Sam White explains the highs and lows of being a freelance creative, and how FreshBooks helps make the transition a lot smoother.
For a long time, I dreamed about freelancing. The freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime really attracted me to the gig, but I knew it wasn’t wise to start there.
So before I made the leap as a solopreneur, I worked as an art director for an advertising agency in Charlotte, North Carolina. Working there, I loved talking to clients and discovering their pain points, goals and successes.
Ultimately, collaborating with them made me desire self-employment even more—the ability to offer clients a more full-service working relationship without the boundaries of the company I was working for. It was the push I needed and, about a year ago, I made the leap. I decided to give freelancing a shot.
It Was a Bit of a Rocky Start, so I Decided to Share It Through a Video Blog
As a fresh face to entrepreneurship, you can say the transition from full-time employment to self-employment wasn’t always easy. Over the last year, I’ve been working hard to get accustomed to the pace, while wrapping my arms around my new responsibilities as a small business owner.
The experience has been a blessing, but it’s also been challenging—and that’s something I didn’t want to keep quiet about. So to share my experiences about the transition to freelancing, I turned to YouTube where I created my channel, IamSamWhite. My hope is to use these videos as a way to engage with other freelancers who experience the same struggles and triumphs—and help them understand they’re not alone. Interestingly enough, FreshBooks was a recent topic in one of my videos.
In Search of a Solution to Give Me My ‘Time’ Back
This is embarrassing but, before FreshBooks, I used a folder, calculator and kept receipts of my expenses—when I say manual tracking, I mean manual. I would spend countless hours documenting this information, and not enough time getting client work done… the work I was excited to do. Bookkeeping was an absolute nightmare but I knew it had to be done.
Understanding that I would have to learn how to better balance the two, I kept my eyes peeled and my ears open for a solution. I first heard about FreshBooks in a podcast advertisement (I’m a complete podcast fiend). I signed up for a trial about 6 months ago and it’s been a complete lifesaver. Now, I could dedicate more time to doing what I do best. FreshBooks gives me a much clearer picture of how my business is doing. I can say just from using it over the past few months, I’ve saved 4–5 hours a week in paperwork and administrative tasks.
An Easier Way to Prioritize Projects
Many of my clients have ongoing projects … and at the same time. With Invoices, I can easily keep track of the projects I’m working on, as well as the ones I’ve completed. FreshBooks really helps me answer the questions: “Who needs work?” and “what’s my priority?” I’ve learned that keeping track of clients is a huge undertaking, and I’m glad I found a better solution for managing it.
A Streamlined Way to Keep Track of Time
As a small business owner, I’ve learned how easy it is to lose track of time when you’re in the middle of your work. Time is truly on my side with FreshBooks. I use Time Tracking to understand how much time I’ve spent on certain tasks and projects.
A Comprehensive Tool that Makes Bookkeeping a Breeze
I love to learn so, in terms of bookkeeping, FreshBooks makes it easier for me to do and learn at the same time. Rather than fully handing my Reports off to a professional and never seeing my expenses, I can now completely understand what’s happening in my business. It’s a much different change of pace compared to the past where I did everything manually, which was so archaic and such a nightmare.
Growing with FreshBooks
FreshBooks is fantastic in keeping me in line with my goals. Thinking big picture and looking forward, I can really understand if I’m moving in the right direction or not. On my YouTube channel, I’m creating a community and sharing tools that are making self-employment easier for me. Had I known about FreshBooks in the past, it would have been really helpful when I was freelancing on top of my full-time job.
For me, FreshBooks is professional, easy to use, and makes it simple for your clients to work with you. Above all, it’s been a massive time saver and I’ve got the hours to prove it.