Monday, 21 July 2014

Hi diddle dee dee - a freelance life for me

I've been enjoying the Jelly events being held monthly in Burton-on-Trent - I blogged about the launch event here - and I'm hoping to get across to the Stafford Jelly when work allows. 

Jelly is an opportunity for small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs to come together and work alongside each other. It's a chance for people who often work in isolation to bounce ideas off others and seek a bit of advice and support if needed. For more about Jelly - and why it's called Jelly, see here.

Pic by David Finch Photography, at LoveBurton Jelly
When I have a freelance assignment to do - perhaps researching and writing content, blog posts or newsletters for businesses and organisations - I can pick up my laptop and work from anywhere with wi-fi. I enjoy a change of scenery from time to time because I find it really sparks off new, creative ideas. I've always been fascinated by the origins of words - and freelance is a particularly interesting word.

Did you know that the term was first used to describe medieval mercenary warriors who wielded lances as weapons? The term 'free lances', or 'free-lances', did not mean that they worked free of charge - but indicated that they were not committed to the service of just one master. Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe novel contains one of the earliest surviving references to 'free lances'. 

For me, being freelance has brought me great freedom to do the work I love best. I enjoy working with companies and organisations where I can make a real difference. It also gives them freedom to use my services, skills and ability when they need me - rather than having me on their payroll as a full time member of staff.I love the fact that every day of my working life is different - and I am delighted that events such as Jelly have helped me meet other freelancers and business owners who offer services that I can recommend to my clients who need photography, graphic design, media liaison and other assistance that I don't provide.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Choosing the right social media tools for the job

"We've got an event coming up this Friday. We're going to set up a Twitter account to promote it."

"We want to gather feedback from a small group of our employees - so we're going to set up a Facebook Page."

Over recent years social media platforms have evolved, and some of those changes have been driven by the way people have used them, but there are things that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and the rest are designed to do - and then there are things that they are definitely NOT designed to do.

I'm all in favour of being inventive and creative when it comes to using social media to engage, promote and help others, but you wouldn't use a chainsaw to take the lid off a tub of ice cream (unless it had been a REALLY bad day) and equally you should choose the right platform for the audience you want to reach and the time you have available to get your message across.

If you want a chat about using social media more effectively, do get in touch (ice cream optional).