While I’m by no means a career coach, I’ve had my fair share of different pathways over the last 10 years – everything from fashion PR and corporate marketing to glossy magazines and an award-nominated blog. And while I’m still figuring it out, I’ve experienced ALOT, both good and bad, that has definitely equipped me to dish out some advice!
How do I secure my first client after shaking things up?
If you’re going in a new direction I’d say make sure you have a very clear brand before you approach anyone. Be 100% certain of your message, what you want to achieve and what you’re all about. When you’re ready, make a list of everyone you want to target but make sure they’re a perfect fit for your new aesthetic. Then, be super enthusiastic in your approach. Reach out to them, briefly tell them about this exciting new direction, how it’s different, why you decided to shake things up and how this will benefit them.
How do you deal with a nightmare boss?
Well, I definitely have some experience in this area! I think the most important thing is to keep it nice. You want to keep things as pleasant as you can for as long as you can because things become very uncomfortable very quickly if not! The first step is to try and reason with them – set up a meeting and find out what their deal is basically! In a professional way of course. Is there something you’re doing that could be better or is it just a personality clash?
If that fails, get support. It’s easy and awful to feel alone against a big company so try to speak to an HR officer or another superior. If you can’t bring anyone on board in the workplace, don’t be helpless – equip yourself with knowledge. Phone citizens advice (they’re so helpful and lovely) or, if it’s escalated, get some legal advice – there are lots of workplace solicitors online that will give you the first hour free over the phone.
We spend too much time at work for it to be unpleasant. Companies and bosses are intimidating and can often feel like they have all the power but actually, you have more than you think, it’s just about figuring out how to use it.
How do you build contacts?
Building contacts will be the most valuable thing you ever do for your career. I’m incredibly proud to have a full contacts book that I’ve built up for nearly a decade – it’s led to jobs, opportunities and friendships. It takes time, I won’t lie but it’s so important. Luckily, with all the online tools at our disposal, we can stay in touch with people constantly so if there are certain people you want to get the attention of, follow them on Instagram, engage with their content (in a non-stalky way!) and get to know them through that.
Then when you do email them, you could say: “how are you? Your holiday to Dubai looked amazing! I’m coming to London next week and would love to meet up for a coffee to talk about how we can work together…” It instantly gets their attention and shows you’ve taken the time to be interested.
It’s also about staying n touch. Face-to-face meetings or phone calls are always better than emails. You’ll be remembered and can really show your personality better. Also, make sure you check in with them on the regular to see how they are, what they’re working on etc – not just when you want something! And lastly – show up. Although it’s not always possible, events are amazing opportunities to network, talk to as many people and show that you’re willing to put the effort in. I have a handful of contacts I speak to all the time and some only occasionally but before long, you’ll have a group of really connected contacts.
Do you suffer from freelance fear and how do you get over it?
Oh my goodness yes. Not so much now but the first year of freelancing was terrifying. I had all these goals and ideas and had no idea what to do with them or how to structure my day. But, it’s OK. Lean into it, don’t fight it or feel guilty, these things take time. For me, I’ve found that I need to create a working day like you would in an office. Get up at the same time every morning, have a show, do your make-up or hair and most definitely get dressed!
I’m constantly updating my to-do list so I have direction in the day, I schedule lunch, a workout and emails in the evening. In the beginning, it’s all about building contacts and getting your name out there. I’m not sure what ‘field’ of work you’re in but start searching for freelance job sites (there are so many) and put an email alert so when new jobs come in, you’ll know about it. Your confidence will grow with every commission and job you get but you have to be proactive – it’s competitive and there’ll be a lot of rejection but you’ll quickly learn how to bounce back and not take it personally.
How did you go from employment to self employed?
I wrote a blog post on this HERE. I actually left a year sooner than I’d planned too (long story!) which was stressful, so I’d definitely say, get your ducks in a row beforehand. Save up around 3-6months worth of your monthly outgoings first because it’s rare that you’ll get jobs straight off the bat. Build contacts and perhaps do work on the side (if you can, be careful of contracts!) for as long as you can before you hand your notice in.
I wrote my notice and dated it two months in advance which was such a good move as it gave me a deadline and really spurred me on to take the plunge.
How do you make money?
Probably the most asked question I get, and I completely understand why. The content creating industry is still in its infancy and we’re all trying to figure it out as we go. So, I’m not surprised that a lot of people, unless you’re in it, don’t quite….get it. I wrote a big blog post on it HERE but the short version is this. I make money from
This is when a brand approaches me and asks me to partner with them to promote something that they’ve launched or are selling. It could be a pair of trainers, a new moisturiser or a whole collection. I will never partner with a brand that a) I don’t like/believe in/would wear myself. I only want to work with companies that are a good fit for me, for you and that I really love. It’s a huge honour to be asked to take part in a sponsored post and the sad thing is, everyone knows it’ll get the lowest engagement because people don’t like ads. But for us, it’s how we earn a living and it’s an incredibly proud moment for us.
These are links provided by a brand or a third party (like RewardStyle) for products that we share with our audience. If you buy that product using the link, the content creator will get a small percentage of that sale. You don’t pay any more.
Sometimes a brand will ask me to create content for them that is purely for them. I don’t feature it anywhere on my platforms but they might like my style, how I shoot and edit so will ask me to photograph some bits that they can use on their social media pages.
As well as blogging and instagramming, I’m also a freelance writer. I write (mainly) beauty and wellness features for publications such as Glamour, Tatler, YOU magazine and Women’s Health. People ask if I’d rather do just one but I love how different both jobs are and unless it becomes totally unmanageable, I’ll carry on both for as long as I can!
What’s the best and worse thing about being an influencer?
I don’t think I’d call myself an influencer (see why HERE) but the best things are creating my own business, being creative, pushing myself out of my comfort zones and all of those are making me a stronger person. The worst is that it can be quite competitive, for my own sanity I have to put a lid on that comparison trap and imposter syndrome (more about that HERE and HERE) but more than anything, it’s exciting to see the possibilities. I have zero expectations, I’m just here for the ride!
What does an average day look like?
Everyday is very different depending on what work I have on. If I’m in London, it’ll be a full day of events and meetings, maybe a press dinner before collapsing in bed! If I’m at home, I get up at 7am, get ready for the day, plan my outfits and looks if I’m shooting something. If I’m having a desk day I’ll put on a motivational playlist, send briefs out to experts for a feature, research possible ideas for features, write blog posts and just always try to think ahead to the next thing.
How do you arrange your Instagram?
I try not to be too precious about my Instagram but I’m a very visual person so I use the Mosaico app to plan the grid and make sure colours roughly compliment each other. I do a mixture of fashion, beauty and lifestyle shots and use apps like Lightroom and VSCO to edit images using filters like A6, S2 or M5.