I was five years old when I wrote my first story. If memory serves me right, it was about mermaids, and my sister drew the accompanying artwork. Upon completion, I remember the sense of pride we both felt, collaborating on what would be our first “art” making project.
Writing may have started a bit earlier than that initial story but stories have always been a part of my life.
Many a Marketer and Content Creator will tell you all about how they are a “storyteller” and marketing is essentially about stories. This isn’t untrue. But storytelling isn’t all we do. We are project managers, humourists, make-shift designers, gif-creators, and many other things. We’re also part of a changing industry. Content is King, but it depends on which kingdom you’re in. With employment shifting towards contract and freelance work for marketers and digital strategists we’re also part of a changing working world. Freelance work certainly has its perks (hello, pajamas!) but it has its risks, and while without risk there is no gain, going freelance can be a tough decision to make.
There are several reasons why I chose to go freelance, and here are the most important three.
Work for Writers is Changing
Though some may argue it has always been this way, creative departments particularly editorial, are always the first to get cut. A shifting focus on “the bottom line” or what some in Social Media call “ROI” ( or in E-Commerce, conversions), has traditional media outlets looking to get a bang for their buck.
However, an alternative take on ROI, the Risk of Indifference, is a worthy definition to underscore that writers are still very much needed. Though it might not be in a salaried position, freelancing allows writers to work closely with brands on a short or longer term basis, without being tied to one specifically. With the trend moving towards contract work and freelance positions, writers can use this to their advantage, utilize their strengths, and go where their voice and talent is most needed.
Greater Opportunity for Creativity
I, like many writers, have a whole host of interests. Some of them intersect like e-commerce and social media, while others clash like high art and questionable reality television. Freelancing with different clients better allows me to pursue all of my eclectic tastes.
I can work with small businesses, and individuals: the sky is the limit. Because I’m my own boss I can choose what projects and brands I’m willing to work with. These decisions don’t have be vetted by anyone but me, and don't require seeking approval from higher ups who may not agree that a project, brand, or company is right or fits the corporate vision.
It’s Something I’ve Always Wanted To Do
Though I work great as part of a team, I also work well as a lone wolf. I had always seen myself starting my own business, and utilizing my talent with words. While I loved my career so far, every position provided an opportunity for growth and reflection, I always wanted to go it alone.
There is no reward without risk, and when the stars finally aligned, I decided to take the plunge. Starting my freelance business, ultimately, was me finally fulfilling a long term goal.
So there you have it, my reasons for going freelance. Are you a freelancer? Share your own reasons for going freelance and your experiences in the comments. Want to learn more about me? Read my story.