To state the obvious, being self-employed is really hard. Yes you might get to ‘be your own boss‘ but only sort of, you still have clients and people you work for just instead of one ‘boss’ to impress, you have an indefinite amount. You may even get to set your own schedule but then, maybe not, as you need to take the work that’s going on the dates and times it’s there, you have deadlines to meet, you’re waiting for confirmations before you can start the job properly…or maybe you’re having to pick up something really last minute! Sometimes I end up working a sixteen hour day when jobs clash, which is often, because most freelance creatives have several streams of income and not simply one steady thing to concentrate on. Sometimes I don’t get home from work until 5am and other times I’ll be starting work at 9am but more often than i would like to admit the ‘job’ is cancelled altogether or maybe even a no-show. There is no steady income. You don’t have a monthly wage or a yearly salary, you don’t even know what you earn until you do your taxes (Yes, I just heard your squeals of excitement, as this is infamously the most fun part of self-employment) so when it comes to getting a mortgage you are pretty screwed for a good while, no matter how good you are at saving – and a lot of us are, you have to be, tomorrow might be your last day at work for the foreseeable future before you end up trying to find a ‘normal’ job to pay the bills. Sure, you can plan your schedule and I’m a huge advocate for setting daily, weekly and monthly tasks that will keep you on track and space your work fairly but it’s not that simple when it comes to actually working on the tasks you’ve set.
In industries like mine (I’m a photographer and DJ) you meet loads of new people, all the time, which can be amazing. So many new friends…acquaintances…colleagues? You aren’t really sure. Maybe just people you’ll never see again, and most of them at opposite ends of the country or even the world so that’s very probable no matter how well you get along. You probably work alone most of the time, no interaction and, who knows, maybe even in a onesie most days…
You’re attached to your phone. You ‘have’ to post this, and ‘need’ to reply to this message – just quickly though, I promise. Twenty minutes later you’ve missed most of whatever film you were supposed to be watching and you know you’ve ruined your night of relaxing already, possibly alongside annoying your friends, partner and family – even if they refuse to say so.
Being self-employed is hard for a million reasons…but one thing you can always do to help your friends and each other is simply to ‘like’ their social media posts – it’s SO easy, it literally doesn’t even take a single second to do. Hell, even comment now and again if you’re feeling generous!
You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to – we get that you find this embarrassing and annoying to your other friends.
You don’t have to create heart-felt shout outs if you don’t want to – we get that you would have to do this for all your friends and it would be too much.
You don’t have to actively promote anything, ever – we get that you aren’t a promoter and you aren’t paid to help us do our job by advertising our services for free.
You don’t have to attend events unless you want to – we know that you’re busy and tired and that it’s maybe not even your cup of tea anyway, you’re allowed to not want to.
You don’t have to buy stuff you don’t want or can’t afford – we know you might not even like our products, like, at all! Maybe they’re just plain ugly. We also know that you probably don’t earn a high wage yourself and, regardless, you have plenty of other things to spend money on.
But coming from a self-employed lady right here, who has only ever been self employed since university, things are really tough right now. Social media suddenly blew up to such heights and was working marvellously in everyone’s favour for a fun couple of years but these website creators have since capitalised on this so that it now costs money for what is still only a very small amount your own friends and followers to see your posts. I’m not complaining about the concept as it’s a free service and they, too, were a small start up business at some point but it doesn’t take away the difficulty many self-employed people are navigating right now. I’m so lucky that pretty much all of my work starts with word of mouth, photography and DJing, which I’m super grateful for. I believe I provide a good service and do good work, which leads to more jobs and is what has snowballed me into doing well and making a name for myself in both of my careers. We don’t expect anything handed to us, we don’t expect it to be easy and we know we have chosen this path ourselves.
I won’t get into the boring technical reasons about why social media seems to be biting the hand that feeds, but for many businesses the change are not only completely demotivating, sometimes even depressing, but directly impacts what is likely already a much smaller income than you would imagine.
SO JUST ‘LIKE’ YOUR FRIENDS POSTS!
It means the world to us. It motivates us. It encourages and helps us to no end.
Be proud of us and be an active part of what we’ve built, honestly – it’ll make you feel good and it’s so easy to do.