Sarah Robb owns her quirkiness. It’s one of the first things you’ll learn by visiting her website and something her clients adore. A seven-year freelance copywriter, she’s created a brand infused with her personality. It’s helped her find the best clients and the projects she loves to take on.
“When you say that you’ve seen my brand evolve through the time we’ve known each other,” she says. “I think that comes from a place of confidence and from recognizing that the more I put myself and who I am out there, the better that leads to the clients that are the right fit for me and the clients that, truthfully, I want to be working with and the projects that I want to put in my portfolio.”
She hasn’t always had this confidence, however. Though she was always a bit of an entrepreneur, spending her teenage years making and passing out flyers for odd jobs, freelancing wasn’t even a thought when she graduated college.
Instead, she joined a creative agency that offered work and a team that she loved. The longer she worked within the company’s rigid hours and one-client-per-employee structure, though, the more she chafed against these boundaries.
“I just immediately felt that life was a little bit more stagnant than I had imagined, especially as someone with creative tendencies,” she says. “I felt a little bit boxed in by that traditional work role, which I really wasn’t anticipating.”
She’d built a network of contacts during various internships, already opening the door to freelancing opportunities. Since her job wasn’t the perfect fit, she decided to give independent creating a try. Spending a few years in the industry to build contacts and work before going into it full-time was the best option, advisors told her, but Sarah decided to do things her own way.
“I did none of that. I dove in right from the beginning and went all in,” she says. “Immediately once I did that, as great as those first job opportunities were, I felt so much more comfortable with the unknown of making my own income and doing my own thing than I did with being boxed into the traditional role. And that just has worked for me.”
As great as her newly discovered freedom was, it did come with many ups and downs, particularly in her first six months of freelancing.
“I can’t speak for all freelancers, but for me it was a roller coaster, especially being not that long out of school,” she says. “I had no idea what I was doing, no idea what I should be charging, and it was just kind of flying by the seat of my pants, which I’ve learned is kind of what everyone’s doing anyways.”
Yet, despite the struggle, these challenges only made Sarah more committed to her pursuit.
“But at the time, it was just kind of forging a path. I didn’t know quite where I was going, but it was really rewarding,” she says. “I remember getting those first paychecks that I earned completely on my own with no middle man and just feeling like, ‘I can do this.’ And it really lit a fire under me to be like, ‘How can I grow this?’ I was just so hungry to take on any opportunities I could as a freelancer.”
Over the years, she’s learned how to balance that hunger with her own needs. Taking the time to indulge in her interests and get away is the perfect way to re-energize, setting both her and her clients up for success when she returns.
“Having those boundaries was a big draw of freelance life in the beginning, but I’ve definitely got better about setting them and sticking to them,” she says. “In the beginning I would also say yes to any deadline. I had a hard time, for instance, going on a vacation and leaving my computer closed the whole time. And that has kind of evolved. That is one of the biggest benefits of being my own boss, so I should be able to find a way to take advantage of that.”
Today, she continues to thrive in the freedoms freelancing offers. From finding clients that share her quirkiness to having the opportunity to travel, freelancing allows her to build the life she chooses.
“Whatever that is, when you’re self-employed and you’re your own boss, you’re capable of creating that. And it takes some finessing and some moving around of the puzzle pieces, but to have that control and that capability is really really valuable to me,” she says. “There are a ton of reasons that I think could vouch for my choice to stay in freelance, but probably the biggest one is just a different kind of freedom, the freedom to manifest my own destiny. I love that.”
Hear the full story here as we learn how to determine your worth as a freelancer, why Sarah is passionate about women’s empowerment, and how you can get to a place of saying “Hell, yes!” to the things that matter.
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