I worked as an in-house videographer for a year or so in a D.C. office. Even though I loved the people and the work, I couldn’t get my mind off of creating my own business.
Eventually, I decided that if I wasn’t content with a great in-house job like that, freelancing was really where I needed to be. So when my now fiancé moved down to Atlanta for work, I decided to take the jump and leave the office to move down with him.
It ended up working out great because I was able to keep working remotely with my old job for a while, and also build up my business in Atlanta.
I just finished a really fun project with a local business called Usit. It’s an app that connects Atlanta parents with local college student babysitters.
During the film shoot, the parents brought their babies to hold while they were being interviewed. It was definitely the cutest film shoot I’ve ever had.
I’m also making an introduction video for a local nonprofit called Gigi Inc., an organization dedicated to empowering girls. It has been encouraging to hear about their work and help them get the word out.
As far as what I’m working on in my business, I’m in the process of making a new service to help small businesses easily create consistent video content. I’ve seen so many small businesses that want videos but don’t have the time or budget. It’s been in the works for a while, and now I’m finally able to start offering it.
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I am truly a morning person, and I like to organize my day around that.
My ideal schedule is to go to a coffee shop first thing in the morning and do the tasks that require the most amount of brainpower or are not that fun.
If I save those types of tasks for my 3 pm slump, they will be so much harder to do. If I can, I like to have a decent amount of things done by lunchtime so that I can go into my afternoon feeling productive and have my only more fun tasks left.
Not really to be honest. I like to switch up my location so my days don’t feel too monotonous. I like jumping around to different coffee shops and then even at home, I’ll mix up between working at my desk, couch, or the kitchen table.
I’m a super big list person, as you can tell from my favorite app being Todoist.
So when I start feeling overwhelmed by how much work I have to do, I start breaking it up and deciding when I’m going to do everything.
Once it’s broken up into sections, the individual tasks don’t seem as daunting. I also like to add a lot of extra padding when I’m estimating how long something will take. That helps me always feel ahead of schedule and gives me some wiggle room if it ends up actually taking that long.
When it comes to not enough work, I always think of this advice I got from another freelancer. He said that when you feel like you’re running out of projects just keep creating, even if they are just personal projects or something you do for friends and family.
Keep getting your work out. I really think freelancing is a lot about momentum. Once you get a couple of clients, they start referring you, and then you get even more clients.
So even when personally you don’t have a lot of clients, show the world that you are still creating new projects so that people can still find you.
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I kind of talked about this earlier, but one of the great things about working remotely is that you can organize your day however you want. Although that can make it really difficult to keep yourself on task, it can also be really helpful if you can figure out the way you work.
I know that in the mornings I finish tasks quickly and bigger projects don’t seem as daunting. Then at around 3 pm, all that productivity just drains from me, and it’s super hard for me to get over that hump.
So, I really try to organize my day around that. During my 3 pm slump, I try to have mindless tasks to do so I can have music or tv playing in the background without worrying about being distracted. It doesn’t really feel like work when you can listen to some Seinfeld episodes while you’re doing it!
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The flexibility and freedom you get with remote work are wonderful! I love jumping to different places because it helps me feel refreshed and more productive.
I remember going to the same office every day to the same desk at the same time, and that monotony led me to fall into a rut in my work.
A lot of remote workers are in creative fields and in my experience, switching up your location can really help you get out of a creative block.
It can definitely be lonely working remotely all the time. You don’t have a boss when you’re freelancing, but you also don’t have coworkers or a team.
I really recommend freelancers going to events for other freelancers and entrepreneurs to start creating your own community.
I think people are sometimes afraid to befriend competitors and it holds them back from creating a good creative community.
For me, I quickly learned that:
There is really always enough work to go around.
You can even get more work because you can give each other referrals.
Not to mention the fact that people in similar careers are great people to bounce ideas off of and encourage you during your low points.
I know I can definitely start becoming a hermit if I don’t get out and work along with people sometimes. Finding a community has definitely been helpful in those times.
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My favorite app that I use for productivity is Todoist. It’s a to-do list app that helps to schedule tasks.
It’s really helpful for me to keep motivated throughout the day because I can see my to-do list slowly shrink every time I finish something. One big trick I use is to break up big tasks into smaller parts. It helps me feel like I’m being productive even when something is just taking all day to finish.
For more general, long-term projects, I have a rule that if it’s not somewhere on my to-do list, it won’t really happen. For example, if I decide I want to reorganize my website, it doesn’t really mean anything until I put it in my Todoist.
I’ll put “make a plan for website” for tomorrow and then “start making changes to website” next week. This rule has REALLY helped me make those general, long-term projects more concrete so I can actually get them done!
I think there are a whole lot of different things that can go into being a successful freelancer. Ultimately, I think the most important thing to do is to figure out how you work best. Whether you are working remotely or are a full-time freelancer, you have to be your own boss.
So, if you can figure out when you’re naturally more excited to work and when you struggle, you don’t always have to be fighting yourself to get things done.
I also think that you need to spend some time planning both in the short term and in the long term. I’ve found myself only focusing on what jobs I’m working on right now, and then all of a sudden realize that I have no plan for when the projects are over.
With all types of projects and goals, I like to make sure I’ve mapped out a plan to keep myself on track.
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Ah, there’s so much I’m still figuring out myself. Overall I would just recommend to constantly be learning.
If you’re running a freelancing business, you should always be trying to grow in both your craft and your business knowledge.
I have a few freelancer podcasts that I like to follow, and I have recently started listening to business and creative audiobooks in the car.
I already know that I was able to avoid a couple of common mistakes by just hearing other people’s stories of how they started and grew their freelancing business.
I know it’s easy to feel like you are way too busy with work to be growing in your knowledge, but education can take you further faster. If you’re already reading this blog, you’re probably on the right track!
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This is such an important thing to think about. I recently went through the process of switching my own client base.
I used to do a lot of weddings when I first got into videography, but I soon realized that it wasn’t something I would want to do for the rest of my life.
So, slowly I replaced my wedding videos with small business videos on my portfolio and framed myself as a small business videographer. Now I don’t do any more weddings and have really found my niche.
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At RemoteHabits we're always trying to improve our interviews, what question should we have asked Erin Goodier?
Erin specializes in creating social media videos for small businesses and nonprofits. Whether you want to promote your cause or educate viewers, she can help you create impactful videos that stand out. Hear more about her work at goodiercreative.com
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Jenna started working remotely after realizing her office job was causing health problems—now she works as a freelance writer and writes about self-improvement
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