Tispr Stories: Becca Booker is Breaking Free from the 9-5
Every Friday we check in with a freelancer or small business person who is following their dreams and doing what they love. This week we’re chatting with Becca Booker, a blogger, social media consultant, Facebook Ad specialist and skincare aficionado! Becca owns According to Bbooks, a lifestyle blog and social media agency in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Here’s what Becca had to say about digital marketing, transitioning to freelance life, and why it’s totally okay to ask for help along the way.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I think what sets me apart is I’m really transparent with who I am. I share details about my income publicly on my blog so that people who are in a similar situation can learn and relate. These posts are consistently some of my most read each month! I wasn’t always this comfortable or confident, but in the last year or so I’ve really made strides to love myself, and that makes me comfortable to share it!
What made you decide to pursue a freelance career?
I really felt “stuck” in my 9-5 -- both creatively and financially. I had been doing freelance work on the side for extra money, and just knew that if I pursued it full-time that I could make more money and enjoy myself more while doing it.
How did you get into digital marketing?
Back in 2012 when I was in college, I was voted as “Social Media Chair” for my sorority. Back then, some sororities still didn’t even have social media accounts, so I really got into the role at the right time so we could be ahead of the curve. Since I didn’t have any direct supervisors in that role, I really took advantage of that to learn as much as possible on my own and try new things. That position ended up getting me so many internships later on!
How long have you been freelancing?
I have been freelancing since November of 2015, but have only been doing it full time since October 2017.
“I set up my business bank account, finalized my social media packages, and tried to line up as many clients as I could -- all while I still had a steady paycheck coming in every two weeks.”
What inspires you to do what you do?
I love being able to help small businesses grow the digital footprint. Plus, I love how marketing combines the analytical part of my brain with the more creative side. Both sides have to work hand-in-hand (ie. you use data & statistics to help you create better content in the future) to make a change for the brand.
How do you feel when you’re working, doing what you love?
There definitely are some days when I feel constrained to client work and responding to emails. But days when I feel most creative I’m creating content (both visual and written), setting ads up, diving into analytics to see what did & didn’t work, and using that information to change our strategy long-term. There are some days when I literally don’t eat lunch until 2pm because I just don’t want to stop working!
What’s it like being in your line of work?
Every day looks different, which is great! But it’s also unfortunate because sometimes I miss a more structured routine. Since social media doesn’t sleep, sometimes I feel like I work all hours of the day. But ultimately, I’m really thankful for what industry I chose and the flexibility I get with my work.
How has freelancing changed your life?
Omg - so much more flexibility. I love being able to travel more, set my own hours, and I ESPECIALLY love having the ability to say “no” to projects that I just don’t want to work on. When you work for someone else, you don’t always get that.
“I love how marketing combines the analytical part of my brain with the more creative side. Both sides have to work hand-in-hand to make a change for the brand.”
What have you gained from freelancing so far?
I’ve definitely gained some thicker skin!! When you work for yourself, you can’t “blame” anyone else for your mistakes or the failure of a project - everything falls on you. It’s really made me learn to not take things personally and to do a better job of weeding through clients who may not be the best fit for me.
Do you have any tips for people looking to make the move into freelancing?
The best piece of advice I received was to pretend like it was my full-time job before I would need to rely on it for my income. I set up my business bank account, finalized my social media packages, and tried to line up as many clients as I could -- all while I still had a steady paycheck coming in every two weeks.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If you’re on the cusp of reaching that “dream career”, don’t be afraid to ask for help! One of the smartest things I did was hire a therapist who was also a “coach” who I essentially hired to walk me through the process of quitting my job. She was able to offer an unbiased opinion of why I shouldn’t feel guilty about quitting (I worked on a small team) and steps I could take to ensure success before I put in my two-weeks!