Having worked in agencies in marketing roles for the majority of my career I set up my consultancy business with a view to continue to support a breadth of agencies. Since going self-employed four months ago I have had the pleasure of working with a range of consultancies from start-ups to more established businesses looking to reach new audiences or diversify their services.
However, what I was not prepared for was to find myself with a side-hustle to my core business almost as soon as I started. Somewhat surprisingly, I now have two not-for-profit clients; an incredible inclusion charity, Blueprint for All and an Arts Council England supported music festival, Festival of the Artisan.
I would never have gone out to specifically find this type of work. Not because I didn’t want to work for these clients, but because I never would’ve thought they’d have wanted me. The impostor in me said that they would require specialists with previous experience of doing exactly what they needed. But how wrong I was.
I fell into working with these not-for-profits having done some pro-bono work for one and having an existing friendship with one of the founders of the other. The experience of working out of my comfort zone has brought inspiration to me and a refreshing new approach to them.
Blueprint for All, formerly Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, is an inclusion charity based in South East London, they love the fact that I bring a different perspective and can suggest approaches from other industries. Together, we work out how to make it work for them.
After the year we’ve had, who wouldn’t want to work on promoting a live-streamed music festival? I pointed out to the organisers that my experience was almost exclusively B2B marketing – and they didn’t even blink. They wanted to work with someone they trusted could get the job done, quickly and understood instantly my skills were transferable.
I am grateful to work for these two not-for-profits so early into my self-employed journey. They’ve have shown me that not only are my skills transferable but that actually, hiring out of industry or specialism can actually be a huge benefit. If there is a client I want to work with or a project I think I can make an impact on, nothing like a little bit of impostor syndrome will stop me now.
Providing marketing services for agencies will always be my core business. I love our industry and could never turn my back on it. However, I also love that my experience and relationships are now opening doors I had never expected to find. I’m still at the beginning of my freelance career but if the first four months are anything to go by, I am excited to see what the rest will bring.