Ask Me Anything: Freelance Edition!

November 6, 2022

HI! I’m Molly.

Here to encourage you on your own bold pursuit of intentional living as I live out my own. I’m passionate about running, spending time doing what I love and cheering others on to approach running with joy.

I wanted to share my experience with freelance copywriting and how I got started in case anyone else was thinking about freelancing!

One of my most frequently asked questions is about freelancing and how I got started. Before we dive into questions, I will say -- I definitely think it is something that is glamorized on social media! While I love it and the flexibility it allows me, I'm still working normal 9-5 hours and it can be very challenging to run the business side of the job at times, such as finances,  contracts, healthcare insurance, client relationships, etc. Social media tends to make it look like a walk in the park and just like any job, it has its own perks and challenges!

I posted a question box on my stories and let you all ask anything you were curious about. For anyone new, I have been freelancing for two years now as a copywriter. You’ll learn more about my background and experience below, but I am super thankful for this career and journey so far. I hope this is helpful for you! 

Q: What did you major in?

A: I majored in communication studies! 

Q: Is your background in writing? 

A: Yes! My background is in exactly what I am doing now. When I graduated college, I worked in PR at a children’s hospital for two years. From there, I transitioned to working in social media marketing at several different start-ups. 

Q: How did you get started?

A: I’d been thinking about it for several months, and the decision was made for me when I was laid off during the pandemic haha! I’m thankful it happened as it did because I don’t know if I would’ve been brave enough to pull the plug otherwise. Half the company got laid off and like I mentioned, I’d already been thinking about it, so I was ready to get the ball rolling and didn't deal much with the shock of being laid off since I was mentally ready to begin freelancing.

Q: How did you start getting clients?

A: This was the hardest part! The first few months I relied solely on income from my blog (I ran a lifestyle page at the time and it was Q4, which is the busiest time of year for bloggers) because I didn’t have any clients. A couple months into it, an old friend I knew from SMU saw that I was freelancing and we reconnected. She connected me to my first client! 80% of my clients have come from connections, so don't underestimate word of mouth.

Q: How do you find work?

A: Like I mentioned, majority has come through connections and a few through LinkedIn! Connections meaning people I previously worked with who know I freelance, other freelancers who pass my name along, etc. Every now and then I'll search on LinkedIn and see if any companies are hiring freelance copywriters, too, but it's the same as applying to a job - you're likely to have better luck if you already have a foot in the door somehow I.e. a connection!

Q: What exactly do you do? 

A: I do a handful of things, but in short, I write copy for clients for their blogs, emails and social media channels. I work hand-in-hand with graphic designers to develop the assets for the channels and also work to develop the strategy for some clients. I don’t do the posting or community management because I’ve never enjoyed that and that’s something I’m really thankful for - I’ve been able to create a job where I’m spending my time doing the things I love.

Q: How often do you work?

A: I work the same hours I did at a 9-5 job (well, honestly probably less depending on the job since some positions I was working well over 40 hours lol), I just sometimes adjust them if I sit down at my desk later because of a run! Some weeks I don’t have a full 40 hours because work with clients is low, but for the most part, I’m working 35-40 hours per week. 

Q: Is this a long-term career or short term job to get somewhere else?

A: As of now, I see it being a long-term career! I like the pay, flexibility and work-life balance it provides. I’m not married to this being “forever,” however, it’s my plan to stick with this for the time-being. If something else comes along that is a better fit, then great! In addition to the other benefits I mentioned, I also like that there aren't politics or drama with freelancing, I'm not concerned about climbing a corporate ladder and ultimately, I control how much I want to work.

Q: Is it something that could be a second income? 

A: Definitely! You could find clients that only need 10-15 hours per month, which doesn’t add up to much weekly. 

Q: How to keep yourself motivated? 

A: I think it's the same as motivating yourself at your full-time job! Of course you want to do a great job and have the person you report to happy with what you give them- it's the same for me. I stay motivated because I need to do a good job with all my clients; I don't want to lose any of my clients and would love all of them to refer me if they ever heard of someone else in need of a copywriter.

Q: Do you have an LLC or set up a formal business? 

A: Yes! I’ve actually had my LLC since 2015 when I started my first blog and I turned it into an S Corp when I began freelancing two years ago. If your projected income is going to be over 60k-70k+, it’s recommended you make it into an S Corp to save money on taxes. 

Q: What type of clients do you serve?

A: I have a variety of clients, which is fun! I have several B2B clients, a couple motivational speakers and financial services clients.

I hope this shed some light on what I do and how I got started! 

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