6 things you may not know about being a freelance copywriter
I’m really pleased to be able to bring to you a guest blog from one of the team. Lisa is not only a Virtual Assistant but she’s also a copywriter. I’ve asked Lisa to share 6 things you might not know about being a freelance copywriter, and here’s her blog. I hope you enjoy it – do leave us a comment in the comments box at the end!
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a freelance copywriter, writing is all I ever really wanted to do, but nothing’s perfect, right?
So, a few of the challenges of being a freelance writer:
- Your friends don’t know what you do. Copywriting? Something to do with trademarks right? Err… No Jen, that’s copyright, a whole different ball game. You copy what other people have written but change it a bit? Nope, and nope again. I suppose the word ‘copy’ doesn’t help, but we’re not copying anything (or we certainly shouldn’t be), we are writing stuff for websites, leaflets, booklets, flyers that will help our clients sell their stuff whatever that might be, everything from dog food (dear to my heart right now) to vacation rentals.
- This I know applies to lots of freelancers, not just copywriters. Friends and family think because you work from home you can drop everything and come out to lunch, (You’re your own boss after all) look after their child, spend an hour listening to their woes or help them paint their bathroom. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to do any of these things (except look after the child!) but I can’t do it right now! Plus, the other important matter, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid.
- The dog thinks you’re it’s permanent play thing (yes I have a puppy) how does she know that the folders on the floor next to my desk aren’t for chewing, that when I speak to a client on the phone I’m not speaking to her? (so she doesn’t have to answer) that when I send some papers floorward to make room on my desk they’re not for her? Of course, if I didn’t work from home I probably couldn’t have a puppy at all, and while she is worth it in every way, she sometimes makes my life a little bit more difficult.
- Sometimes you just can’t think what to write, yep it happens to me, I’m sure I’m not the only one. There are days when inspiration just dries up, a client is waiting for some wit and sparkle from me and it just isn’t there. I don’t want you to think this happens very often if you’re reading this and thinking of working with me, I promise I do come up with the goods but some days it’s just harder than others. Then on the plus side there are days when I just wake up and the ideas are there, almost as if I dreamt them, perhaps I did, but it’s a great feeling to be able to sit down at your laptop full of enthusiasm because you know you’ve just nailed it.
- Some people don’t understand the process, they think you can easily dash out 500 words on any given subject in the space of 20 minutes. Yes, I could probably do that if I didn’t research my subject didn’t proofread the finished article, didn’t put my heart and flipping soul into it trying to make it exactly what my client wants whilst making it accessible, relevant and interesting. Anyone can write can’t they? Yes of course they can, but do you want your website copy to sound as if it was written by your aunty Vi or by a qualified copywriter?
- As a freelancer of any business you are totally responsible for yourself, for finding work that will pay your bills even when you don’t feel like networking, standing up in front of 20 strangers and giving a good account of yourself and why they should hire you. If there’s a chance one of them will then you have to do it. The bills are there to be paid and the buck stops with you.
Of course, there are others like people thinking you spend all day in your pyjamas drinking coffee and eating cake, okay the drinking coffee bit is true. Knowing that if you take a 2-week holiday, not only will you have to be pay for the holiday, but no one is actually going to pay you while you’re not working.
Having said all this, I still wouldn’t change it for the world, to work from home at times that suit me, no office politics, no having to do as your told (however old you are) I love it.