Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Meet the four freelancers who created something from “nothing”

Being a freelancer in todays’ volatile climate is difficult. Recent research from Fiverr, reveals that although a quarter of respondents said they had a business idea in the last 18 months, nearly 60% didn’t pursue them due to a ‘lack of resources’. But despite these challenges, quitting the 9-5, becoming your own boss and pursuing a career that you’re truly passionate about makes it all worth it – you just need to know how to make it work.

Below, are some top tips on how to successfully take the plunge into the freelance world from copywriters, SEO specialists, animators and marketers who have more than doubled their salary since joining freelancer platforms, such as Fiverr.

Georgia Austin, CopyWriter

I would advise any budding freelancer to really dig deep into their passions and find what works for them. Find a niche and stick to it: Did you enjoy writing stories as a kid? Or perhaps you always had a penchant for painting? Think about what you enjoyed during your childhood, as this is likely where you’ll revisit the activities that make you truly happy. Chances are you’re good at them too. The best part is that you can freelance for anything. Someone out there always needs your help. 

A good way to see whether freelancing is for you, is to pursue your passion as a side hustle. Be prepared to work overtime: If you’re just testing the freelance waters, it’s likely you will be side hustling alongside your 9-5 which means you’ll be working longer hours. If you really want it to work, you’d be willing to put in the extra effort to try. Trust me, the hard work does pay off.

I would recommend starting out on freelance marketplaces, such as Fiverr, because you’re thrown right into the deep end and must take on jobs that are outside your ’niche’ or comfort zone – for me, this was the best way to learn. Marketplaces also save you time and effort as leads are funnelled directly to you. When the demand for your services gets a little too much, most people would start to turn down projects. Instead, take the projects and build a team to support the demand. Don’t throw away customers for no reason.

Kirsty Nutter, Animator 

I was working full time as an animator which I loved but hated being answerable to a boss. Since discovering freelance work, I have been able to pursue my love for animation, choose my own clients, and work under my own terms – I have never looked back. In just four years on Fiverr, I am earning over £50,000 per annum. I am also able to travel the world while I work – a freedom that I used to dream of during my mundane 9-5.

I would advise anyone considering becoming a freelancer to make sure you are passionate about the service you are going to provide, as it’s important to stay self-motivated and turn up consistently for clients. Doing something you love, and are good at, makes providing a valuable service that bit easier. It also gives you the opportunity to significantly increase your income through taking on extra responsibilities, like I did. 

Since becoming a pro seller on Fiverr, I have more than doubled my income. This proves that freelance work is not an unstable career choice, as many people wrongly assume, and goes to show that if you have a strong work ethic and motivation to succeed, freelance work can give you your dream career within the environment of your choice.

Greg Cooke, Drop Shipper

Since I was a teenager, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and my success is definitely a direct result of my work ethic. If I hadn’t followed my passion and my gut instincts eight years ago and joined Fiverr, I would never have found myself earning over 500k a year and being lucky enough to travel all over the world whilst working. 

Suffering with severe dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and mild ADHD meant I struggled through the education system and found school incredibly difficult. But, through my desire to support myself from a very young age, I was determined to harness and develop my skills and use them to propel my business forward.

My advice would be to keep going until you find the right path for you and don’t just accept the traditional route of university if it’s not for you. If you have a good work ethic and you’re able to follow your passion you will always find your way. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and don’t overthink it. 

Pursue something you’re passionate about rather than being money orientated. If your only goal is to make money, you’ll never make any. When you do something that you care about, you forget about the pressures of money. Make sure passion is the foundation you build everything on. Then if you work hard at what you do you’ll be on the right track to success.

Bar Am David, Full Suite Amazon Marketing Expert 

Leaving the corporate world was one of the best decisions I ever made, but it was a huge risk. And even riskier was moving to Bali with my wife whilst only earning “pocket money” from my freelancing endeavours. 

Now six years later I’m able to work alongside my wife and watch my baby grow up in this amazing country. It is a dream come true, but it would never have been possible if I hadn’t known my worth.

When you start out as a freelancer it can be very easy to undersell yourself due to a lack of self-belief in your services. Building an attractive portfolio, investing in marketing, and trusting in the quality of your services or products is key to becoming a successful freelancer. You must sell yourself and your skills

It’s all about creating your own brand and ensuring that everything within that brand encompasses quality, efficiency, and skill. Once your brand has been established, your workload will increase, and the brand will sell itself. Positive testimonials from your clients will increase traffic to your services and so ensuring each job is done to the best of your ability, no matter the size of it, will help cut through the noise and ensure your services are top of mind to clients.