If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am the SHE-O of Millennial Pink Media, a freelance digital marketing agency. Freelancing has become an important part of my lifestyle now that I work for myself full-time — which is why I’m introducing my new series Freelance Friday!
Every Friday, I’ll be posting on a hot topic in freelancing for all my freelance friends to read and debate about. And for all my endo babes out there: if you’re interested in a flexible job that makes time for doctor’s appointments and offers unlimited sick leave, this is your opportunity to learn more about freelancing!
Now, I should note that there are many careers that offer the opportunity to freelance, ranging from virtual assistance to wedding photography to what I do, a.k.a. content marketing. I will be writing primarily from my experience as a freelance content marketer, but trying to post a mixture of blogs focused on my profession and focused on freelancing in general. By doing this I hope to appeal to all kinds of freelancers with my Freelance Friday content!
Today, I’m going to be writing about a topic all of us freelancers can relate to: moving from freelancing part-time with a full-time job, to making freelancing a full-time job. So, without further ado, here’s how I managed my transition from social media manager to Founder and CEO of my own freelancing business.
I built up a clientele.
While working at my previous job, I started using websites like Freelancer.com and Upwork to land clients. I started out doing small social media marketing jobs that were typically one-time paid gigs. However, they helped me transition from my full-time job to freelancing full-time by giving me valuable experience on my freelance resume, good reviews on my freelance profiles and strong testimonials for my freelance website. By the time I was ready to go full-time with freelancing, I already had a strong portfolio of work I’d done for other clients that I could share with potential new clients, on and off Upwork.
I branded my freelance business.
As a freelancer, I knew I wanted to register as an LLC and brand my business separately from my personal name. When I was a college blogger, I used my name as my brand — and I wanted to keep my freelance business as separate from that part of my life as possible. So, I chose to name my business Millennial Pink Media, LLC, both because pink is my favorite color and because we’re a business run by millennials that’s in touch with the latest trends on social media (like millennial pink!). I also put together a logo and color palette, with distinct fonts to use in all of my branding. By keeping my website and social media cohesive, I built a stronger visual brand for my freelancing business.
I registered as an LLC.
On my recent podcast episode with Amanda Cross of The Ambitious Freelancer, I talk about why I chose to register my freelancing business as an LLC (click here if you want to listen). LLC stands for “limited liability company,” and helps you protect your personal assets from legal expenses for your business. For example, if a client sued you, you lost the case and you were asked to pay them restitution, the bank cannot seize your house or car if you cannot afford the fee, because they are not considered part of your business. Your liability is therefore limited by registering as an LLC.
It’s complicated stuff, but I highly recommend reading up on becoming an LLC and seriously considering whether this might be a good move for your business. If you’re a part-time freelancer without much skin in the game, you may not need to register as an LLC. But if you freelance full time like I do, and your business assets are woven in with your personal ones, registering as an LLC is an essential step for protecting yourself legally.
In the state of Ohio, an LLC can be formed by filing a document called the Articles of Organization, basically stating that you formed your business on X day with X as the founder(s). Usually, you file these with your state and then are required to pay a fee to register your LLC with the government. In some states, you must also file annual reports with the government, or else you risk losing your status as an LLC. (The State of Ohio does not require this, to the best of my knowledge.)