Leaving Adfero: Two Years On

During my career at the online news agency Adfero, there were two dates in each Adferonaut's career that really stood out - the date we joined the company, and the date we left.

The former was nicknamed your 'Adferversary', although that word never made it into the company's Style Guide, so spellings often varied.

We didn't really have a word for the latter, as far as I can remember, so let's use 'Exferversary' as shorthand in this post.

Anyway, the point is, my last day of working for Adfero - now rebranded as Axonn Media - was June 30th 2011, and as I think it's more worthwhile celebrating your first day of freedom than your last day of work, that makes July 1st my Exferversary.

Last time around, there wasn't necessarily much to celebrate; freelancing was going fine, but the long-term plan was still coming together.

The year since then has been like a Christopher Nolan reboot of my life; the kind that makes you wonder why nobody did it sooner, why the main character had so many rough edges for so long, why the writers thought anyone would believe a person would live like that.

Don't get me wrong - I was happy in my personal life before, and I left Adfero on (I think) fairly amicable terms, despite The Guardian's interference in the months since.

It's just that now, with a group of really great clients and a decent amount of control over my own day-to-day workload, I feel as though I'm finally also in control of my own destiny.

The ambitions are no longer about petty promotions that will bring nothing but more stress; I've had chance to iron out the more stressful creases in my collection of clients, and I'm now only writing for people I really like (thanks, guys).

Now my ambitions are both mundane, and major milestones in anybody's life: the greatest is, as soon as it's feasible, to buy a house.

This would have been unimaginable two years ago, but now, with the power to work as many hours as I choose, and so boost my earnings when I need to, it's becoming more of a financial possibility, and it's really just a case of having enough of a track record on paper to convince a lender that I'm low-risk.

Looking ahead, I can't help but wonder what my client list will look like in another year's time. I hope it's largely unchanged.

To my private clients: thank you for letting me be the voice of your brand - often with fairly free rein over the tone of voice and subject matter that I write for you.

To my agency clients: thank you for tirelessly acting as the go-between when I need information from the client, and again, for trusting me to produce content that you are happy to sell on with your company's name at the top.

My second Exferversary leaves me well and truly out of any contractual obligations to Adfero/Axonn Media, so I can finally begin to compete openly with them for work.

I'll put together a separate post on that, but needless to say, if you're interested in an alternative to Adfero/Axonn Media and would like to explore hiring a freelancer, rather than committing to a long-term fixed contract with a large agency, which might not offer you so much flexibility, drop me a line.

Even if I can't give you exactly what you need, I'm always happy to take enquiries and offer what help I can, so that you in turn can make the decision that's best for you, based on better knowledge of all of the options that are available.

The past two years have proved that there's room enough in the local market for both Adfero and lil ol' me, so I look forward to plenty more years of working within the north-west SEO and copywriting industry, and wish Axonn Media (as they are now known) the best of luck for their years to come too.

And Adferonauts past, present and future, wherever in the world you may be - I salute you, comrades.