January 20, 2022
We’re excited to announce the $10,000 December Amber Grant recipient. Congratulations to Tia Meyers, founder of Freelancing Females.
She is the December qualifier for the 2022 year-end Amber Grant ($25,000).
Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Marcia Layton Turner sat down with Tia for an exclusive interview. You can listen to their conversation and view the transcript below.
WomensNet: Welcome everyone to a chat with this month’s Amber Grant winner. Today, we’re speaking with Tia Myers, who’s the founder and CEO of Freelancing Females, and the Amber Grant winner for December, 2021. I’m Marcia Layton Turner. And I’m one of the many members of the WomensNet Advisory Board.
So Tia, tell us about Freelancing Females.
Tia: I would love to — thank you for having us. We’re so excited. Freelancing Females is the world’s largest organization of freelance women. We are a community of over 300,000 women across the U.S. and around the world. And we are here to give women the biggest opportunity possible in creating a life around their passions. Freelancing Females includes our newsletter, our directory of freelance women. You can hire [via] our job board, our community based Facebook group and more.
WomensNet: So how did you hear about the Amber Grant? And then what made you decide to apply?
Tia: We are actually having a really big year for Freelancing Females. 2021 was very deep introspection and education, and this year is what we’re calling it “the year of the money.” We were up to our eyeballs in creative thinking and pivoting this year and aligning all of our core values. And that’s how we came across WomensNet and the Amber Grant. And it was such a perfect fit for us. And we could really use just that extra boost of cash to be able to provide a bunch more resources for women this year, educating them on financial freedom, money, and client work. So we’re very excited to put this all into education and resources.
WomensNet: It’s like, it was meant to be. You’ve scheduled this year of money and you kick it off by getting money.
Tia: Yeah, you manifested it apparently.
WomensNet: Well, I saw the list of upcoming topics that you’re gonna cover this year. I’m really excited to see that content.
Tia: We planned out the whole year, which is really great for us.
WomensNnet: So now that you’ve won, how are you going to use the $10,000 to grow the company?
Tia: First and foremost, we’re making some exciting website changes so that more women can utilize our resources page and educational content. So that’s gonna be one of the biggest areas that we’re starting off with. Second, we will be putting it into creating more resources in education, on different financial topics throughout the year. Each month will be a different topic and we’ll be creating different workshops, newsletters, and areas that you can download for education to learn more about each area of finance this year.
WomensNet: That’s fantastic. I think that money and entrepreneurship have sort of a love, hate relationship. Women want to start companies and be freelancers, in order to have the chance to earn more. But then once it starts coming in, it’s hard to know how exactly to manage it.
Tia: It’s many different aspects. We started Freelancing Females because I went through a non-payment issue with a larger company about four years ago. And I started our Facebook group because I didn’t know where to turn to. Freelancing can be a very isolating situation. And when you need that help, it’s really great to have peers. So we started a Facebook group. We’ve grown since then, and this is kind of 360 where we now get to educate them in.
We love to be creative; we love to be freelancers, but then we have to get into the nitty gritty of taxes and finances and all of those fun things. And what is crypto and insurance and all those fun topics. So we’re really excited.
WomensNet: So as you continue to grow, what are some of the future plans, that you have even beyond 2022?
Tia: It’s really exciting. So we just brought on LA, our director of collaboration for more full-time work. So we have the means now to finally create more content and more education and a podcast for the year. We also have a trajectory going on. Right now, our biggest focus is finance and financial freedom for women. But the next five years is going to be really big for us because we finally took the last few years and we bootstrapped the whole company. We’ve gotten it to this point. We know exactly what we want and what we need. So the next five years is going to be a big area of growth for us. And some of our plans besides the year of money is creating an incubator for women-owned businesses to help launch them.
WomensNet: That’s amazing. I know a little bit about incubators and accelerators and I know how important they can be to really help push businesses forward. So, do you have any advice, now that you’ve run this business for almost five years? Is there anything that you’ve learned along the way that would be helpful for someone who’s at the early stages, maybe thinking about starting a business or just getting started?
Tia: So what’s really exciting with what we’ve been working on for our incubator is also, we’ve been beta testing, how to help women launch their businesses. And we’ve learned a lot over the years of where you kind of hit those bumps in the road. And some of the biggest things is decision making. I would say one of the easiest pieces of the advice and the hardest for us that we’ve learned to give to other women is to just get started. And you don’t need a $10,000 branding package. You just need a very simple website with showcasing your work and your personality and to get started so that you can start learning what you love about your work in freelance. Then you can niche down and create more service offerings based upon that. Once you find your first client and you start asking other people for recommendations and resources, you’re able to grow significantly.
WomensNet: I think that people tend to think of freelancers as like micro-businesses. And I know from being part of the freelancing females community, it’s possible to grow big. I mean, you’re really a testament to that.
Tia: You can go as big as you want to. There’s no ceiling to hit. When you’re in a nine to five, you have a very specific set area. For freelance, you can really take it whichever way you want. You can try out new things. I mean, I’m very much a testament to that. Freelancing Female started as a Facebook group. We’re now a whole website and community. But when I was freelancing myself, I kind of started big testing out a few different areas, like helping you with websites and photography and social media. And then I found on my niche, which was creating communities and social media. Then you’re able to grow exponentially once you know where exactly you wanna go. And the beauty of freelance is that you’re selling yourself. So, you know, people wanna learn all about you.
WomensNet: And also I think you have the flexibility to go where your interests or your strengths are. If you discover that, ‘oh, you know, I I’m really good at this’… you can pivot much more easily.
Tia: And you can try new areas and new industries. I think the biggest thing about the beauty of freelance is when you’re in college and you’re going through education, there’s a very specific set of majors that you can do. But what we’ve found through Freelancing Females is women have such creative and unique jobs such as book cover artists, or Haku writers, or we even have a sword swallower. We are able to give resources to each and every woman who’s in a very diverse category. But there’s just those specific areas that you all need to hit to really launch your business.
WomensNet: Well, thank you so much for taking a few minutes to share your story with the WomensNet community. Congratulations again on being the winner of our December Amber Grant, Tia.
Tia: We are so excited. Thank you, Marcia. And we look forward to meeting more of WomensNet.