Matt, the founder of Freelance Near Me, responded to my request for small business owners to showcase themselves and their businesses on my blog to provide insight, advice and inspiration for others who are starting up/thinking of starting up their own small businesses – including me!
The idea originally formed because I was fascinated by people’s stories and reasons for setting up their own businesses and I wanted to learn as much as I could in order to educate myself for the benefit of my own business.
I wanted to find a way to ask the questions I wanted the answers to but I realised that if I was interested surely others were interested in the answers too! In addition, I wanted the businesses willing to share their stories to get something in return so I devised the ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series which will give each small business featured promotion across social media. Win-win for everyone!
The same 10 questions were posed to all small businesses via questionnaire – here are Matt’s replies:
1) How would you summarise the service(s)/product(s) your business offers?
On Freelance Near Me, businesses can find and hire local, trusted, UK & Irish freelancers.
2) How long have you been a small business owner?
2 years in total.
3) What inspired you to set up your business?
My dream was to set up a business that would help others, something that would add value to their lives for the long-term, not something that was short-term. I guess what triggered me thinking ‘Screw this, I’m going into business!’ was because I’m constantly thinking of things and new ideas that could inspire and help people. Why not put an engine behind that, drive it forward and make it a reality?
4) What platforms/strategies do you use to promote your business?
For me, more than anything, it is being myself. I have been in sales and marketing (including digital) for over 6 years in total. I understand that using ads and business messages drives traffic on various platforms (native or traditional), but ultimately the best seller a business can have sometimes is the person running it. I don’t mean to say that everyone likes me – I’m not saying that at all; it would be awesome if that was the case but that’s being up my own ass!
In fact, what I’m trying to say is, if I am running a business and I am the ‘creator’ who is driving forward the messages and the readers of that message can ‘relate’, that is way more powerful than coming from the brand itself. People buy from people and those people may then care more about your cause than someone who has just seen your ad.
5) What do you consider your greatest business achievement so far?
For me, it’s not the fact I have worked with published authors and a great guy called Barry who designed the Aston Martin Jet (although those things are really great!)…
My greatest achievements are the ones we think less about, such as leaving employment to take the risk of running a business, standing up in front of 20 – 30 people pitching what I do as a business, or explaining methods behind digital marketing in a presentation. Or building my confidence by pushing through everyday anxiety issues. These for me are my achievements as a few years ago I would have been a nervous wreck standing up in front of just 2 people to talk about something, or present.
6) What do you consider your greatest business challenges?
I guess the greatest challenge of all right now is growth. I want growth and to expand the business model Freelance Near Me to be accessible right across the UK & Ireland. I want to have a dream amount of jobs on the platform for freelancers to apply for daily. Without a large marketing budget, sometimes getting a business as big as you want it to be from the start takes a little time. But, I’m optimistic and will continue to face that challenge every single day without that growth budget to build the platform. I still believe it will be quite something in the future.
7) What resources/training have been most beneficial to your business so far?
For digital marketing I used Digital Marketing Institute who have a great foundation for people to become digital professionals with a clearer understanding of what they need to do.
For those interested in resources, I have a portal freelanceportal.co that freelancers can access globally and includes resources for: co-working, community, blogs, work, health, retreats, tools, apps and much more. Just upvote what you like, share on social media or even sign up as an affiliate. If you would like your inspiring blogs in the portal, just hit submit at the top and send them over!
8) What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Research, research, research! Do not spend on a business that hasn’t been ‘approved’ by an audience yet! Not doing research can be one of the quickest ways ever to put yourself out of business and out of pocket – I’ve been there and done that.
9) What are your future plans for your business?
To continue building great features that freelancers can use that will add value to their freelance journey.
10) Are there any other small businesses you would like to give a shout out to who have been an inspiration/support to you?
I would like to firstly shout out Robert Wood , Ben Harrington, Aidan Moroney for their continued support throughout setting up and launching Freelance Near Me and a big thanks to every single freelancer and business that has registered and used the platform so far! Without all you guys it wouldn’t be going in the direction I wish for it to go in now.
Any other comments?
Thank you Claire for this great opportunity!
My ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series will be published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – previous showcases can be read here, here, here, here and here and here.
If you would like to feature your small business too, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.