There are so many amazing freelancers in the community, all who will freely share their skills, knowledge and experience; who will be there to pick you up when you’re feeling down, and there to celebrate with you when you feel on top of the world.

These are my top 10(ish) freelancers that have had a big impact on me this year…

1. Gareth Hancock

a.k.a. That.Content.Shed, Gareth is possibly the nicest freelancer out there. He’s on social media every day and always up for some fun, which is great when you need a little pick-me-up. And he’s always there to fight your corner.

Earlier this year, I decided I needed to tweak my operating process, update my pricing and implement contracts. I messaged Gareth and asked if he would sanity check what I was proposing before making it public and rolling it out to my clients. His response was amazing, providing valuable guidance and boosting my confidence to make the changes.

Beyond that, he’s always been there to check up on me when times are hard and when I’m having a crisis in confidence. And he’s genuinely as nice in person as he appears online.

2. Jake Keane

Another incredible human being who is always there to make you smile with his ridiculous creativity is Jake Keane. I think I first became aware of Jake through #ContentClubUK where his quirky, rebellious ways caught my eye.

Quick to challenge the status quo, and always indulging in 101 side projects, he finds a new way to make me smile everyday – and this got me through some pretty dark moments earlier this year.

He’s also bought our wonderful community together through Creative Rehab. And he loves Jack Skellington!

3. Stuart Cameron

Although relatively new to the world of freelancing, I have a soft spot for Stuart Cameron. He is an active member of the community, present at every #ContentClubUK, always available online, and there to support everyone.

And he doesn’t expect anything to be handed to him. The Rock has a wonderful phrase:

“Always be the hardest working person in the room.”

This is Stuart. He turns up, does everything he can to get involved, and has committed to initiatives like #Write52 to ensure he becomes the best writer he can possible be.

If you ask him, he’ll probably say he’s done nothing, but the support he’s given me behind the scenes, and making me smile through his success means the world.

4. Ed Callow

My new accountability buddy, Ed Callow, started an initiative called #Write52. You can read more about it here…

In signing up to it, I’ve made myself accountable, and therefore committed to generating regular content for my business.

Yes, I could go ‘old school’ with telesales or blasting out emails to anyone that will listen. But in my experience, and as the results from analysing my company’s sales data proves, it’s this content that provides me with a steady stream of quality enquiries.

5. Jo Duncan

Jo Duncan is well-known in our community for her no-nonsense ‘lean’ content. But beyond talking a lot of sense and teaching us the method in her madness through her books and podcast appearances, Jo has been so open with me about her ‘behind the scenes’.

She’s taken me into her world, sharing her operational processes and business necessities, like contracts, and offered to be there whenever I need practical business advice. Plus she’s introduced me to some of her lovely clients so I can help out when she’s on maternity. A true friend.

Freelance Heroes

Obviously, the creators of Freelance Heroes are responsible for helping to bring this wonderful community together. But individually, they’ve impacted my business this year:

6. Ed Goodman

A few weeks ago I posted a comment on Twitter about not feeling great. Within minutes, I had a message from the incredible Ed Goodman to check I was ok. He probably regretted giving me his number when I later called to cry down the phone at him!

But he was wonderful. He listened. He understood. He empathised. And he helped me see the next baby step I had to take in order to get myself out of a world that felt so completely overwhelming.

Ed told me that everything was going to be ok, which is exactly what I needed to hear.

7. Annie Browne

Back in June, I attended #FreelanceHeroesDay, where Annie Browne took to the stage. In a wonderful session, she described the idea of a work-life ‘blend’, which as a person juggling numerous roles was very appealing.

But one thing she said really resonated:

‘You are the central cog. It doesn’t work without you, so you have to take care of yourself.’

I’ve always struggled with the guilt I feel at taking time for myself. But she made me realise that it’s a necessity – not a luxury. I’m still working on making it part of my routine, but I’ve definitely been trying to be kinder to myself since that day.

8. Steve Folland

Who doesn’t owe something to the man behind Being Freelance?! Steve Folland, or as he’s known in our house ‘the biscuit man’, is a national treasure. Selflessly giving up his time to make the freelance world a more fun and enjoyable place to be, Steve’s Facebook group has been a huge support.

From the Live Q&A sessions, where I’ve picked up so many hints and tips for my business, to the weekly ‘non-employee of the week’ awards that I watch with my boys, Steve makes you feel like you’re part of a company again – but in a good way without any of the corporate BS!

9. Martin Brooks

My beloved accountant Martin Brooks, helped to make my childhood dream a reality this year when I transitioned from sole trader to Ltd. company.

I’ve talked about how amazing Martin is before, because he understands the world of freelance, and talks about one of the scariest aspects – finance – in the simplest and most human ways possible. Every freelancer needs a Martin in their life.

10. Glenn Fisher

The thing I love most about Glenn Fisher is his book, “The Art of the Click” – and I promise he’s not paid me to say that!

The insight he shares has been absolutely game changing for me. Coming from a background of more corporate copywriting, his techniques have helped me to break free and adopt a more personal tone and engaging writing style.

I find it a lot nicer, and easier to write this way, and my clients like it and are reaping the rewards.

Plus, Glenn is always around on social media, happy to share more of his insight and experience. And I can’t wait to hear him speak at the ProCopywriter’s Conference this October.

And because every freelancer loves a bonus…

11. Dave Smyth

The web man extraordinaire, Dave Smyth. In my humble opinion, Dave knows everything there is to know about websites. And when I was advised to burn mine to the ground because it had been hacked to death, Dave was on hand to answer my 101 questions, offering impartial, best practice advice. As well as giving me recommendations on the best platforms, hosting…etc to suit my needs.

I am not a technical person, and Dave was so patient, understanding and helpful in supporting me to get my new site up and running. I can’t thank him enough.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash