Being Freelance
Mann Made Opportunities - Presenter Olly Mann
Jan 9, 2016 · 44 min
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After a career freelancing behind the scenes in TV, Olly Mann has found himself in the media limelight. Found? Or put himself there? Olly's a writer for major publications, a national radio presenter, TV panelist and part of the podcasting elite. But how did all of these doors open for him? Not without knocking. And then pushing all of Olly Mann through.

One half of 'Helen & Olly' from long running, award winning podcast 'Answer Me This', Olly shares his story from making the most of the opportunities of university to making the most of every opportunity that's come his way since and going knocking for a whole lot more.

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Here’s some of the key takeaway points:

  • You can’t just think people will find you and your work… you’ve got to tell people

  • Want something? Badger for it. Even now, Olly still goes knocking for opportunities. Be persistent. Really persistent.

  • Enter awards - important reputationally and gives you something to write about when contacting people for opportunities

  • As far as building your reputation online goes… you have to ask - if people like what you do, they’ll be happy to rate you/review you/give you press, etc

  • It's worth building your reputation, your 'personal brand' as it gives extra reasurrance to those hiring you

  • It doesn't matter if you think you're great or not, you have to put your work out in the world, believe you're great, it's up to other people if they like your work or not

  • Collaboration is really important - keep an eye out for people to work with; no man is an island

  • Don’t rely on just a few clients - if two big clients dropped you, could you still pay the bills?

  • Experiment - figure out what it is you like doing and what you're good at

  • Create the work you want to be known for, if you're not being paid to do what you want to do, make it as a side project and get it out there

More from Olly Mann

Olly on Twitter

Olly's site

Answer Me This!

Modern Mann

The Guardian Tech Weekly

The Media Podcast

Olly on LBC (radio)

Useful Links

The Bugle Podcast

Ewan Spence - Edinburgh Fringe Podcast 'Edinburgh Nights'

Olly Newport's Being Freelance Episode

Stefanie Posavec's Being Freelance Episode

Who the hell is Steve Folland?

You know how everyone bangs on about how powerful video and audio content can be?
Yeah, well Steve helps businesses make it and make the most of it. Find out more at
Track him down on Twitter @sfolland or lay a trail of cake and he'll eventually catch you up.

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