Welcome to the Freelance Jungle
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Isolation: (noun) the state of being alone in a crowded marketplace. The biggest challenge facing Australian freelancers.

Antonym: (noun) The Freelance Jungle 

At the Australian Freelance Jungle, we believe that if you fit your mask, you can face just* about anything.

That’s why we focus on:

Find out what it means to:

LEARN

Learn new stuff

SELF-CARE

Look out for you, first

Wanna know more?

Find out about us:

* membership of the Freelance Jungle may not limit the amount of late payments, jerk clients, scrambling for work, vicious competitors, under-handed agencies and all kinds of monsters you may face in your freelance career. But by golly, we sure pitch in and try to help you out when you face them.

The Freelance Jungle is the WayAhead Workplaces Wellbeing Award winner for 2019

 

Will Dirickx-Jones, Film Maker

It’s like an office that’s all watercooler, friendly banter and support without the office politics, nastiness and having to wear actual work clothes (or clothes at all).

Anna Butler, Copybreak

I was discussing the Freelance Jungle with a friend recently. I told him that in the competitive, often dog-eat-dog world of freelancing and business in general, that this group managed to leave the nastiness behind.

That rather than tearing down our “competitors” and climbing over bodies to elevate our own status, that we all worked together to lift everyone one up as high as we can. And embracing a mindset of collaboration and cooperation served to strengthen our own businesses by helping smooth out the feast and famine cycle we’ve all experienced as freelancers.

He told me it sounded completely “unreal”.

I told him it certainly was.

Emma McMillan, Copywriter

The generosity of people within the group is just amazing. In my first year of freelancing there was so much advice to tap into. There is also an incredibly friendly feel within the group, like an actual community. It’s one of only a couple of groups that I pop into each day when I’m feeling a little lonesome at my desk. I’d love the confidence to post and engage a little more often, which I think will come with experience.

Zoe Heard, Be Heard Communications

I came here to learn and soak up as much as possible from more experienced freelancers. In my first year of freelancing I had all sorts of curly client situations, and EVERY time I had seen a similar conversation on FJ before, so I knew what to do.

In many cases, I was able to find the original thread and brush up on the great advice given to the original poster and use it for myself.

The Freelance Jungle advice gave me confidence to insist on favourable terms, ask for money owed, and deal with client feedback.

Now 2 years in, I’m in my groove and I feel like I’m able to offer advice and support to other members, either new or established freelancers, based on my own experiences.

What a wonderful, supportive, sharing group this is. Even though I’ve never met most of you, I feel like we’ve got each other’s backs.

Elizabeth Gilmore, Proofreader/Editor at Simply Edited

For all of us with mental health issues, we are so positive, there isn’t any tear downs, even when someone doesn’t agree with you, at least there isn’t offence taken, because most of the time the humour shines through.

It’s the first place I come for true opinions and get my nerd on in the middle of the night.

Jacqui Bonner, Marketing & Management

Key strengths – big support, understanding of the difficulties and joys of freelancing, insights, advice, gossip and discovering new ways to do things. I’ll never forget the support I received after going through a rough time with a client the end of last year. Love you’se all!

Mitch Gibson, yoga instructor and studio owner

This group is amazing for the community feel, the vibe, the support, the laughs right when I need them most – though mostly for you Bek. No pressure or anything, though it often feels like you’re the awesome glue that gathers us all in. I literally stop and read stuff you post whenever it comes in. Love your realness. Sad at the unfair-factor of you being smashed by life recently. Applaud your self-care standards AND redefining what it means. Over and over. Love how you & all the other freelancer ‘s get each other. Keep looking after you. Thanks a million for looking after US too. Let me know how I can help with the festival. It sounds bloody marvellous. 

Holly Shoebridge, Oceans Accounting and Tax

I’ve gained so much from this epic group. When leaving full time employment and starting out 18 months ago in my own business, I was clueless with respect to client management, client boundaries, setting expectations etc. The support offered by the experienced freelancers/business owners in here at the time taught me loads in a very short time. It helped to set a benchmark of what I will and won’t accept in business. I really bloody love the no bullshit, no fluff kind of answers we get from the admin in here too. Often hilar and always to the point!

Plus, all the most epic vibes that are in here daily. Community, collaboration, a safe space for people to air their issues and receive meaningful feedback is really unique. A brilliant online culture.

And most recently, Bek, offering guidance on how to continue to manage a business when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. That’s bloody invaluable.

Danke schoen (thank you)

Seren Trump, Trump Media

This group gave me the confidence to back myself and my worth. It’s both water cooler chit chat and therapeutic venting. Support, understanding, professional advice, camaraderie.

Sarah Thornton-Smith, Artist & Designer

I love the comradeship, mateship and compassionate advice shared so generously and freely. And the diversity of freelancers.

Brooke Jacobson, Shoe Fits Media

This is my first stop if I need advice, if I need to laugh, if I need to cry or if I would like to share a cute picture of my dog. Thank you, Freelance Jungle and all the freelancers who dwell in it. You rock.

Angela Denly, Angela Denly Writing and Communications

Lots of other business groups are all about growth. If you want to stay small and solo, the attitude is like “Do you even lift, bro?” Freelance Jungle is here for freelancers at all stage of their business journey, no matter if it’s a part-time side hustle or the first step on the way to world domination.

Jessica Harkins, Six Onions Design

Before Freelance Jungle I had no Terms & Conditions and only the weakest of contracts. I also had a crappy website, no email signature, no good banking processes. I’ve always cherished and loved the word freelance but would often substitute the word ‘temp’ instead when talking to people. I never do that anymore. I’ve certainly had my love for Red Bull, but really, it’s FJ that gives you wings.

Alice Henchion, Project Manager, Renew Wollongong

This is one of my happy places on Facebook. I have learnt so much practical business stuff and a huge amount on valuing my work time and free time. When I joined, I was working for myself and still found 80% of the discussions relevant and helpful. Since then, I have picked up some freelance work to supplement my income. I wonder how much of that decision was linked to being a part of the Freelance Jungle?

Sam Wade, digital content producer

To me, freelance jungle is essential to maintain an even keel on your freelance ship. It can be incredibly lonely and uh.. turbulent stepping outside the traditional job market. Having a community to turn to that are in the same boat as you (or in their own boats, but together creating an armada) makes it a lot easier to keep going.

There are people who have sailed these waters before. People who have battled the Kraken and won. People who need the assistance of the other ships.

It’s hard to put a value on being part of a community that has your back. So, I’ve gone for an elaborate nautical metaphor instead.

Nikki Patricia, designer

With an emphasis on interaction, Freelance Jungle is a virtual coffee date with a colleague when you usually coffee alone. It’s a place to ask questions, offer answers and bounce ideas off like-minded creatives who don’t care if you’re new or experienced. It’s a place for conversations and letting stuff out and sharing your wins, losses and holy shit moments.

It’s funny, touching, relatable and professional with a peppering of swears and touch of heart-warming photos.

And yes, we’re pet friendly. Bring your office buddies but don’t be surprised if they get too much attention!

Kylie Saunder, Copywriter

It’s one of main reasons I’m on Facebook.

FJ has helped me with the following:

– business advice & encouragement: a place to go to when I need guidance or had a rough time as freelancer. There will always be someone online who gives the equivalent of an ‘online hug’.

– given me the confidence and strengthened my belief that my business can be run as I see fit…I don’t have to do what others are doing to be successful. I now run my business with a lighter heart and a calmer brain.

– online stress downs have made huge impact for me. To be in a group of like minded freelancers who are honest, open and committed to listening to each other’s trials and tribulations. For this space to be so special that it feels comfortable to say “my anxiety has been off the charts this week…”

– never any judgement here

– when I had health issues to contend with last year, I got support from Bek and others here to set out some strategies and self-care to help me physically and mentally. That and Bek’s amazing coaching has made my business something I actually enjoy working in every day now

– Patreon group has already given me the added ‘juice’ to hanging out in FJ. From the amazing love letter Bek sent me (that I read every week) to knowing that my small contribution each month is helping create a community that actually helps and ‘makes a difference’

 

Lou Merrington, author and communications consultant

Things this group has given me, in no particular order:

– Business advice (especially when I was just starting out – there were so many basic things I didn’t know!) in a way that was helpful not salesy.

– A place to ask questions or just get a sanity check, where you won’t be judged or laughed at

– Real-life friendships

– Contacts that led to ongoing work

– A community that I could tap into when I moved interstate

– Online stress-downs, which have helped combat isolation and the pressures of freelance life

– Lots of laughs (invaluable!)

Kelly Wade

The Freelance Jungle is the best place for Aussie freelancers to hang out no matter their experience level. New freelancers will really benefit from the opportunity to get support and advice from more experienced freelancers and the latter get a really supportive community and the chance to learn from other top freelancers too.

Marie Cheeseman

This place has given me so much more confidence in myself in terms of setting my rates and negotiating terms on contracts, knowing that actually it’s okay to walk away from a client, and providing a place to ask questions and have a place to feel a sense of belonging, and that I’m not alone, there are other mums out there juggling freelance work around school and kindy and naps and also finding it hard.

Kay Ridge

This group is real and honest. We support each other in a safe and nurturing environment lead by the likes of Bek Lambert

Steven Speldewinde Director, Social Deck. Founder, Ideas Hoist

Probably the most thoughtful and down to earth group of people on the internet.

Di Challenor, Whistle Communications

The Freelance Jungle is generosity, expertise and laughs on tap. It’s filled to the brim with smart, witty and kind folk who are, as Bill and Ted would say, Excellent. Stuck? Ask for help. Someone is always out there ready and willing to swoop down and rescue a freelancer in a pickle.

Andrea Rowe, Small Business Owner/Operator at Your Coastal Connection

Freelance Jungle offers a virtual space to check in with others in the solo business community. Australia’s a big landscape for freelancers, but it needn’t be lonely. Being able to check in with others in the tough days, seek guidance from others in trouble shooting issues and collaborate and learn in such an honest and practical way makes Freelance Jungle such a valuable online community. Together we celebrate and commiserate the wins and challenges, offer suggestions to help move through roadblocks, present new ways of doing things and provide the kind of wellbeing and mental health support that is often lacking in so many small businesses. And it does it in such a relatable human way – with seed planter conversations, humour, humility and care and not an overused business word in sight. Freelance jungle is a refreshing online community helping so many of us personally navigate the forest of working solo.

Donna Dark, Principal Consultant/Owner, Lighthouse Advisory Services

Freelance Jungle is one of the main reasons I stay on Facebook these days. It is a warm, non-judgemental and funny group that also offers helpful advice about the Freelance journey. It has helped me value myself and what I offer. Best bits are the pet photos and of course the banter.

Sheree Chambers, Brugel Creative

The Freelance Jungle has been a refuge. I’m an external processor and working solo (especially in the early days when I was freaking out about absolutely everything) I didn’t have anyone to bounce things off. To have a place that’s safe to discuss client issues, best business practice, or simply to have fun, with people who are on the same journey, was basically the only reason I survived the early days. I’ve made some valuable friendships here (some virtual, and some IRL), and I’m truly thankful for Bek Lambert and her minions for making the Jungle pretty much the only reason I bother to login to Facebook.

Will Dirickx-Jones, Film Maker

It’s like an office that’s all watercooler, friendly banter and support without the office politics, nastiness and having to wear actual work clothes (or clothes at all).


We’re by Australian freelancers for Australian freelancers because we believe as a community, we know our challenges and needs better than anyone else. 


Our aim is not to sell you a new way of doing freelancing. It’s to help you find how to put your best foot forward.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

Mailing Address:
The Freelance Jungle
PO Box 68
Windang
NSW 2528