I’ve had a fantastic first month of being fully self-employed – I can’t really believe how well it’s gone. I wrote about goals last week, and I’m happy to say that I hit all my goals for January, including the hardest one. This is marvellous reassurance that I can do this and make a living out of it: I was expecting January to be a bit slow, and the Jury Service (that wasn’t – they didn’t call me up for any cases and I only ended up being there for four half-days) did knock out a bit of my first week, but I took the opportunity to have a bit of rest and relaxation that I’d missed out on over my very busy Christmas! More about how it’s all going in a more personal sense over on my new blog; I’ve been hugely enjoying writing that!
So, I’ve had a good mix of my usual tasks this past month:
I’ve proofread varying pieces of academic work for the student proofreading company I do work for, Master’s course work for a few students, three of whom have signed up to be coached through their course (I provide more detailed information on their particular issues with their written English and help them develop their writing while they’re learning about their subject – I also charge for this monthly or termly so they don’t end up paying lots of little invoices) and had one mammoth session on a PhD which had got delayed by the student’s tutor (I was glad not to have to go to the day job the morning after that 11-hour day!).
I’ve copyedited documents, magazine issues and articles for my regular clients, and checked the English for my Polish, Finnish and other European translator clients. I’ve checked over the articles and proofs for Moseley B13 Magazine (I do that for free).
I’ve transcribed two webinars for my author/entrepreneur client and also edited a downloadable guide to self-publishing for her (I’ll link to that when it’s out, for all you authors out there).
I’ve localised a whole load of email text for a new American client, using software called Across, which is mainly used by translators: I’m pleased to have got to grips with this as I think it will widen the range of clients I can work with.
And I’ve written lots of little bits of marketing material for a client who’s offering my services to their small business clients, as well as a series of blog posts about dentistry and most of the new web content for my retail shelving client, working with their SEO person to make sure the text and metadata both drive click-throughs to their site (it’s working well so far!)
So a nice busy time of it! In other news, I had a guest blog post published and was quoted in an article about the rise in numbers of self-employed people. I got back into my giving back and networking, helping at a Social Media Surgery session (find out more via this article I wrote about it), and attending Social Media Cafe (where I wore a brooch made by fellow small business, Good Girl Designs and insisted on having a photo taken) and my first Jelly co-working session. I’ve helped two friends set up WordPress blogs (Amy’s music blog and Ali’s book reviews blog).
Coming up: I’ve got returning clients and regular clients to look after, and I have another big transcription job coming up, similar to the one I did at Christmas. I’m pleased to say that I’ve got more time for reading and seeing my friends now I’m full time, which is what I had hoped for. I’m going on a half-day course on email and social media marketing, and I’m planning a slightly different kind of newsletter this month – including exclusive access to a fun competition and a new format for the newsletter itself – do sign up here to get a look at that when it comes out!