From in-house and agency side writing content to a freelance social media and brand expert, Sophie Baldwin is now adding Mumtrepreneur to her portfolio. Founder of the incredible Mum Collective, a luxury maternity and nursing clothing line, Sophie has been in the digital marketing world since 2016. Most recently she was a finalist at the National Business Women’s Awards, achieved silver in the Project Baby awards and has been featured in Living North and Baby Magazine. We chatted to Sophie about her journey to Freelance and the leap from employed to going solo.
What made you start your freelance journey?
I originally started to make a little extra money alongside my day-to-day job. It turns out there’s actually more of a demand for freelancers than I initially thought! It was one of the best decisions I made as not only has it generated more income, but it’s also pushed me to continue to educate and develop myself.
When did you know it was time to take the leap?
I don’t know if I particularly knew the time was right, it was more of a case of someone asked me to help with something and I did. From there it spiralled!
Did you still work in a permanent role?
Yes I did. I didn’t quite have the nerve to give up my regular income. But as the work started coming in more and more, it made it easier to want to step away from the everyday and take the leap of faith.
How did you find the process of setting up on your own?
To be honest, I had no clue where to even begin! The internet is a minefield of information on how to go about it. One of the first things I did was register as self-employed, which is simple enough to do on the government website. After that, I developed my website and brand presence online. From there, bits and pieces have developed over time.
What steps did you take to prepare for your freelance endeavour?
I made sure I had all the tools I needed for the work I was pitching for. For example, social media scheduling and reporting tools – these are the bread and butter of what I do! Other than that, making sure I had the right self-employed status, a bank account separate from my personal one and also some accounting software to help keep track of everything.
What resource did you find integral to your freelance success when you started out?
To be honest, invoicing and accounting software! I have a platform that automatically sends reminders to clients if their payment is coming up or their account is overdue. This has helped massively and saved me time chasing people.
What are some of your biggest bugbears about freelancing?
Clients not paying on time but being radio silent! For the most part, all my clients pay on time and are amazing, however, there are some that don’t. That’s where I would say my accounting software comes into its own!
Expectation vs Reality – How does freelancing compare to your initial expectations of striking out on your own?
I think it’s pretty on par with what I thought. I expected to hit some hurdles in terms of quieter months and payment terms, but it’s all part of the learning curve of becoming a freelancer! There are good days and bad days, but if you love a challenge and a fast-paced environment, you’ll find that freelancing could be for you.