2017 was a crazy year to say the least. It was my first full year freelancing and building Social Swell from the ground up – soaking up everything I could possibly learn along the way. People ask me how I like working from home, finding clients and being on my own. I have more time for family and friends, clocking in more beach days and no more LA traffic. But I sat through a LOT of unpaid internships and minimum wage jobs to get here, and I’m still learning every single day.
I started my freshmen year of college with no clue what I wanted to do. I was undeclared and started off just taking all of my GE units and one of those classes was Intro to Journalism. I fell in love with the class and when I went to finally declare my major with an emphasis in public relations and I knew immediately that was where I was meant to be.
After graduating, I struggled to find a job in my field like so many do. I found a few marketing jobs, but nothing that really seemed to click…until I emailed BirkSun. They magically happened to be moving down to LA in a few months and a couple interviews later I landed the job.
I learned SO much in the 10 months I worked for BirkSun. Most of my job soon became influencer marketing and social media management which was by far my favorite part. The only bad thing was the drive – my commute averaged 2.5 hours a day on the 405. I was sitting for 10+ hours a day, coming home in a shitty mood and feeling unmotivated. After a lot of thought, I told the team I would be leaving to start my own social media agency. I was fortunate enough to be able to keep them on as my first client and that’s when the real work started.
Social Swell Begins
I had no idea where to start so I whipped up a website and rough outline for Social Swell and started cold emailing my butt off! It started slow at first, but luckily I had very few bills at the time. Eventually I landed a client in Hawaii and another with a family friend which brought my confidence back. December 2017 marked my first full year working for myself and as of this month, I now make more than I did at my full-time job!
Now I work from home with an average of five different clients and have SO many goals I want to work on for 2018. I get a lot of similar DMs and messages – “you’re always at the beach, do you ever work?” and the answer is YES! I’ve found I’m even more productive on the weekends which frees up a little of my weekdays for errands when most people at at their office jobs. There are definitely some days I’m more motivated than others, which can be difficult when you’re sitting at home with no boss to tell you to get working. But I love it.
I was able to take more family trips this past year since I make my own schedule. I have more time to shoot and collaborate with people I meet through social media. I’ve been able to work on other skills like video editing and flying my drone. There’s always something to do – whether it’s working on my blog, branding Social Swell, scheduling client posts or editing photos. Being my own boss is amazing and I would never give up the experiences I’ve had this past year.
I want to hear your journeys! Have you guys made the jump to full-time freelancer or blogger? Tell me about it in the comments xx