Article | 05 Aug 2022

Freelancers on Freelancing with Mike Hall, Communications Strategist

Posted in PR and Communications, Freelancer, Top tips, Tools & Advice, Freelancer's stories,

‘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?

I support clients in three main areas: Public Relations strategies, content and media relations, media relations training and sustainability related communications strategy and copyrighting.

2. When did you start freelancing?

In April 2020 I started freelancing, having built what I believe was the necessary experience and expertise during a diverse communications career for large US multinationals spanning 20 years.

3. How do you get new clients?

Primarily through a network of contacts and using resources like The Work Crowd. I maintain my own list of when I had contact with prospects, what was the result of the conversation and when I should contact them again. The challenge is to always dedicate time to business development and to keep the pipeline of opportunities full – while still serving existing clients and completing projects!

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

I have an hourly rate which naturally translates into a daily rate. I often though sit down with a client or new project, evaluate the work involved and am happy to lock in a project fee if this provides transparency and budget control for both parties. Flexibility and delivering value is key.

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

My laptop (and wifi), my phone and my chocolate Labrador (to keep me grounded and remember there is more to life than just work).

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

I follow associations and organisations such as the PRCA (Public Relations & Communications Association) and EACD (European Association of Communication Directors) on obvious channels such as LinkedIn. For sustainability topics – the news and a subscription to the Financial Times is invaluable, especially the book reviews – I’m currently reading ‘Literature for a Changing Planet’ by Martin Puchner which frames the need for strong story telling about our relationship with our planet in order to help avert a climate catastrophe.

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

A lot of help in writing compelling and honest content about their sustainability journeys and progress. Media Training is also increasingly demanded as we return to more travel, meetings and trade shows post-Covid.

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

Sustainability communications expertise combined with storytelling.

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

Never miss a deadline, always deliver above expectations.

10. Describe freelancing in one word.