Hello wonderful bloggers and entrepreneurs!
Welcome to the seventh instalment of Blogging Bosses. A place for bloggers and entrepreneurs to celebrate themselves and their achievements, as well as offering inspiration to others.
In case you missed it, scroll down to the bottom of the post to catch up with older instalments.
So, we’ll get straight into this month’s bad-ass blogger interview – Caitlin from Desk Life Project.
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Tell Us a Little Bit About Your Blog/Biz
I’m a freelance copywriter and social media manager, and I run a blog called Desk Life Project about freelance life, being an entrepreneur and working from around the world. It’s really taken off over the last few months, and I’m hoping to grow the community even more.
What Inspired You to Start Your Own Blog/Biz?
I previously worked as the Content Manager for one of the fastest growing beauty brands in the UK, which was an amazing role, but as you can imagine, very busy and draining! I ended up burning out and decided I wanted to become self-employed to improve my work-life balance and work with a variety of clients. Desk Life Project then began as a little blog on the side of my freelance life, but since launching it’s become rather popular, and we now have a few contributing writers involved which is exciting.
What Were the First Steps Your Took to Put Your Dreams into Action?
I knew that I needed to make a change when I was still working in my full-time role and made a plan that would allow me to go freelance in around 2 months. It wasn’t set in stone, as I did go back and forth about handing in my notice many times, but in the end, it felt like the right decision. I worked on putting all of the relevant work I had done over the years into an online portfolio, contacted everyone I knew that ran a business to let them know that I would soon be available for freelance projects, and began reaching out to brands that I liked. I gave myself weekly goals of how many people to contact, and in the end, I managed to get enough initial clients to confidently cover all of the expenses that I had, which was a great way to begin.
What is the Biggest Challenge You’ve Faced so Far and How Did You Overcome it?
The first ever client I took on turned out to be a bad one. I put in more time and effort working on their project than I should have because it was my first job and I wanted to make sure I did the very best work I could. We had a contract, so I had done everything the right way, but in the end, they took my work, stopped contacting me and eventually refused to pay me. That was my first, and thankfully the only experience of a dishonest client so far, but it definitely took a lot out of me emotionally. I think you have to be prepared for things like that to happen when you work freelance, so if I had to give any advice it would be to always have a contract in place to cover yourself.
What is Your Biggest Achievement to Date?
One of my goals as a freelancer was to become location independent and travel while I worked. I had also always wanted to write a book, so during my first year of freelancing, I’m pretty proud of the fact that I managed to take on enough clients, travel Central America for over two months, and finish the first draft of a novel. It’s been a busy year, but one of my best!
What is Your Favourite Thing About Running Your Own Blog/Biz?
Seeing Desk Life Project go from a couple of views here and there to thousands of visitors has been really exciting, and having the time each day to work on it and interact with readers is great, something I wouldn’t have been able to do when I was working full-time. I think for me having this positive work-life balance has been my favourite thing about being self-employed, as now I feel so much healthier and able to go after what I want.
What Could You/Your Blog Your Business Not Function Without?
The London creative scene! Working alone from home would get old really quickly if I didn’t have so many self-employed friends around me working on amazing creative projects. I’m lucky enough to have met a lot of great people who are quick to help each other out, which I’m very grateful for.
What Keeps You Motivated and Focused When Things Get Tough?
It’s so easy to get caught up in a project and allow it to start eating into your personal time, but I think at the end of the day you have to set aside certain hours to spend with other people and do things away from your laptop screen, or your motivation and focus will slowly deplete. If I start to feel a little run down, I always go for a walk during the day and listen to a podcast. I still feel like I’m learning for my business, but I’m out in the fresh air and it makes me feel so much better.
What One Thing do You Wish You Had Known Before You Started Out?
Don’t feel like you need to follow the path that someone else has taken or judge your own success against theirs. I spent a long time feeling like I wouldn’t be successful until I had landed huge clients and corporations, but now I understand that it’s not where my interest lies. I’m passionate about working with startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs to take their vision to the next level, and I’m learning to own that. Just because I’m not copywriting for Coca-Cola doesn’t mean that I’m failing. I’ve met some amazing people doing what I do, and wish I’d learned to appreciate that sooner.
What Does the Future Hold for Your Blog/Biz?
Hopefully more travelling in the future, and working with even more exciting clients! I’ve been lucky enough to work with so many entrepreneurs just starting their businesses, and I’ve loved being able to help them grow so I’d like to do more of this. Also, Desk Life Project is growing quickly, and we have a few exciting things in the pipeline that I’m hoping to share with our community very soon.
Finally, Tell us One Random Thing About Yourself!
Whenever I travel somewhere new I like to bring home a snow globe. I don’t remember the exact number I have now but it’s over 40!
A huge thank you to Caitlin for taking the time to share her story with us!
If you want to know more or get in touch with Caitlin you can reach her here:
Caitlin’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caitmca/
Desk Life Project’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/desklifeproject/
If you’ve missed the older episodes of Blogging Bosses, you can catch up with them here:
One – Rosalind Brookman
Three – Sammy from Well and Wealthy
Four – Alethea from See girl Work
If you’re interested in being featured as a Blogging Boss, you can find more information (along with the interview documents) here.