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SEO Freelance: Noob Observations

March 31, 2009

Now let me start off by saying, I am in the process of looking for a job, but thought it would be interesting to imagine myself as a freelancer (we can dream can’t we?) My last blog post’s title may have been a bit misleading as I have not posted a blog until now. This has been my first big realization of attempting to work for yourself: it’s challenging to not be distracted by life when you are working from home. Without feeling the pressure of hourly-based tasks breathing down my neck and being accountable for every minute whilst at work, it’s kind of easy to let yourself be distracted by, well uh, everything.

The second biggest lesson is that if I were to do this all over again, I would have been more financially prepared. I have now been waiting for an employment insurance cheque for almost four weeks. Doesn’t sound like that long if you have money saved up. Unfortunately finances are my absolute weak spot and I was not ready to have no income whatsoever for four weeks. Rent is due in a couple of days and panic is starting to kick in. Perhaps this level of stress is what I needed in order to write this blog post and kick this freelance gig into high gear.

Reality has delivered a swift blow to the head and I am faced with the realization that what seemed like a laid back approach to work and life is in fact a full time job no matter which way you look at it. (For now at least.)

Strength is Essential

It’s been an emotional roller coaster. There have been moments of elation and intense feelings of freedom counterbalanced by moments of doubt and anxiety. Fortunately the tough moments have been brief because I believe it is imperative to keep a level head and not get sucked into a cycle of negativity. This is an opportunity to work for myself that I embrace and it will be work out in the end. (Yes this is something I need to periodically tell myself hence the self affirmation-like sound to it.)

Starting out as an unprepared freelancer takes a strong mind and some tough skin I tell ya.

Other Random Observations

The following is a random list of observations about starting to network as my own brand:

  • Ask former higher ups for an endorsement on LinkedIn immediately if you are laid off. The first couple of days I received five amazing recommendations from co-workers. A couple of days after that the President of the company sent me an email saying they can not endorse me (or anybody else) because now I am technically competition. The five original LinkedIn endorsements remain.
  • Start networking now on Twitter. I tracked the initial progress of my layoff on Twitter and received three offers for proposals within the first few days. The SEO community is supportive this way once you make yourself a familiar presence.
  • Use your existing Facebook account to let family and friends know you are available for work. I did this and three people immediately asked for more information. This needs some grace and tactic as you do not want to spam your friend’s newsfeeds with too many updates.
  • Freelance can be one long ass waiting game. Waiting for contracts to be signed and waiting to get paid top the list (from what I can tell at least). This reinforces the fact that being financially prepared prior to embarking on a freelance career is ideal.
  • Writing blog posts is something I really need to work on. I really thought it was going to be easier. One day I’m sure I’ll look back at these first few blog posts and laugh at the amateurish-ness of it all.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 31, 2009 4:20 pm

    Hey Steph,

    Firstly thanks for the linking :D

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the challenging and exciting world of freelance. I know a fair few people who enjoy working this way in digital. The main challenge they seem to face is keeping regular work – but I think once you’ve got your name around and established a bit of a reputation you’ll be turning work away!

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