Nov 11, 2023

How To Become A Freelancer The Hard Way

Join Hunter's daring journey from fired to digital nomad creator!

Hunter Scott
Hunter Scott
How To Become A Freelancer The Hard Way

Hello, I got fired!

To make a long story short, I’ve now gone all in on being a content creator, and I do mean all in. There’s a lot at stake here! If I want to continue my nomadic lifestyle and keep doing the creative work I do, I have to make this work… But also, there’s a financial imperative here too - I’ve taken on a huge risk doing this (some would say prematurely) so let’s just say I am not short of motivation.

This is going to be an insane challenge, and most of my friends say I’m crazy for even attempting it, but I know I can make it work.

If you don’t know me, I’m Hunter. I’m a content creator, which is kind of an icky term but basically, I make photos and videos, and tell stories. I also do this for businesses so that they can say what they need to say without being boring and businessy.

I worked in the media industry for a while at an agency, creating content for brands to use across YouTube, social media, and even TV.

The Three Main Challenges

Challenge One: Living the Nomadic Lifestyle

I have to make it work while living a nomadic lifestyle - I’m going to have to get used to moving around very often, since I can’t get any sort of business or freelancer visa until everything starts working. This means I’m going to need to simplify what I need to make content and keep it all as light and portable as possible.

Solution: I’ve just moved from Jersey to Warsaw - and I already love it here! This is going to be my base for the next few months, and I’m hoping that I can secure a visa to stay here for longer. I’m traveling as light as possible, with one bag with basic kit, and I’m going to be editing off my new M3 MacBook Pro. I am used to using the gear at work, so since I only have my own kit now, here it is:

  • One Nikon D750
  • A 16mm Fisheye
  • A Sigma Art 24-70 2.8
  • A Sigma Art 50mm 1.4
  • A tripod
  • Rode wireless pro microphones

Challenge Two: Short Runway

I actually have a VERY short runway before I have to take off - I don’t have much in savings, meaning that this is probably the riskiest thing I’ve ever done. I probably have under 6 months to turn myself into a lean mean content machine, get a few other Youtube creators as editing clients, and make a profit.

Solution:I don’t like talking about money, but the reality is, it’s important, and most creative professionals are really bad at talking about it. To be contrarian (and because it’s useful), I’m going to be doing weekly breakdowns of the finances, and what’s working and not working. So as of today, we’re starting at $0.

Challenge Three: Limited Headstart

I don’t have much of a headstart here - at the time of posting this video I have under 500 subscribers here on YouTube. There’s a big silver lining here though - all of you guys are fantastic. I feel really lucky that the community I’ve built so far, however small, is so engaged. There are always really interesting and insightful comments on my videos, and it feels good that we’re all sharing ideas and teaching each other. That’s going to be important for me to keep going.

The Plan

So those are my three main challenges here… What am I going to do to make this work then? How can I solve these problems?

  • I’m going to create the best videos, photos, and community that I can.
  • I’m going to reach out to YouTubers who I think I could help, by taking on some or all of their editing workload - I think that freelance video editing is a good place to focus my energy since I’m good at it, and it can be done remotely. It might also be a good way to make friends with some other creators!
  • I’m going to trust the process and take a leap of faith. Is this scary? YES! Am I going to let that stop me? NO!

I’m going to take this opportunity to sponsor my own video here - I teach street photography! If you are interested in coaching or in-person workshops, get in touch! I'd love to help.

So for now, that’s the plan I guess - this is scary, and insane, and I’m going to be extremely proud of myself if it does work out. If you aren’t subscribed over on YouTube, please do! I’ll be posting regular updates on how this crazy mission goes.

In the next post, I’ll be giving you an update after my first week of being a solo digital nomad creator, with actual financial breakdowns, exactly what I did, and what’s worked and not worked so far.

Stay Hydrated, and Create Art.