Freelance life 2021: Successes and some failures

2021 has been a busy year, a fun year and a challenging year as a freelancer. There have been successes…and some failures.

A rollercoaster of a year (I like rollercoasters mostly) Photo by Jack O’Rourke on Unsplash

January kicked off at a cracking pace which was encouraging and while there have been a couple of quieter spells it’s been my busiest year yet.

Am I closer to ironing out the peaks and troughs? I have had spells of working weekends which I want to stamp out but, yes, I think the workflow is getting a little bit more even.

As well as a lot of repeat business, I’ve added to my stable of clients and a new service: Podcast hosting.

It’s giving me a broader base from which to draw work. And when the workflow does start to quieten I find myself feeling less anxious about it. Which is definitely a success.

Part of that is having a better understanding of marketing and putting the work in on that side of the business. Consistency is the key and that’s something I’ve definitely got good at.

Failure to launch

I did a podcasting course at the beginning of the year with a view to starting my own podcast. The course was fab but I haven’t managed to launch the podcast yet. Which is one of my failures this year.

Audio is a medium I love and I want to develop a new content channel which is why I’m determined to make it happen in 2022.

I have started recording the first few episodes so it is definitely a work in progress.

An unexpected result

While the course was to develop my own skills, as a result of talking about it, I got asked to host podcasts for two clients. That’s been huge fun and another learning experience.

Aside from not starting my own podcast there was one other failure: Not setting up an email list and newsletter.

Part of the reason for getting into the habit of blogging regularly was so I could start a newsletter.

I ran into technical problems setting it up so I hired someone to walk me through it. Since then I’ve been too busy to finish the job.

Progress of sorts

But at least I know what I’m doing now and that is a top goal for next year year. The aim is to use it to help promote the podcast.

It’s an important channel in it’s own right because it isn’t victim to the vageries of algorithms. While I still love LinkedIn and get a lot from it, organic reach is getting harder.

In-person events were back in the second half of the year. While I’ve moderated webinars during lockdown, it’s not the same. You pick up more from body language and tone being in the same room.

The scary challenge?

Another first was hosting a half day conference. While I’ve chaired plenty of panels and roundtables, I’ve never done full blown hosting duties. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be and another great experience.

So that’s some of the highs and lows of the year and I wanted to finish off with some numbers, partly out of my own curiosity to tot a few things up:

👂🏻 51 interviews for articles and thought leader pieces

🙋‍♀️ 7 events moderated (in-person/online)

📚 6 training work shops

🎙10 podcast episodes hosted

🏆 6 award entries written for clients

💻 37 blog posts written (including this one)

🐦 2 wood pigeon invasions (they walked through the open window)

🫖 723 cups of green tea consumed while working (guesstimate)

Thanks for reading and have a great Christmas break however you choose to spend it.

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