Middlest and eldest have been bundled off to school with Hughie, their temporary taxi driver (seems like a nice chap), who this week replaces Hughie, their regular taxi driver (ditto). Littlest has been dropped off with his beloved and long-suffering Grandma. Two large, strong coffees have been consumed (whilst still hot!) and all ideas and ambitions of curtailing the drinking of caffeinated beverages as part of my new self-employed lifestyle, have been firmly laid to rest.
So here I am, LinkedIn (just about) and psyched up. Books, software and domains bought and borrowed. Refreshed – by a summer off – and re-freshly trained (Proofreading and Editing course at Dumfries and Galloway College). I’ve upgrade my CV and pimped my email – no more @hotmail.com for me, no sir. I’ve tweeted my first tweet (or should that be twittered)? I’m mid-blog of my first blog entry as blueprinteditor and I‘ve lined up a stint or 2 of voluntary work at the local rag. None, however, of this time-consuming faffing is going to pay for a new extension or a 3-week trip to Canada for a family of 5…
So how exactly does a newbie freelancer make the leap from self-promotion to a profitable gig?
There is no doubting the value of developing a professional online persona (or Keeping up with the Kids: Digital Marketing as ‘How to succeed as a freelancer in Publishing’ describes it). However, I’m more than a little anxious that I’m going to end up using the need to build up my web-savvy as an excuse to procrastinate.
Finding a balance, time-wise, between directly approaching potential clients and showcasing my skills and experience seems to have me going round in circles. I have confidence in my writing and editing abilities but not so much in my know-how in terms of web hosting, LinkedIn etiquette etc. I have, however, learned that there is precious little point googling ‘best web hosting sites’.
I left the BBC in June this year to become a freelancer. Like many people who have made similar choices my main aim is to do stuff I like a lot (reading, reviewing, tinkering, enhancing) in order to be able to do stuff I love (writing, designing, living in the lap of luxury). I suspect I’ll have to wait a while before I even get to do stuff I like a lot, and there’s clearly going to be a great deal of on-the-job learning. But, you know what, in a job where I can get sidetracked for a couple of minutes looking up the etymology of ’curtailed’ and call it research, I can wait.