My third guest on the #SheCanDoIt series is Anna Lao-Kaim. Anna took the leap from full-time employment into freelance journalism in 2019 and shares her tips for those looking to do the same.
Growing up in New Zealand where there was an emphasis on creative writing in the school curriculum, Anna has always had a passion for writing. During her time at university she was Features Editor of a university paper and spent a summer in La Paz in Bolivia working for a magazine.
Anna has worked for some incredible publications: Quintessentially Travel, The Times, InStyle, Waitrose Kitchen and Get The Gloss, to name a few. During our interview she gives some helpful insights into what a day in the life of a journalist looks like across various different roles.
Before going freelance in 2019, Anna was the Senior Features Editor at Get The Gloss, where she worked for 7 years. Highlights included creating their Experts Directory and winning awards for both herself and the team.
We talk about the challenges of getting into journalism and the initiatives driving change, such as the social enterprise Press Pad that is fighting to lower the financial barrier of entry into journalism through networking, mentoring and helping with accommodation.
Anna shares her top tips for anyone looking to go freelance:
- Join one of the many support groups available to freelancers.
- Think about alternative revenue streams when you're starting out (e.g. part time work) and try and get some consistent income.
- Don't be afraid to take on the not so glamorous work if it keeps the money coming in and you get to work with lovely clients.
- Nurture relationships, even on zoom whilst working from home.
- Find your niche.
- Set aside time for business admin.
- Always send the email...as long as you tailor it.
- Keep a spreadsheet of people you want to work with and ideas for content.
- Know your worth; charge for the years, not the minutes.
- See your peers as your colleagues and not your competition.
- Ask! People are so generous with their time and their advice.
- Work the days and hours you want to; if you work well at the weekend or late at night, do it!
To watch the full episode on IGTV click here.
To find out more about Anna and the resources she mentioned in her interview, take a look at:
Press Pad Social Enterprise: https://presspad.co.uk
35 Thousand: https://35thousand.com