Michelle Garrett: Freelancing Equals Freedom

Michelle Garrett has been named one of the top 10 PR influencers in 2021 and has one of the top 25 must read PR blogs. She is one of the top PR leaders on the Internet.

Garrett’s FreelanceChat every Thursday is where people turn to on Twitter for tips and ideas on how to move their freelance business forward. She also co-hosts a Friday Twitter Space: PRLunchHour.

A regular job might bring you stability, in that there are regular paychecks. You know when and what you’re going to be paid every month. Freelance work, however, can be unstable. You don’t know if you’re going to eat or pay rent. The trade-off is freedom. Once you’ve had the freedom, it’s difficult to go back to a salaried job.

Garrett responds, “It would be hard. I’ve never done it. I have been approached and interviewed a couple of times for what I call regular, full-time jobs. My heart wasn’t in it. I can’t imagine giving this up. It feels like freedom to me. That’s just worth so much. Yes, I am making a living at it. I’ve had my ups and downs and better years. Yes, you have to support yourself, but it shouldn’t be only about that.”

Having your own website is your own ground, something you can manage. If you just have a page on someone’s platform, anything can happen without your knowledge or control.

Sometimes potential contracts seem sinister when trying to hire freelancers. “This will give you great exposure” or “This is good for your portfolio” is code for we are not going to pay you. There are others who ask you to take time-consuming tests, rather than accept your experience.

“People will try to get you to jump through as many hoops as they can get you to jump through,” adds Garrett. “You have to push back on things that you don’t feel are fair.”

That said, writing for exposure might be beneficial if it helps you reach a goal. Depending on the venue, it could help you build a presence and connect more people. If you’re getting something out of it, then you’re both benefiting from it.

Garrett’s advice to other freelancers is to remember to celebrate your wins. “Get comfortable talking about yourself, because if you don’t, who is going to? You’re going to have to be the one to put it on your website, to put it on your social media.”

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