How to be more visible in business

It’s really key, as business owners, that we need to be more visible and that we feel confident doing so. It’s no good doing Insta Lives or Facebook posts and not enjoying the process. Styling can really help that.

Jennifer Jones Styling


Do you ever have those moments when you stare the wardrobe endlessly, just hoping the right outfit might jump out at you?

Is there really the ultimate look, that makes you feel professional and not feel over the top at the school gates?!

Turns out there is! And Jennifer Jones Styling tells us how as busy Freelance Mums, we can create it.

After all (as she rightly points out) it’s key as business owners, that we need to be more visible and that we feel confident doing so. It’s no good doing Insta Lives or Facebook posts and not enjoying the process. Styling can really help that.

Find out more in the latest podcast!

Like what you heard? Then don’t forget you can try Freelance Mum for FREE for 30 days, in our awesome online community The Mothership.

As well as busy mum, running her own business, Jennifer can also be found heading up the Freelance Mum netwalks in Southampton.


Managing a freelance career around a chronic illness

Living with a chronic illness is 80% mindset, the rest you can’t do much about, but the 80% you can really deal with that.

Katie Silverthorne, Voiceover Artist and Disabilty Adovcate


Imagine living in a world, where one day you’re fine and the next you’re having a ‘porridge day’ – one foot physically feels like it’s stuck in a bowl of porridge!

Voiceover Artist and Disability Advocate, Katie Silverthorne, shares how she lives with MS and how you can manage a chronic illness around a freelance career, in this weeks Freelance Mum podcast.



The importance of entering awards

Take a punt on yourself – because no one else is going to. As a freelancer, you’ve got to believe in yourself, just as you believed in your business.

Multi-award winning, Singer-Song writer, Rachel Walker-Mason



It’s so easy to feel ‘terribly British’ when it comes to entering awards – like it’s not quite the done thing to put yourself forwards! In this weeks podcast, Faye Dicker speaks to multi award winning, singer, song writer, Rachel Walker Mason, about the importance of entering awards. Because believe me, you’re worth it!

We believe in fairies

At Freelance Mum, we believe in fairies. Not just woodland ones, or the ones who put money under pillows, but the ‘real life’ ones who help bring people together. Which is why we’re on the look out for some more – to help ‘spread our wings’, you might say. Let me explain.

It was in 2014 that Freelance Mum was born. As many of you will know, it was born of my own need, of being a freelance voiceover artist, trying to juggle motherhood around children. I couldn’t find a place that allowed me to connect with fellow mums in business AND bring my children. And if it didn’t exist, then I’d just have to invent it.


So I ‘took a punt’, put the word out and invited as many people as I thought possible to try out the first netwalk. It was in Ashton Court and 15 ‘Freelance Mums’ turned up with their children – it was a hit.


The rest, as they say, is history. I went on to launch two meetings a month and the awesome on line community The Mothership, to help FMs feel connected in between meetings. The strength of the community has always been in both the online and offline offering. Having actual, ‘real life conversations’ at the meetings, as well as deepening them online, in between.


And like every one, the pandemic forced me to look at my own business model and accelerated my thinking. The digital coffee morning was introduced, the meetings were simplified to their original form of the netwalk and The Mothership prospered.


But if I’m honest, I mean really completely honest, my growth has been stunted by my own fear of ‘being too old for my business’. I mean – where did that come from? On one hand Freelance Mum feels like my calling, on the other I have always worried, that one day I might become too old for my own community. Talk about a complete contradiction!


It was a recent coffee with a friend who helped dispel that one. The look of horror – sadness, when I shared I was worried one day I’d become too old for my business, and she quite simply said ‘But Faye, you’ll be an elder of your own community. Who could know more about being a Freelance Mum than you?’.


And she’s right. Myth (or rather, fear) busted. If I can’t become an elder in my own community, then something has gone wrong! And now that that’s busted, it allows me to remember the vision of Freelance Mum again.


Bear with me, while I tell another story (and I will get back to the fairies soon, I promise) it was at a Freelance Mum coffee morning that a fab FM recommended the book The Natural Health Service, as part of the weekly ‘Espresso Shot’. She spoke with such conviction of the book that I had to buy it. And in turn, it’s crystalized my own thinking.


In very, very short, the author writes about the importance of connecting with nature – whatever that might look like for you. Walking, cold water swimming, going to the allotment – but just how much as human beings we need it. It underlines my own thinking, I have always believed that a ‘walk and a talk’ is so much better than just a talk. A case of ‘throw your problems in the air and see which ones fall down again’ – it’s much easier to find a clearer framework for thinking, when you’re walking outside. You suddenly have clarity again.


The netwalks are here to stay. But more importantly than that, we want more of them. I’d love to know there was a Freelance Mum hub, wherever some one needed one. And that with our support, new hubs could emerge and mini netwalks take place all over the country.


Which is where the fairies come in. You see, we want Freelance Mum Fairies, to help head up the walks. To be the FM host in their area. They’d get all the support and help from us at FM HQ, but they would be the FM Fairy, of where they live.


And in the same way that Freelance Mum members enjoy The Mothership in between meetings, they could also join our awesome online community.


Final story for this blog post (I promise) but I like to share my thinking. It was yesterday, I was hosting a Facebook Live with Adele Williams, from Super Funky Penguin. She gave her talk the brilliant title ‘Post Apocalyptic Hope for Freelancers’ and shared her story of how she went from nearly closing her business as a result of lockdown, to having a pivotal moment. As she spoke of the moments leading up to that realization she said ‘because it’s important you use your talents to add some value to the world’.


Freelance Mum might have been born of my own need, of juggling motherhood around business, but it’s through running Freelance Mum that’s made me realize my own talent is helping to connect people. And I believe that we can keep connecting people and keep making a difference, wherever they live.


So if you’re reading this and always wanted to try the Freelance Mum magic, then now is the time. Or perhaps you know of some one who would really benefit from the blanket of support that Freelance Mum offers – share this with them.


We’re on the look out for Freelance Mum Fairies, to host monthly netwalks, in whatever area of the country you live. Yes, there are finer details we need to suss out, but lets start with the baby steps. So if this is talking to you, then get in touch. Because I believe in fairies, who help bring people together. Lets keep sharing the Freelance Mum adventure together.

A big, but little change at Freelance Mum

Righty, it’s time to make a little announcement. It’s both ‘big and little’ all at the same time and one I have given a great deal of thought to.

Like most of you, I’ve spent most of this year, trying to make sure my business is Covid compliant and still brilliant bang for your buck. Who’d have thought it would have taken up so much head space?

My ‘why’ when I started Freelance Mum 6 years ago, was to support fellow ‘freelance mums’, juggling business around motherhood. It was born of my own need, being a freelance voiceover artist, juggling motherhood around a toddler and baby.

It was the most challenging time for me and I felt sure I couldn’t be alone. Which is why Freelance Mum was born; child-friendly networking for mums in business.

6 years on and that ‘why’ hasn’t changed. It very much feels like my calling, to support fellow ‘freelance mums’ (and for ‘freelance’, please feel free to insert whichever word you most identify with – sole trader, limited company, micro business, contractor – the point remains the same).

In it’s first guise, Freelance Mum was a series of podcasts, to try and ‘showcase and support’ fellow FMs. From there it became a ‘netwalk’ – a chance for us to meet up face to face. Guest speakers were introduced, venues were hired, The Mothership was launched and we established an amazing community both on and offline.

Along the way there have been sponsors, membership launched, awards, recognition above my wildest dreams, but above all of this the most epic and awesome army of fab Freelance Mums!

It’s amazing to think the last time we were all in a room together, was celebrating International Women’s Day. We were at Redmaids’ High Junior School – with our own event, Brave, Bold & Bonkers and not only that, with Rachel Mason leading us, we formed a bonkers choir and we sang Katie Perry’s ‘Roar’ – what a fitting song!

Anyway, the reason I’m reflecting on all this, is because it’s so good to see how far we have all come and shared this bonkers journey together. Freelance Mum has always been about getting to know the person behind the business and being the mother of all networking – which I still firmly believe it is.

Covid came, I began daily lockdown Facebook lives, the coffee morning was launched and we all pulled together. As restrictions eased, the netwalk was introduced again and we were able to actually see each other in real life!

And it was during those netwalks, it made me realize that actually, the simplicity of the netwalk was the future. Not just for Covid times – but going forward. There will still be special occasions (like hopefully Brave, Bold & Bonkers, National Freelancers Day and The Evening Sessions) when we can come together, under a roof, but for now netwalks are here to stay!


So back to the point of this message (and well done for reading this far, it really wasn’t meant to be so epic, but I think it’s important to understand the thinking) in terms of Freelance Mum membership and what it means to you – here’s what it gives you:

* • Our awesome online community The Mothership, packed with daily focus questions, expert advice and friendship
* • Weekly Facebook lives, with guest speakers and experts in their fields
* • Weekly coffee morning on Zoom
* • Two child-friendly netwalks a month, to support you and your business
* • Brave, Bold & Bonkers
* • National Freelancers Day
* • The Summer Evening Sessions
* • The Christmas Evening Sessions
* • February half term tree planting at Tractors & Cream

In addition to this, we are also piloting Transformation Tuesday next week and if this is a success it will stay.

Transformation Tuesday takes the format of a monthly Zoom call at 9:30am and then again at 2:00pm, to set a goal or decision for one thing you can work on that day, which will transform your business. We then check in at the end of the day, to see how you got on. Accountability and ‘frog eating’ Freelance Mum style!

So in terms of the change, like I said at the beginning, it really is both ‘big and little’.

We will continue to meet twice a month, but we’ll network without walls!

Thank you for reading this far and supporting my own small business, Freelance Mum – quite simply it wouldn’t be here without you. If you have any questions or comments please fire away.


Small Business Booming despite lockdown

“I was a bit concerned at first, that children might get bored and wander off mid Zoom lesson! But I haven’t experienced anything like that, I keep it very relaxed, happy and jokey – they are generally very good. I think they are very happy to chat and have the session”.

Vicky, Additions Tutoring


Coronavirus is the toughest problem many businesses have faced – but some are successfully forging ahead. Vicky from Additions Tutoring joins Faye Dicker and Laura Rawlings to share her story of adapting and thriving, when it comes to home tutoring.

How would you like to ‘feel’ in 2020?

This beautiful guest blog post, comes from Lesley Waldron, Wild Country Woman – focusing on how you want to feel in 2020.


New year’s resolutions are often about what we want to do or what we want to change.


Sometimes they come from a negative place….or because we just feel that we ‘should’.


But how about thinking about 2020 in a different way? About how you want to feel?


So, think about next year.


On December 31st 2020. How would you like to feel? 


Take a deep breath. Take a moment to bring yourself forward in time. Close your eyes if that helps.


Really and truly. What do you feel?


This could be how you feel emotionally.


How you feel in your body.


How you feel in your family.


How you feel in your community.


How you feel in your workplace or your business.


How you feel in your life at that moment.


It could be words and feelings that apply to all of those elements of your life.


Not what you are doing. Not what you have accomplished, but what you feel.


Got it?


Write it down if you can….I love a big piece of recycled paper and colourful felt tips. Don’t take too long, give yourself a little peace and quiet and just write from your gut, don’t let your busy mind take over too much with the realities of life.




What could take you closer to that feeling today?


What could take you closer to that feeling next week?


What could take you closer to that feeling over the course of this year?


In order to feel that way, how are you acting in your everyday life?


In order to feel that way, what do you need to add into your life?


And what (or who) do you need to take out?


This could be behaviours, people, actions, habits, communities, obligations, values.


Keep writing. Keep colouring. Keep jotting. Don’t think too hard. Put on some tunes…and let it flow.


There is no right or wrong answer.


And from all of this.


Take one thing. 


Look at the words.


What jumps out? What makes your tummy flutter in a good way?


Can you take action on that. Today.


Not next year. Not waiting for the right time.




If you’d like to explore this further, with a warm and welcoming group of women, come and join the next Wildly Well Woman retreat on 26th January 2020, for some New Year intention-setting as well as some relaxation and nourishment to get the year off to a great start.




The importance of working on the business rather than in it

It’s an exciting time at FM HQ, as we’ve finally announced Freelance Mum Micro Business Retreat 2020!

We know just how hard the juggling act can be and why it’s important to take a step back out of life and gain perspective again. We firmly believe there is no better place for it, than at Tractors & Cream and with The Freelance Mum Micro Business Retreat, there is something for the whole family.







We take a look back over this brilliant blog from Rin Hamburgh as she looks at some of the best approaches, when it comes to working ON your business and how it can be of benefit all round.

The importance of working on the business rather than in it

If you had to break down your working week into hourly chunks, what proportion of them would be spent on working in the business versus working on the business. By that I mean, how much time do you spend doing the do – making your products, working with clients, sorting the admin – versus planning, strategising, clarifying your vision, setting goals.

Working on the business is vital but too often it gets pushed down the to do list as we frantically try to meet client deadlines and get orders shipped. All the while juggling the million and one other things we Freelance Mums have to do – the cooking, the washing, the cleaning, the ferrying of children to music and drama and football.

No wonder taking a break to plan where your business will be in five years feels like a luxury! But of course, it isn’t. In fact, without taking a step back and looking at the big picture, you’re likely to drift and either not achieve those goals you had back when you launched, or at the very least get there via a much longer and more complicated route than you need to.


How I learn to be more on and less in

Next month will be three years since I launched Rin Hamburgh & Co. Back when the first website went live in August 2016, I didn’t have a clue where it would all end up. I didn’t even call the business an agency, that’s how unsure I was of what I was doing!

The best thing that ever happened to me was chatting to the lovely Claire Stone, who I met at Freelance Mum, over a coffee one day and hearing all about the Entrepreneurial Spark programme. A business incubator with a focus on growing and developing the business leader not just the business itself. I applied that day.

It was the smartest business move I ever made. Previously I’d spent the majority of my time writing copy for my clients and editing the work of my small freelance team. Now suddenly I was being asked to explain my business model to my mentor. I was being challenged on whether I knew my numbers, not just now but for the future. I was pitching to a room full of strangers.

Why stepping back propels you forward

It was a huge challenge because it felt like a distraction when there was website copy to be written and blog posts to be proofread. But if I hadn’t stopped and looked at my numbers, for example, I wouldn’t have realised I could afford to bring on a part time assistant. If I hadn’t given some serious thought to my profit margins, I would still be underselling myself.

Today Rin Hamburgh & Co is a team of five with a six figure annual turn over. We’ve won a number of awards and been featured in Bristol 24-7 and the Bristol Post. We’ve worked with multinational clients and on five figure projects.

None of this would have happened if I hadn’t taken time on a regular basis to stop, reflect on what we’ve been doing, look forward to where we’re going, adjust the vision, set goals, make plans and learn new skills to keep propelling us towards my dream business.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have to challenge myself pretty much daily to make space and time for working on rather than in the business. Thankfully we’re back on what is now called the NatWest Accelerator programme, so I’ve got a new mentor to be accountable to!

How to be more on and less in

As I’ve already mentioned, having a mentor or an accountability partner can be hugely beneficial. That might be a coach like our very own Karen Cook, it could be a fellow Freelance Mum who you meet up with regularly or someone else in your industry. There are also accountability or mastermind groups, where small groups of business owners come together to help and encourage each other on a regular basis.

Carving out ‘on the business’ time in your diary and guarding it ferociously is important too. I have two hours on a Friday that I call my reflection time, and I really notice the difference if I don’t do it.







You can also set aside a special day every now and then – perhaps once a quarter – where you can really focus on all of that big picture stuff. Because sometimes it takes a while before you can relax and get into the right headspace where you’re not worrying about what to cook the kids for dinner.

But don’t forget the value of working on your business with others, which can be incredibly encouraging and inspiring. And if you’re looking for an opportunity, check out the Freelance Mum Micro Retreat. What a perfect chance to reflect, learn, chat and have fun with a bunch of other mums in a similar position to you. Not to mention being surrounded by beautiful countryside like you will be at Tractors & Cream!

Whatever time you can squeeze out of your schedule to work on rather than in the business, you won’t regret it. Yes, you might not be earning money directly by working on your vision, your financial forecasts or your customer journeys. But you’ll be laying the foundation on which you can build a business that serves you and brings you exactly the kind of success you’re looking for.

Should you increase your rates over the Christmas period?

How should you prepare for the festive period when there is less work? And if a client does approach you, can you raise your rates?

The saying ‘make hay while the sun shines’ couldn’t be better suited for life as a freelancer. When the work is there, life feels abundant, but when it isn’t – it can feel pretty barren.

So, how is it possible to plan for the festive period, when it comes to work – and should you increase your rates?

I write as a voiceover artist and founder of Freelance Mum – the child-friendly networking group, designed to support fellow parents in business, so I know what a difficult time of year it can be, on many levels.

On one hand you feel like attaching a tap to your bank account and watching the money pour out for Christmas. On the other you watch the work dry up during the festive session. Combine the two and it can make for a challenging cash flow!

So should you increase your rates over Christmas and how can you prepare as a freelancer?

Like all things, there is no right or wrong answer, it’s more a case of finding the solution that works best for you. If you’re happy ‘shutting shop’ and taking the Christmas period off, then surely that’s the perk of being your own boss. But if some one approaches you to work during that time, should you increase your rates accordingly?

I recently pitched this question to The Mothership (the Facebook Group for Freelance Mum) and had some interesting answers, but the general vibe was ‘no, people already felt their rates were fair and if they couldn’t balance work & family around that time, then they shouldn’t have taken the job’.

I recently went to book tickets to take my girls to see Santa and was shocked to discover I had to pay more money, if they wanted to see him closer to Christmas. To me, that’s a bigger business, taking full advantage of children and surely the true spirit of Christmas?

However, there’s a caveats, 1) if you want the work 2) is it worth it for your portfolio etc. Then do they want it during your normal work hours or is it to be done in “extra time. ” If it’s extra / to be done in super quick / unreasonable timescales I’d add 20% + on top of the usual – but ONLY if you want to do it.

An abridged version of this post featured in IPSE – Modern Work Magazine, in Ask The Expert.





How to Balance Business and Babies

How to balance business and babies

This fab blog was written by writer, sponsor and fellow ‘Freelance Mum’ Rin Hamburgh (who writes from the heart and is a big fan of being freelance). Thank you for your brilliant blog Rin.

No one can prepare you for the realities of being a parent, can they? No matter how much research you’ve done, no matter how many friends you’ve watched go through the sleepless nights and the teething terrors, it just doesn’t hit home properly until you get there for yourself. And when you’re trying to run a business at the same time, it’s even more intense.

I was a freelance journalist and copywriter when the twins were born and didn’t really take much in the way of maternity leave. In fact, I remember taking a call from a client while I was in hospital, and writing a feature for the Guardian while balancing my laptop on a Pampers box and expressing for the girls’ next feed!

That’s the great thing about us freelance mums – we’re pretty hard core. But there’s no doubt that balancing business and babies (of any age) is a real challenge. So are there any tips and tricks that can make the process easier? Definitely. Here’s what I’ve learned in my freelance mum journey.

Set realistic expectations

Both with your clients and with yourself. It’s no good promising the earth and then stressing yourself out or doing a poor job because you’ve overestimated how much you can actually achieve. It could be that you need to take on fewer clients or give longer lead time for when the work will be delivered. Remember to build in time for disasters and emergencies – trips to A&E or unexpected vomiting bugs will happen and will definitely disrupt your schedule.

Call in the troops

If you’re going to successfully balance motherhood and maintaining your business – even at a lower intensity than before the kids came along – you’ll need help. There are plenty of different paid childcare option from au pairs to nannies, nurseries and childminders. I got a nanny in for just four hours a week to start with, when the girls were 3-months-old. I felt comfortable knowing they were just in the other room if they needed me, but I could still crack on with work.

And then of course there’s family and friends. Why not try doing a swap with another mum in business, with you looking after all the kids one day and her taking over on another day? Or look at a combined childcare and co-working space like Caboodle. You may find that a combination of all of these works best for you. My two are almost three now and we do two full days at nursery and one full day with a nanny, which suits us all really well.

Delegate what you can

No one can do everything, it’s just not possible. And when you have little people to look after then it’s even more of a challenge. Think about the things you find most difficult, stressful or time consuming. Work out how much your time is worth and then see if it might be cheaper to get someone else to do one or two tasks.

This could be getting a cleaner so you can crack on with your admin instead of scrubbing floors, or outsourcing your admin to a VA so you can get more client hours in. Do the maths before you automatically dismiss the idea as too expensive. Just because you do something yourself, doesn’t mean it’s free. Time is money!

Find support and solidarity

Ok, so this is possibly a bit biased but honestly, the support you can find at something like Freelance Mum will be invaluable as you try and balance parenthood and business. Just knowing that you’re not alone will lift a huge weight from your shoulders and you’ll find a fresh sense of motivation and passion as you listen to other mums sharing the ups and downs of their journey. You’ll also get plenty of tips, referrals and even actual work from the other members, which will all help to boost your wellbeing as well as your business.

Do what works for you

When the twins were tiny, my mum was always berating me for not napping when they did. But for me, the process of getting a bit of work done was actually more of a draw for me. It gave me a sense of control over my life that was otherwise sorely lacking and was, I honestly believe, one of the things that kept me sane during those first few difficult months. It also boosted my self esteem no end.

That said, if napping is what will make you feel good – or cleaning, or binge-watching Netflix – then do it! Especially in the early stages, keeping sane should be your primary goal, for yourself, your children and your business (in that order).

Do you have any tips you’d add? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch on social – we’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And why not come along to one of our Bristol meetings?

With huge thanks to Super Funky Penguin for the photo.