Who is Patricia De Bruycker?
Patricia De Bruycker is a B2B marketing consultant and has been working in marketing and advertising for years. In 2021, the pandemic got her thinking and she started reconsidering her professional life. She decided to test the waters by becoming a part-time freelancer. Earlier this year, she jumped full-time into the freelance life as a strategic marketeer and marketing coach.
As a strategic marketeer, Patricia assists PME’s in their marketing efforts. She dives into the business and figures out where there is room to grow, how to optimise and if the story they are telling fits correctly.
Besides that, she also coaches entrepreneurs from the creative sector as “Merkwijs”. Creative people are passionate about their job. But don’t always have enough knowledge about marketing and sales. From personal branding and pricing to process optimisation and understanding their numbers, that is where Patricia comes in.
Making the jump at the right time
“Looking back, I sometimes feel like I should have become a freelancer 10 years ago. Back when I was 16, I already wanted to freelance. But then again, I don’t think it would have turned out the same. Not only did I not have the same level of professional experience, but I also didn’t have the right mindset yet.” In the last few years, Patricia has been working on herself. Bolstering her confidence and getting to know herself better. The added life experience also helped with that.
And that is Patricia’s main piece of advice for other freelancers: dare to be yourself! Don’t hide who you are. Being an entrepreneur involves a lot of personal growth. You will get to know yourself much better. The whole process is like a playground. Because the fact that you are able to do this, that it allows you to make a living, that is a true luxury. Enjoy it!
Don’t take on jobs that don’t feel right
Starting out as a new freelancer, you don’t know what the future will bring. You might be scared and say yes to the wrong assignments or clients. You might feel a disconnect in the initial interview or first few e-mails and ignore it. Patricia took on jobs that weren’t a good fit and learned a lot from it. Getting to know a (potential) client has become much more of an exchange. She is not just interviewing for an assignment, she also wants to find it if it’s the right match for her. If she is able to help the client in the best way and will enjoy working with them. It has become much more of a two-way street.
Advice for freelancers: think about your positioning
“I really believe in freelancing. It is a system that works well and I’m sure it will keep on growing in the coming years.” says Patricia. That also means the competition will keep on growing. That is why it is so important to think about your positioning. There are other freelancers who are providing the same or similar products/services as you. So what makes you unique? What makes you different from others? Is it your way of working, your specific interests, your personality, …
It might not be easy to define this yourself. So talk about it with others! And it doesn’t have to be a business coach. You can talk with other freelancers, other entrepreneurs, others in the business world. Find people that you want to learn from and be inspired by. Create your own network of like-minded people who you can put things to. Who will offer a listening ear when it’s going good and when it’s going bad. Ideally this also includes people who work in the same industry, who can help you on your way and maybe even introduce you.
Want to know more?
Patricia is passionate about helping creative entrepreneurs to add more colour to the world. It’s her mission and life’s purpose. Because the world would be kind of boring if everything was functional, without colour and design. We should support the creative talent we have more. If you want to know more, be sure to check out her podcast that is launching at the end of the week! You can listen to Merkwijs on Spotify.