Featured Freelancer: Sonia Kampshoff, Freelance Digital Marketer

Next up in the Featured Freelancer hot seat is Sonia Kampshoff, a digital marketer whose fate was altered (and in a positive way!) by the pandemic. Sonia is nuts for digital marketing – Google Ads in particular – and uses that desired flexibility that comes with working freelance to work around her childcare schedule.

Let’s get into it and get to know Sonia.

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Sonia Kampshoff and I’m a digital marketer specialising in Google Ads and social media ads.


How long have you been running your business/freelancing and why did you start? 

I’ve been a contractor in previous years but have now been freelancing continuously for 2.5 years, since the end of 2020. You can say Covid was a wake-up call about what I really wanted to do and it helped people learn that working from home is possible.


Finding clients is one of the biggest concerns for people starting out working for themselves. Where did you find your very first client or customer? Where do you mostly find them now?

My very first client was via a recruiter and I had a couple more clients via recruiters since, but I try not to rely on them too much nowadays. 

Word of mouth referral also works well for me. My first client was so happy with me he recommended me to 3 other clients with whom I worked for several months. I also get regular work via LinkedIn or other freelancer portals.

I am a native German and Italian speaker, which is a differentiator and leads to interesting work.

Most of my work is on a retainer basis with some ad-hoc projects in between, so I don’t need as many clients each month as some other freelancers.


What does a dream client look like to you and why?

My favourite clients are small or medium sized businesses selling products or services that are interesting and valuable. While doing marketing and ads for them, I also give them feedback on how to improve their website. My clients find it helpful to have an extra pair of eyes.

I also work with agencies where I help cover gaps in staffing or work along the existing team in case they win a new client or project. 


What app or social media platform could you not run your business without, and why?

LinkedIn. I am fairly active on it but mostly this platform allows me to see what my peers and clients are up to, and also get insights into what else is happening in the world that I may otherwise miss.


Is working for yourself what you expected? How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?

It is actually better than expected! The flexibility is wonderful, it allows me to keep my brain busy doing something I love while being available for my young daughter.

I normally work around school times and have lunch at the same time every day, which helps me have a routine. I explain this to clients who are understanding and I don’t end up having meetings at silly times. 

Most days I take a short (or long!) walk in the park nearby, or run errands. This means I don’t get back to my laptop straight after lunch but have a proper break and move around a bit.

When my daughter is off from school I do a couple of hours of work in the morning while she entertains herself, then we go out and I do some more work in the evening and after her bedtime.

The only thing is that being on retainers a lot I cannot take long periods of time off for holidays. But all in all being freelance works out great for me.


What has been your favourite project to date?

One of my current clients is in e-commerce and I look after their Google Ads . I have been working on optimising their shopping feed so that their products appear on Google for the relevant searches. It is technical work and you see results in a short period of time. I love it!

Another client, a smaller one, works in the field of new building inspections and I run his Google Ads account. He has seen a slowdown in business since mortgage rates have increased in autumn 2022. I convinced him to run ads on Facebook and Instagram so that we tap into people who may not look for his services on Google. Essentially I’m expanding his reach on different platforms.


What is your biggest win of the last 12 months? 

I experience a fair amount of seasonality and unfortunately it is not predictable. My biggest win in the past 12 months has been to learn how to deal with this seasonality. I know that work will pick up again and learnt not to panic. I have learnt how to manage my cash flow to deal with slower months, which parts of business development and networking are most effective, and I also started a side project to fill gaps in work (so I don’t go round and round in circles mentally).


What is it about running your business/being a freelancer that you most enjoy?

I love the flexibility and the variety of clients I have. From industrial paints to jewellery to training providers… I never feel bored!


If you were given a free £1000 to spend on your business, what would you spend it on?

I would like to do more networking and find clients directly. So I’d spend the money in two ways:

  1. Attend more networking events. My local chamber of commerce, which I am a member of, organised a number of them and charge a (reasonable) fee. I would attend many more than I do now.
  2. There is a local award that I would like to enter for work I have been doing with a specific client. A fellow freelancer mentioned a lady whose business is helping edit award entries. Apparently she has a consistent track record of her clients winning awards! So with some extra money I’d certainly hire her.


What is your ONE top tip or piece of advice you would offer to other freelancers/small business owners?

Learn about your business’s seasonality and cashflow. If a month is slow and you are able not to panic, then you are not tempted to accept work that is underpaid or not interesting. Notice patterns in your activities and learn how to make them work in your favour.


And finally, is there anything you’d like to shout about right now?

I love digital marketing! And I am good at it too. I genuinely enjoy managing my client’s ads on Google and on social media, and also give suggestions to improve their online presence so that they, my clients, are successful.


You can connect with Sonia via her website.

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Sonia Kampshoff

Sonia Kampshoff