Freelancing – not for the faint of heart
By: Thanya Gonzalez
It was a message of hope, persistence and discipline for those wanting to learn the skills necessary to becoming their own boss.
Three panelists, Lance Lawhon, Leslie Hancock and Susan Lahey, all experienced freelance writers, spoke to Texas State students as part of Mass Comm Week.
“You are your own product,” said Hancock, a freelance communications professional. “You have to outline the benefits you can provide to potential clients.”
Lawhon, president of New Covenant Consulting, cautioned that working for oneself and from home takes a lot of hard work.
“You have to have discipline. No one is going to come wake you up to do it (work),” said Lawhon. “You need to know that you really want to do this. Learn to manage yourself and your time and keep track of all of your expenses.”
Lahey, a principal for Fishpond Content, urged students to find what they are really passionate about, find out how to do it and then make it happen.
Networking is key. Described by Hancock as “one of the most connected towns,” Austin is a place where you can network everyday. Hancock called on aspiring journalists to build their contact list and their portfolio.
Being comfortable with the web is an integral part of society, according to Lawhon. Blogging, web content and social media are among the many categories journalists are responsible for.
“Anyone who has experience is social media is of value,” said Hancock. “Clients don’t know what to do with social media so they’re relying on you. Being a freelancer is all about agility.”