The pandemic was a massive catalyst for change, whether we liked it or not — some good, some bad. For professionals, it meant being faced with redundancy, uncertainty and an unavoidable need to adapt. And for a lot of full-time employees like Will Bradley, the pandemic was an introduction to freelancing.
Will is a multidisciplinary SEO specialist, and one of the many people whose career went through a seismic shift during the pandemic. He started considering a freelance life while on furlough from his job, but after three months of looking for clients, the prospect of self-employment was looking bleak.
“I was still getting furlough money at this point, so I was lucky in that I did have a bit of breathing space and I could try and find clients while also keeping the wolf from the door.”
Freelancing had always been a semi-formed option for him, but it didn’t really take off until he started working through Passionfruit. “In the back of my mind [freelancing] had always been a goal of mine because of the flexibility and the earning potential, and also the ability to work on lots of different interesting projects,” he says. “By the time [Passionfruit] got in touch, I had about two or three clients, but nowhere near the level Passionfruit has. So it was a great moment when it came through.”
“At that stage in my journey it was like a real shot in the arm, it gave me the confidence to really go for the whole freelance thing. Because there was a period where I was thinking ‘when this furlough period ends, I could either keep plugging away in freelance life, or I could go in-house somewhere.’ So yeah, the work with Passionfruit has definitely pushed me towards the freelance route.”
Will has been working with a Passionfruit client since last July and has just secured a second client, both of which are offering him the quality of work he was looking for. “I would say the quality of clients is not just financial, it's also the sophistication of the projects. The kind of access that Passionfruit has was completely game-changing for me. If I could have come up with like a dream client, they would have been it.”
When asked what he loves so much about his Passionfruit clients, he says the projects have not only allowed him to work on something he’s passionate about, but also pivot into an era of the industry that is relevant to his interests.
“Being able to get stuck into a sophisticated project definitely improves my experience in a huge way. It's also given me great exposure to DeFi and Web3 businesses, which is something which, potentially, in the future, I could specialise in. It had crossed my mind but it didn't seem possible unless I had a kind of showcase of work to show for it, so when [the project] did come along it made it feel possible.”
Another bonus? The ease of not having to look for those clients in the first place, or pitch himself. “If I go after a client myself, I need to sort of convince them of who I am and my credentials,” he explains, but thanks to Passionfruit, he can cut through the red tape and get matched with high-level clients without having to lift a finger. “I had a call with a client I had never spoken with before. By the end of the call hit agree to go ahead and we're starting this Monday.”
Today Will has turned that initial uncertainty into confidence. “At the beginning, it was slightly more worrying. You've got to pay rent, you have to pay software costs, so there is an element of risk. But now that there’s more cash in the business account I think even if everyone quit tomorrow, I could just regroup and find some more clients.”
To any freelancers reading, borrow a page from Will’s book: all you need is an abundance mindset… and Passionfruit!