In Two Worlds: Balancing Freelance and Corporate Life

25 minute read

Listen here on Spotify.

Sydney  0:00  

But for those of us who don’t know you, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? What was your major at Cal Poly? And what are you up to now?

Katie  0:09  

Yeah, so my name is Katie and I studied, it’s the longest title ever, Recreation Parks and Tourism Administration at Cal Poly with a concentration in Integrated Marketing and Communications. And kind of just did freelance work through all of college. I really just kind of got into photography and videography my freshman year and then started taking on freelance roles my Sophomore year. And then I graduated in 2020. And pretty much the goal, since all of college was just to get to New York, no matter how that looked like. So really wanted to get to New York right after graduation, and then obviously, pandemic happened and plans shifted and everything. And so I ended up going home and then moving back to SLO (San Luis Obispo) for like six months, and then luckily was able to come back here and moved to New York, July 30. I moved here without a job place to live and then just kind of landed on my feet one week, just everything perfectly, came together, very luckily. I got an apartment, got a job and got freelance kind of consistent work lined up. So now I’m working full time as a social media coordinator for an agency in New York, and then also doing freelance work photography and videography, after hours on the weekends just kind of whenever I can.

Sydney  1:41  

I feel like our are just like that story to have like, I mean, I’m also class of 2020 graduate too. And just like talking to people who were like, like in our class, I feel like it was it’s like, such a story of just like, “oh, yeah, I had these plans.” And then yeah, moving back home. And like, none of us really knew how long like that hiccup would happen. Right? But it’s totally, like, so great to hear to that, like for you. And also others are like, those plans that we made for ourselves are like finally coming together. How are you liking New York?

Epsa Sharma  2:17  

Yeah, how are you liking it. We both, so Sydney, I was in New York, the 13 through 23rd. She was there the week after so her and I are both just like, I don’t know, like really just enjoying and then coming back to San Francisco just like comparing both but yeah, how has it been so far?

Katie  2:36  

Yeah, I love it overall like so much it definitely is, like I get definitely I think you guys probably experience with living experiences living in SF just like there’s highs and lows. I think of living in any city for sure. And right now like I’m definitely on a high and the past like two weeks, which is really fun. But then when there is a low it’s kind of like I just even if it is a low week, it’s like I don’t really see no like where else I could see myself at this point. So it definitely all in all is like very happy to be here for sure. 

Epsa Sharma  3:10  

Yeah it’s very, very much ebbs and flows. And I feel like I can get really stuck on the lows, but when I have like a high moment I like capture that and hold on to it for God knows how long. Um wait. Okay, so how did you just get into freelance because you said you got into it like freshman year, but what like sparked it, obviously, like, you have to build skill set. You can’t just like pick up a camera, you know, it’s like, how did you get into it? Like what started and like, how did you kind of build your like skill area and stuff?

Katie  3:40  

Yeah, so I started off just with like, videography kind of before photography. And that was just like making cheesy goPpo montages like senior year of high school just like stuff that would make anyone cringe looking back on now, but it got me started, I guess. And then um coming to college. Not I think it was like such like, I need to find a hobby, I need to find something. I didn’t have sports anymore, and I was like, okay, let’s try out the creative side. So then I kind of just got more into photography and videography. And I mean, YouTube tutorials were literally like, I think sometimes I got a better degree from YouTube. Just with how much I was searching of like new techniques to learn with every video and stuff and then my sophomore year. Kassidy Tran like I remember she was kind of the first person to like, reach out. She was like kind of the first person to reach out and like she asked me to film something for the Victoria’s Secret like the Pink campus team. So that was like the first thing I did my sophomore year of like, it wasn’t a video for me it was for someone else and then like kind of through that then it was like sorority connections and then just random, all the little SLO  organizations just kind of built up and then yeah, so that’s kind of how it got started.

Epsa Sharma  4:38  

Oh wait, that’s so cool. Like, I feel like really it’s word of mouth and like one person buying into you and then is that after that Pink thing? Is that kind of what spawned and how did you like figure out like your like style of like taking photos. I feel like are so many people that do that in SLO?

Katie  5:23  

Yeah, yeah, totally, I think. Yeah, so after that like and I think definitely like being in my sorority was a huge network of people just even with like, I remember my senior year I like sat down and like, it was like two or three of the or was my sophomore year. I don’t know, one year I was like sitting down and like different sororities like were we like fake recruit, like, mock recruitment. And it was like three of them were like videos that I had made, like different sororities like, it was just like, all of these different like random networking things that kind of like, got me jobs like across SLO. And then I think was like as far as like defining my style it like changed kind of every year, especially with like, photography, just I don’t know, I think the grad seasons of like, Cal Poly is like when I would really like. I mean, that was like the most practice because it was like grad shoots every single night. So it was like, each year I feel like I kind of like switched it up. And I think, I don’t know, I think even like when people asked me to, like really define my style now I kind of struggled because I think I haven’t, I don’t think you ever really fully like put it concretely like how you could like describe it. It’s just kind of ever changing and evolving. 

Sydney  6:43  

And I feel like too with that, it’s like you you mentioned Kassidy, who was that was like your first gig or like she gave you your first like, yeah, in freelancing and I feel like once you have that initial, like just that first project or like epsa was saying that first person who’s like, believes in you. And they’re like, oh, yeah, they can do this, then it just kind of like, totally word of mouth. And it kind of and I feel like it also gives you that like, knowing that you have like buy in it’s also like validation in a way to it’s like, oh, like, I can do this. I can like make money off of doing this too. So I guess like at what point throughout this like freelancing journey, did you realize this could actually turn into like a potential career?

Katie  7:26  

Yeah, so the like, first gig was like, I think my winter quarter of sophomore year, which was the Pink thing, and then I kind of like got some more towards the end of my sophomore year. And then, like, spring quarter, sophomore year, I was like, total major, like, studying like, stress. I was like, I don’t think I like my major. Like, I was going. I was like going to the business office. Like maybe I want to do this mzybe I want to do Graphic Communications, like, just like so stressed, like, just didn’t know that Parks and Rec was for me. And then kind of like, I was like, whatever, like, I’m going to Prague in the fall. Like, I just don’t need to be stressing about my picture right now. I think I really could like do something with this because it was like, that’s all I was really doing was like class two days a week, and then the rest was like editing videos and photos. And it was like, just peak like type of content to be editing of like traveling around Europe. And then I came back and like just started booking more stuff. And I was just like realizing like, this is what makes me happiest. Like, this is what like I enjoy doing most I think I’m good ish at this. I think I could like kind of turn this into some sort of job opportunity. So that’s kind of like when it all kind of came together, shoutoiut abroad. 

Sydney  8:47  

I know I feel like it gave you clarity. Right I feel totally Yeah, totally.

Epsa Sharma  8:55  

Um, when you were like booking more and more things because I think like a lot of people in college or like once they start figuring out their like passion or like something and it’s not related at all to like your major. When you got back from Prague did you kind of like separate that thought process of like okay, even though I have this like different major and I have this passion like it’s ok. How did you get to that like, “okay, ness” realization?

Katie  9:20  

Yeah, it was like definitely like ups and downs and I think like when I so many ups and downs of like, because you hear people that would like come back and like talk in classes and stuff like junior & senior year and a lot of like people’s message was like, don’t stress too much like your major isn’t, isn’t like putting you in a box like it’s okay. And I like was just hanging on to that piece of advice so much. And then but like it definitely came in, in waves. And I remember like my senior year I was sitting in like a, like a hospitality “Hotel Management” class and they were talking about just like something that I was just like, this is not anything I ever would want to learn. And I just like got up and I was like, I need to leave, like left class I called my mom. I was like, Mom, I’m like stressing out like, I don’t think this is right for me. She was just like, take a deep breath. Like, you’re fine. Like, major doesn’t define you. And that was like, definitely hard, I think for everyone to like, remember throughout college. 

Epsa Sharma  10:24  

I had something similar. I really wanted to do like, UI UX, and like, I was business, but I was like, oh, shoot, like, Graphic Communications was like, one that I like, really wanted to, like, switch over to and this was like, halfway through my career. And then I was like, well, shit, if I don’t get that major, like, I will never be able to do any sort of design as like, that’s, that’s the end all be all for me. And I kind of like, let myself have that. So I’m really proud of you for like really pushing forward with like, creative media and like keeping that kind of going through. And then now I’m curious too, with like, okay, so you were doing like senior photos? And like other things. How did you? I want to hear your whole like, getting to New York and like when all the things started, like falling into place. So like, walk us through, like perfecting your portfolio. And then how you kind of started your outreach, like planting the Katie Lovelace seed in New York.

Katie  11:23  

Yeah. Yeah, so I moved back to SLO like I said, in January and then was just very determined, like, I need to get to New York by like, July by August, September. I just like what I just kept like, sometime in summer. And so I kind of like focus really then like on updating my website, like making everything like, look good, portfolio wise, all that. And then I finally just like one day, booked a one way ticket to New York and Hannah and Claire were like down to make the move in September. So it kind of just like worked out perfectly, perfectly. It was enough to make the move, basically. And then, like the two weeks ish, probably leading up to New York, I just, like, crafted like a little DM in my notes app of like, “hi, my name is Katie. I’m a creative moving to New York just like whatever with all my links to everything and send it to like every influencer type media account. And was like, I will do freelance work, like I’m looking, I’m open to work, whatever it was, and like, just sent out like, so many DMS or if you know an influencer link to their email, I would email them and be like, I will be your personal assistant, like I just need a job. Um, and so then, fast forward moved to New York. Luckily, my sister’s here so I was able to crash with her for a month while I was unemployed, and homeless looking for an apartment in New York. And then just like, I like looking back on it, I was like, very surprisingly calm about the whole, like, no job thing. I just was like, it’s gonna work out like I don’t I just had like, this sense of like, you. I mean, we’ve all we all went through the wringer like with COVID, but it was kind of like, life kept not going correctly. Like, it’s, you’re here, like, this is all that matters, at least you’re here, it’s but I just like felt like it was gonna fall into place. And like, probably the second week that I was in New York, I got a DM back from one of the accounts. The under the influence, who was like a production company, they like focus on influencers, and just like doing like, interviews with influencers and just like kind of what’s happened in New York. So that’s kind of been one of my consistent gates with or in New York. And then also another influencer was looking for a personal assistant. So I actually was a personal assistant for like, two weeks, which was like kind of crazy. And then with the job. I they I got an email about an internship that I think I had like LinkedIn, easy applied to, like weeks ago, like I don’t even remember, apply applying. And then they offered me the internship after like an interview, and it was like, a stipend. And I was like, I don’t think I can afford to live in New York on a $100 stipend, and I was like, that won’t even pay like high rent. Yeah. And so then, like, luckily, like went through like some more interview processes and was able to get a full time job with that company. Um, and like that. Sorry, it’s just such a long answer. 

Epsa Sharma  14:41  

No I love, like I said, if I ask someone how their day is, like, run me through like did you use oat milk, almond milk, like I just love to hear everything.

Katie  14:50  

Um, yeah, and then like, that was like, probably like, early that week was like when I got the job. And then like, by Friday, I had toured this little lovely shoe box that I’m in now. And like emailed them was like, we will take it, we’ll sign the lease right now. And like, it just like worked out that we were able to get this place. So, yeah, it was a whirlwind.

Sydney  15:10  

It’s great to that, like, you had that optimism because I feel like it can like it is really intimidating and scary to like, move or like start making plans to move to another one, like a completely new city. And then to like, not like move, they’re not having like, any sort of like job or like income lined up. So I feel like, so important. And I think something that we’ve all learned to like an extent, you sound way better at this than I am just trusting just, I’m working on it. Just like trusting the process and like trusting that things will work out because they do eventually. 

Epsa Sharma  15:46  

I was gonna say yeah, I feel like you mentioned the beginning, like, even though, like, nothing was set in stone from the start, you just have like, a calm energy. Because you’re like, as long as it ends up in New York, that’s fine. I think it’s important to have like one goal if it could just be like, as long as I get that, like one personal assistant job like this course it was like, New York was like, the foundational and everything else just like, yeah, fall into place. Okay, wait how was being personal assistant, like what did you have to do? Like, can you run us through that?

Katie  16:16  

That was like, such an interesting, like, I think it’s just hilarious that I like moved to move to New York for a new job and then was just like, a personal assistant for 2 weeks.

Epsa Sharma  16:25  

Was that during New York Fashion Week too or like?

Katie  16:28  

That was like, right before fashion week happened literally, like my first week of my new job. Like, it was really stressful. But the personal assistant job was before that, and that was just like, you know, a lot of like, returns to Zara, and you know, just picking up dry cleaning laundry and like, just random, random jobs. And it was fun. Like it was, I mean, I literally was just the definition of just happy to be there. And like, it was just like, I have a job like, I’m in New York, whatever. Yeah. But yeah, it was it was a trip for sure.

Epsa Sharma  17:08  

I mean, like also kudos to you for standing in, those Zara lines. Like that is like doing God’s work. To literally, and then like, okay, so you’re there and like, things start falling into place. You have your job, and you’re doing like freelance stuff, so how are you like balancing time and like navigating your energy because I feel like Syd & I will be working with this podcast, like, we’ll be working, some daysebbs and flows of life. Like some days could be really light. And I am done at 2pm, but some days could be like, till 7pm. And then I’m like, oh, podcast stuff. So it’s like, how do you balance your energy? I know editing, like photos. And videos are a lot more than like, editing like a podcast recording, like both still a lot but yeah, how did you do it?

Katie  17:50  

Yeah, totally. Yeah. I feel like I’m kind of finally like, back on the uptake of like, getting into like, a flow with it all. Because when, after like New York Fashion Week, I think it was so eager to say yes to like, anything and every opportunity. And I think I have like, took on I think it was like 12 videos. And then like photos, like from all the events and stuff 12 videos to edit in like two weeks with a full time job. And I was like, Yeah, I can do that. Like for sure. And then I think like that all just like piled up on me, like so heavy. And then I was like, also like, wait, but like, I want to do my own stuff like, but I also have like a full time job. So it’s just like, all sudden, it built up like crazy. And like, kind of, I think it was like, beginning of October. I just like crashed and burn because I just had said yes to everything. And I think like now I’m finally like, okay, let’s set boundaries, like let’s get like a better game plan. Because like, being a freelancer in college, I’m realizing looks a lot different than a freelancer in the real world and like with a job and everything. So I think I’m definitely still like learning. And I think it’s just like learning how to set boundaries is like really hard, especially when you have like such a fear of missing opportunities. Like, everything in New York, it’s like, compared to like, jobs that would have been slow. It was like, now I’m here and it’s like, wow, I want to work with this person because it might like connect me to this thing. Or it might, you know, build this opportunity and lead to this. So it’s like so hard to say no. But I think I’m just like learning like, it’s okay to do that. So it’s very hard to like balance and set boundaries, but I’m working on it.

Sydney  19:47  

Yeah, I feel like a constant learning process of just figuring out like, what you can take on versus what you can’t but I can imagine like, I feel like from like my trip to New York too, I obviously, like very different it was just like a visit. But even with like the things that we were doing and that people wanted to do, it might have been like, midnight or like 1am. They’re like, Oh, no, we’re going out to like this place next, since again, totally different, but I feel like it’s just getting energy in New York is like, it can be extremely draining if you like, don’t learn to set those boundaries. I will feel like I got like a little taste of that.

Katie  20:27  

Yeah, totally. And like, yeah, like boundaries. And like every sense too, because like socially, it’s like, I want to do this and I want to go to this and I don’t want to miss out on this work, so much going on. It’s like so interesting. Like, I’m sure like SF too just like, not living in like, slow or like my small town like Benicia. It’s like, there’s like, things going on all the time. And it’s like, hard to prioritize, like the pace of life. Totally, it’s, it’s cool, for sure. But yeah, it’s tough to balance.

Epsa Sharma  20:59  

 I feel like that’s like, our 20s thing to realize is like FOMO comes in, like different shapes. Like now it’s like you have someone with like, opportunities and that’s like Job FOMO like who would have thought? Like 10 years ago, that would never have crossed my mind that I would be like, “Oh, look, if I don’t go to this meeting, then I won’t get this little thing.” Um, I know you were like, filming and taking videos and stuff for Serena Karrigan, who has a pretty high following from like, recording for her and doing all of that. And wasn’t she someone like from the DMS like that was a DM success?

Katie  21:36  

Yeah, she was like, she like posted on Instagram back in March that she was like looking for a part time. She’s when I was personal assistant or initially, and she was like, looking for a personal assistant. I was like, I will quit my job and move to New York right now. But yeah, so that was like through DMS everything as well.

Epsa Sharma  21:54  

You feel like that is what then like, is this like another like Kassidy Tran moment? Like this was what kind of like pushed you out there a little bit more. And how did you manage? Like, then like, be like, okay, yes. So this person was like before you just like say yes to anything. And then now you’re pretty selective, I guess with like, who you do say yes to?

Katie  22:14  

Yeah, totally. I mean, I think especially with like Serena it was like I had been following her for like, so long, like leading up to them, like, meeting her working for her. And then like, filming for her and like editing, like, some of her content and stuff. So I think that was like, and then you know, if she posted anything that I had made, then it was like, so interesting then to see that, like, I coming into New York also, it was just so surprising to see how many influencers are out here. So then like seeing, like so many. So then like seeing like then how many people that I’m saying, like I got so many DMS but then like how many people would like reach out to me. It was like at first it was like I want to say yes. Like literally all of these job opportunities. And then it was like the thing that like what I was saying before of like balancing like, you can’t realistically say yes, everything. And like some jobs like I did, like a few just like kind of informational interviews with people is like some jobs just don’t necessarily make sense for you. They’re not not something that like, there’s like one where I was like, I just don’t think that I could like bring this to like, the life that it needs just because I don’t relate to this type of content that much. So I think having after working with Serena and that opening up doors for me, it definitely made me like, realize like that it’s not that it’s just okay to say no, but it’s like, check your imposter syndrome and like realize that, like you have a service to provide people and like, it’s it’s valuable. There’s so many people that need video now. And it’s like, you can be selective, if you like, need to, if it’s like going to benefit or if it’s not going to benefit you if you just take on everything.

Sydney  24:03  

So and right now you because you’re balancing that with like freelancing with a full time job. Are you ever like in the future? Are you considering ever turning freelancing just into your full time gig? And if so, like what things like need to happen for you in order for that to like fall into place>

Katie  24:23  

 Yeah, I think I’m like, very much testing the waters of how much business kind of I can get without a full time job. So I think with the Fashion Week, that was such an anomaly high of like, everyone wants content that week, then the week after that and stuff. So it was like, how realistic is this of like, how much work I could get? I’m still kind of testing it out of like, how much how much work do I think I could get basically consistently to like actually make this a livable full time thing. I think it’s also a matter of like, right now, too, it’s like, I stress over it sometimes, but it’s like just being in New York and like, You got to just give yourself grace of like, I just moved here. Like, I also am just figuring out how to live here. So it’s like, it’s okay to like, have the steady kind of safe job just to back up as well as like doing kind of like, the freelance like, kind of more fulfilled by and then I guess by what needs to happen by then. I think also then just looking at looking at my freelance work is more of like, like a sustainable business. Like, instead of just like, oh, like I do this on the side, also, like, how would I actually make like, I mean, that’s, that’s a whole other like, coming up with like, a full business model of like, how is this gonna work? And like, how am I gonna pay my bills is like, something I just don’t have the brain capacity to do. But I think once I start thinking about that more, I mean, that’s definitely something to really jot down.

Sydney  26:01  

Yeah. And it’s cool, because I feel like there are definitely like, multiple paths to like approaching it to, like you were saying, like, you don’t have to make it like, your full time thing. Like, right out of college is like, you can go like, dip your feet in corporate too. And like, you can continue, like what you’re doing, like honing skills, and like getting new clients and stuff like that with freelancing. And then like, when when you feel like it’s ready for you to like, turn it into a full time thing. So I think it just goes to show like, you know, like, there’s not one like, right into this either. It’s kind of just like, what fits your groove.

Katie  26:36  

Totally. Yeah,

Epsa Sharma  26:38  

I think like with freelancing, there’s no rulebook, kind of, like, there’s no rulebook to like, landing into and I think like, like what you said said, like dipping your feet in corporate, I think, like, that is where you figure out, you gain some skills and you like, learn what you really don’t like. And then like, your freelance is like me, I just quit my job, but I didn’t like at all. So now I’m like, Yeah, I learned what I really hated. But yeah, that’s like such good energy to have, because then you can put it all towards like, what you want. So then, like, when you do develop your like freelance, it’s like, you’re gonna be so intentional about what you do want and like what you want your brand to be. And I think like, that’s really cool. And yeah, like, give yourself so much grace, like New York, like me, just being there for a week and I want to move there too. But I was like, being there for a week. I was like, Wow, I love it here. But damn, that  week really took me out. So it’s like, I can only imagine living like, like balancing work & freelance. Oh, but I want to go to Ray’s Bar, but oh, I want to go to this, like a lot of stuff. That’s like, yeah, and we’re like, 23 it’s like, we always we don’t stop and like realize that like,

Katie  27:44  

It’s so hard to like, stop and realize, like, literally we’re 23, like, there’s so much time. I was just like I was listening, I think it was like to some podcasts, I don’t know. And they were like, pick out like the people that you really admire, their careers, and  when you started noticing them and their work. And it’s like, most of them are going to be 30s 40s 50s. It’s like, we have so much time to like, get to like where we want to be. It’s not that we’re being stagnant or lazy by like, not wanting to get there, like right away. I think it’s just like, giving yourself grace with like life and like experiences that lead up to that point. 

Sydney  28:23  

Right, I’m putting, like a little bit less pressure on yourself to

Katie  28:26  

Totally, I’m also saying this and then I stress myself out 

Epsa Sharma  28:29  

Like oh “take it easy”, but “epsa doesn’t take it easy.”

Like don’t work too hard. And then I’m like, Yeah, I like love. I love what you said though, I’ve like like, my mouth actually dropped. Because like, there’s so many people that I do look up to in the creative world and the creative artists like look up to you in general. And where I started admiring them and they’re all like, and they’re like,  mid 30s, like late 30s. And I feel like it’s it’s the same thing like I keep reiterating this book that I read “Defining Decade. And that like, yeah, it’s a great book, but I agree like, um, it kind of has allowed us to like redefine our 20s and like now I don’t know if you follow Tinx on Tik Tok, I love her. But she and like a lot of other people like they’ve just kind of coined like your 30s are the new 20s Like I feel like now we’re like really just learning who we are versus like, prior years it’s like we’re building who we are in our 20s but like no, no, no. And like I have so much, SLO only taught me this much about myself. Like just this much, like I there’s just this much like here to learn and it’s like, like this was SLO learning and now you’re in New York, you learn this much but you have like, this much left to learn and that can be filled with like other things. Like who knows?

Katie  29:50  

Yeah, no, that’s so true. And I think like, even if it’s just like the smallest location change or like Job chain, it’s like when you make yourself uncomfort for like, a period of time, that’s like when you just like grow so much. I think that’s like your 20s is when you’re like moving jobs, moving locations in and out of relationships, like friendship, figuring out like postgrad, it’s just like, so many seasons of like uncomfortableness and like different areas of your life. And that’s just like, when you grow the most. 

Katie  29:55

Yeah, no, that’s so true. And I think like, even if it’s just like the smallest location change or like job change, it’s like, when you make yourself uncomfortable for like, a period of time, that’s like, when you just like, grow so much. I think that’s like, your 20s is when you’re like, moving jobs, moving locations in and out of relationships, like friendship, figuring out like postgrad. It’s just like, so many seasons of like, uncomfortableness, and like different areas of your life. And that’s just like, when you grow the most so yeah, totally.

Sydney  30:40 

Especially when it’s outside of the like, boundaries of college. I feel like too, because it’s kind of like, once you graduate, there is this moment where you’re like, like, for me, I was like, what am I doing. Like, fake adulting right now, like, I’m paying my bills, but like, I still feel like, I’m like, this feels weird.

so yeah, you know, it’s like it but it also is, like, once you’re outside of this, like, you know, that like college phase. It’s kind of scary to be in that like, uncertainty and like to have so many possibilities, but I feel, yeah, it’s so important to also like, embrace them for what it is and try to just like, be in the moment. 

Katie  32:11  

I remember that so much of like, graduating, and then it was like, especially with COVID everything was so stagnant. It was like all right, it is like suffocating how many opportunities in different directions I could go to? And it was like, yeah, it was is such like a learning curve of like, picking something and just like going with it.

Epsa Sharma  33:02  

For sure, definitely was such a low. But now I feel like we’re all on like a little bit of a high from recovering from that. Yeah, kind of like switching back into like, now you’re in this like, this phase of life and like figuring it out with like, just working with influencers and like learning about them and like kind of your job and then like the freelance, did anything surprise you about like this industry? 

Katie  34:18 

Yeah, I think definitely just like, coming, like coming to the realization that like, influencers themselves, like are a business, and like, who like not only just like, I mean, we can clearly like point out just by a follower, like we can point out, like, what is a paid post, or like, you know, what’s a sponsored post, whatever. But it’s also just like, it’s so interesting to see, like, it would be advantageous if I go to this event, or like, if I send something to this person, or like, hang out with this influencer or like, go to this party, whatever it i. It’s just like, so it was so interesting for me to see like, because at first you’re like, that’s so like, not fake, but like, you know what I mean, like transactional. But that is their business, and they have a whole team. Like managing them as a business like going and being at these places was like, super interesting to like, see. And I remember, like, when I was at the Revolv show, during fashion week, it was like, towards the end of like the show, and there was like, so much buzz and it was like, Megan Fox is like coming and I was like, oh my god, I’m like, grab my camera. And I’m like, this is gonna be a money shot. And then people were like, Kylie Jenner’s coming in. It’s like, oh, my gosh. And so like, I made my way, like, over to like the red carpet, red carpet like area. And they’re like, yeah, no, you gotta go. So they like, drain everyone out and then bring in like, the big names and it was just like, so then that night, you know, I like see Kylie Jenner post at like an event I was at. It’s just like, so interesting thinking of like, how much like did she make being there? And just to like, stand there, take a photo, you know what I mean? It’s just so it was so interesting.

Epsa Sharma  35:04  

 I didn’t think about her being paid to, like, be there. Like, I just think oh she’s just  attending like for funsies.

Katie  35:11  

 Like, yeah, so it was just so that that it was just like shocking to like, kind of like see all this stuff. 

Sydney  35:19  

Yeah, I think it’s a good point. Because it’s like, on well, like when you’re not in that sphere, either, like look at influencers and you’re like oh my gosh, like they have to live like they get all these cool brand deals. But the more that I learned about like social media especially and like influencers it’s like content creation is a ton of work. It’s like a full time job and then some. So it’s like, it’s neat that you’re getting this like behind the scenes look at all of this because I feel like we sometimes like too often just kind of discount is like, oh, being an influencer is not a real job, but like it totally is. 

And like you’re saying, now agencies that like specifically, like influencers are their business model if they’re like, an influencer. 

So yeah, I was like, we definitely want to ask, you know, as a freelancer yourself and we chatted about like you balancing this with a full time job. Is there any advice that you have for freelancers who are looking to, you know, either make this more of a full time gig or just like, pick it up more. And also, like any lessons that like you wish you would have known before you started?

Katie  36:36  

Um, I think kind of just going back to what I was saying about, like, learning to say no, and, like, if, especially like, I came to New York, I think, like I was saying was such an imposter syndrome of like, I just kind of, like, make vlogs. And like, sometimes I get paid to, like, make videos for people and like, just wasn’t as like, confident like, in my work as like, I definitely needed to be. And I think like, really like studying kind of like your market of like, I don’t have like regrets about like anything. Of what I’ve like, charged or anything like being like New York Fashion Week, the past like, or just the past, like three months or anything. But I think just like, your rates and like your time spent, like on projects, like I at least just like I said, like had imposter syndrome of like, I don’t want to charge like that much. Like, it’s, it’s not that big of a deal. Like, I’m not that good. Like you. I mean, it’s like, there’s so many people that need freelancers, whether it’s photo, video, whatever your creative, or whatever job is. So just like recognizing that you, you have a service, you have a talent and like people need it. And if they’re reaching out to you, they clearly like your work.

And I think just like, recognizing that, like your work is like valued and needed. And you need to like treat it as such, even just in how you present yourself and like your work.

But then also like the balance of like, you don’t have to take on everything. Like you can say no, and you can be selective if it doesn’t fit for you. And if you know that you’re going to be sitting at a coffee shop on Sunday for 10 hours and like hate what you’re worth.

Sydney  38:14  

So yeah, yeah, I feel like it comes down a lot of valuing yourself, too. And yeah, not only in doing so like when we do that we don’t like accept less than, like we deserve. So like when you’re talking about all these opportunities coming through, but also like, valuing what you have to offer and not like discounting it. So yeah, that’s awesome. 

Epsa Sharma  38:37  

Yeah. I love just like being intentional, with your time and what you do. And I think it’s like, I don’t know, it’s one of those things where you like, have to like sit with yourself and just be like, you know, you’re doing this for a reason you have this much potential and it’s like, it’s hard to find time to like have those moments with yourself in a city like New York or in this industry. 

Katie 39:10 

So yeah, totally. Especially like I think when you move to a city and you’re surrounded by so many creative people, and it’s like, they could probably find someone better if they really wanted to, you know what I mean? So totally just like having the heart to heart with yourself.