Community Building & the Rise of the Freelance Business Model | Emily Leach on The Content Engine

After years as a freelancer in the digital marketing industry, Emily Leach founded the Freelance Conference to bring together skilled individuals who believe in working on their own terms.

On this episode of The Content Engine, Emily and Alex discuss what it takes to be a successful freelancer, how businesses can better find and collaborate with freelance talent, and how to build a strong movement around your conference or event.


Alex introduces Emily to the show. [00:00]

Emily explains what the Freelance Conference is and how it started. [01:15]

Emily discusses how she built the Freelance Conference community. [03:43]

Emily talks about what freelancing is and what it takes to be a freelancer. [05:29]

Emily describes how business owners should communicate with freelancers. [08:44]

Emily explains how to gain experience as a freelancer. [13:06]

Emily offers advice on growing your brand and building a movement. [14:30]

Emily discusses where to recruit talented freelancers and how freelancers can get work. [17:26]

Emily talks briefly on the importance of authenticity. [22:08]

Alex and Emily discuss the future of the freelance movement. [23:39]

Emily explains where to learn more about her work and the Freelance Conference. [27:47]

Alex thanks Emily and concludes the show. [28:19]


1. “When you’re building a community and you’re building a space that you want people to be able to talk about, whatever is going on, it has to be safe for them.” [04:20]

2. “Over time you will learn each other’s communication styles and expectations, design styles, all that kind of stuff. You have to put the time in.” [11:55]

3. “[Building a movement] comes from within… it’s the one or two people that stand there and say ‘I don’t care. We’re doing it this way because this is different and this is what our community is missing.’ It’s the harder way, it’s the longer way, but it doesn’t mean it’s not the right way.” [14:52]

4. “Society is starting to accept freelancers as a true business model. Even the business world is starting to really embrace the freelance business model because it’s allowing them so much more flexibility and freedom.” [24:35]


Austin Freelance Gigs – [17:30]

CloudPeeps – [20:14]

Freelance Conference – [27:50]

“Genetically Unemployable” Podcast – [28:07]

Texas Freelance Association – [28:09]