Tag Archives: Social Networking

The Rise of the Freelancer – 5 Reasons to Hire One and 5 More to be One

[tweetmeme source= “catherineosborn” only_single=false]Tough times often result in tough decisions and if you have ever been called in to see your boss and watched him or her squirming uncomfortably and using words like “consultation”, “at risk” and “best of luck”, then you belong to a growing army of experienced and valuable workers whose skills are “no longer required.” 

Or are they?

How many of us offer ourselves straight back to our former employers?  You may think you’re the last person they want on the team but it’s not necessarily the case.

How often have you had to let valuable members of staff go and wished you could have them back, if only for a few hours a week?

I found out almost by accident that my last two employers had work for me when I asked them for references and happened to mention that I was thinking of freelancing and they went on to become my first two clients.

Five Reasons to Hire a Freelancer

  1. Make savings without compromising the high standards your clients have come to expect.
  2. Gain immediate control of your finances by hiring people only when you need them.  Some freelancers will be willing to work without a weekly minimum number of hours because they know it will encourage repeat business – I’m one of them.
    Note: This is not the same as taking someone back as contractor – a practice that will invariably cost you a small fortune and could land you in trouble with HM Customs and Revenue!
  3. Benefit from an increase in productivity and quality – your freelancer values repeat business and will make every hour count.
  4. Relax, knowing that you can end the arrangement whenever you like and without causing offence – a good freelancer will know that it’s just business.
  5. Focus on doing what you do best.

Five Reasons to be a Freelancer

  1. Be your own boss – a particular boon if you don’t enjoy office politics.
  2. Work flexible hours and achieve work-life balance without feeling guilty.
  3. Choose your clients – you’ll be happy and they will as well, knowing that you really want to work for them.
  4. Enjoy every minute that you are working knowing that you don’t have to accept projects that don’t interest you.
  5. Focus on doing what you do best.

Can Anyone be a Freelancer?

No, but if you enjoy variety and can accept some uncertainty, it could be the best move you ever made!

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The Buzz that is Social Networking

It’s really exciting to have been able to watch the digital revolution unfolding and bringing with it new ways of working and interacting with people.  As someone who has always relished the idea of working from home as a writer, social networking offers the opportunity to do exactly that, without losing touch with my clients, family and friends.  And increasingly, I’m finding myself helping people with their social networking while they focus on what they do best.

I was delighted, therefore, to be invited to assist with a series of workshops run by Success Network.  Not only did I meet some really interesting people and extend my “real-life” network, I also got the chance to pop in and visit some old colleagues at the Regus building in Slough!

There are various reasons why people shy away from social networking; for some it’s the fear of the unknown, some find it difficult to find the time and some people just haven’t had the chance to assess the business benefits.  The workshop covered all of these areas along with a whole lot more and the feedback was really positive.  I’d thoroughly recommend them to anyone who likes the idea of using social media as a networking tool, without overselling and becoming a marketing bore (yes, that’s covered too).

I was also more than happy to help out with the PR.  You can read the press release below or in today’s Business Monthly in the Maidenhead Advertiser (copy here).

Photo: Andrew Sansom



New Training Initiative Takes the Fear out of Social Media

Success Network has just run a series of highly-successful “Social Media in Practice” courses at Regus in Slough, two of which were exclusively for micro businesses run by women. These highly-practical, hands on courses were an overriding success and the funding organisation praised its innovative format and design and the great results.

The participants found using social media much easier than they thought and said the course was really easy to follow due to the simple step-by-step instruction. Attendees said that they now feel much more comfortable with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, with Caroline Shaw, of Shaw Styling, adding, “it really takes the fear out of social media!”

The sessions were run by Success Network founder and networking expert, Ute Wieczorek-King, with other experienced colleagues. Ute says, “Understanding how social networking works can bring huge benefits to a small business. It is much more than a free marketing tool and small businesses who get on board now will secure a huge advantage over their competitors.”

The delegates were all owners of micro businesses who wanted to tap into the power of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to enable them to promote their businesses more effectively.  Ute added, “Unlike any other tool, social media can help you to keep up with the competition and understand your target audiences better.”

Attendees had been asked to bring their own laptops so that they could work online in small groups, with the assistance of experienced facilitators. 

The delegates left the course with new contacts – each other!  More importantly, however, the course taught them the skills necessary to find, connect and communicate with the right people online. Trisha Mentzel from B2B Event Management, who attended one of the courses  says, “The workshop was excellent at giving the basics for starting to use social media and it gave me the confidence to start writing comments, posts and tweeting. Now I just need to stick to my goals! Thanks for a very practical and enjoyable workshop.”

Success Network’s next hands-on workshops run during May and June, in Maidenhead and Marlow.  More information can be found on the Success Network website at www.successnetwork.org.uk/workshops.htm


Don’t Leave it Too Late – How Social Networking can Kick-Start your Writing

This morning, we woke up to the news that Boyzone’s Stephen Gately had died suddenly, at the age of 33. 

When young people die, it is always shocking but particularly so when it is unexpected.  It is not so much the reminder that we are mortal or that life is short – we all know that don’t we? – but the realization that this was not in their immediate plan.  Like Michael Jackson earlier in the year, Stephen was on the verge of a world tour.  Dying wasn’t on his agenda just like it isn’t on mine.  It’s the thought that I could pop out for milk and never drink that cup of tea on the worktop that I find particularly chilling.

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