Becoming a Freelance Communications Consultant – Isabel Johnston’s story
Isabel Johnston is an experienced freelance Communications Consultant, having worked in PR and Media Relations for more than 12 years. She’s passionate about clear key messages, knowing your audience and always targeting your communications.

“I love a good story, networking and talking to people!

“I’m a Communications Consultant and work with companies on raising their profile through effective communications. I create content, work more strategically on communications plans and love getting people media coverage. I also do bespoke training for companies about internal and external communications, as well as media training and one-to-one mentoring.

“Since going freelance and setting up my business IJ Communications in January, I’ve worked with small businesses looking at how they can maximise the time they already put into their marketing and communications by taking a more strategic approach to raising their profile and getting noticed.

“Besides my new business venture, I juggle being a mum of two small children and love anything food, travel and coffee!

“I had always toyed with the idea of going self-employed – I love what I do but wasn’t sure about the business side of things.

“I heard about Radian’s Create course through word of mouth. I had just decided to leave my job to go freelance and was in the first months of my new business venture. The course really opened my eyes to the opportunities available as someone who is self-employed. It grew my confidence massively while also giving me a reality check too on what’s involved.

“After years of attempting part-time working in the corporate world, I knew it was the right time to make the jump when my son started school. I wanted to work more flexibly and knew I had the right experience to help companies and businesses with my expertise.

“It’s been amazing being able to choose who you want to work with and deliver results on my own.

“Although it has been challenging – I had definitely underestimated the ups and downs that comes with being self-employed. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.

“Some days are hard – you feel like you have to knock on a lot of doors to get yourself heard and it can be isolating to lose the professional input from colleagues in a larger team. And the accountancy side of things is definitely my biggest turn-off – but I’m learning!

“The Create course really helped me with these issues though. It has given me an invaluable new network of fellow business owners going through the same journey. But has also taught me about the realities of being an entrepreneur, set me up to succeed and reminded me why having your own company is so exciting too.

“Networking with fellow Create students is a real asset of the course, as is the one-to-one support in between sessions and post course support.

“While these first few months have definitely been tough, seeing my first paying client appear in the national media was a great highlight. It makes it all worth it.

“I’ve also really thrived on running more communications training. I recently stood up in front of a group of businesses to deliver a communications masterclass as ‘IJ Communications’. I didn’t have the back-fall of a corporate company, so receiving really great feedback really boost my confidence.

“Self-employment has really changed my life – it’s been brilliant! I feel so much happier and in control of my life. While the uncertainty regarding income is a stress-factor, I’ve learnt so much already and know things take time.

“For my family life it’s been a game-changer. I’m able to be there for all the pick-ups, ballet classes and school events. It’s been a great confidence boost too knowing that I can get clients who pay for and value my expertise.


“Radian Group’s Create course is absolutely brilliant. Whether you are in the early stages of your business planning or just up and running – the training gives you a great insight into what life as an entrepreneur really looks like. It runs through all key business elements.

“Michelle facilitates the sessions in a professional, yet light-hearted way. Her experience is invaluable. The sessions are easy to understand and give you enough insight into key areas to get your business off the ground or taking the next steps.

“The support Radian Group provides with their partners is such a great asset to any start-up and I can’t quite believe how much high-quality training, mentoring and networking they offer for free. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”


Find out more about Isabel’s business on her website:


Radian’s ‘Create’ course is a self-employment programme designed to support those thinking about starting their own business. The comprehensive course is open to people whose ideas are ready to transform into a business; providing students with essential information, access to a team of experts and up to two years post-course support.