Friday, August 25, 2017

Martyn Pepperell dropping wisdom on the freelance life and how to survive

My mate Martyn Pepperell (writer /DJ/broadcaster/cool cat) got interviewed by K Rd venue Neck of the Woods last month for their blog, ahead of his DJ slot at their monthly night The Boog.

It's pretty amusing seeing Martyn being on the receiving end of questions, cos he's used to being the interviewer, not the interviewee. He said lotsa smart stuff, but I dug this solid advice on survival for aspiring creatives, in any field...

I know a lot of young creatives entering the freelance world today struggle with the budgets, deadlines, and competition. What advice would you give to them based on what you have learned over the last ten years?

MP: This whole thing definitely isn't easy, and the landscape looked very different ten years ago. I've had to evolve, adapt, diversify, and really stretch myself at times. Some years have been harder than others. This year has been okay, but I've also been sick three times this winter, which is pretty stressful when you're freelancing.

I suppose the main things I'd say is this: don't be afraid of having some kind of part-time job alongside doing freelance creative work, or even just doing it on the evenings and weekends while you have a day job. Having the title of being a freelancer isn't worth it if you're stressed out, broke, and behind.

That being said, if you absolutely have to do it, save up a chunk of money first, that way you'll have a buffer. Try to find ways to minimalise your living expenses as well, that's a key. In terms of the actual work, be professional, communicate clearly, meet your deadlines (or at least explain why you aren't going to be meeting them, and when you can hand your work in).

Also, stay open to feedback and critique, and don't be afraid of regularly pitching and presenting yourself to prospective clients. The work isn't going to turn up if you don't ask for it sometimes."

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