Going freelance: Cucumber Rose

Going freelance: Cucumber Rose

It’s taken a few weeks to sort everything out, but Cucumber Rose is finally live and ready!

Cucumber Rose is the PR & social media brand I’ve set up to freelance under while living out in Morzine for the winter ski season. I specialise in interiors, hospitality, travel and lifestyle consumer brands and will be doing PR, social media, influencer outreach, content creation, copywriting and media relations. It’s been so nice to have the time to set everything up properly while living out here in France – even if this wasn’t the original plan.

Since setting it up and going live on the 30th January, I’ve started working with four new clients and I’ve been doing a mix of admin, writing blog posts, drafting social media content plans and pitching campaigns to bloggers & media. I’m so happy with how things are going and really surprised that it’s picked up this quickly.

Starting up

I started off by rebranding everything I already had, because I’d created some stuff using the name “Cucumber Rose” a couple of years ago when I was at uni, but had never really done anything with it because then I got my job at Octane and put all of my focus into that instead. I’d just created a logo and Twitter banners and stuff like that, but I didn’t like the colours in my logo before as it used shades of lime green and baby pink which looked a bit amateur and tacky.

I created this logo instead, as I preferred the colours to what I had before and I also wanted to incorporate something to do with mountains to tie in with The Alps, where I set it up!

I then sorted out the website which I’m hosting on WordPress. I originally set up the domain (www.cucumber-rose.com) on Squarespace, which added two weeks on to everything as I had to transfer the names and do loads of site stuff which made absolutely no sense. It was so annoying! I’m not completely happy with my website yet so I plan on buying a better theme online (I quite like Pipdig themes, but they’re more designed for blogs so I might just buy one of the premium WordPress ones instead as some of them are quite nice), as I’d prefer it to be a bit sleeker with more images featured. Or, I might get the website done professionally as I do think it makes such a difference when it’s set up properly. Although a bit of me is stubborn and wants to do everything myself as it’s soooo satisfying when you finally work out how to do something that’s taken hours to work out.

I then also designed business cards, flyers, stickers, desktop backgrounds and loads of other marketing materials ready for when I need them. I am known to get carried away on Canva, and this occasion was no exception!

Business card (front and back): 

Flyers:

Desktop backgrounds:

I set up Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages and made sure everything was ready for when I started telling people about it, here are all the links:

Letting people know

On January 30th, I started to let people know I was freelancing by posting on Linked In, inviting people to like the Facebook page, following brands I loved on Twitter and generally sending emails out to the people in my professional and personal network. It’s unbelievably scary to go live with something you’ve put so much work into, but I found that once I’d done it I felt so relieved that I could start getting on with some work.

I read loads of articles online about startups and launching brands, and came up with a basic list of the platforms I should use to share my new brand:

  • Linked In – I wrote an initial post just sharing my website and letting everyone know what I was doing. In the first week my post got 2,500 views which I was really pleasantly surprised with. I had no idea Linked In could be so powerful. I also got loads of messages on there with people asking what my rates were and what my availability was looking like through Feb-March. Don’t underestimate Linked In like I did!
  • Facebook – I invited loads of my friends to like the Cucumber Rose Facebook page and started sharing articles I found interesting on there too. It’s difficult with Facebook, because it’s people I’ve known for years and sometimes I find it the most daunting place to share work related stuff, because I always assume people aren’t interested. But it’s good to use every platform available, although I think with things like this I’ll wait until I have an event or something to really push with Facebook.
  • Facebook Groups – Of the four clients I’ve started working with this month, 2/4 of those have been through seeing posts on freelancing Facebook groups and leaving comments and sending follow up emails to apply for the jobs. There are some amazing groups for freelancers, women in Bristol and PR/marketing people to chat and post questions or potential work opportunities. If I had to give just one piece of advice to anyone it would be to find out about groups relevant to your work and join them asap, it’s made such a difference.
  • Twitter – On Twitter I followed loads of brands that I love, loads of Bristol business groups and lots of bloggers and influencers. I like Twitter, especially while I’m out in Morzine as it’s a nice way to show a glimpse into what working life is out here in the mountains and find out easily and quickly what’s going on back home.
  • Instagram – I use Instagram as my main search tool when it comes to looking at brands and bloggers. I just find it gives a really accurate view of what an individual/brand is all about, and I have the most experience in this social platform for sure. The annoying this is I’m a perfectionist so could spend hours on Instagram plans, because I’ve seen how much difference they actually make!
  • Emails – Loads of the articles I read suggested emailing those in my network to ask about potential freelance work, and it’s definitely been one of the best ways to make connections and work leads. Even if people don’t have any work for the time being, everyone has been so friendly and helpful and it’s nice to get back in touch.

The next steps…

Over the next few months I’m going to focus on doing as much client work as possible, continuing to get my name out and just seeing which areas I think I need to develop. It’s all a learning curve, and I’m just happy to have the time out here to find out what works and what doesn’t, and decide which are the areas I want to change. The three things I know I want to do are:

  1. New website design – I’ve done my best with a free WordPress template, but it’s just not exactly how I want it to look. I’ve got loads of ideas of things I want to include, but I might need to spend a bit of money either getting a sleeker theme I’m more happy with, or asking someone who actually knows what they’re doing to give me some help. I also want to get some professional photos for the website, as I think it makes such a difference.
  2. Start thinking about planning an event – I’ve had an idea for an event I want to do for ages, but never had a reason to host it, but now I’ve had the time to think about it properly I definitely want to look into it more once I’m back in the UK.
  3. Collaborations – Another thing I’d like to start thinking about is collaborating with other creatives that can benefit the sorts of clients I’ll be working with. I don’t want to give away too much for now, but I’ve got some ideas that I’m really excited about pursuing this year.

If you or anyone you know needs any PR or social media help please drop me an email: hello@cucumber-rose.com

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