Inspire Award: The Runners Up

Inspire Award: The Runners Up

From:  
The runners-up and judging panel at the Freelancer of the Year Awards 2015

Christina Lister

Christina is a freelance marketing and communications consultant. She work with museums, heritage sites and arts organisations, providing audits and strategies, training and workshop facilitation and campaign creation and delivery. Christina had always wanted to work for herself and was simply waiting for the right circumstances. “Once I’d built 10 years of experience I felt I had enough to draw on to add value to projects and seek my own clients. It took some time to get the right work/life balance and to have the confidence to specialise in a particular area – museums, heritage and the arts – but I now have the flexibility I was looking for.” While, still on maternity leave and still finding her feet being self-employed, in 2014 Christina won a pivotal new business pitch. She was able to draw together a team of other consultants and pitch successfully for the project. Winning it gave her great confidence in her abilities, especially as they were up against much larger and more established consultants. “It’s an exciting time to be a freelancer, and being recognised on a national level has given me the drive to do even more. The prize money – and all the business support that comes with it – will really help me grow my business further. It’s great to be flying the flag for freelancers who work in Norfolk and hopefully the awards will inspire even more people to try out this way of working.”

 

Ben Matthews

Ben works alongside his wife running Montfort, which provides digital, social and content marketing campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. Why did Ben take the leap into freelancing? “I felt like I was stuck in a rut and wasn’t stretching myself enough as an employee. I initially hadn’t considered freelancing until I met with a former colleague who had taken the jump years previously, and told me how much more joy it brings to his work/life balance.” One of Ben’s biggest achievements has been a recent campaign, the Twitter hashtag #WalkTogether. A wide group of organisations, coordinated by British Future, were looking to engage the people of London and across the UK on social media in a public commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings. Ben was asked to manage key social media channels on 6 and 7 July, encouraging increased engagement with the #WalkTogether campaign. The results were outstanding. Although a small team, Montfort was able to have #WalkTogether trend worldwide for the day. “Taking the leap into freelancing after having a steady job was probably one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done. But I survived (and thrived!) and haven’t looked back since. The freedom and opportunity to create new projects is particularly exciting, especially as it hasn’t been readily available in my industry until now. It’s made it an exciting time to be a freelancer.”

 

The Judging Panel

REBECCA SHIPHAM 2014 IPSE Freelancer of the Year winner

JAMES GRIBBEN IPSE’s Head of Press and PR

DAWN WHITELEY Chief Executive of the National Enterprise Network

KEVIN MCCALLUM Business Development Manager at FreeAgent

CAROLINE MORGAN IPSE Director and experienced project manager and business analyst