Posted in Freelancer, Top tips, Tools & Advice, Motivation & inspiration, Freelancer's stories, Interview,
For our next freelance spotlight series, we're showcasing our award-winning freelancers to celebrate their achievements and the outstanding work they do in supporting businesses globally!
Sophia Ahrel is a fractional CMO and growth strategist, and category winner of the TWC Freelancer of the Year Award in Marketing. Sophia has been freelancing for more than 20 years, working alongside tech investors, boards and entrepreneurial leadership teams on their exciting growth journeys. She shares with us her secrets to success, and her top tips for winning new business and a successful freelancing career.
Can you provide us with a brief insight into what you do?
I am a fractional CMO and growth strategist working in partnership with early stage and scaleups to raise capital, build brand strategy to reach new audiences and markets globally. For the past 10 years I have advised founders, leadership teams and boards of fast growth ventures and businesses that with a purpose or impact agenda.
What are your top tips for winning new business?
How do you effectively manage your client relationships?
Are there any tools you wouldn’t do without?
Strategy collaboration tools that are fundamental to my work:
Visualisation tools to make sure reports, strategy docs + data hit the spot:
What are your top tips for success?
Establish yourself and your sweet spot – be an expert don’t try do everything.
Be honest – with yourself and your clients.
Keep your capacity at 70-80% of your time – allow for slack and admin time
Build your eco system of agency partners that you can draw upon when you need to.
Make sure you have fun – freelancing can be tough and lonely at times!
How do you manage your work-life balance as a freelancer?
Freelancing /interim work is usually intense and you are expected to deliver value from day one.
For the past 4 years, I started my 3 day weekend – which means most Fridays I don’t have client meetings, instead I spend time doing what I love. Even if it is sometimes attend a webinar or a conference or write about things I’m passionate about, like women in tech. I try have lunch with friends/colleagues on Fridays to mark the end of the week.
What advice would you give your less knowledgeable self?
Learn to say NO more often.