28 August 2017

How To Find Clients As A Freelancer

how to find clients as a freelancer, how to start your own business, Hampshire lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose

One of the topics which comes up in the mind of anyone thinking of starting their own business is 'How do I find clients?' - and keep clients coming back for more. It's also a question I get asked all the time by you entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business. In less than a year I worked with 9 clients on 37 projects, and have been able to sustain my business as well as my financial needs. I'm literally a step away from hitting my annual target, and I have two months to reach this goal so it's all go at Dalry Rose Hampshire HQ right now!

So how do you find, win, and keep clients as a freelancer? Here are 6 tips which really helped me kickstart my business and I swear by these methods!

1. Start a blog. Dalry Rose blog was what helped me go freelance and gave me the ability to quit my 9-5 office job, and I'm so grateful for all the opportunities my blog has been able to give me. From starting a blog (previously FashionFake) as a hobby, it has grown into my website and portfolio - which is exactly why you need to start a blog. Your blog will showcase your work and position you as an expert in your field of work - the beauty of a blog is that it's your own space on the internet and you can show/say whatever you want on it. But remember - your blog is a professional portfolio when you run your own business - you need to think of it like a CV!

2. Attend local networking events. You'll meet the businesses around you, get a chance to talk to people about what you do and introduce them to your services, and put your name on the map. Don't be discouraged if nothing comes from the first networking event you go to - I spent nearly every evening for two months around Hampshire networking events to introduce myself and my business, and met some lovely clients through these events.

3. Tell everyone what you're doing. Your family, friends, twitter, Facebook, Instagram - you never know who may be looking for services which you are offering! Post your services on local Facebook pages. You need to shout about what you're doing, and get people talking - especially in the local community.

4. Go the extra mile. Go and meet people to talk to them face to face. Tailor your proposals to suit exactly what their business needs. Go through the proposal with them to ensure all questions are answered. When you're working for yourself, you can really focus and build relationships with businesses and help them understand why they should go with you, and not another freelancer/agency.

5. Be responsive. One paint point I have learned from working with businesses this year is that if you take 10 days to reply to their email, and a month to complete a task which could be done in a day, you're not likely to get their business. Yes, of course there are times at which we can't come to emails like personal reasons, but this is where you need to be clear with your clients and let them know you're not ignoring them.

6. Be really great at what you do. Be so incredible that your clients can't leave you, businesses want a meeting with you, and your results at the month really show why your clients employed you in the first place. Because when you produce incredible work, have a positive attitude, and are really approachable then brands will have no reason not to work with you!

These are a few quick tips to get you started if you're looking into going freelance - they sure helped me when I made the decision to start my own digital and social media management business! As always, feel free to ping me any questions whether it's in the comments below, on my email, or on social!

27 August 2017

Introducing New CID Cosmetics

New CID Cosmetics review, lifestyle blog, UK beauty blog

I want to introduce you to New CID Cosmetics, a UK based brand which promises to deliver professional quality makeup with easy to use products. New CID Cosmetics was created out of a leading hair, makeup and photography salon when Kelly Colman, the Founder of New CID Cosmetics, listened to the demands of thousands of women talking about their wishes and needs for simple to apply makeup.

25 August 2017

Day In The Life Of A Freelance Digital Media Manager

freelance social media manager, lifestyle blog, career blog, Hampshire social media

I'm going to let you in on a secret - the usual day of a digital media manager isn't very glamorous, for most of us anyway. I know that a lot of you have been thinking about going freelance for a while, and have asked what it's really like to be a freelance digital and social media manager. So I've decided to let you in on a day spent as a digital media manager - but you can't even take this as gospel because some days are a lot busier, and some days are spent on the couch thinking why have I got no work today??! (PS, you'll quickly learn there's always something to do, even if it's not client work you can spend that time on your own marketing). And also, I know a lot of people say this about their work days but literally no day is ever the same - all of the projects are different, and your schedule will largely vary on your clients.

6am - My alarm goes off. I hit snooze several times because we all do that, and I eventually get up at 6:30am. I get myself ready for the day, whilst checking my phone to reply to any social media messages and catch up on what's been going on. I try and check the news too, but Twitter usually tells me everything I need to hear.

6:45am - It's time to walk the dog, feed the dog, make sure the house bunny is happy and has everything he needs for the day. I grab some breakfast (the first thing I can find to eat on the go), down a glass of water and get set for the day. Whilst I do this, I usually post my first Instagram for the day - this is for my own business and blog.

7:30am - I log into my clients Instagam accounts to check activity and post their first post of the day. We calculate ultimate posting times and these are very similar across the board because my clients are mostly UK and European businesses, and have a similar audience. So I post their posts which I edit and write out earlier then save to drafts, reply to comments, interact with accounts I think would be great to involve in our community. By the time I've finished working on Instagram, it's time for a cup of tea or coffee. 

9am - My working day officially starts. I try to stick to a working day of 9-5 the majority of the time because as a freelancer you realise that it's too easy to either work too much, or allow yourself too much downtime. Plus, this sets a structure for my clients who know that I will respond between those hours. I check my emails, and start writing a list of everything I have to do today, and prioritise my tasks. I work with clients on either an hourly or daily basis, sometimes clients book out several days a week in which case that day will be spent on them, and sometimes they book a monthly hourly allocation of my time - this is the kind of day I will have today. I mainly work from my home office, however sometimes I pop into the creative studio to keep Heidi company whilst she's editing videos, or sometimes I work when I'm away - coffee by the seaside kind of morning? Now that's a morning I know I will enjoy. 

10:30am - I've just about got through the bulk of my emails and have a plan for the day. I start with Account #1 who need new graphics designed for their social media, an updated weekly schedule with new content, and website SEO management. I love creating graphics for social media - you can have so much fun with what you want to portray across and it's actually fun following brand guidelines just to see how far you can push them! They also need an end of month update on how the accounts are growing, so I need to think about my report. At the end of their hourly allocation, I send my clients what I have worked on and wait for their reply.

It's usually around this time I also try to squeeze in some blogging and self promotion - this is very important but gets left behind a lot of the time because like I keep saying, paying clients come first! Those bills ain't gonna pay themselves, ya know?

1:30pm - Lunch break! Usually I'm home for lunch to let the dog out, and eat freshly made grub rather than a stale sandwich or soggy salad. I have definitely cut down on my food spending since becoming freelance, and have been eating healthier. I have total control over what I eat and am not usually dictated by short lunch breaks, or someone telling me I have to work through lunch. So I take an hours break to spend time with the dog, eat my food, and have a little bit of a chill (ok, maybe a nap. I nap a lot).

2:30pm - I start on Account #2 for that day, who have just had a photoshoot with me so I now need to edit the photos and send to them for use on their website. I LOVE editing photos, it's literally like my downtime at work - choosing what photos are the best, correcting anything that needs correcting, playing around with black and white photography... This is one of my favourite parts of my day. Although editing 50 photos from about 400 can sometimes be daunting and take me a little while, I can this whilst listening to some of my favourite podcasts (Lore, and Unexplained are always on my iPhone) or a new playlist on Spotify. I also try and keep an eye on any urgent emails which come in throughout the day - and respond to the ones who really can't wait and need an answer ASAP.
It can be really difficult to keep on top of emails some days - my inbox is full of client mail and blogger projects, a few weeks ago after a short break I came back to hundreds of emails which I'm still getting through. Sorry everyone! But client and paid work will always take priority, which is why this year my blog has been a little quieter - I'm still figuring out a rhythm to get everything done and not drive myself crazy.

4:30pm - Photos are edited and sent! Boom! I now need to plan a photoshoot for later in the week for lifestyle brand photography. This requires planning, mood boarding, making sure I have everything I need so there's no last minute panic. I work closely with my client to make sure we capture their brand. At the same time, I'm planning several new client meetings for next week, and a social media training session with a local business.

5:30pm - I've logged off from my emails - not coming back until 9am tomorrow morning! Or so I say. I take some time to unwind, call my mum for a quick catch up and plan dinner. Cooking in the evening is my downtime - it relaxes me, gives me time away from the screen and it's also so social because I love having people over for dinner! This time, Heidi is coming over for dinner before we head off for a networking evening in our local community. Networking events are a great way to meet new clients, get your name out there, and meet likeminded business owners. Before she comes over, I walk the dog, feed the animals and make sure they're happy for another couple of hours. 

6:15pm - We eat dinner, have a catch up, and get prepped for the networking event. Post some Instastories or a gram if I have something fun to say! Check my client accounts.

7pm - We arrive at the networking event held in a local business centre, and immediately get involved in conversations getting to know people and their businesses. It's really exciting who you can meet, for example I found out that one of my favourite jewellery brands is actually working from a HQ 5 minutes away from where I live! Even if you live in a small town, you shouldn't ever dismiss local networking events because you never know who you may come across. These events usually last between 1-2 hours, in that time I have made some new connections and have a meeting scheduled with one of the business owners I met that evening.

9pm - Hot bath, comfy pjs, cup of tea, and GOT catch up. Post a last photo of the day on Instagram and check client accounts. So much for logging off at 5pm! Being a freelance social media manager means you're really working 24hrs a day because you just can't stay away from knowing what the accounts are doing. I fall asleep whilst watching Family Guy.

3am - Oh, what's that? 3am - the dog's by the back door asking to go out, for no reason at all. He just stands in the garden and I want to scream because tiredness is real right now. It's this late at night or early in the morning when my brain starts to think about the day ahead: I'm heading to one of my clients offices to spend the day with them showing them the progress on a new website and branding I'm developing. What will they think? I hope they like it. I settle back in bed and drift off with thoughts buzzing around my head. Big plans. Aspirations. Goals. And brilliant ideas for my clients.

6am: Good morning.

So here we go - this is what one of my days was genuinely like! Some days are a lot more quiet, and some days I work until the early hours of the morning to hit deadlines or work on urgent projects. And some days I simply take off to have a break, enjoy the sunshine, see friends and family. So I really cannot and will not complain about my business because it suits my lifestyle!

And weekends have become sacred. I used to work weekends all the time, but now I try and reserve these two days for relaxing, seeing loved ones, and having pj days when needed. It's great!

21 August 2017

Restaurant Review: The White Horse, Otterbourne

The White Horse Otterbourne review, Otterbourne restaurant, restaurants in Winchester, food blog, lifestyle blog

I was invited to come in and review a Hampshire gastropub in the sleepy town of Otterbourne called The White Horse. Otterbourne is just outside of Winchester which is quite close to us, and we have been to many pubs around the area but The White Horse slipped off our radar - so I was quite excited to see what the restaurant had to offer.

18 August 2017

It's A Long Story by Arbonne

Arbonne It's a Long Story mascara review, UK beauty blogs

If I had to choose a product to take with me on a deserted island it would have to be mascara. I think eyelashes make a huge difference to the makeup look, so for me mascara is one of the most important products in your makeup bag. Along with foundation, these two are always worth splurging on if the effects are meeting and exceeding expectations.

I was introduce to Arbonne by Rachel Montague-Ebbs (check out her Instagram here!) and she kindly sent me this mascara along with a few skincare goodies to sample and get familiar with the brand. I was really excited to trial the mascara because it's such a favourite product of mine.

Arbonne It's a Long Story mascara review, UK beauty blogs

It's A Long Story mascara promises to create the look of longer and fuller lashes, whilst keeping lashes in great shape with the added vitamins and extracts like bamboo and pea which condition the lashes. I loved the look of the mascara - it comes in a tube which is handy to stand on your dressing table; and the bristles on the brushes really help separate your lashes to make sure all of them are coated.
I've been using the mascara for over a month now and I'm really happy with the results - my eyelashes have grown back stronger after I picked some of them to get rid of eyelash extensions, and the mascara delivers as promised! One coat will give you gorgeous longer looking lashes for everyday wear, or you can layer it for a more dramatic night time look.

£30 is quite a lot for me to spend on mascara, but the quality of the product lived up to the price - I haven't been disappointed once in the mascara. I think if the product does exactly as promised, it's worth the price - I always buy Dior Nude foundation because I love it, but my bank account doesn't...

What do you think? How much are you willing to spend on makeup and are there products which you would splurge on vs bargain products?

4 August 2017

Bravura London - Animal Friendly Skincare

Review of Bravura London Skincare, UK beauty blog, Bravura London, Dalry Rose
Bravura London* Revitalising Ginseng Toner £12.40 // Azulene moisturiser £9.90 // Salicilyc Acid £9.59 // First Cleanse Oil £14.50

I was introduced to Bravura London at a blogger event and had a great chat with the girls manning the stand. Bravura was founder in London in 2003 by an experience facial therapist Amanda Elias, who now runs the business from Wales alongside her partner Ryan Heslop.
Bravura is known for being the very first company in the UK to be able to supply chemical peels to be used at home - their aim was to make chemical peels safe, affordable, and easy to use for anyone with skin problems.

Bravura London uses active ingredients which they believe are proven to work for different skincare types and needs, like Hyaluronic Acid for hydration, natural ingredients like volcanic mud, seaweed extract, aloe vera, and the common cucumber, and vitamins like vitamin C. The best part is that none of these products or ingredients are tested on animals, and most of the products are suitable for vegans - fist pump! Not that I'm vegan but I'm definitely up for brands being animal friendly because in our time there's just no excuse for animal testing. And actually whilst we're talking about being ethical, there is something else I found out about Bravura London - as they're based in Wales now, they do everything to help the community grow by employing local people and allowing working hours to be 7am to 3pm so that it fits around children and school hours. How nice is that? Maybe more companies should start adapting these hours.

And they're environmentally friendly. Boom!

Review of Bravura London Skincare, UK beauty blog, Bravura London, Dalry Rose
Review of Bravura London Skincare, UK beauty blog, Bravura London, Dalry Rose

One of my favourite products is the Azulene moisturiser: a light, unscented emollient cream which is suitable for sensitive, normal, combination and oily skin types. This is a great solution for problem skin as it hydrates, provides relief and soothes the skin for a longer period of time, without irritating the skin as it contains natural ingredients like azulene and aloe vera.

Azulene is a natural healing botanical extract which comes from the chamomile flower. It helps to soothe sensitive skin and prevent inflammation, blackheads, and blemishes. Along with Azulene and aloe vera, this moisturiser contains rosemary, sage, and hop extracts; and hazelnut, wheatgerm, and avocado oils all of which help with nourishment and healing of problem skin.

After cleansing skin, apply a small amount of the Azulene moisturiser on your face and neck - it also works great under makeup as it sinks in quickly and creates a smooth base.

Another shout out goes to the Salicilyc Acid from Barvura London - an effective treatment of acne and oily skin types which are prone to blackheads and open pores. This is a 2% daily use salicylic acid exfoliator (which looks like a serum but bear with me) which is used to unblock pores without drying out the skin.
Salicilyc acid is a lot stronger than most other acids used in acne treatment, which is why it still works on a much lower percentage than others. It's very effective at cleaning pores, reducing acne, and reducing wrinkles by removing old cells from your skin, reducing inflammation, and boosting collagen production.

This is a professional treatment which can be used at home so always do a patch test before use, and always follow the instructions provided to you. You can apply the peel with your fingertips or a makeup brush, but Bravura also sell chemical peel brushes which are pretty cheap and useful to use.
The treatment takes about 10 minutes, and you may notice some light flaking or dry patches when you first start using this exfoliator, some redness, and maybe some itchiness - but this is all normal as you are speeding up the process of removing the old cells and growing new cells. Remember to always rinse your face with cool or tepid water, never with hot water as this may cause discomfort and damage to the skin!

There are precautions you need to take when performing this treatment - like using a high SPF in sunlight and not using sun beds as salicylic acid increases your sensitivity to sunlight; and you may want to consult your doctor if you're on mediation, treatment, are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Review of Bravura London Skincare, UK beauty blog, Bravura London, Dalry Rose

I'm really impressed by the quality and the wide range of products Bravura provide, and I can't wait to explore more of their skincare products. They're an ethical company who use natural ingredients, don't test on animals, and support the local community; their prices are reasonable compared to the quality of product; and they have a wide range of professional grade creams and treatments to choose from.

What do you think of Bravura? Would you try the products?

3 August 2017

A Visit To Arundel Castle, West Sussex

Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
what i'm wearing: skirt Zara // top H&M // shoes JustFab // bag TKMaxx // belt* Johny Loves Rosie

Day trips to new places are what drives me to work harder - it's a reward to be able to take a midweek break Wednesday and go to explore some beautiful place whether it's round the corner of a few hours drive. A little while ago, Heidi and I visited Arundel Castle because we wanted to take some beautiful photos for Instagram and also tick another place off our list of relatively local attractions. 

Arundel Castle was built in West Sussex, and is a historical castle with beautiful gardens and a chapel. I was surprised at how much there is to do in the castle grounds especially on a sunny day, our 2 hour trip turned into a whole day!

Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose

We visited Arundel Castle during the tulip festival which was beautiful - I feel like there were hundreds of different types of tulip dotted around the grounds! But there are many events which take place - find them on the Arundel Castle website. And when the weather is sunny, it's really worth going for a picnic in the scenic grounds. Just bring a picnic blanket, snacks, and drinks - for inspiration read my blog post all about our picnic at Arundel Castle.

There are several gardens which are full of gorgeous flowers and tropical plants - I really enjoyed walking around them and smelling the fresh air, sitting down on benches, and taking in the scenery. You know a lot of people who visit my Instagram account are surprised by how much beauty there is around the area we live in - it's easy to dismiss the UK as a holiday destination because we're aiming for Thailand, Australia, Italy, etc for beautiful scenery and experiences, but trust me sometimes beauty is a short drive away from home.

Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose

One of my favourite parts of Arundel Castle have been the main gardens - a home to many flowers, plants, fountains, and streams. Full of gorgeous colours and incredible architecture this is an Instagrammers heaven! And also a pretty peaceful place if you go during the week rather than a weekend when I can imagine it gets pretty packed.

I love wandering around new places - there is so much to be discovered. Because of my travel anxiety, and a plane phobia which is a totally separate post I will write when I can bring myself to, I need to find beauty in places that are easily accessible. That's not to say I don't travel outside of England, and my anxiety will never stop me from going somewhere I want to go - all it means is that I need to find ways of travelling that don't give me PTSD and nightmares after! In fact, I'm even more motivated now to carry on travelling and going on adventures because someone close to me threw my travel anxiety in my face earlier this week, and it was unpleasant to say the least.

Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose

We're all different, we all have our little quirks, and trust me no one on this planet is perfect. Which is why I detest it when people try and use our 'quirks' against us. And when someone hits out at your quirks, my reaction is immediately to prove them wrong, and show them that I'll achieve everything I want to - just in my own time, in a way I feel comfortable with, and with people who are willing to take the time to come with me on my adventures.

And in between longer trips to Spain, Scotland, Wales, and France / Ireland (next on my list!) I really love going on smaller trips with my travel buddy, Heidi. We're both freelance, we both work our asses off for the brands we work with, and sometimes a midweek break calls for a trip somewhere new and exciting.

Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose

The other place that I urge you to visit is the Fitzalan Chapel - it's absolutely stunning. Wherever I go I just have to visit the cathedrals and chapels because the architecture is incredible and the art is beautiful. There's also something very peaceful about being in places of worship - I guess everyone is quiet and respectful of each other, everyone moves very slow and gentle, and this affects the aura of the building. Stunning, the whole experience.

There are many beautiful cathedrals dotted around England, but Fitzalan Chapel has really stood out for me as an architecturally beautiful place. And in front of it is a garden full of white tulips which looks incredible too!

Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose
Arundel Castle, things to do in West Sussex, UK lifestyle blog, Dalry Rose

Have I inspired your next trip to be Arundel Castle in West Sussex? Highly recommended! It's the perfect family day out - there were many kids running around the grounds whilst their parents enjoyed picnics, and there is so much to explore! We didn't explore much of Arundel as we had to go home for the evening, but it looks like the town has some nice pubs and shops to explore too. We'll definitely be back!
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