From Full-Time Employment to Freelancer – Panel Discussion

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How to turn your passion into a job? Many people are asking the same question while being stuck in a rut with a job or profession they don’t like.

Motivational speakers can guide you to explore your talents. You can take classes to boost your entrepreneurial skills. But, the best way is to hear it from people who have taken their hobby and turned it into a source of income.

Meet Richard Hsu, an artist turned real estate agent turned freelance artist. His blog, How to Artist, helps people to become better artists by providing the best information on art techniques and tools, such as paints and paintbrushes.

Richard realized that other artists might also struggle to find high-quality art supplies, so he offered his expertise and research to help them maximize their artistic potential. He shares with us how he returned to his first love and turned it into a freelance business.

Richard Hsu

Richard Hsu

Q: Please tell us a little about yourself, your expertise, etc.

A: I am currently working as a freelance artist, mainly with digital art. My love for art goes back to my high school years when my older brother and I started taking art classes. But, life took me to work as a real estate agent for a few years.

When I returned to creating artwork, I discovered that there is a lack of information online that can help me become a better artist. I went through YouTube channels and Udemy courses that taught me a lot, but the thing missing was educational sources on art techniques and tools.

So, I decided to be the one that would provide all the necessary guidance and data on quality art tools and thorough explanations of different art techniques. And so, I created my blog, How to Artist.

Q: Could you please describe your previous work as an employee?

A: I used to work as a real estate agent selling international investment properties. I had to run presentations on different international investment properties and attract or connect with foreign buyers with the ultimate goal of selling the properties.

Q: What was the point where you decided to become a freelancer?

A: I decided to become a freelancer when I discovered that I could make a decent living doing something I love.

I was put off the artistic career by wrong stereotypes of starving artists and eventually stopped drawing altogether. But then I slowly went back to sketching, which turned into full-time drawing and painting works of art.

I realize now that it is possible to work in the arts and earn a fair income by cultivating your style and creating easily distinguishable art.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’re facing as a freelancer?

A: The main challenge I am facing as a freelancer is managing my time. I often take on too many jobs at a time, which can feel overwhelming.

I tend to forget that I can’t be available 24/7 and accept every job that is offered. I often neglect my social life because of work engagements, leaving me with little time to relax and just chill.

Q: Can you offer any advice to beginner freelancers?

A: I would advise them to build the skills required to get freelance jobs before shifting from full-time employment. It helps to keep a source of income while you prepare to make the jump.

You can also do gigs while doing your daytime job in order to build a client base before going full freelance. And you should create a financial plan that will support you at the beginning of the new career.

Q: How do you handle inflation as a freelancer?

A: I think the only way to handle inflation is to adjust your rates accordingly. If you are good at what you do, a 5-10% increase in price is reasonable.

A price adjustment can cost you clients in the long run, but if you demonstrate quality and reliability, clients won’t mind paying the price of our services.

Q: What do you do to get new clients?

A: I get new clients mainly from direct outreach and freelance websites like UpWork and Fiverr.

I reach out to prospective clients through personalized emails and phone calls. I present my portfolio and invite them to connect. This strategy has worked well so far.

Q: Name one mistake that you made as a freelancer.

A: One mistake I made was keeping my price low for too long. It is good to raise prices from time to time to match the skills you have.

I accepted work that was below the preferred rate because I wanted to build my portfolio and have a steady income. But as I understood my worth and the quality of work I put out, I became more confident to ask for a price I believed I deserved.

Q: How can potential clients find you?

Those interested in seeing my art work and becoming my potential clients can find me on my website https://howtoartist.com.

Sometimes life takes you to strange places only to get you back to what fundamentally constitutes you as a person. Richard Hsu abandoned art for a career in real estate, which never fully satisfied his artistic soul.

It took some time for him to realize that life is too short to be wasting it in a job that does not acknowledge his talents and skills. He was brave and lucky enough to find his way back to his true self and use his potential to the fullest.   

As a freelance artist, he faces the daily challenges of all fellow freelancers, such as taking on too much workload and problems with pricing. But, as the business grows, he learns to avoid mistakes that can potentially ruin his health and portfolio. 

Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life. Still, never lose sight of your goals and turn your passion into a successful business that will ensure a profitable life-long career.  

James Smith 

James Smith

You should know that upskilling will make you more money, but you must figure out your ideal clients. After, build a solid portfolio, manage your time, get on freelancing sites and decide about charging accordingly to your clients and potential clients. Build your reputation, it’s not going to be easy, but in time you will rise. Don’t forget to leverage social media for more networking because, you know, more networking-more clients. I hope this helps you and encourages you, dear future freelancers.

Q: How to handle the inflation as a freelancer? 

A: It is always uncomfortable to raise your price no matter if you are a freelancer or not, especially with your regular clients. But 2022 is such an unpredictable year, and it is difficult for the whole world, not only in the USA. We are facing changes, and as entrepreneurs, we have to act smart. Inflation affects different types of freelancers in different ways. Given these differences, independent contractors must think about their personal inflation risk. They should look at pricing patterns for their highest costs, whether it’s wood, petrol, or cleaning products. They should then build a strategy for dealing with these higher expenditures based on this personalized approach to inflation.

Q: How are you getting new clients? 

A: Working on your own terms and conditions, getting paid for providing high-quality services, and engaging with clients are the main aspects of freelancing. The key to distinguishing out in the world of freelancing is to specialize in a certain sector while also producing good work. Potential clients will trust someone who oozes confidence and is an expert in their field.

Contacting your clients again to ask for their feedback is crucial. And remember, publicly displaying your work is an essential element of the design process. It’s not the simplest thing to do, but it’s quite beneficial. Furthermore, overcoming the fear that comes with vulnerability aids in the formation of networks, the gathering of feedback, and feeling connected to both designers and viewers.

Q: Name one mistake you did as a freelancer

A: I was careful when choosing who to work with, but still not careful enough and landed in hot water with some of my choices.

Also, very important for every freelancer is that when you are in the early phases of beginning your freelancing business, you may find it difficult to meet your monthly income goals. This is a frequent freelance problem that can be fixed with time and expertise. During this first stage, which may feel like a bit of limbo to some, you may succumb to another dangerous temptation: agreeing to undertake pretty much any sort of work that is even vaguely related to your firm.

Q: What are the social links, or your website links where we can find you and see your work?

A: I am very glad to share the links to my web pages. I have created  Carilqa.com and azfullform.com. Those web pages are my passion, my work, and my income. Sure, I won’t stop here, but in time I expect to be more successful and create things that can be a lot of help to some people. Also, you can write me an email at jamesmith1719@gmail.com for more info. 

Whether you’ve lost the passion or just can’t seem to fit the mold of a 9 to 5 job, successful freelancers like James Smith prove that you can get the best of both worlds. He started off with a computer science background and later moved on to marketing, which turned into a successful freelancing job. He has faced many challenges but has managed to turn it around, creating something on his own and pursuing what he loves. 

Freelancing can seem very intimidating at first, but once you get a taste of the freedom, creativity, and flexibility that it offers, you’ll soon find passion can become a high-paying job. 

Christine Blosdale

Christine Blosdale

What better way to use your knowledge and experience than to share it and help others at the beginning of their career? Years of accumulated wisdom and expertise can only serve as a tool to empower beginners, especially women who are starting their freelance businesses.

Meet Christine Blosdale, an international Amazon #1 best-selling author, motivational speaker, podcast coach, and consultant. Christine turned her competence and passion into a podcasting academy where she shares her insight on how to promote businesses on podcasts and other media.

Coaching with Christine guides women freelancers on their way to generating income from any skills they have to put on the market and promoting their work through media presence and podcasting. Join us to discover Christine’s career path and why she has decided to become a freelancer herself. 

Q: Please tell us a little about yourself, your expertise, etc.

A: I am a Motivational Multimedia Coach for Women In Business. As a motivational coach, I guide clients to explore what might be keeping them from reaching their fullest and highest potential. As a multimedia coach, I have a proven track record of assisting business owners, authors, entertainers and coaches to get their message through to the world through podcasting and other media.   

I have extensive experience in the entertainment industry as a radio host and a featured contributor to magazines and web portals, which I decided to use as a starting point for my freelance business.

Q: Could you please describe your previous work as an employee?

A: In 2002, I started my career in broadcast journalism at a major radio station in Los Angeles, where I produced programs focused on health, wealth and transformational wellness. As a Development Director, my most significant achievement was a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign that delivered over $19mil (and still counting). 

Q: What was the point where you decided to become a freelancer?

A: After 20+ years in broadcasting, I wanted to focus on building up my own coaching business to help women from around the world generate more income and freedom.

As a motivational speaker, I turned my attention to women in order to guide them to liberate and use their potential to the fullest. Women freelance businesses have a lot to offer and, at the same time, monetize their talents or product.

I love to say that whatever you’re putting out in the universe, you’re getting back. So, I wanted to put out positive energy and encourage women to believe in themselves because if they don’t believe it, nobody will. 

Q: What are some of the challenges you’re facing as a freelancer?

A: Showing up at the office every day to meet with colleagues certainly has its advantages. I had the fortune to work with some brilliant people in an atmosphere of mutual respect and acceptance.

I sometimes miss that office comradery and water cooler banter with co-workers, friends and mates. After all, we are social beings, so it’s important to feel connected with other people. And freelancers can sometimes feel lonely, so it’s really important to build a community that will always support you.

Q: Can you offer beginner freelancers any advice?

A: Go easy on yourself. You are not going to become a millionaire overnight, and it takes time to build up your freelance business and a client base.

Also, get reviews and testimonials from EVERYONE you work with! If possible, get them on video but just get them. This will help you get new and future clients and customers.

Testimonials are a powerful tool that adds to the legitimacy of your business, and they prove that people find your services satisfactory and serve to attract new clients. The majority of people read the reviews before they decide on a purchase, so make sure you get them from all your current clients.

Q: How do you handle inflation as a freelancer?

A: There is no magical answer to this. Just be smart about your expenditures – buy the basics that make your job easier and more streamlined but work within your budget.

Consider raising your service fees in line with inflation. Consider your expenses or production cost to adjust the prices to a profitable margin.

Q: What do you do to get new clients?

A: In the beginning, I used my substantial network of collaborators and contacts to get referrals to potential clientele. Now I keep a huge media presence where I promote my coaching services. Also, I schedule 30-minute free strategy sessions to go over clients’ goals and desires, giving them a chance to see what they’re getting from me.

Q: Name one mistake that you made as a freelancer.

A: I run two podcasts, I am a motivational speaker and an accomplished author, so I would definitely suggest finding time for yourself and taking short breaks to spend more time with family. It’s important to unwind and recharge to be able to share positive energy with your audience and maximize their experience.

Q: How can potential clients find you?

You can contact me on my website or find me on TikTok and Instagram.

http://www.ChristineBlosdale.com

https://www.tiktok.com/@christineblosdale

https://www.instagram.com/christineblosdale/

 Coaching with Christine offers women entrepreneurs a boost of positive energy and motivates them to pursue their dreams beyond the traditional 9-5 jobs. And she shares her extensive know-how of media representation and podcast creation with clients ready to work towards starting a freelance business model.

As Christine likes to put it, podcasts are the new gold rush. Podcasts have become an extremely popular form of media over the past few years, offering a mélange of ideas and content and engaging a multi-million audience.

Women freelancers who want to share their expertise, product or service can record a podcast and air it to the world. With the support of brand sponsorships, affiliate marketing, subscriptions, and paid content, it is easy to turn podcasting into a full-time job or an excellent strategy to pitch to clients.  

Besides the right equipment, some expert advice can help to set freelancers on the right track. And Christine’s one-on-one personal development and multimedia coaching is here to help expand your business and keep you motivated to succeed as a freelance professional.

Melissa Gerke

Melissa Gerke

Freelancer, scientist and freedom lover! Melissa Gerke is an SEO copywriter with a Science degree in Biology. Believe it or not, she was a science/maths teacher for too many years before she decided to take up freelancing. This successful woman lives in the west of Sydney in the Blue Mountains, and she is very dedicated to her son and her family life. Albeit very rewarding, teaching didn’t leave her enough time to truly focus on her family. That is why she left her teaching job and started freelancing. 

Now, she is a successful SEO copywriter and mostly likes to write copy for websites that require technical jargon and translate them into readable content for the ideal client. The website content she writes is for a range of successful businesses, but mostly the science and construction industries. 

Read about her advice to all new freelancers, her professional life and what happened after she became successful in the game of words – copywriting!

Q: Please tell us about yourself, your expertise, etc

A: My name is Melissa Gerke, and I’m a freelance SEO copywriter and content writer for service-based industries. I live in the beautiful Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. I work from home and do SEO copywriting for websites that will help your site move up the Google ranks. I’d like to emphasise that I’ve always enjoyed writing and learning about other businesses and helping people reach their full potential and success. 

I’m based in Wentworth Falls, but thanks to Zoom and modern technology, I have the privilege of working with clients all over Australia and internationally.

Q: Please describe your previous work as an employee 

A: Naturally, I am a science lover, and I was working as a science teacher before looking for a change and starting freelancing and copywriting. Teaching wasn’t as enjoyable as it used to be, and I wanted to choose the hours I worked rather than spending my weekends marking and completing admin tasks. The most important thing for change was that I wanted to spend more quality time with my son, too.

Q: What was the point where you decided to become a freelancer? 

A: As I said, my family time is very important to me, so I started to look for a change and to get out of the administrative tasks. I am not the kind of a person to sit from 9-5 at work. I love my freedom and the creative thinking opportunity that freelancing offers me. I wouldn’t change this for anything. 

Q: What are the challenges you’re facing as a freelancer? 

A: Well, at first, the change was a little bit challenging. I decided to start by completing some writing and SEO courses. After the thrill of getting some of my articles published, I took a long service leave and started my freelance copywriting business. On slower days, I did some casual teaching. This kept me financially afloat.

Q: What can you advise a beginner freelancer? 

A: Dear freelancer, do not quit! Every beginning is hard, and you just have to follow the plan. And if you don’t have a plan? Write one. I have written a very great article about the struggles of working from home. Take some of my advice and take the risk. Freelancing is freedom!

But keep in mind that you would be sharing your image, phone number and some facts about yourself online, which is a big step for some up-and-coming freelancers, so you need to be comfortable with that as well. It will also be difficult to price your work at first, but don’t underestimate and underprice your work. Stay consistent and appreciate what you do!

Also, you will need a good marketing strategy with both copywriting and content marketing. 

Q: How to handle inflation as a freelancer? 

A: You know, freelance work offers many freedoms but doesn’t come without any challenges. A consistent income is hard to achieve, and it’s almost always a roller coaster. You have to be your own accountant, marketer and salesperson. Try to work out the price of your time while taking into account the increasing cost of living expenses. Don’t increase the price tenfold; rather, work out a price that will benefit you but still won’t be too expensive for your clients, especially recurring ones. 

Q: How are you getting new clients? 

A: Marketing, writing, marketing, writing! You must create content! I create and post content all the time on my blog. So if you want to get new clients, a blog is always a good idea. However, coming up with new, SEO-friendly concepts may be exhausting. Regular, precisely produced blog entries are required to impress Google and rise up the webpage ranks. Blogs can demonstrate that your service is both current and reliable.

Also, I use e-mail marketing! My content is always of interest to my subscribers, and I do not send it as an opportunity to sell every item that I offer but to keep them informed and interested. Also, use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram or a website; they are all used by businesses and potential clients. 

Q: Name one mistake you did as a freelancer?

A: My only mistake is the one that I didn’t start earlier. That is my only mistake; everything can be learned from then on.

Melissa Gerke 2

Q: What are your social links/website link for reaching out to?

A: You can find me by calling 0418 621 482 for an obligation-free quote or discussion. Otherwise, you can email and I’ll get back within one business day.

Melissa is an example of the new normal, a successful business story of a woman who goes alone in the virtual world of clients, customers, money and words. And she does that very good! She started off as a science teacher, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing a different passion – one that would give her all the freedom she needed. She did it, and so can you. While freelancing is a challenging route the take, it can be very rewarding for you in the long run. So, don’t be afraid to be bold in your choices!  

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