One of the biggest challenges of freelance life is that it can sometimes feel that you’re completely on your own. Working from home can feel isolating, and it’s easy to forget that there are lots of others in exactly the same boat as you.
One way of feeling part of a bigger community is to find out what self-employed life is like for others, and an instant way to do that is to listen to podcasts and watch vlogs made by freelancers, for freelancers. It’s also a great way to pick up tips on how other freelancers tackle common issues with self-employment and learn new things you could implement to help your own business run more smoothly. Here are five of the best freelance vlogs and podcasts to get you started.
1. Being Freelance
Steve Folland is a freelance video producer whose Being Freelance podcast is published weekly, with a different freelancer interviewed each episode. Copywriters, graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, you name it — the full complement of freelance professions is represented in the more than 140 episodes now on the website. Whether you work in the same profession as the person being interviewed or not, it’s fascinating to hear other freelancers’ stories and experiences, and it’s a vast mine of useful tips for anyone trying to make it on their own.
Off the back of the success of the podcast, Being Freelance has also grown into a nicely edited vlog detailing Steve’s own day-to-day life as a freelancer – an entertaining yet informative insight into how he manages his workload and the other challenges of freelance life. The great thing about both the vlog and the podcast isn’t just Steve’s infectious enthusiasm and obvious commitment to his work; it’s the tips he shares for running a freelance business that viewers can apply to their own. Each week there’s a new lesson learned, whether it’s the importance of taking time off, how to outsource tasks or how to ask clients for a testimonial.
2. Melanie Chadwick
Melanie Chadwick is a freelance artist and illustrator whose YouTube vlog covers numerous aspects of running a creative business. With new videos uploaded each week, you’ll find several different styles of video to enjoy on her channel, including behind-the-scenes looks at her freelance life, ‘how to’ art and illustration videos, and an informative series called ‘Creative Conversations’ in which she interviews other creatives about the challenges of running this kind of business — a great place to pick up tips if you freelance in this industry. Her Sketchbook series also offers a glimpse of her work, such as this beautifully edited video of her in-situ sketches of Porthleven.
3. Freelance Mum
If you’re a freelancer and also happen to be a parent, Freelance Mum is the podcast for you. Contrary to what the name suggests, it’s actually for dads as well as mums, and it offers advice and support to those juggling freelance life with parenthood. The work of freelance broadcaster and voiceover artist Faye Dicker, the podcast features a different inspiring story each episode, such as this one about an exciting new ‘Business Choir’ initiative. There are also podcast versions of popular blog posts offering advice to freelancers, such as this useful piece on the importance of putting your prices up – perfect for listening to while you’re driving or cooking if you’re struggling to find time to sit and read a blog.
4. The Freelancers’ Show
One from across the pond, the Freelancers’ Show is hosted by freelance programmer Charles Max Wood, often with a panel of other contributors. With the help of various guests, each episode of the show discusses a different theme of freelance life relevant to freelancers whether they’re from the USA or not. Recent topics have included taking holidays and writing better project proposals.
5. Chris the Freelancer
Many people dream of becoming location-independent, and the growing popularity of the digital nomad movement reflects that. If you dream of freelancing your way around the world, Chris the Freelancer is a great vlog to subscribe to. The channel features a mix of useful videos explaining how to follow this path yourself, along with content such as interviews with other digital nomads, masterclasses in how to make money online and inspiring travel vlogs.
For lots more advice about going freelance and coping with the challenges of self-employment, take a look at some of our other posts on freelancing.
Rachel Ramsay is a freelance copywriter with a background in digital marketing. She's written copy for clients ranging from the United Nations World Food Programme to The North Face, and particularly enjoys working with lifestyle and travel brands. In her spare time, she volunteers for Guide Dogs and flies light aircraft and helicopters.Read full profile