From freelance to freelance-remote: the next stage of my journey

The shift towards remote and hybrid provides an exciting opportunity for professionals to reshape the contours of their working lives

The webcam office seems entrenched as the future of work. Photo: PX Here.

I posted recently to my LinkedIn profile that I’m beginning the next evolution of my journey through self-employment (I’ll shortly be hitting the three year milestone!).

Although I’ll have to be murky and refrain from offering too many details, I’m joining a team on a remote and most-time basis (note: that term is my invention for an arrangement that’s reasonably close to full time).

Freelancing has been an extremely exciting journey to date.

While the hours are exhausting and I’ve occasionally pulled out small patches of hair in frustration (NET 90!?), I’ve slowly grown my income since I set out doing this.

It’s also given me the opportunity to work with clients from many different countries which has also been a very interesting experience.

I’m based in Israel and have become a huge advocate for doing business internationally (really … it’s not hard). It — and remote and hybrid work setups — are the way forward. Or so I believe.

Over the last year and a half of freelancing, I’ve been focusing on two business challenges.

Anybody following my Freelance Writing publication here on Medium has probably read my thoughts around them:

  • How do I get clients to understand that I can do a lot more than writing? Solution: expand my service offering and sell it to clients.
  • How do I make the marketing and sales side of things less time-consuming? Inbound marketing has taken a lot of the pressure off my pipeline development (I haven’t done outbound prospecting in over a year). But I still spend a significant amount of time talking to leads — and nurturing them — to make sure that my book of business remains full and anybody that leaves is replaced … ideally before everything falls apart at the seams.

How do I feel about the next step in this evolution?

Firstly, and most importantly, I’m excited to be working with an organization whose mission statement I believe in and to which I believe I can make a positive contribution.

I’m excited to be stepping up the collaborative aspects of teamwork that are less prominent in freelancing. As anyone who has done both will tell you (I worked in-house before taking up freelancing) working with other professionals can be more rewarding than working for an account manager or client.

I’m also excited to be joining a team that believes in the power of remote (and hybrid). In fact, facilitating that for other organizations is a part of its service offering.

I’m also extremely excited that I will be spending more time working on the type of work I enjoy doing and less time on business development, invoicing, and all the other bits and pieces that go into making a full time freelancing business keep ticking over.

Having built an inbound lead pipeline is great — it took an entire summer of creating landing pages and optimizing a website for SEO. But I’ll be stepping back a little from all those Zoom calls and emails because .. my bandwidth has almost been reached.

This will also hopefully give me a little bit more ability to set up a proper work life balance. I’m currently having enormous fun learning the ropes of making videos by starting a YouTube channel.

While there are challenges inherent in freelancing, I also believe that this is a great time to be interested in self-employment and remote and hybrid work.

There’s a tremendous openness at the moment on the part of organizations to explore creative ways to develop and retain optimal teams for their businesses — rather than those available from a specific locality, with its nexus as “the office.”

This creates a huge opportunity for professionals to reshape the traditional contours of their professional lives. And to live wherever works best for their life — and not just for their career.

As a freelance-remote hybrid, I’m excited, along with so many others, to be navigating these exciting new changes first-hand.

Marketing communications consultant interested in tech, Linux, ADHD, beer, async, and remote work (in no particular order).