We have all heard the stories about the flexibility of freelancing and the headache of corporate. While both may be true, there is something to be said about each path. I mean, if you really wanna do it right, you can combine the two and have the best of both worlds.
I’m a multi-media professional: Digital marketer, journalist, correspondent, content curator, social media strategist, and author—I have a wide range of skills that I have obtained, over a period of time. I didn’t even realize until 2017 that I actually do so much. But, I just now figured out how to combine everything and still remain flexible.
I started off in corporate in 2010, immediately after graduating from THEE Jackson State University. I would move to MO and start in advertising sales, and I completely hated the job and location. So, I was able to transfer within the company and found my sweet spot in ad operations.
First of all, no one knows what the hell ad operations is. I won’t even bore you, lmao! Essentially, once a digital campaign is sold, I am responsible for making sure the campaign is trafficked and optimized correctly, in order to fulfill the desires of the advertiser. In a nutshell, I analyze data and assets to make sure everything works correctly–a major component of digital marketing.
After six years in corporate, I decided I wanted to become a full-time entrepreneur, which was a blessing. Fast forward to now, I had an opportunity to still be a freelancer and gain a contract with a major media publication. So, here I am. Back in the corporate world but with as a freelancer and I still have my own business.
Here’s how I did it.
- What useful skills do you have? Out of all of the skills you have acquired, what skill(s) do you have that can really help transform a company? It doesn’t have to be anything that makes history. But, it needs to streamline what they’re already doing and make it more efficient and easier for them
- Pitch yourself to a company: The goal is to be an asset to a company, even if it is even in a small way. The little I do actually goes a long way. If I was not QA’n, so much data would be lost and could potentially pose a problem. No, I don’t handle five accounts but I do help with the foundation that keeps the account running smoothly. Whatever your sweet spot is make that a way of life, in the corporate world.
- Have you applied? I actually applied for this contract position before I knew it was a contract position or who the employer was. There are several job boards (Zip Recruiter, Indeed, Monster) that have flexible positions available. If you don’t apply, how in the hell are you going to find an opp?
- Research: Be sure you understand what’s going on in your industry. Sometimes as a freelancer, you can be a bit out-of-date with what’s going on in the corp world, which is the standard of all industries. Hell, they changed the name of the program I use and I didn’t know. So, I had to update myself with name change, UI (user interface), and etc. So, be sure to be abreast and know who you’re actually pitching to.
- Become an expert: I’m not good at everything. But, I am good at what I’m good at. Hell, we all have weaknesses. But, let your strengths be so strong that you’re still seen as an asset.
- Transferable skills: If you’re someone who organizes events, trips, and etc, you are probably good at project management. You may not call it that but that’s exactly what it is. Every company has a project manager–hospital, event company, and media companies. So, don’t box yourself in. Same skills, different data.
As a freelancer, I love what I do. I have flexibility, guaranteed coin, and I am learning so much that I can even use in my own business. A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t think that I would have a corporate client but I technically do. I’m able to do what I love corporately and in my own personal business, as a lifestyle journalist and thought leader.
Don’t get so caught up on self-employment looking one way. It can be B2B or B2C. Don’t be afraid to venture out. After all, the desire is to gain a corporate client so you can work with ease. Let’s be real, working with small business owners is a hassle at times. Ain’t nothing like what’s guaranteed.