The Freelance Diaries: Meet Social Media Manager Íris Gylfadottir
In our latest interview series, The Freelance Diaries, I chat to freelancers and remote workers around the world to understand what inspires them, the things they love about their job, and any tips they may have to offer to aspiring freelancers.
This month, I chat to social media manager Íris about her career so far. Originally from Iceland, Íris moved to the UK a few years ago and began freelancing shortly after. Now, she helps her clients use their social media presence to grow their business and attract the right customers. Read more about Íris' journey in our interview below!
Connect with Íris on Instagram @iris.gylfa
Hey, Iris! Thanks so much for doing this interview with me. Please introduce yourself to readers! How did you start out in your industry?
I’ve always wanted to travel the world and earn money while doing so, but never really knew how to. When I moved to England from Iceland it took me a very long time to get a job, so I started looking at some side jobs I could do online. I found a course on how to become a virtual assistant.
When I finally got a 9-5, I hated taking the trains to and from work with all the other commuters, so when the pandemic hit I had more time on my hands to finish the course and quit my job. At first I wanted to do everything at once, but soon realised I should start out doing one thing I was good at and then expand. Social media is something I love, so here we are!
Is there anything you wish you knew before starting your freelance career?
Start before you think you’re ready. I wasted a few months trying to perfect everything and it just made it harder for me to actually start getting clients and moving the needle. Invest in yourself, and get a good business coach you get along with; someone who matches your energy.
You help entrepreneurs attract their dream customers online. Do your clients tend to work in the same sector, or are they all spread across different industries?
My clients are all spread across various industries. I've helped business coaches, travel influencers, dance coaches, and more. It's been so much fun facing these different challenges!
What does your daily routine look like? Is it usually different each day?
No day is the same for me. I try to wake up and go to the gym early, but I love slow mornings so I allow myself time to get ready (if I want to get dressed up), drink my coffee and just chill for a bit.
Some days I work for my clients, while others I focus on growing my business by working on new offers, projects, or courses. Some days when I feel really creative and have lots of energy I tend to batch as much content as I can - I find that I create the best content when the right energy is there.
What’s the absolute best thing about being a freelancer?
The best thing about being a freelancer is that I can work wherever and whenever I want. I love to travel, so hopefully now that everything is more open I can start travelling the world while working on my business. I also love working in coffee shops or meeting with other people in the freelancing space and working with them.
Is there a particular moment in your career that stands out? What’s your greatest achievement so far?
There are a lot of moments that stand out, but my absolute favourite is when my clients achive their goals on social media. I also really feel appreciated when they recommend me to their friends or other entrepreneurs - it really makes me feel like I'm doing a great job.
It’s easy to get caught up in a work bubble when you’re self-employed. How do you stay social as a freelancer?
I try to work at coffee shops or meet up with other freelancers in my area just so that I'm not always working alone. My boyfriend also works until 5pm, so I tend to stop then and we'll go out and do something (he mostly drags me out because I get so caught up in my work that I forget to take breaks).
I also try to take at lest 2 days off work to go out and see friends or take long breaks when I want to Facetime any family or friends back home.
And, lastly, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to any aspiring freelancers or social media managers?
If you're thinking about becoming a freelancer or your own boss, just do it. Find something you are good at and absolutely love doing and you can earn money doing that.
Start before you're ready, because you’ll never be ready if you keep waiting. You only need to be 20% better at something than your clients for them to want to hire you.