Class of 2011 – meet Katie Portman

The second member of our Class of 2011 is Katie Portman.

Katie is a media freelancer based in South Yorkshire and has been an avid reader of our Frazzled Freelancer column since becoming freelance in July last year.

She will be attending her first Brookson Enterprise Freelance Fair in Manchester in February and would like to meet fellow freelancers and make new business contacts.

Q) What do you do Katie?

I specialise in journalism, copywriting, marketing and PR and work with clients across a wide variety of fields.

Q) What are your main business aims for 2011?

My main aim is to boost my freelance profile and increase my client base. I’ve spent the last few months working hard on securing some good clients but now feel that I need to focus my energy on marketing my services so that I find different work opportunities.

I’ve also become a huge fan of blogging, so this year – aside from running my personal blog – I’d like to set up a lifestyle blog which the view of attracting a large readership and advertising revenue.

Q) Can you pinpoint any major challenges to your business in 2011?

Finding work is always difficult, especially when you’re in your first year of business, so this will continue to be my major challenge for the forthcoming year. However I think it’s also important that I do my best to stay at the top of my professional game this year by making sure that I keep up to date with the latest trends, technologies and news. As a freelancer I want to provide an excellent service to all of my clients, and I can only do this by making sure that I’m continually working on my professional development.

Q) Can you share any insights into your business? New clients, software or ways of working in 2011?

Since starting out, I’ve found that most of my work has come from word of mouth which I guess proves the point that this really is the best form of marketing, no matter what type of business you are in! Twitter has also been incredibly useful to me as a freelancer and so no doubt, will continue to be so this year.

Positive communication with clients is really important to me so I will continue to ask for feedback on all completed work / projects and will work on introducing some new communication measures this year such as regular e-bulletins and newsletters, to help keep my clients informed and provide them with useful hints and tips.

Applications such as Evernote and Delicious will continue to be useful for my work and I’m also thinking of introducing myself to Photoshop later this year which I think will come in handy for my PR and journalism services.

Q)  As a freelancer, are you widening your client pool this year?

I am definitely looking to widen my client pool this year. More and more businesses, especially SME’s, are beginning to see the benefits of hiring freelancers and I think we will see greater freelance opportunities this year as firms look to cut costs and improve productivity.

Q) What are your New Year business resolutions – or could pick one thing you would do more of in the coming year?

If I have to to pick one, it has to be networking. I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t attended many networking events at all since starting out so I definitely want to improve this in 2011. I’m looking forward to attending the next Enterprise Freelance Fair in my home city of Manchester next month!

Q) Which one piece of advice would you give someone starting out in business as a start-up or freelancer in 2011?

From what I’ve experienced so far, I would say ‘always keep the faith and believe in yourself’. It’s critical as a freelancer that you believe in yourself and your skills. Being your own boss is a fantastic feeling and I would recommend it to anyone, but it can also be incredibly tough especially when the work isn’t coming in or you’re struggling to make ends meet. If you don’t stay positive and maintain your self-belief when times get tough, you won’t last long and will end up feeling miserable.

You can’t expect clients to believe in you, if you don’t. So stay positive, focused and just keep on trying. And best of luck!

We will be checking in on Katie’s freelance progress throughout the year.

You can follow Katie on Twitter and via her website.

Another Class of 2011 member will be revealed tomorrow.

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Written by Alistair Beech on January 12, 2011 and filed in Featured, News , ,

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