10 Freelance ideas

A freelancer is the person who works on their own. They are the one who’ve got no boss and no employees. They offer their services to companies or even to other people, in return for a certain amount that is usually set by worked hours. There is no boss involved and nobody to give them orders. Also, they can afford the luxury of choosing who to work with and can decline collaboration with certain clients if there’s something they do not agree with.

On the other hand, a freelancer doesn’t have employees either and isn’t the boss of anyone. Because otherwise, they would be called an entrepreneur. That is the big difference between the two. A person can go from freelancing to entrepreneurship when the work becomes too much for them to handle it alone or they just don’t want to do it anymore so they found a company and hire people.

anamariapopa.com freelance work social media graphic designer

Freelancing is perfect for people who want to earn some extra money in addition to the job they’ve already got.  The good part is that freelancing is under their control and no one else’s – they decide what they work, for how long and for how much money. From a certain point on, there is the chance of quitting the job they’ve got and stay with freelancing, if everything went good before and their work is appreciated properly money-wise and also they like it. But in this decision, a big part is played by the freelancer, if they’ve got the flexibility and most of all, discipline for this.

Below you can find 10 ideas that help you earn a little extra money or why not, even become your job. The resources needed for these are not out of the ordinary and most of them only require a bit of effort and interest from your side.

1. Graphic designer – the creative guy (or girl!) who’s doing visuals like logos, infographics, lay-outs, etc.

2. Copywriter, content writer, blogger, editor – the guy (or girl!) who knows how to and what to write. It may seem as an easy task, but this is the person who needs to send the message of the brand out to the people, so that everybody can understand it clearly. This is the content creator.

3. Photo/video editor – the guy (or girl!) who knows how to edit pictures or videos another person takes or records. It goes also for processing, editing, montage, etc.

4. Photographer/cameraman – the guy (or girl!) who knows about taking pictures or videos. Of course, this is the type of activity where you also need a good equipment and that can be rather expensive.

5. Website developer – the guy (sorry I haven’t met any girls who do this) who builds your website and helps your business interact online best with the users.

6. Social Media specialist – the guy (or girl!) that knows not only everything about social networks, what they are and what you should be doing with them, but also tools and other helpful things (ex. Hootsuite).

7. Accountant – the guy (or girl!) who knows numbers and is confident enough to handle the ins and outs and taxes of a company.

8. Pet sitter – the guy (or girl!) who’s taking care of other people’s pets while they are away and have nobody to leave the pet with.

9. Moving help – the guy (it has to be a guy this time, really) who’s got a car or a van and uses it to help other people move stuff from one place to another and also gets payed for doing so.

10. Fitness or Yoga instructor/personal trainer – a bit of effort and also after graduating the required classes, practicing yoga can actually be very fun!

Ideas 4, 8, 9 and 10 go local since they require a physical presence in order to do them. But all the others can be done very easily online, for anybody in this world.

These days, we can’t really say ‘I don’t know how to do this or that’. We’ve got so many resources and tools in our hands and all we have to do is actually use them. Of course, the most basic one is Google. They don’t say Google it! for nothing! 🙂 So for any of the ideas above except the ones that require physical presence, there is a way of making it real. All you need is a computer with internet connection and maybe a software – like Photoshop for picture editing.

Then, when it comes to skill learning, there are many online classes that are free. The firsts that come to my mind are SkillShare, edX, Coursera, Udemy. From my own experience, I can recommend Coursera and Udemy after using them. They are really easy and user friendly, you just need a bit of time for creating an account and then some more discipline in order to keep going.

Regarding freelance jobs, I wouldn’t be able to tell my personal experience because all my jobs were recommended to me by people whom I’ve met. But interested freelancers can access this link on Entrepreneur and check it out or even Google it.

So, everything’s here from ideas to resources. Now, all you have to find is some ambition to do it. Good luck! 🙂

Photo – here.

PR: 5+5 Pros & Cons

It is a game of give and take, this is for sure. Even with the big picture painted, a career is not something that you just rush into. Do it with passion or not at all – somebody said and I couldn’t agree more. Knowing yourself leads you to know if you can handle the challenges that come with a PR career. The good and the bad, the achievements and the mistakes, all should teach you something.

5 PROS

1. Boring times? Never!

If you dislike routine, you’re in the right field. The work is so diverse that one day does not feel like another.

One week you can be dealing with a service provider who needs a Social Media strategy and the next one you’re planning a product launch event. Online and offline, writing articles and giving speeches, working from a desk or interacting with people all day long, there’s never a dull day in PR.

Think about all the opportunities, PR applies to any of them. You can work with clients from the public or private sector, or even non-profit organizations. Size? Giant corporations, small companies or start-ups. Fields? Automotive, travel, fashion, lifestyle, tech, you name it. Nope, no time to get bored.

2. Be a maker, you’re the storyteller

It’s up to you to use your imagination and make something out of nothing. Remember that people respond much better to emotions than anything else. You’ve got the tool to touch them – words. Using them appropriately can bring great outcome.

Now, even hotter is the topic of visual storytelling. Words and image or video – you can put together two things that have been put together before, but create something totally unique. How is that for a feeling?

3. The Creativity factor

Yes, Creativity with a capital letter, because it is that essential. A high level of creativity is one of the most significant skills a PR pro can posses. Whether as an in-house specialist or within an agency, writing, thinking and implementing are a big part of a PR position of any level.

Luckily, this is a skill that can be exercised by being a sponge, constantly curious about news in the field. Also, practicing a pro-active attitude when it comes to learning new things and research of any other info is a plus.

4. Not a one-fits-all

The PR sphere is about so many responsibilities based on a multitude of skills. From writing to pitching, giving presentations to planning and even researching, you can find your place. Working in a consultancy firm within a team makes you a specialist in your field, so don’t worry if you start out on one role, but then decide another one fits you better.

That’s the great news – you can find a position that fits you, whatever your skills or interests are.

5. You make a difference and should be really proud of it

It is not about you, yourself and you again. You work with people, for  other people. PR touches and has an impact. You are a part of the story all the way from when a hint of an idea is born, through pitching and into the closing. Just imagine a client calling you and saying they closed a deal thanks to the coverage a certain news had.

PR is power and it is in your control.

 

5 CONS

1. You value your free time too much

PR is not the field for a set schedule and to-do list. The job will never be 9-to-5 and the tasks will always, and yes I mean always be different. If you like predictable days, PR really isn’t the thing for you. Communication crises do not ask for permission on when to happen and that is the moment when you need to act right away. Also, if you have clients all over the world, you will need to set your meeting suitable for them. It can be very stressful for someone who is not flexible and doesn’t like to compromise, but it can also be very rewarding when passion is part of the story.

2. Read, watch, learn. Repeat.

Part of PR is doing the research on your clients’ field and/or competitors. Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and campaigns is also part of a pro’s duty, so constant work reading magazines and watching relevant videos is implied, yes.

3. You like to do things just to cross them off your list

Attention to details is very important and it goes all the way from articles being grammatically correct to hints of credibility when presenting of pitching. There is no room for sloppy mistakes, your work must be read and re-read, analyzed from all the angles that you can think of.

In PR. you need to cover all possible questions or assumptions in order to get a flawless result.

4. It’s not you, it’s your topic

Rejection is part of the process and pointing out mistakes will become daily routine. The only productive thing to do in those situations is to learn from your mistakes and become better. Figure out what you can improve and allow yourself to develop.

First of all, you will need to accept that you make mistakes. We all make them, it’s human. When something goes wrong, it doesn’t mean you’re not trying hard enough, just that you need to still improve and learn new things, maybe develop new skills. One of the don’ts when that moment comes is to make excuses or avoid responsibility.

5. Numbers? Ugh!

During a conference I once was invited to, some of the guests said – ‘PR specialists chose this field because they hate numbers’. I will remember it all my life, cause I admitted I related to that. But unfortunately, in real life and real PR, it doesn’t work like that. PR improves measurement and proves ROI, and that is exactly why measurement is a huge part of PR.

It has been a weak point for many time now, but things have changed. And this is especially needed in paid programs. An effort is needed for learning the basics, yes.

 

Hopefully, this has been a little more eye-revealing on what the PR career is built. As I said in the beginning, it is a game, but at the end of the day, the benefits outweigh the cons. A bit of effort and a lot of passion will make it worth it all.

Public Relations: Have you got what it takes?

I frequently get asked about the PR field. Last time, the conversation took place with a 20-something-year-old who’s hesitant about what to do next in this life.

– I was thinking to go for PR, if I can’t find anything that I like to do. How do I know if I’ve got what it takes? What’s the job? What do you actually do? How did you start?, they usually ask.

My reply is – ‘I didn’t choose PR, PR chose me.’ Basically, because it’s true. It all started as an extra thing to do besides university, in order to earn my own money. And I got really lucky this way, I admit it.

It was my second year at university and I got this question – ‘We saw you were passionate about Facebook, how would you like managing our business page as a job?’. Now, passionate is a special way of describing my Facebook skills. I was basically obsessed… All day, every morning till night, I was online on Facebook. I posted about everything, sharing things that I liked or found interesting. My day would be defined by the time between the new and the old posts in my news feed. But I said – hey, I’ll give it a try. And so I started learning about the professional way of using Facebook. Yes, it all started with Social Media for me, and then my duties got bigger and bigger. I would manage all the online accounts and then even got to the offline part – events, meetings, gatherings, projects. Anything that had to do with representing the company I worked for, a dental clinic in Bucharest.

Job Description

PR is easily defined by its name, yes – it is about managing the connections between the company you represent and the public. As a PR, you are responsible for the image and reputation perceived by the community. Your tasks consist of establishing, implementing and maintaining multiple ways of communication, as well as strong relationships with the media reps.

A PR officer can find his/hers place whether in an agency/PR consultancy firm or as an in-house specialist. The PR agencies enjoy the benefit of offering a wide range of services in many areas of expertise, but they can also concentrate on a particular field, such as consumer or B2C (business-to-consumer) PR, corporate or B2B (business-to-business) PR or just general public affairs.

In-house specialists can be found both in public or private sectors, but also in non-profit organizations. They are in charge for both internal and external communications and will face a challenge bigger than a PR consultant, given the fact that for this role, an in-depth knowledge of the field and business environment is needed.

I was an in-house PR officer in the dental field and even though my knowledge of actual medicine was limited, I found it amazing! My motivation came from learning new things, on a level that it makes sense for the future. I took part in dental interventions that showed pure anatomy. And with it, along came the struggle. As an outsider, I was highly impressed. As the employee of the clinic, I was taught basic dental activity. But as a PR specialist, I had to find the right way of putting into words an intervention that seems scary to the public. Challenging enough? This is a level apprehension not possible for an external PR.

Qualifications & Background

As any other field, some study is required. The most relevant fields would be:

  • Public Relations
  • Marketing
  • Journalism, Communication and/or Media
  • Creative Writing
  • Social Sciences.

I come with a background of Psychology and a passion about Communication and people – what drives them, what motivates them, etc.

Passion is much more important than whatever degree you’ve got. Passion is the first thing people read when they see you, and trust me when I say that you won’t have your degree subject written on your forehead.

One way for an employer of any kind to be sure of your passion is providing a history of volunteer work or internships. The no-pay or low-pay activity gives them an idea of how up you are for gaining experience. Subsequently, there are trainings, workshops and courses you can attend in order to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the field.

Skills

This is it – you either have it or you don’t:

  • Amazing verbal and written skills
  • Self-confidence, excellent presentation and networking skills
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Patience and great interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle pressure and juggle with different priorities and deadlines
  • Drive, flexibility, pro-active attitude, open-mindedness and willingness to learn new things
  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Business orientation.

Activity & Responsibilities

If you’ve made it to this point, now it gets real. PR is never just PR. PR has a way of asking for some Marketing skills, Event Planning, Budget Planning, Social Media or even Project Management talent.

Still here? Good, let’s see what this is all about.

Your work tasks may include, but wouldn’t be limited to:

  • Plan, develop, implement PR strategies
  • Set up the PR budget and needs
  • Create and maintain a favorable image and reputation of the company/brand/organization
  • Build relevant relationships with the media reps
  • Write press releases and promotional materials
  • Market research
  • Develop a Social Media strategy
  • Create new business opportunities
  • Attend and/or plan events, press conferences, open-days and/or exhibitions
  • Create a PR crisis strategy
  • Update information on any online platform
  • Constantly search to grow the contact list
  • Manage projects and/or product launches
  • Coordinate photo opportunities
  • Manage sponsorship and/or partnership opportunities
  • Write and edit all written communications – articles, speeches, case studies, reports
  • Manage the logistics of brochures, leaflets and/or videos.

FYI – For Your Info

These are just a few of the PR needs of any company, brand or organization. They may vary when working in a team, but just be prepared.

  • PR specialists are usually office-based, but the duty might also involve travel when meeting clients or potential clients, suppliers or partners
  • The dress-code is usually smart, unless a certain event says otherwise
  • Working hours may vary and involve unsocial hours
  • The career ladder can go from PR Assistant to Manager and then to Senior
  • Salaries do vary, depending on the career level, location and employer.

 

With that being said, it is important to know that PR presents a fierce competition when it comes to jobs in the field, for women and men equally. With the glamorous picture aside, a great significance should be given to both the pressure and the reward of choosing a career in this field.

 

Shall We? Let’s!

These past few months have taught me new things and changed a lot of how I pictured life till 24. One of them is also about the online and about being there. Some logistical issues like not having internet connection led to not writing on the blog anymore. And when that happens, sometimes you miss it. Other times, you worry you might have forgotten how to even do it. But there are moments when you come up with new ideas! So this is it now, I’m back here and there’s a catch 😀 From now on, you’ll be able to find business articles as well as the personal ones.

The new category, The Communicatoraims to share information and details about PR, Social Media, Marketing, Blogging, Communication, Storytelling, Networking, Social Relations, so that they can be understood and practiced by anyone who needs them or is passionate about them. It’s important to mention that the articles and info here are what I find valuable and believe they make a change by being shared – situations that I have encountered in my own activity and experience in these last 4 years of being in the field. In case of needing further info or examples or just for asking complimentary questions, the communication remains open after the articles are being published, so we can keep in touch whether by commenting on the article or by private message, through the contact page.

On the other hand, The Human category will represent, as before, the side of personal experiences and lessons, events in everyday life. It is my pleasure to share with you stories that have taught me different things, that helped me grow. Because, at the end of the day, we are not alone in this world and we do have so much that we can help each other with, right? 🙂

While The Human will be available for reading in Romanian and English, The Communicator is gonna show articles in English exclusively.

Now, this being out in the open, I just gotta write and find no excuses for it! There’s internet connection, there’s a new laptop on my desk, I am excited as a dog seeing its owner, so I’m gonna go for it!

We’re starting with a first picture about what a PR Specialist is and what does he/she do… Enjoy!

31 Days, Day 3 – First Speed (Business) Meeting

I remember my first business meeting.

I was scared, terrified even. About two years ago, I got my first job at Swiss Ecodent Clinic thanks to my addiction to Facebook. I was already known for that and they needed someone to take care of their Facebook page. Later on, I was in charge with their other social media accounts. Since I represented them online, the natural thing was to take over the offline part too. So I started going to networking events.

The first event I took part in was a Speed Business Meeting. That was extremely new to me, but it sounded a bit like the Speed Dating Meeting I’ve seen in the movies. Well, the concept was basically the same: you would pick a card from a box and look at the number and the type of activity. The number indicated at which table you will start. Regarding the activity, you could stay at one table the whole time, while others move around you (‘fixe’ in Romanian) or you’d be the one to move around (‘mobil’ in Romanian).

My card said ‘3 – fixe’, so that meant that I would be sitting at one table and the others move around me, yey – that was what I was hoping for. And the number three is my favourite and the one that’s lucky to me. Even more, red is the colour that suits me best!

 

anamariapopa.com blog post speed business meeting memories box 3 three red card lucky ana maria popa

 

It has every right to be in my memories box! 🙂