Disclaimer: This article was originally posted on the old site and transferred over to this one, hence the source link at the bottom. However, it's still full of awesome content so enjoy!
A Little Bit of Background...
Some time ago, let's say a year, I decided I wanted to go into freelancing. That was all well and good, but nobody told me that just because you decide you’re going to do something, it’s just going to happen.
I know, you’re thinking, no shit, sherlock. Well, hear me out.
Months went by and I wasn’t getting anywhere. To be fair, I wasn’t doing anything to get anywhere. I just kept working my day job and telling people, “I want to be a freelancer on the side!” You can guess how far that got me (hint: nowhere).
Finally, I decided to kick myself in the ass and get started doing what I was telling people I was doing. Boy, let me tell you, that’s much easier said than done. It's hard to admit, but they had it at least partially right when they said millennials often expect things to just happen.
The thing is, that’s not what’s happening anymore.
Getting Kicked in the Ass Can Do Wonders
Since kicking myself in the rear (although not literally – I’m not that flexible), I have applied to a number of freelance content marketing sites like WriterAccess and BlogMutt. I was denied to a few of them, but that’s okay. A crucial part of this process is learning how to get back up when you get pushed down. Don't worry though, I'm working on the approval process with one site that I think will really be promising!
Just because I’m waiting for a profile review on one site doesn’t mean I’m just sitting around hoping they’ll get around to me eventually. I decided I wanted to start writing for other people ASAP. I want to build my portfolio, and more importantly, offer my services to people who need them.
Taking The Next Steps
I went to brunch with a marketing friend this past Sunday (did you know Claim Jumper has $4 bottomless mimosas??) and talked to her about how I’m trying to get into freelance. I explained everything I’ve been doing to get started, and we came to the conclusion that I should look into a bartering app, or a place where I could exchange my services for someone else’s (instead of money).
Since this was such a fantastic idea, I drove home (after sobering up with french toast and chocolate-covered strawberries, of course) and immediately started researching this idea. Was it really possible, in this day and age, to exchange a service for another service? I quickly discovered that, in fact, it is very possible.
This is when I came upon Simbi – a super awesome website where you can exchange your services with someone else. However, if you’re not interested in their services, you don’t have to say no. Instead, you can collect Simbi, which is a form of currency which you can exchange for someone else’s services. For example, if I write a blog for someone who’s good at carpenting but I don’t currently need their services, they can just pay me 30 Simbi which I can go and use to pay for salsa dancing lessons (insert dancing emoji here).
That, my friends, is how I came upon my first client. As of time of writing (February 22nd, 2017), I have officially finished my first piece for a client, and it feels good.
Making Changes, Taking Names
This is the first part of a topic about how I am kicking myself in the ass this year. No, but really. I’m spending this year seeing how far I can push myself past my limits, all in the name of improving my life.
At the beginning of the year, I realized how unhappy I was at the current status of my life. I’m working long hours, hanging out at home 85% of the time (to be fair, I do work from home), and all-in-all just feeling stuck. I am currently in the progress of "un-stucking" myself - so stay in tuned for the next topic in this series of pushing myself to the next step!
Ashley Hoffman is a creative marketing professional who specializes in digital marketing with an emphasis on content marketing. She has experience in the fashion, pet and marketing industries and loves good books, awesome design, and caffeinated hot drinks.
Find her on Twitter: @ashhmarketing