Article | 23 Mar 2022

Freelancers on Freelancing with Lindsay Ford, Public Affairs and Communications Consultant

Posted in PR and Communications, Freelancer, Top tips, Tools & Advice, Learning,

‘Freelancers on Freelancing’ is our latest series in which our freelance community share insights on how they operate, charge and the tools they use for a successful freelancing career. 

1. What’s your area of expertise?

Public affairs, stakeholder communications and policy.

2. When did you start freelancing?

After ten years in the sector I wanted to try my hand at freelancing - but took the full-time leap March 2020 just as the pandemic happened. So it was a steep learning curve, but the timing had its advantages to prove my theory that remote freelancers can boost a client’s in-house teams. It's been a mix of longer and short-term contracts- so leaping in to help fill comms gaps as well as strategic expertise.

3. How do you get new clients?

Word of mouth referrals, but the Work Crowd is a great way of getting interesting briefs to pitch for!

4. How do you charge? (Project/Day/hourly?)

Mostly day rate - but sometimes project fees for time-specific campaigns.

5. What tools could you not live without as a freelancer?

Spreadsheets! And Twitter and Hansard!

6. How to keep in the know about the latest industry trends?

I attend online seminars and have a bunch of valued contacts I stay in touch with. Networking, even if virtual, is a huge part of my services.

7. What services are your clients asking for in 2022?

It really varies! Lots of comms and external affairs planning as well as stakeholder mapping.  

8. What skills do you think will be most in-demand this year?

Westminster is never quiet, and one must always react. The year started with post-pandemic policy challenges, but things changed quickly. From covid recovery to war and humanitarian concerns, domestic economic challenges…and now the start of the 2 year countdown to the next election! So, expect a lot of strategic campaign planning - and vital messaging development for cut through with decision-makers.

9. What’s your top tip to maintain happy clients?

Communicate clearly from the outset; set up a plan of deliverables and contract of work, and always keep talking as the project goes on.

10. Describe freelancing in one word

Balance