Technological advancements and the transformation of the global economy resulted in a rise of people pursuing freelance careers. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, the freelance economy is projected to grow from a $1bn industry in 2012 to $16bn in 2020. To address the unique needs of gig economy workers, NTUC started UFSE - a community offering support services for freelancers and the self-employed.
Freelance marketer Loh Yen-Lyng talks about her transition from working full time to freelancing during a recent Coffee Talk session organised by Creatives At Work.
Tell us more about your portfolio and how you started freelancing.
I studied film production and my career began in the sector. Varied opportunities opened up along the way and I went from film production coordination work to taking on sales and marketing roles. When I was working full time in sales and marketing, I took on side projects during my free time. I started freelancing in social media marketing and business development only in 2016.
Were you freelancing during your film production days?
There was no time to take up freelance jobs when I was in film production. The freelance projects only started in the last two years when I widened my work scope and met more people in my new job roles. I did not go out searching for freelance jobs. People asked me to take on side projects that were of similar nature to my full-time work and that was how my freelancing experience started.
Did you have doubts about making the transition to freelance work?
When I left my full-time job in early 2016, I was all geared up to look for a new full-time position. I did not think that freelance marketing was feasible as it was more common to hear of people freelancing in graphic design or film production. The timing was perfect for me as a new freelance marketing project came up and the project fee met my expectations. So, I thought, okay, I’ll give freelancing a go and not look for a full-time job. I updated my resume online and positioned myself as a freelancer offering marketing and business development services and clients began to approach me. That was when I realised freelancing might be viable and I started to invest myself in it.
How did you network with the local freelance community?
I met Jayce of Creatives At Work during my previous full-time job. When I started freelancing, Jayce invited me to a Freelancers Bootcamp. It is a three-day workshop that had guest speakers like Kevin Ou, Teo Yi-Ling and Danny Lee – people who have made a success of their freelance careers. I also went to networking and peer sharing events like Coffee Talk which was organised by Creatives At Work and supported by e2i. More work opportunities opened up from these events and I started to see there was a supported community for freelancers. I remember I was surprised to hear that e2i supported the freelance network too! I started attending more of these talks and workshops which widened my circle of contacts. I gained my first client at a Creatives At Work event and my freelance clientele has since grown steadily.
About Creatives At Work
Creatives At Work partners with e2i for training and professional development of the freelance community. By organising events such as Coffee Talk with the support of e2i, Creatives At Work gives a platform for freelancers to network, collaborate and partner each other. Coffee Talk identifies key challenges faced by the freelance community and seeks to offers solutions.
Creatives At Work is a media agency that connects talented freelancers to project owners. With a strong network of media freelancers, Creatives At Work provides a complete solution to every project owner’s media needs and requirements. To find out more about Creatives At Work, click here: http://www.creativesatwork.me/#/home