I'll set the scene: I'd been working as a branded content editor in London, UK, and had spontaneously quit my job and moved to an island called Gili Trawangan to start a digital marketing role in the tourism industry.
Then, Covid hit.
I had two choices: head back to the UK and find a new job or finally try out freelancing - something I'd been dreaming about since before I even started 'proper' work.
My first consistent freelance client paid me $0.06 per word. The other clients I picked up along the way weren't much better, trying to bargain down my rates and expand the scope of work mid-way through. I had no idea how to advocate for myself and was so desperate for work, I often went along with it.
Advocating for yourself is a little terrifying in the creative industries. You're scared of setting your rates too high in case clients turn around and say no.
You're concerned that those seemingly scary numbers (which are actually still usually below market rate) are higher than the value you can offer. You doubt your skills and your knowledge. But you can't level up unless you overcome those fears.
These days, I work exclusively with clients who respect me, challenge me and bring me joy. High-paying clients who are open to listening to ideas and who encourage me to grow. If I'd known all it took was a mindset shift, I'd have prioritised working on this years ago.
When I'm not writing, I spend most of my time exploring beautiful Bali, which is where I call home. I spend a lot of time scuba diving, cafe hopping, playing with the endless street dogs that live in my neighbourhood and planning my next adventures. Next up will be Morocco, Vietnam and Japan, if you're wondering!
I have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world and you couldn't pay me any amount of money to go back to my old lifestyle: working long hours for low pay packets and spending the whole time a little anxious that I wasn't worthy of anything bigger.
Freelancing in the creative industries can be one of the most exciting, confidence-boosting and versatile careers around. You can travel the world, spend more time with your family and friends or pick up new hobbies. But if you're not advocating for yourself, you'll struggle to step away from those low-paying clients and underwhelming projects.
your clients should always be (at least) one of two things: high paying or fun.
confidence follows action,
You don't have to be a workaholic
to be successful. Really.