ICS Interviews… Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, Young Freelancer of the Year

We recently interviewed Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, winner of the IPSE Aspire Award at 2015’s IPSE Awards. Kelly shared a freelancing tip for a competition that we ran on Twitter (@icscontractor) back in February for our 14th birthday and following on from that tip, we decided to find out more about her journey into freelancing.

How did you get into freelancing?

I began freelancing at university, balancing writing alongside my studies and two waitressing jobs. On graduation, I continued freelancing around South America for six months, before returning to the UK to embark on a career as a full-time freelance copywriter.

I never really considered it my long-term career path – mainly because I didn’t know it was feasible – but a couple of months after my return to the UK I was already working a full week with a growing client base. I haven’t looked back since!

Is there anything that you know now that you wish you knew at the start of freelancing?

As a young freelancer with no previous career, I wasn’t particularly clued up on the basics of self-employment at the start. I struggled through my first self-assessment and it took me ages to make decisions on going Limited and so on.

Do you have any tips for fellow freelancers/contractors?

Know your worth and never undervalue your services. Clients will often attempt to push the boundaries, and you may be surprised to learn how many will respect you more when you stand your ground (where appropriate of course!). And if there’s something you are struggling with, never be afraid to ask your network!

Kelly Gilmour-Grassam at the IPSE Awards Source: IPSE
Kelly Gilmour-Grassam at the IPSE Awards
Source: IPSE

Kelly’s runs a content agency, Making You Content, based in Manchester with strong links to Yorkshire. She recently spoke at an IPSE event celebrating Women in Freelancing which took place on International Women’s Day. She hopes to continue to inspire others into freelancing and is encouraging the self-employed out there to enter for this year’s IPSE Awards which closes for entries on Friday (8th April 2016).

Speaking to IPSE about her win she said; “I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to becoming Young Freelancer of the Year. The generous support of the IPSE Awards’ sponsors and the exposure it has brought will be invaluable as I continue to grow my business. I hope it will encourage others to join this fantastic community” 

We’ll be featuring more contractors and freelancers on our blog in the coming months. If you’d like to be featured, then we would love to hear from you, please email marketing@icsuk.com or tweet us (@icscontractor). The interview could be done online or over the phone.

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