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Quick chat with Racquel Collard

We’re so excited to have you talking at the Summit. What will you be covering in your presentation?

The topic I’m covering at the Summit is: Your marketing toolkit: Keep leads flowing with these 5 key essentials.

A lot of freelancers struggle to keep their pipeline full, and when they lose a client it can have a significant impact on the business

I’ll talk about options that will help minimise the ups and downs and keep business coming in.

You’ve worked in marketing and content for many years. What do you love about what you do?

I love the potential that marketing brings to any business. And, as a complete marketing nerd, I love playing with the new marketing tools that are constantly evolving and changing, and seeing how they can help my clients.

In particular, I love helping small business owners, particularly women, structure their business in a way that brings them the income and the flexibility they need, so that they can build a business that works for them, their way.

There is no one correct way to market a business, and that potential variety means that there’s never a boring day in my business, which is incredibly important to me and my wellbeing. And when what I do can help a woman build a business that gives her what she needs, then that’s very satisfying.

I love helping small business owners, particularly women, structure their business in a way that brings them the income and the flexibility they need, so that they can build a business that works for them, their way.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

It’s going to sound corny, but every day that I get to work with amazing people looking to achieve amazing things in their businesses is a highlight for me.

I’ve enjoyed the majority of my career, from working in a brand agency in Dubai, helping a start up work out what they were really selling, to doing a complete rebrand of the Grace Group.

It’s all brought me here to do what I want to do now.

But if I had to pick one, I’d say it was publishing my book, Marketing Launchpad: The ultimate, no-fluff, marketing book for women in business, earlier this year, which was not just a career highlight, but also a big tick on my bucket list.

You are a big proponent of strategy – what do you enjoy about this type of work?

Those decades of experience (that I don’t put a number on) have proven to me, time and again, that any marketing that is done without a strategy, is always less effective than marketing done with one.

We all have limited resources, particularly in terms of time and money, so it doesn’t make sense to me to waste that with ineffective (or even less effective) marketing when you can take a bit of time at the beginning and then work to a strategy to achieve the best possible outcome from the resources you have available.

Also, it’s less stressful! And anything that can be done to take the stress out of marketing and make it easier is a win on its own. Add in better results and you really can’t go wrong!

What skills do you think are the most important for freelancers to acquire?

There are a lot of freelancers in the world, and the ones that do well are ones that know exactly what value they bring to the table.

They can articulate what makes them different from everyone else, who their ideal client is, and what specific problems they solve for their ideal client better than anyone else.

Once you have that clarity, it’s a lot easier to talk about what you do with the right people.

There are obviously the skills you need to deliver your products and services, but in addition to that, anything that will help you build your authority and communicate your expertise to the world (or more specifically, your target market) will also hold you in good stead to build a successful freelancing business.

[The freelancers] that do well are ones that know exactly what value they bring to the table. They can articulate what makes them different from everyone else, who their ideal client is, and what specific problems they solve for their ideal client better than anyone else.

Why do you think the Summit is important for freelancers?

The Summit is an amazing place to get new ideas and different viewpoints, tips and tricks about what has and hasn’t worked for people in businesses just like yours.

The networking is also really valuable, particularly if you work from home and get a bit isolated on occasion. You never know who you might meet who can help you build your business, to soak up the knowledge, engage with your peers and get as much out of it as possible!

The conference theme is all about futureproofing your career. What steps are you taking to futureproof your agency?

Future proofing your business or career is a constant struggle, particularly in the marketing space where technological changes happen at such a rapid pace.

For me it’s a matter of keeping up with new products and trends, assessing how they are likely to impact me and my business, and adapting accordingly.

I need to keep up with advances in marketing and marketing technology for my own business and my clients anyway, so that is already a given in my business, even without the future proofing angle, but I also make a point to consider how those advances impact what I offer and how I offer it, so my service offering don’t become redundant in the marketing of my clients’ businesses.

I build a bit of this research into every day. Instead of doom scrolling my socials I’m more likely to be reading, watching product videos, testing new products, or talking to experts. Curiosity and constant learning is a powerful tool against getting replaced when you’re not looking!

What are your thoughts on AI / ChatGPT?

This is a question I’m getting asked daily at the moment! I have a client who won’t answer a product question without seeing what ChatGPT has to say first, but that’s an extreme case!

On the whole, I think AI and ChatGPT are useful tools that should be used to make your life easier. I use them to help make informed decisions around ad spends, to suggest keywords or for sub-topic content ideation, and the like. But I still believe that me writing for me about my expertise is more valuable to my audience than what ChatGPT can pull together from other sources right now.

People who don’t like writing on the other hand will view it very differently!

AI is here. It’s going to keep evolving. It’s now a matter of us utilising the tool well and not letting it run away with everything.

Do you think the future is exciting for freelancers, and if so, why?

I absolutely believe that the future is exciting for freelancers.

Companies and businesses are more open to working with freelancers these days. Remote work capabilities mean that we’re not locked in working with clients in a particular geographical area if we don’t want to. And with the changes in technology, it’s easier to pivot as a freelancer than it is if you’re locked into one role for one organisation.

Freelancers have the opportunity to position themselves as experts in new technology and can then help a range of clients with implementing that technology. I find that kind of opportunity exciting.

AI is here. It’s going to keep evolving. It’s now a matter of us utilising the tool well and not letting it run away with everything.

What are you most looking forward to about the Summit? (a particular speaker / session, meeting colleagues, or drinks on the destroyer!)

I’m a people person, so I’m really looking forward to meeting anyone and everyone! Finding out more about what they do, how they do it, and why – that’s my happy place. Throw in some lovely drinks on the destroyer and I’m there with bells on!


Racquel be a panelist on Day 1 of the Summit. The panel is: How to find work (with your finger in all the pies).


Find out more about Racquel Collard on her profile page.

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