How I Became Freelance in the Media Industry
I have never wanted a typical 9-5 Monday - Friday office job and even when I did have one it was very much hands on with 50% sitting at a desk the other 50% out and about. Ironically though I do also love sitting at a computer preparing events, documents, or when I have designed graphics and writing this blog. I think it is all about balance which is why I love being freelance. The ability to pick and choose what I do. One week it might be office heavy but the next could be preparing a festival. Its all about variation.
"Creating a brand was crucial to becoming a successful freelancer."
So I started my career in a zero hours contract, it's not quite freelance as I worked for one company but I could choose my hours. I worked for a radio station, in the events team. I was the face of the brand, out and about. At only 16 this was perfect as I could continue going to college. It was also ideal as I met so many people. From presenters to event co-ordinators, marketing managers to agencies. I used this opportunity to the best I could talking to anyone and everyone. Generally getting my name out there. Which is how I got one of my favourite freelance gigs as featured in the photo above. As one of the radio's clients, they got to know me and I always put in 110% effort when we worked for them which meant when they needed an extra pair of hands I was there to help. I continued this, moving to a different radio and progressing to a higher role. As I felt I needed to be 'taught the trade', I couldn't offer my services as freelance if I had no idea what to do so I did get a more permanent placement for a year where I really grew my profession.
While in that job I began to build this, at that point I didn't even have a 'brand' as such, I just did it for some extra cash and extra experience. However, the opportunities I was getting started to build, I started presenting and needed a name which is where I developed Katie Lou in to something to cover everything. It was already my blog name so why not extend it. Creating a brand was crucial to becoming freelance.
Since then, as I have taken it more seriously and it has become one of my main sources of income I couldn't rely on people coming to me with work so I went to them. I sent out emails to my contacts and then to companies I found through them about any events they had in the future or general opportunities sharing what I had done in the past that I could do for them improving there outcome. I even offered my services for free so I could gain that trust with brands and the chance to impress in turn working for them in the future. It all depended on the circumstance. Sometimes, it doesn't work but other times you can be surprised. I also got my brand out there a little more. For example, this blog, social media and giving out business cards at any chance that arrived.
"It's all about grabbing an opportunity with both hands"
I have also never said no. The reason for this is because some of the jobs I have looked forward to less have been some of the best opportunities I have ever done. I have learnt so much from them and gained a lot. I have also found it's all about trying new things.
This is just my journey, and a very short one so far. Everyone has different experiences so please let me know any tips or even if you have any questions.