Our latest Featured Freelancer is Rebecca Scambler. Rebecca started her journey as a part-time freelancing graphic designer alongside her publishing career until 2012 where she turned her side gig into a full-time job. How did Rebecca handle the move from being an employee to being her own boss? Read on to find out…
What is your name and what do you do?
Hi, my name is Rebecca Scambler and I am a graphic designer.
How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer?
I have freelanced alongside a career in publishing for the past 20 years but have been a full-time freelancer since 2012.
What strategy do you find most effective for attracting new clients?
What app or social media platform could you not run your business without, and why?
My accounting software make life so much easier, I use Freshbooks as it comes with everything I need.
Do you research prospects before a call or meeting? If so, what information do you look for?
I always research a client before meeting, I will look at their website, if they have one, and their professional social media profiles (not personal ones unless they are one and the same) to get a sense of the business, how they currently market themselves, who their competitors are and who their potential clients are likely to be.
What do you do to help maintain positive mental wellbeing?
I always switch off my email from Friday evening until Sunday evening in order to spend the weekend with my daughter and not have work dictate events. I like to read, keep active and always try and keep the pressures of the work that I do in perspective.
Is being a freelancer what you expected? Do you work more hours (or less) than what you had first anticipated?
I work crazy hours in order to fit work around bringing up my daughter (I am a single parent) but it is pretty much exactly as I expected and I love the freedom and flexibility it gives me. When people ask me what I do I am proud to tell them that I have my own business and proud of what I have achieved in the last 8 years.
What are the most common objections you’ve had from potential clients? How did/do you overcome them?
Sometimes a potential client will object to the quoted cost of a project, but more often than not it is because they have underestimated the amount of work, research and planning that goes into the design process. I do not chase these clients, but let them come to their own conclusion over the value of the service I provide. Some will go for a cheaper option but often clients come back after doing a little more research and are happy and ready to proceed.
Have you ever turned a prospect away? If so, why and how did you do it?
Yes, sometimes a client will not have a clear idea of what they want for their business, (clients may have chosen a name for their new business that is already trademarked or have an idea for a logo that I think is a bad choice for their business) if I think that there are other processes that need to be worked through first I will often suggest a client goes away with a checklist of things to work through before they start thinking about the design needs for their business. Clients who come back to me after being turned away at this stage are great as I know that they have a much clearer idea of what they want for their business and what I can do for them.
What do (would) you do when a client ghosts you?!
I am fortunate to have never had this happen, but if a client ghosted me I would first try and find out if the client was ok and not in need of any help. If I continued to get no response and had outstanding invoices I would send them a final request and then seek to claim payment through official channels.
Are your motivations now the same as they were when you started freelancing?
Yes, I want my clients to be really pleased with my work and for it to have a very positive effect on their business. I also enjoy motivating other freelancers and have benefitted a lot from the wisdom and knowledge of other freelancers in the Freelance Heroes network.
What is it about being a freelancer that you enjoy most?
The flexibility and freedom. I can take my daughter to school and never worry about missing a school assembly or parent’s evening. I have spent the last two weeks seeing family, walking and spending time on the beach, I can work in the mornings and evenings and have the days free to enjoy the sun while it lasts!
What do you enjoy the least about being a freelancer?
The way that you are treated as a financial risk by banks, even if you have a very steady or growing income and have been freelancing for years.
What one thing do you wish you had known before you became a freelancer?
I wish I had known that by pricing my work too low I was also lowering expectations for my clients. I am much better at pricing now but it has been a steep learning curve.
What is your ONE top tip or piece of advice you would offer to other freelancers?
Don’t undervalue your work, clients who value the service/s you provide will not take you seriously and the clients you get will have low expectations of the work you are able to produce. Have confidence in your work and others will too.