This month we interviewed Henrietta Broadway. Freelancing has been Henrietta’s side hustle for over three years until November 2020, where the pandemic gave her the push into going full-time self-employed.
After graduating from Fashion Merchandise Management at The University of Westminster in 2017, I landed my first e-commerce job with my favourite luxury fashion brand - Peter Pilotto. After my years contract, I pursued a career in sports, particularly cycling which I have a personal passion for. I worked in house for a start-up e-bike company for 2 years where I learnt a lot about designing and implementing marketing and e-commerce from the ground up. During this time, I started my side hustle in freelancing in the hope that one day it would become my main source of income.
During the hardship of the pandemic, I was sadly made redundant but this change in circumstances gave me the push to drive my freelancing forward. Now, I am fortunate to work with a handful of clients on an ad hoc and ongoing basis where I am designing, implementing, and analysing various digital marketing and growth strategies.
Technically on paper just over 3 years, however full time since November 2020.
It was not a conscious decision at the time, it happened out of circumstance. However, I always knew that I wanted to be self-employed. Whilst I was at University, I was always thinking about growing my network, obtaining as many internships and other qualifications as possible to give me a rounded skill set that I could apply to multiple industries.
I love the satisfaction of working with clients and delivering on their goals and expectations, it is so much more satisfying than working in a 9-5 role. Plus, I like the fact that I can work anywhere in the world as I have a passion for travel, hopefully post COVID travel restrictions I can take advantage of that!
The Work Crowd has been the backbone to a lot of my recent success. There are many platforms which offer a similar concept, matching freelancers with clients. However, The Work Crowd attracts clients that closely align with my experience and skill set plus their initial vetting process ensures that the client is serious about finding a freelancer for the job.
I think The Work Crowd offers great support for freelancers in that they present your profile in a clean and professional manner to globally based clients. But probably more importantly, TWC supports the freelancers with contracts and invoicing. One of the biggest concerns I had when going freelance was the terms of payments. I read a lot of horror stories about freelancers not getting paid by clients after delivering the work. TWC takes all that stress away, so I can stay focused on building the relationship with the client and delivering my best work knowing that I will be paid.
Even though I did not really experience the world of freelance before the lockdown, I have to say it is currently an extremely exciting time to be a freelancer. As the UK has been opening up out of lockdown, many businesses are open to working with freelancers as working from home has become the norm and office-based staff is no longer seen as essential for obtaining solid results. It seems there is a lot of trust in freelancers and that businesses view the flexible working nature of freelancing an asset.
I have worked on a total of three projects from TWC. All three, quite different from each other, although all surrounding the digital marketing realm. Two roles were very project focused with a clear end goal, i.e.; content creation for a newly released Norwegian digital concert and the second, to system set up an integration between a CRM database and Mailchimp. The third has potential for an ongoing relationship building on the brand awareness and marketing efforts to boost sales.
I really enjoy the variety of work, it means that every day I have unique projects to work on which keeps me on my toes, learning new things and broadening my reach.
I think the main piece of advice would be to give yourself time to continuously learn. I think it is important to learn theory but also practical case studies too.
In the down time I stay busy by learning theory via online courses, attending digital events (actually, TWC have great ones and the Dubai one was interesting!), reading whitepapers and thought leadership posts by industry leaders (MailChimp’s blog is a great one).
I also follow several different brands and watch how their marketing evolves over time, I keep a note of the things I like and can use that for benchmarking in the future.
I think that continuously learning the theory and practical side of the industry really helped me get my confidence and bring new ideas to the table when pitching to clients, especially as the practise of digital marketing is constantly changing and evolving.
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