As Alexander Graham Bell so eloquently said, “When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” We’ve probably all said this at one time or another. I know I have, but its meaning never really hit home until someone said it to me.
You see, after an exciting career in the world of marketing communications and public relations, working full-time for some of the world’s most successful companies, I find myself in transition. Of course, I’ve weathered transitions before with some very successful outcomes, but this one seems different. This time, I am closing the door to the security of a full-time job (working for someone else) and opening a new door to the world of freelance
I feel kind of like I did on the day my parents dropped me off at college — extremely excited and scared as hell! It’s all good, though, as I am walking (leaping really!) into a field with more opportunities for freelancers than ever before. In fact, it seems I’m not alone as countless writers and creative professionals are also making the leap. In a recent blog post written by Shane Snow, Chief Creative Officer of Contently, he noted that oDesk, an online company that matches businesses and individuals with highly skilled freelancers, has reached the $1 billion mark. Clearly, the demand is there — thank goodness for that.
While I’m fairly new to the freelance world, I do have one piece of advice: Make sure your skills are sharp! For me, that meant immersing myself in the communications revolution that is Social Media Marketing. It is changing everything including the way we communicate and build relationships, as well as our behaviors and expectations — and even what we wear! Yes, my head is spinning, but in a good way. I am fortunate to be learning from some of the best as part of a Mini-MBA Program on Social Media Marketing that’s offered by Rutgers University. Instructors including the likes of Mark Schaefer (author of Tao of Twitter), Christina “CK” Kerley (author of Innovation Through Mobile), Neal Schaffer (author of Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing) and six others (all so impressive) have introduced me to a whole new world of possibilities — and I’ve never had so much fun!
As I work for my clients, I find myself suggesting new ways for them to grow their businesses by going beyond traditional marketing to include Social Media. While I hope never to be done learning, it’s nice to already be bringing a whole new level of value to my clients. Ahh, and I’ve only just begun!
Doors open and close all the time. It’s part of life. In this case, a very good part. Until next time, write on my friends!
P.S. — Those are my three children pictured above. Cute, right?
Are you new to freelancing? Are you a seasoned pro? What tips can you offer to those of us making this transition? Words of wisdom?