Besides helping freelancers from all over the world to find zen, I’m also working on various projects related to copywriting and project management.
I’m thrilled to share with you that recently, I started working with ‘Creatie Maakt Alles’ – a Dutch marketing agency with a vast portfolio and great projects. Therefore, I had the opportunity to translate a couple of websites from Dutch to English. This feeling of satisfaction and excitement reminded me that all of my efforts are worth it!
‘Creatie Maakt Alles’ has built an amazing team of freelancers from various fields. Coworking with them gives me the creativity boost which I started losing while working entirely on my own. I met inspiring people and I’m so eager to be a part of this!
Today I’d like to introduce one of my new colleagues – Jeanette van Horssen, a content marketer and graphic designer from The Netherlands.
She has her own small company – ‘Cloud 9’ – where she provides effective marketing and beautiful designs.
Jeanette likes to say that ‘Cloud 9’ refers to the cumulonimbus, the cloud which rises higher than the rest and is known for its thunderstorms.
And that’s exactly what she’d like to do with her clients’ businesses – to empower them to get above the competitors and to have a great, tornado-like impact on their target customers.
The interview with Jeanette is a part of the ‘Freelance Tips With…’ series, where freelancers from all over the world reveal their best-kept freelance tips and advice.
Here’s what Jeanette shared with me…
Why did you decide to become a freelancer?
During my marketing bachelor, I was a freelance graphic designer. I really enjoyed the direct contact with clients, the variety of activities and the freedom to work when- and wherever I want.
For five years, I’ve been working at a couple of companies in order to build up some marketing experience. My goal was that one day I could start working as a freelancer again.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a freelancer?
The biggest challenge was to make the step, to actually do it and become a freelancer again. It’s difficult to leave a nice workplace behind and plunge into something unknown.
I did it anyway because I had a very nice client at this point. For a while, I was working both as a freelancer and in the office. It felt so good that I finally could decide to take the leap and start freelancing full-time.
What’s the best advice you can give to the people who’re making their first freelancing steps?
One of my favorite freelance tips is: Start when you actually have an assignment and make sure that your website represents you and your work. It’s the only reference point for prospects who don’t know you yet. Always place a picture of yourself, so that your potential clients know with whom they’re dealing with.
The design is also important. I received commissions from clients who liked my style, but it also caused prospects to drop out because they didn’t. Style is very personal so think about it carefully.
What would you say to the people who hate being trapped in their office from 9 to 5 but don’t see another option to make a living?
There’s always an option. Take the leap and just try. Either you’ll fail or you’ll win, but you can tell your older future self, that you have at least tried. Totally what-if-proof!
What’s the best part of being a freelancer according to you?
The freedom to do everything in your own way. Do great things, make mistakes and learn from them – in my opinion, that’s the definition of ‘experience’. Besides that, I collaborate with other freelancers and everyone knows something you don’t. I learn a lot from them.
Read also: 6 Simple Tricks to Ditch the Freelance Guilt
You’re providing a great scope of services. Why did you decide to develop different skills instead of specializing in a certain narrow niche?
I’ve worked as a graphic designer and I loved it. But I was also intrigued by the briefings I received from marketers who told me what to design and how. I wanted to learn that skill as well.
As a result, I can now offer marketing from scratch and create all marketing communications from concept to copy and design. The services I provide now are Online Marketing, Recruitment Marketing, Graphic Design and Content Marketing.
I notice that my clients are particularly happy with my Content Marketing services. So in the future, I think I’ll focus on that.
What advice would you give to the freelancers who’re struggling to find clients? What’s your secret to finding clients?
Use social media. I know that on LinkedIn and Facebook, there are many potential clients asking for marketers. Become a part of various groups because that’s where you can find a project suitable for you.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made as a freelancer?
I want too much too soon. I’d like to learn everything there is to learn about being a good entrepreneur. But there are limits. Luckily, I have a very good business coach who prevents me from doing so.
Related: What is Stress and How to Avoid Burnout?
When are you the most productive: when working from home, from a coworking space or from a cafe? How do you stay focused?
I’m more productive when I work at home. But I have more fun working with coworkers! It’s easy for me to stay focused, I can shut myself down from any distractions.
What are your best time management practices?
Track every project you do. I still spend too much time on most of the projects. That’s the difficult life of a perfectionist!
How do you boost your productivity? And creativity?
In-between assignments, I go for a walk with my dog. It really helps me to stay clear and focused. The best ideas pop up when you’re not actually working. That’s how I boost my creativity.
How does one of your best days look like?
Almost every day is a good day! I work, I walk, or have lunch with a friend.
How do you stay zen?
Mindfulness really helps me to stay zen. I use the app ‘Headspace’. I highly recommend it, it really works!