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Freelance Foundations: One Doesn’t Have to be the Loneliest Number

By Tim Stacey

Calling itself “the podcast for the indy workforce,” Freelance Foundations focuses on the challenges of working as a freelancer.

“The things that we talk about on the podcast are the things that everybody asks when they start freelancing for the first time,” says co-host Trevor Twining. “Where do I find clients? How do I build my practice? Why do I feel so alone?”

Following a brief hiatus, the latest run of Freelance Foundations, part of the Niagara Podcast Network, began in the summer of 2016. Two to three episodes are released every month, and as of publication, there are 13 episodes available, with plenty more to come.

Twining, who has worked as a web developer for 16 years, is a founder of Cowork Niagara, where freelancers, social entrepreneurs and non-profit groups can collaborate. Podcast co-host Allison Smith has been working as a community-minded content developer for three years out of Cowork Niagara.

“What we discovered working here and talking through these issues is that these are common experiences for freelancers,” Trevor says. “How we wanted to approach the show was — I have 16 years’ experience freelancing, and Allison is in her third year — to talk about issues from the perspective of the novice and the veteran.”

So far, Freelance Foundations has examined a range of issues familiar to the independent worker, including dealing with non-payment and coping with feelings of isolation.

“We pick an issue and we essentially dig into it and share our experiences on it,” says Trevor. “Hopefully by the end, people have some practical tips on how to deal with that issue, and they’ve seen how this issue affects both somebody who’s been at it for a long time, and well as somebody who’s encountering it for the first time.”

Though they’ve already put out several episodes, Trevor and Allison are confident in the podcast’s future and the many topics yet to be discussed.

“I don’t think we’ll run out because there are always issues,” said Allison. “The independent workforce is always evolving; you have your basics, but you also have issues around tools and technology, and there are as many different client issues as there are clients.”

Trevor and Allison plan to further develop Freelance Foundations by using it as a platform to hold interviews with members of the freelance industry both inside and outside of Niagara, as well as explore different aspects of business in even greater depth.

“One of the topics we haven’t even covered yet, that I would love to dig into, is that the city of New York put together an act to make stiffing freelancers have the same penalties as stiffing regular employees,” says Trevor. “There’s always a part that you can dig into with more depth and provide more concrete steps and more helpful tips or different personal experiences.”

“We’re not just stuck in these roles of veteran and newbie,” says Allison. “The podcast grows as we grow and that’s what I like about it.”

You can listen to Freelance Foundations wherever podcasts are available. Cowork Niagara is located at 108 St. Paul St. in St. Catharines. Visit them online at coworkniagara.com.

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