Work. Life. Time. Study. Skincare

Through MANFACE and MANFACE Digital, I have been self employed for around 5 years. I left the University of Manchester to pursue the blog and finished my degree with the OU, all whilst working from my apartment and commuting regularly between Yorkshire and London. There were lunches, launches, celebrity parties and more freebies than you can shake a stick at. I felt like a young, gay Edina Monsoon and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

However, over the last year to 18 months, I’ve really not been enjoying it as much despite how good, if not very irregular, the money has been. I became very disenfranchised with the industry as a whole; you don’t need to look very far to find out what’s been going on with the fakery and steady decline in the financial viability of pure blogging.

As defeatist as it probably sounds, it feels as though there’s no longer a place for actual experts within the ‘influencer’ industry any more, at least not where the money is – I can’t pay my phone bills with moisturiser (would be good if I could though!). I tried numerous things to reinvigorate myself and my love of blogging, including breaks and overhauls – none of it worked. I also made myself very ill then piled on a load of weight that I’m still in the process of shifting (it’s thankfully going). Needless to say, I wasn’t happy and was no longer ‘living the freelance dream’.

So that set the ball rolling. I’ve always done digital work including development, PPC and SEO; in fact despite winding so much of that side of my business down, I am mightily proud to still be working with British Beauty Blogger, Amanda Lacey and Les Trois Garcons. Not only are these clients, but over the years have become friends who I still and always will enjoy working with. But as the Digital Marketing industry has been growing and growing, it’s something I’ve shifted into more and more. The industry is still relatively in its infancy but it’s thriving.

So as of August this year, I took a fantastic position at one of the North’s leading marketing agencies, working on some fabulous brands and projects. I no longer have to fight unpaid invoices, self-assessment nightmares and fraudsters creating a race to the bottom (although I suppose any industry is plagued with that). I am so much happier and feel like I can enjoy what’s left of my twenties.

I’ve also decided to start studying again; something I’ve been toying with for a while. As of last week I’ve begun my MSc Psychology and already loving it. Not working for myself has allowed me to plan things out, which would have been too difficult before not always knowing what’s happening from one week to the next.

This has therefore freed me to do what I want with MANFACE as I could never turn it off. However, I no longer have to write content to stay in brands’ good-graces which I admit came across as very advertorial at times. Although it’s still visible, I am off social media; that was one of the elements I never much enjoyed – the continually mimicking echo chamber wears a bit thin after a while. There are no more sidebars, banners or content promotion. MANFACE has been paired back to the very basics so I can write about what I want to write about.

Maybe one day I’ll go back to working for myself, but who knows. For now I’m loving what I’m doing and can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

Photo by Victoria Dihua Xue on Unsplash

Harvey Specter
Posted at 19:21 July 15, 2018
Jean and john in murla

Thom, as always, we think you are great. Follow your heart and your ethics and you will always pay the bills as you are pretty damn fine splendid.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 21:18 October 24, 2017
The Candy Perfume Boy

Good to see you back. Thom. Glad that you have found work that makes you happy.

Harvey Specter
Posted at 17:48 October 21, 2017

An honest piece and great to see your back ! As there is literally no honest expert on male grooming that can provide genuine reviews of products to assist us guys through the minefield of options!
Keep it up!:)

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