Sophie Cross, 38, has had all sorts of business ideas, from sausage and mash cafés to flower arranging workshops. The idea she’s turned into a reality is based on her own ten years of experience as a freelance copywriter and marketer. In 2021, she launched Freelancer Magazine, a quarterly print magazine for people who’ve chosen this flexible form of work.
Freelancer Magazine is designed for all sorts of job areas from dog walkers to writers, translators to drag queens. A freelancer is generally someone who is self-employed and works on one-off or short-term projects, rather than working for a single employer for a salary.
Sophie is based in London and uses Starling to manage the finances for her magazine. The latest issue, published in February 2022, is divided into four sections: going solo, standing out, scaling up and switching off. It includes articles on winning your first clients, setting up a pension and starting a newsletter.
Each edition is designed to be kept and dipped back into. “I think a print magazine gives you more of a sense of being in a club. We also want to give people a way of spending time away from their screens.”
Connecting with freelancers
The magazine is rooted in the freelance community. Sophie first discovered online groups of freelance copywriters on Twitter. “From 11am to 11.30am on a Friday, there’s a live Twitter chat called #ContentClubUK. Someone hosts it and you can post questions about copy or freelancing - it’s the friendliest bunch of people.”
She went on to join other communities, which she found to be a huge source of support, especially at the start of the pandemic. At that point, Sophie typically wrote travel articles for companies in the hospitality industry, so the demand for her work dropped hugely when travel restrictions were introduced.
In the early lockdowns, she created courses for freelancers who wanted to market themselves more effectively and find their niche. She now offers these courses through the Freelancer Magazine website.
Kickstarting the magazine
Freelancer Magazine was initially funded through a crowdfunding campaign. “It was a great way to get the community involved as early as possible,” says Sophie.
“We hit 150% of our sales order target and sold 1,000 copies of the magazine before it even existed. We also sold all of our advertising for Issues one and two.” The magazine can be bought through a subscription or a one-off purchase through the website. It includes paid advertisements from companies that offer services related to freelancers, such as website design.