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Name: Bridget M Willard
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Bio: Social Media Manager specializing in WordPress products & services. Keynote Speaker. Podcast Cohost. I teach people how to do social.
How long have you been doing freelance work?
3 – 5 years
Tell us about your freelance business, in 200 words or less.
I manage social media for tech companies as well as consult and write web copy.
What do you consider to be your specialty. How does it help you in your business?
My ideal client is a WordPress product or service.
What made you become a freelancer?
I was fired from my dream job.
What do you love most about freelance work, and why?
Freelancing allows me to control my destiny.
What do you hate about it?
It comes with it’s own financial stress.
Tell us about your first paid job. How did you land your first client?
I do. I had a referral to train a client on Instagram but I was also doing collections for a few agencies for 20%.
Do you think aspiring freelancers should take unpaid work to gain experience? Why or why not?
Never. If you want to volunteer for a nonprofit, do that. The “free” people are the worst clients.
Do you feel you’re charging what you’re worth?
I know I’m charging what I’m worth. One way to find out is to test the market. Also, do some job costing. I knew what we charged for the same work I am doing at the agency I used to work for. I’m a deal.
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Describe your process for finding new clients? Where do you look?
I send an email once a month to current and past clients as well as presales. I make it a point to continuously market myself.
Have you ever had to ‘fire’ a client? If so, why and how did you do it?
I have fired clients, yes. I wrote an email and said we have incompatible communication styles. We’re still friends online.
Name 3 tools (apps, equipment) that you can’t live without. What makes them so great?
Wifi. MacBook Pro. Twitter.
What is your #1 productivity hack?
Time Blocking. Do it. It sets your boundaries with yourself, your clients, and friends and family.
Do you outsource tasks? Why or why not? If so, which ones?
I do. It depends upon what’s going on with my clients. I will outsource writing.
In your opinion, what is the most important skill required for freelance work, and why?
Every freelancer needs to understand business accounting and job costing.
Do you consider yourself a strong time manager? How do you stay organized?
I stay organized because I was a secretary for 30 years. It’s second nature.
Do you also work a 9-5? If so, how do you balance it with your freelance business?
I do not have an employer.
Where do you do most of your work?
I do most of my work at my desk.
Do you use a co-working space?
Tell us a bit about it.I do not use a co-working space.
Name an entrepreneur/freelancer/influencer who inspires you. What is it about their story/message that resonates?
Jen Miller of Next Door Marketer inspires me because she is able to have a long-standing business regardless of the economy or whatnot.
Name 1 thing you would do differently, if you were starting over today?
I would be quicker to say no to clients who gave me that gross feeling.
What is your #1 tip for aspiring freelancers?
There is no work-life balance. There is no dream without the work. It isn’t instant. Do the work.
Keep Reading: Freelancer Success Stories – Melanie Lockert