Painting Mindful Messages with Freelance Artist Roselly Monegro

Freelance hand-lettering artist Roselly Monegro has an incredible way of bringing beauty into the world with her elegant hand artistry skills. From live painting to mural painting, to lettering for children’s books, Roselly is known for her soft color pallets and groovy script letters matched with intriguing designs and meaningful messaging. A rising star working out of her studio The Inking Rose in Los Angeles, Roselly has gained work from reputable companies such as BBDO, TBWA, Ogilvy & Mather and The Clorox Company to name but a few. Here Roselly gives her tips for starting a successful freelance artist career.

Let’s make sure you pat your own back… What’s your biggest strength as a solopreneur and freelance artist?

As a solopreneur, I think persistence is the biggest strength I have. I’m a firm believer that if you consistently keep working towards what you want to achieve you will make it happen.

What’s the best business or money advice you ever got as a freelance artist?

The best business advice I received was: “Treat freelancing like a business”. Take it seriously. Be committed to your passion, and show up every day.

Now for a moment of realness, what are you struggling with right now in your business?

As a solopreneur, you have to do everything on your own so one of the things I struggle the most is organizing and working on the Admin side of the business which, as an artist, is not as exciting as focusing on the creative part of the business.

As a lettering artist in Culver City, what challenges and advantages do you think are unique to your city?

The challenge of being a lettering artist living in Culver City is that the cost of living can be quite expensive and taxes are high in California. Therefore, I have to charge businesses a higher rate for my services, even businesses that contact me from other parts of the country. These small businesses might find my prices a little too high.

However, the advantage is that Culver City is growing and developing; a lot of new businesses have been opening their doors so there are a lot of opportunities to get work locally.

We know the freelancer life is all about the hustle toward incredible goals. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Financially, personally, and with your businesses? 

5 years from now I see myself opening a small studio with 1 or 2 other female artists, being recognized as an expert in the lettering world, getting my hands on more mural/sign painting projects. Traveling around the United States and hopefully internationally as well. I also find joy in helping others so I see myself teaching/coaching other artists on jumpstarting their freelance careers.  My goal in 5 years is to be financially stable by doing what I love and lastly, to continue to invest in myself to grow as a person, spiritually and professionally.

Follow @TheInkingRose to get inspired!

Getting Legit & Growing with Freelance Videographer Ryan Snaadt

When we came across freelance videographer Ryan Snaadt’s Instagram feed we couldn’t help but notice his passionAt age 24, he’s already achieved great success as a freelance marketer and videographer. By incorporating his business Snaadt Media Group, LLC last year and legitimizing his practice, Ryan saw it grow 4x! (If you haven’t set up your business yet, here’s a great place to start). Now Ryan is very active in the freelance community. He speaks at events and runs a Facebook group for freelance videographers (join it!).  He has even launched an online course to teach other freelancers and started a YouTube channel with a growing following. Ryan’s ambition inspires us – check out his tips to success below!

Let’s make sure you pat your own back… What’s your biggest strength as a solopreneur?

I feel that leaning into what you are good at is key. My strengths are marketing, platform strategy, and interpersonal communications. Not all videographers have a strong ability to speak, understand, communicate, and put talent at ease effectively. So really focusing most of my attention on those actives that produce a result and hiring out/automating the rest.

What’s the best business or money advice you ever got as a freelance videographer?

Just start. There is a notion that you have to be ‘ready’ and the truth is you never will be. Start early and fail often. That is the best way to become better and learn on the fly. The best learners are the best earners. 

Also, live by abundance, not competition. Basically, quit thinking that other videographers or creatives in your area are competition. In my industry specifically, I work closely with other videographers, refer them gigs I can’t shoot, and help them get better. This is a newer approach than the past, but it is very helpful to avoid burning bridges and grow a tribe of friends that support what you do.

Now for a moment of realness, what are you struggling with right now in your business?

Over the last year, I have taken my knowledge and bundled it into an online course teaching other videographers how to grow their freelance business called Solo Video Pro. Since it was my first time doing this, I quickly realized that I didn’t understand how to run and market an online product business very well. So at the moment, I have been working through checking my ego and re-structuring the course, getting more feedback from students and making it the best product I possibly can that really helps people succeed. 

Taking stock of a weak area and being very real with yourself is key to getting better.

As a freelance videographer and marketing strategist in Des Moines, what challenges and advantages do you think are unique to your city?

Des Moines is an amazing place. I grew up in rural Iowa and DSM brings the best of the country and the city together. There are a diverse set of businesses here big and small that are just now realizing the value in video content. Insurance, agriculture, real estate, etc. are all great industries to leverage video to stand out. 

Yes, there is less demand for video than larger cities, but there is not as much competition either. People are very relationship-driven here so if you do good work and deliver results, you retain them as clients long term.

I am a very goal-oriented person. I have a goal sheet next to my bed I look at twice a day to keep my priorities top of mind. I am realizing very quickly that the ‘hustle and grind’ are not sustainable in real life over a long period of time. If you can’t find a balance in your health, wealth, and relationships – things can get bad quickly. 

We know the freelancer life is all about the hustle toward incredible goals. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Financially, personally, and with your businesses?

Personally, I will be married next year and hope to have started a family and paid a considerable amount of my student loan debt off in the next 5 years. My marriage and my debt are my driving force for working as hard as I do. 

My business goals in the next 5 years include doubling my freelance videography income, taking on a smaller amount of clients and getting them real results with video and the strategy of using ads over a longer period of time. 

I aim to have 50 students a week joining Solo Video Pro, to eventually focus all of my freelance efforts on helping that community and pull back from the videography. I greatly enjoy helping other videographers get business savvy and reach new heights and want to spend more time diving into that. 

Hitting these milestones would allow me to live a life of passion rather than profit.

The Freelancer Guide: How to KonMari Your Home Office

Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has given the world a new and adorable organization icon. Marie’s skills are idled by many who are looking for a way to declutter their lives. And decluttering to create a functioning working environment is no exception. As freelancers, one of the most daunting spaces to organize is the home office. Luckily, Marie has countless tips and tricks to keep your space a productive, organized work zone. Here’s how you can apply the KonMari method in your home office.

Visualize The Home Office Space You Want

After religiously watching a season of “Tidying Up,” it’s tempting to want to jump into an organization marathon. The urge to copy everything you see on TV and Pinterest is real. But Marie warns against falling into this trap and, instead, advises you to take time to visualize your dream space. Remember, being a freelancer with a home office gives you much more freedom to customize your work environment. Start by thinking about what, exactly, you hope to use your space for. Will you need to have a nicely lit area to make professional video calls? Will your plans maximize your space? How do you plan on organizing important files? These are important things to think about before you start tidying up your home office the KonMari way.

Work With What You Have

Many of us freelancers don’t have an unlimited budget for a home office makeover. Although some expenses may be deductible, you don’t need to spend tons of money on fancy new systems and shelving. And Marie says you don’t need to! Instead, she encourages you to work with what you already have. Many people waste money on shiny, new, storage containers before figuring out what they actually need to store. Instead, start by completely clearing your office space and taking inventory of what you do and don’t have. Chances are that after you declutter, you will have much less to store. Think of ways to refurbish containers you already have like painting shoeboxes. After utilizing everything you already have, visit your local dollar store to find some budget-friendly organization options!

Make it Digital

Many of us are guilty of being paper hoarders. We hold onto every pamphlet, bill, or book we’ve ever come across. While it’s tempting to keep documents for the rare chance you might need them one day, Marie warns her audience against falling into this trap.

In today’s digital world, paper copies are completely unnecessary and just cause unneeded clutter. Instead, opt for the digital version of everything like our Lance App for managing your finances and receipts. Most bills can be scanned or sent as a digital copy which can neatly be stored on a cloud platform. Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox are just a few examples. If you have a bunch of books sitting on a shelf collecting dust, donate them and purchase (or even rent!) the ebook version. Get into the routine of shredding all junk mail if it has no purpose. You will come off much more professional to clients when you can easily access all files with a few simple clicks. Going digital creates an eco-friendly, space-saving workplace you can essentially take with you anywhere. 

See What Sparks Joy

Marie Kondo is probably most notable for asking her clients if their items “spark joy.” This signature tagline has become a way of life for her followers. That’s because Marie instructs her clients to hold each item they’re attempting to tidy up and put it through the test: Does it give you a thrill of excitement? Does it spark a little joy? If not, it’s time to toss it.

Walk into your home office and starting use this KonMari method. While tedious, it can show us that we hold onto many more things than we need to. Marie isn’t trying to argue that material possessions can truly spark joy. !She is trying to show you what things are really just unnecessary to hold onto. Freebies from subscriptions, gifts from clients, and souvenirs from travel are all nice items that reflect a special memory. But is it really necessary to hold onto all of these and display them on your desk? We all have those few keepsakes that have significant importance to us. That’s great! Keep those pictures, family heirlooms, and paintings. As freelancers, having such special items can help make an office feel more personalized and special. But make those things feel even more special by getting rid of the items that don’t spark joy and just collect dust.

“Keepin’ it really real” with freelance biz coach Shanna Tyler

Shanna Tyler Biz Coach

Recently, we came across freelance biz coach Shanna Tyler. Her authentic approach to providing guidance is refreshing, fun, and inspiring. Shanna’s positive energy is palpable through her Instagram, where she shares valuable business tips along with her contagious smile. As she calls it in her bio, “keepin’ it really real”.

Shanna started the “Get It Done Program” devoted to helping women find their life callings as she had done in the past. Her 1:1 consulting program focuses on coaching women through hardships, enabling them to turn their passions into careers. What stuck out to us was that Shanna herself was going through hard times and after bringing herself out of the dark, she dedicated her life to helping other women do the same. Shanna truly is a social saint in the world of freelancing. Now, along with her coaching program, Shanna runs an inspirational blog, a community called the Self Soul Sport, and even hosts The Self Soul Sport Podcast

With all the incredible work she does as a freelance biz coach, we couldn’t help reaching out. Here she shares her secrets to finding success as a freelancer.

Let’s make sure you pat your own back… What’s your biggest strength as a solopreneur?

My creativity! I love thinking of new ways to serve my branding and business clients, from creating fillable (and pretty!) PDFs for their learning and now delving into filming videos for their online learning. I’m consistently implementing new ways to be creative in adding value!

What’s the best business or money advice you ever got as a freelance biz coach?

To separate business and personal expenses. It helps so much to have separate accounts to physically see where my business spending goes and personal spending goes. It really switches the mindset to “this is a real thing!”

Now for a moment of realness, what are you struggling with right now in your business?

I’m struggling most with videos! Though it’s a fun, creative endeavor — there is a learning curve with a new platform and new way of working my clients. It takes me out of my comfort zone to lose what I think of as “control” but it’s going to be so beneficial for my clients and myself!

As a freelance biz + life coach in the NYC area, what challenges and advantages do you think are you unique to where you are?

I’d love to start with the positives! New York City is such a diverse area where you’re able to connect with so many people, especially entrepreneurs. The amount of networking opportunities and community events are unreal! There’s one every single night. However, the advantages are the hustle. It’s consistently a race in this city, with a bit of competition. Though it can drive you, it can get exhausting! That’s when you have to set boundaries on how much you do and work smarter, not harder!

We know the freelancer life is all about the hustle toward incredible goals. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Financially, personally, and with your businesses?

I see myself with multiple 6 six-figure online courses serving those who are starting off with their personal and/or professional brand who need the support in building their identity to confidently monetize, market, and pitch. I also see myself with a top-rated podcast focusing on the genuine stories of those in the entrepreneurial lifestyle, specifically those who are woman-identifying. I also see myself traveling, twerking, and HAPPY!

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my face setting up my first OOO email of the summer 😁📲☀️ ⁣ ⁣ anyone else setting theirs up for this long weekend!? 💌 tomorrow until tuesday, yah gurl will be laptop-less with NO WORK and on a family trip to MD 😱 ⁣ ⁣ in setting mine up yesterday, i wanna share… 3 HANDY TIPS IN SETTING UP YOUR OOO OFFICE EMAIL 👇🏾⁣ ⁣ 1️⃣ SHARE YOUR SPECIFIC VACATION DATES: clear boundary of when people can expect not to hear from you plus for your own self in not answering emails! ⁣ ⁣ EX: “i’m away on vacation from thursday june 4th to tuesday, june 9th.” ⁣ ⁣ 2️⃣ SET EXPECTATIONS ON WHEN PEOPLE CAN HEAR BACK: keyyyy 🔑 is when people can hear back from you! we tend to miss this step but it’s crucial to manage expectations. ⁣ ⁣ EX: “i’ll be answering emails as soon as wednesday, june 9th and will be sure to reach out then!” ⁣ ⁣ 3️⃣ *if applicable* ADD IN ALTERNATIVE CONTACTS IN YOUR ABSENCE: this helps in making sure there’s nothin too time-sensitive in your email. ask your boss and team ASAP who can be in touch for different functions! ⁣ ⁣ EX: “if you need immediate assistance, please feel free to reach out to XX on XX or XX on XX. otherwise, i look forward to contacting upon my return!” ⁣ ⁣ 🌟 INVITE PEOPLE TO FOLLOW ALONG ON YOUR VACATION: all my side-hustlers and full-time entrepreneurs — USE THE OOO EMAIL STRATEGICALLY BOO BOO 😝 get people onto your IG or your newsletter list! ⁣ ⁣ EX: “if you’d like to follow my vacation, please feel free to watch on my IG stories [insert the link] or subscribe to my weekly newsletter [insert the link] to hear a full recap!” ⁣ ⁣ BAMMMM 🔥 WERE THESE HELPFUL?! anything you want to add? feel free to share below! ⁣ ⁣ peace and tofu grease y’all ✌🏾 imma be unplugged on the emails and active on the IG stories (keep track up there!!!)❤️⁣ ⁣ #shannatyler #getitdoneprogram {📸 @winilaophotos}

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3 Key Instagram Elements Every Freelancer Should Know

There are tons of ways to market your business as a freelancer. Many of these tactics are extremely expensive. Although they may be worthwhile for certain solopreuners, there are so many tools that are effective and free of cost. You probably already use one of the most powerful ways to market your business: Instagram

This social media platform goes way beyond personal use. Instagram gives businesses a place to establish both a visual and written voice and provides an opportunity for audiences to engage with valuable content. To effectively market your business on Instagram, here’s what you need to know. 

1. Audience Engagement

A recent Forbes article discusses the testing for possible removal of likes and followers count on Instagram, hoping that “users concentrate on their posts and interacting with the app rather than likes.” Despite the common belief that the amount of likes you receive indicates your success, success on Instagram and social media, in general, is actually measured by engagement. 

Audience engagement is a difficult term to define because it differs depending on your business and the content it produces. In short, it can be seen as the clicks, reads, shares, and responses that you receive from viewers. It measures whether or not your content is accomplishing what it was produced for. When more users engage in your profile, your Instagram presence will become more visible. 

An easy way to start measuring your audience engagement could be seeing how many likes your post gets compared to how many followers you have. If you have 200 followers and 20 likes per post, that’s 10% engagement. You’re doing pretty good 😉

2. Value

In order to promote this audience engagement, your content must be valuable to users. Whether it is entertaining or informative, your profile should show the audience how your business can solve their problem. People want to do business will those they trust, so be relatable to your audience. 

Additionally, Instagram tailors content to each person’s interests. Using your specific information, such as viewing history and engagement, profiles are exposed to users that have been involved with similar posts. With these algorithms, you are more likely to reach an audience that is actively seeking out your services. 

For example, a freelance fitness coach may post their morning exercise routine. This can be as simple as a post workout mirror selfie detailing the routine in the caption or even a step-by-step video guide to explain each exercise. Sharing a morning exercise routine gives followers new ideas to implement in their workouts. Additionally, a freelance wedding photographer may post a photo with a caption that notes specific lighting or scenery tips. We recently interviewed wellness blogger and nutritionist Lina Lopez who’s Instagram captions are filled with recipe ideas and food for thought. Pun intended 😉

3. Voice

Easygoing and casual or professional and structured.  Our voice varies depending on the work we do as freelancers. Gear this to the vibe you want to give off and the way you brand your business. Having a blank canvas with a 2,200 character limit and up to 30 different hashtags allows you to choose the unique voice that is distinct to you. Between the reoccurring tone and visual image of your feed, this consistency will help establish a universal impression of your business. 

Tone

The tone you use on Instagram is how you dictate your business goals. Start by choosing an adjective that you would want someone to use when describing your business, such as scientific, personal, inspirational, or adventurous. Whatever word you pick, post content that drives clients to perceive you that way. Create a personality for your business to effectively communicate your mission. 

For example, the clothing boutique and brand, Free People, aims to give their followers a taste of the carefree, bohemian vibe they direct their sales towards. Using captions like “Dreamy is an understatement” or “Sorry we’re late, we were lounging” promotes the laid-back nature and authenticity that has been established as the Free People brand.

Visual Image

Your visual image should be easily recognizable to your clients. Along with color, logos, and typefaces, use images to represent your business’ goals and themes. In other words, put a face to the name. For example, Airbnb uses Instagram to showcase different homes that can provide interesting experiences for travelers. Their Instagram is beneficial to the company because clients can easily browse examples of the location and read stories of possible vacation spots. Every post goes back to the key idea of Airbnb: home and experience. 

Engagement, value, and voice are the three key elements necessary to consider when creating an Instagram profile for your business. Being able to reach a large audience can be very effective when done properly. Be mindful of the content you post to establish a voice that maximizes audience engagement and provides valuable information for clients. This way, the next time they’re in need of your type of service, you’ll be the first name on their minds.

Dogs of Lance: Interview with Oliver, the Vizsla

Welcome to the Dogs of Lance series where we sit down with our favorite canine freelancer friends to hear what they have to say about running their business.

What does your typical workday look like?

I’m pretty focused in my hustles given my years of experience – and focusing on what delivers the greatest ROI. My core hustles are as an athletic coach and model. I ensure Oona – or anyone watching me while she travels – gets a solid hour of ball toss or running in daily. You absolutely must have arm and leg days alternatively – rain or shine. And more recently, I’ve had more profile shots taken of me. You can follow me on Instagram – @stoicvizsla – and provide feedback on my poses. I’m shooting for a GQ profile at some point. 

My side hustles are two-fold: home cleaner and relaxation specialist. The home organization really requires vigilance in letting people know whenever the compost needs to be taken out or leftover lunches should’ve been tended to. It’s usually more of a collaborative effort with adults – but I definitely call out any issues. And with the relaxation training, I work with all ages and generally get people’s heart rates and HRV’s under control throughout the day. Available for home or office treatments. 

Which of your human’s habits can’t you stand?

Well! I generally cannot understand when she wears heels – clearly no ability to go for longer runs in those abominations! Also – we’ve tried to go out for a run while she was on a road bike once, and she was not agile enough to keep up with my attempts to chase squirrels. Finally, I wish we weren’t as health-focused on occasion and she’d drop more cheese into my meals. Generally, she’s a great person to cohabitate with though, and I can get extra treats from others around me. I’ve gotta enjoy these years, right?!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

There’s a tension here: either being able to really POUNCE on whatever I end up pointing at throughout the day (I struggle to shake the urge to point endlessly) or endlessly run while chasing flying birds. Those are my truest enjoyments in life.

How do you unwind after a long day of hustling?

What a fantastic question! It is truly exhausting to look so poised all day, everyday – whether awake or sleeping. I really enjoy spending time with all my human best friends – especially if they get that one spot on my neck going – and otherwise curling up on the couch with Oona while she’s reading and puts my favorite blanket over me. Have to put a paw or two on her though, to make sure she doesn’t get up before I’m ready though! 

On a scale of 1-10, how good are you at saving?

I compete with Lola on this front, minus the digging bit. Whenever I get a treat or some other lovely thing, I find a nook to cram it into and then recall that nook perhaps a day or even a month later. When I’d really like to savor that item. 

What advice would you give other freelancing pets?

Ronald Rook once said, “I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” Find your “running” – I won’t judge too harshly if it’s bacon. 

Joining a Freelance Collective: Is it for You?

Freelancers face a multitude of work responsibilities that those in traditional 9 to 5 jobs wouldn’t even think about. Luckily, online freelance collectives have provided a network for garnering clients, managing finances, and networking with others. Here are the top 3 reasons to consider joining one.

1.Take the backseat when it comes to marketing & business

Many new freelancers often worry they do not have the proper marketing, finance, and technology skills to be successful. With freelance collectives, you don’t have to know all the ins and outs of the business to get started! Many freelance collectives provide online webinars and even personal financial advisors that guide you in various ways. Everything from how to properly file taxes to how to best market your business and brand. A majority of collectives also provide you with special perks and freebies on recommended products and annual subscriptions.

Many of us freelancers would agree that the best way to develop professionally is simply through experience. If you’re just starting out on your own, it’s important to get advice from freelancers more experienced in the industry. Furthermore, collectives can help you connect to other, more seasoned freelancers in your industry. They can provide you with advice on common dilemmas. For example, not knowing how much to charge for your services or how to deal with difficult clients. It takes a wide array of skills and knowledge to develop professionally as a freelancer, and collectives can provide you with the proper information to do so.

2. Reach more clients.

Across all freelancing industries, recruiting (and retaining) a network of clients is one of the most difficult burdens. Fortunately, freelance collectives have created an easy outlet for publicity and advertising to potential clients. Collectives provide you with a profile page to showcase skills and experience. You then become part of a large database where clients can search for your services. Clients look for specific gigs based on criteria such as price, specialty, and customer reviews. 

A majority of large companies have an entire department dedicated to marketing and advertising, but us freelancers face the task of independently getting publicity. Instead of starting off with zero followers on social media, freelance collective members are advertised on the collective’s websites and social media pages. This means they are able to reach a much larger audience. Advertising yourself on a well-established collective page helps you come across as much more reliable and professional. 

3. Feel part of a community.

While it may sound awesome to be able to work from your couch and wear pajamas every day, being a company of one isn’t always a good thing. A 2018 report on “Freelancing in America” conducted by Upwork and The Freelancers Union found that 56% of full-time freelancers say working on their own makes them feel isolated. Isolation can cause many freelancers to lose passion in their work that in turn, make their businesses suffer. Luckily, freelance collectives have become an online forum where solopreneurs worldwide can connect and form a supportive community.

Most freelance collectives have their own Facebook group where members can get advice on roadblocks, plan meet-ups, and consult with others on ideas. Remember, there’s a big difference between working for yourself and being by yourself. In the US alone, there were 56.7 million people doing freelance work in 2018. Collectives are there to help you connect with them!

Which Collective Should I Join?

There are countless freelancer collectives on the internet today that range greatly in size, membership benefits, and even industry. Below are three major collectives we recommend checking out! 

Fiverr

Fiverr, one of the original online platforms for freelancers is probably the most well-known collective around the world. Sellers are split into three different levels so customers connect with freelancers who have the ideal skill sets and rates. Fiverr doesn’t offer much room for negotiation: customers just put a product (like a banner ad) into a shopping cart and pay the listed price. Therefore, Fiverr is better-known for small, quick gigs and services like an easy infographic or essay edit. Signing up for Fiverr is free, but they keep 20% of what you make on each gig. 

Upwork

Upwork is another freelancer database that’s very similar to Fiverr. A big difference between the two is that the freelancers on Upwork reach out to potential clients. Members bid on jobs by sending their application and cover letter as a response to a potential client’s job posting. Upwork tends to be used for bigger, long-term projects and usually requires a bit more time to get a client. The Upwork basic (free membership) plan offers 60 points (aka Connects) per month. A certain number of Connects gets used up each time you apply for a job. A $10/month plan allows for up to 70 Connects per month and up to 140 Connects to be carried over each month. Upwork charges 10% of what a client pays a service provider. 

Freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is another global crowdsourcing site similar to those listed above. Freelancer offers multiple membership options ranging from no cost to $70 per month. Pricier plans give freelancers more bids per month and allow them to add more skills on their profile. Paid memberships also offer other benefits like contest entries and custom cover photos.