Tell me about yourself. What is your chosen area of freelance?
I focus on social strategy and marketing planning. From organic social media to paid advertising and web copy, I help build consistent brand presence for businesses to enhance their growth. I also work with bot creation and web design. I am passionate about personal and professional growth. I love helping small businesses realize they can harness the power of social media and use a little bit of money behind ads with amazing results. I have moved a lot in the past 4 years (5 cities!) with my partner. His job has shifted a lot and it’s made us really adaptable and minimal.
What made you take the leap from regular employment to working for yourself?
Not feeling fulfilled with my full-time role, I started working on the side to find passion projects and to grow my skills. When my entire division what shut down and I suddenly found myself unemployed, I figured "why not!" and have been freelancing full time ever since.
What tools do you find indispensable to complete your daily tasks?
Aside from social platforms and Gmail, I love Google Analytics to drive my decisions. Planning wise, I use Asana and AndCo to manage and track my time. Canva helps me create content quickly and Grammarly helps me be my own editor. I love testing new editing apps and tools but cloud-based products like Dropbox, Google Keep, and iCloud storage are vital for me.
How do you structure your days?
I am 100% a night owl, so I plan for my morning to be soft. Filled with reading industry news, sharing and interacting on social media and other light tasks. In the afternoon it is head-down writing and strategizing. Evening is reserved for time with my partner, even if we're both working side by side, but always a little Netflix and a good chat before bed. Our Frenchton helps make sure I take regular walk breaks during the day.
What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
Criticism of your work is not criticism of you personally. You can't be right all the time, so be open to listening to feedback to help you grow.
How many years have you been in business?
Running a biz, just over a year. In the industry for 8.
Do you have any lofty goals for 2019? What are they?
This year I plan to move to Toronto, ON, so making that happen is priority #1! I also want to get involved in a panel or as a speaker at a conference.
Do you have routines that you follow to keep your mental health in check?
My dog helps! He requires a lot of exercise so he get me outside. He loves attention from new people so he makes sure I get plenty of human interaction even though I work from home. Also making regular dates to work at cafes, libraries or restaurants ensures I don't get too hermit-y. I use the gym for self-care. Lifting weights or HIIT cardio is a great way to burn negative energy so you can get back to focusing on the positives.
Do you work and travel? Where have you been while freelancing?
Not yet! The past 2 years have been all trips for various weddings!
What are the hardest parts of freelancing?
Isolation and constant pitching. I often felt alone when first transitioning from office life to freelance. Now I have a better handle on making sure I stay connected with peers via Slack, Facebook Groups and Instagram. Constantly pitching yourself can be rough, especially hearing 'no' or getting ghosted (which happens SO OFTEN!!) It's a grind in the beginning but it helps build resiliency.
Anything else you have to say?! Do it!
It was really difficult to decide to go all in on freelance, but there is SO MUCH SUPPORT out there if you look for it. People are really excited to help you out and to share with you if you are honest and genuine and willing to put in the work to grow.
What are your most favorite things about freelance work?
Flexibility! You can choose who you work with and ensure they share your values and vision.
Sarah is the founder of Nimble Hippo, a boutique marketing agency. She founded Nimble Hippo out of a desire to help brands find success online. With a history of propelling brands to great heights, she started an agency to bring the power of a large agency into the hands of smaller businesses. Find Sarah on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook here.