Name: Danielle Warren
Job title: Freelance Digital Producer
Time in current role: A year and a half
Danielle is a Freelance Digital Producer and has worked on TV shows like Love Island, Big Brother, Saturday Night Takeaway and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Why did you decide to go freelance?
I can’t remember ever saying to myself: “Next year I’m going freelance.” It just kind of happened. I moved to London as a bright-eyed graduate and began working as a runner in television. I’d always loved writing (never the gushy stuff, always the tongue-in-cheek, ‘woe is me, London is really busy’ stuff) and after being featured on the Huffington Post website I eventually came into contact with a woman who worked in the digital department for Big Brother. She ended up giving me my first role in the online world of television.
It was a risk, as I was in full-time employment and the role only lasted as long as the show did, but it was worth it. TV is mainly freelance so once I’d met a few people, put my name out there and got comfortable with the idea of being self-employed, I decided to join the freelance gang and tackle the tax return myself.
What are the key functions of your role?
It depends which company I’m freelancing for. Mainly my role involves working within a team to develop and produce the digital and social media strategies and content for key entertainment programming, whether it be a live show which airs once a week, or a pre-recorded show on seven days a week.
Social media and TV go hand-in-hand (every show has a Twitter hashtag these days!) so it’s about making our content as engaging and shareable as possible, interacting with viewers and really boosting what they’re seeing on TV across a range of digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the show’s official website.
Talk us through your typical working day
It’s a cliché, but no two days are the same. Each show is different and they all have different teams of people on board to tackle different areas. There might be a social producer working on memes and GIFs or an editorial producer writing articles for the website. It also depends on whether or not the show is live. If not I’ll usually watch the show, make notes about key points in each part and then see how these can be translated across the digital world.
Your favourite part of the job?
When you watch a moment in the show and you KNOW it’s going to be comedy gold! You can just visualise your tweet, Facebook post and the meme or GIF you’re going to produce, and you know it’s going to do well. I also love how involved the digital departments can be with the on-screen talent. It’s a pleasure to be able to work with presenters I used to watch on TV when I was growing up.
…and the part you could do without?
Ha, I love all parts! In my line of work you always want to produce the best content, the best social strategies and the best articles but sometimes what you think is going to work, doesn’t. People consume social media in different ways, it’s about being reactive and thinking about a different approach when things don’t quite go to plan.
How would your colleagues describe you in three words?
I’d like to think they’d say hard-working, insanely organised and just a little bit bonkers!
Plans for the future?
I used to worry a lot about where I was and if I was progressing at the right speed, but I’ve learnt to trust my gut and do what I think is right for me. At the moment my key objectives are to keep enjoying what I’m doing and to continue to challenge myself at all times. The digital world moves fast so it’s important to keep up-to-date with trends and developments.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring freelancers?
Be nice. Work hard. Never forget people you’ve met along the way – you never know when you’ll meet again! LLY