. discipline and focus, but there are certainly, I mean, here in the UK, when we had the pandemic and everybody was working from home, this was just such a key issue, cuz even people who weren't self-employed were having to work from home for the first time.

And I, I talked a lot about it out on the radio and things like that right then, because it was affecting everybody. So I think there are um, certain things that you can do that helps such [00:53:00] as making sure that you've got kind of a dedicated space that you work in rather than just kind of, I mean the whole idea, like have laptop will travel.

Right. But it can be just good to have a particular area of your home. I mean, I've. A dedicated office, but not everybody is locked enough to have that. If you even have just a corner of the kitchen table or a fold out drawer in the bedroom or something that you use as a desk, it doesn't matter. What's quite important is to have sort of a, a space where when you finished for the day, you can put your stuff away and you can walk away from it.

Like if you can put it in a drawer, you know, if you don't have a dedicated room, put it in a drawer. If you have a dedicated office, shut the door, because otherwise what happens is that work seeps into every moment and every, just every aspect of life. And it's so difficult to keep work and home life separate.

And this is the context switching thing, where when we switch our context from personal life to work life, it helps [00:54:00] to be in a different environment so that we feel that full switch work mode. cuz I think that's the biggest difference when we're working in office is we make that drive to the office.

And now we have completely switched context from being at home, playing with your kids. If you have 'em or playing video games, if you don't have kids. Cause I don't know if you can do video games with kids. I don't have kids, so I don't know. And then you've separated that now you're at work and now it's like I'm in work mode.

Let's go. And then when you're done with work, you have the ability to just leave the office, drive back home. You have that wonderful context, which. And now we're back to personal life. so you really, you rarely have those two seep into each other. And what you're saying is like, when we're working from home, we don't get that.

So how can we set up some sort of environment in order to at least in our brains delineate work mode versus personal mode so that they're not crossing over into each other, which I think is wonderful advice I think my biggest issue is more on, I can't separate those two things.

So I end up working too much sometimes, which then burns me out and now I'm burnt out. And now I

can't get [00:55:00] myself back into work mode. I don't even want

to enter it. I'm just burnt out now.

is two extremes, isn't it? first of all, it helps to have rituals to create that kind of delineation between work and home time. this is such a silly little thing, but I I make myself a mocktail at the end the end of the day. So I get out my best fancy glass, lots of ice slice of lemon, and then make myself a mocktail.

And that for me is right. Okay. Work time is done and home time can begin and whatever it is for you, like, I did hear about one person who left his home from the front door and would come around the back door. And that would mean his home from work. And that would mean, okay, he's gone out the front door.

That work time is over. And really, it's just such an individual thing. Isn't it's whatever works for you at any particular moment. But if you've got a ritual that, you know, signifies the end of the day, I would say just kind of getting really clear on what you want to achieve each day. Um, a big maker.

So hence the Trello, [00:56:00] multiple boards on Trello and multiple. Um, What are the, like the sub board things? Yeah, multiple, multiple, multiple guards. But just kind of getting clear. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. Can't it seeing this huge amount of things that you want to achieve? Always good to have client tasks, your Just, I think even your personal things that you want to achieve during the day.

So your client tasks, your kind of me time tasks and your business how to develop your business. So things like working on a new website, for example, or getting some professional photography done or setting up automations for your business. And then things you need.

For your mental health to be at its best. So for me, I know that if I exercise, I am at my maximum productivity and my motivation, my creativity, my productivity, my focus, they're all helped by exercise. So the more tired I am, the more I know that I need to take a, an exercise break, even if it's just, sometimes I walk around the [00:57:00] block where I live.

Just make sure you get out in fresh air, get some sort of clear head space because there's nothing worse than actually sitting at a computer. This is the opposite of not being able to get motivated. Isn't it? This is feeling this kind of obsession. Oh my God. I've gotta be sitting up at my laptop, but actually what happens is you are just staring at a screen.

You cannot cannot be productive or creative when you are not having any simulation. So sometimes it's just get a, a change of scene. And also just know your strengths in terms of when you are at your most productive. Because if you know that you're not a morning person, don't say, okay, I'm gonna wake up and start work at eight o'clock in the morning.

That's obviously not for you, but if you're one of these crazy 5:00 AM starters who gets up and meditates, and I wish I was you , um, then you're journaling and all this kind of thing, then maybe you might wanna start work at seven and finish it too. You know, that is the brilliance of being freelance. We go freelance [00:58:00] often to get away from that kind of routine and regularity and the pattern of working nine to five, maybe that just doesn't work for you.

And part of what's, the brilliance is that our clients. Don't know, and don't need to know what hours we work. As long as we get the job done on time on budget, and we are pleasant and enjoyable to work with. the lamest summary, pleasant and enjoyable always be pleasant and enjoyable. that was such a British thing to say, but you know what I mean?

Like my clients couldn't tell us what hours I work. They don't care that I don't work Fridays, you know? Okay. If they need to get hold of me urgently, then they can get hold of me. I'm just not doing client work on Fridays. And that is, good for me. That has been a game changer. That's really helped me.

Energy has helped me get so much done in the four days. I have left because I'm motivated to have Friday off. So whatever motivates, you know, your strengths, know your busy times, know your best, most productive [00:59:00] times and play to that pattern design your week around your strengths.

I've known that in my own life. I actually thrive in routine and when my routine gets thrown off, my life goes into chaos. So that's what I found works really well for me. Not everyone's like that, but that's just where it works well for me. And so I build a lot of routine into my day to day so that yes, I have the list.

Yes. I have all this stuff in click up our, my project management software of choice, but I also have the routines. So that every day I kind of start my day out the same way. And because of that, I tend to have. Pretty good average days and I don't have big highs and big lows. It's typically pretty good average days and I can get so much more done if I have a lot of good decent average days in a row, then I can, if I'm doing this up and down roller coaster of highs and lows all the time.

So Sarah, I just wanna say thank you so much for coming on here. Your book is called survival skills for freelancers. We'll have links to that. In our show notes@sixfigurecreative.com slash two 11. That's this episode 211. Sarah, where can our audience go to connect with you or learn more about [01:00:00] you or um, what would you like them to do?

If you sign up for my newsletter, that would obviously be the ideal thing. I would say, go to survival skills for freelancers.com to read more about the new book you can sign up there and you can download a free chapter of the book as a taster. If you are interested in the new book, which is what I should really be directing people to go to confus, ables.co UK, and you can also sign up there and be first in line for kind of updates on the new book, which is coming very soon or connect with me on social.

I'm sure you'll share all the social links, just if anybody does connect with me, having listened to the podcast, do drop me your DM. And just let me know that you found me through Brian's pod, because it's just great to know where people find me. It's always lovely to have a little bit of a story.

Yeah, we wanna make it as easy as possible for people to find you. So we have links to we'll have links to your socials, your website, your new book, and the survival skills for freelancers book that is out now and available for purchase. So thank you for coming on Sarah.

Pleasure.[01:01:00]

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