Laura responded to my request for small business owners to showcase themselves and their businesses on my blog to provide insight, advice and inspiration for others who are starting up/thinking of starting up their own small businesses – including me!
The idea originally formed because I was fascinated by people’s stories and reasons for setting up their own businesses and I wanted to learn as much as I could in order to educate myself for the benefit of my own business.
I wanted to find a way to ask the questions I wanted the answers to but I realised that if I was interested surely others were interested in the answers too! In addition, I wanted the businesses willing to share their stories to get something in return so I devised the ‘Small Business Showcase’ blog series which will give each small business featured promotion across social media. Win-win for everyone!
The same 10 questions were posed to all small businesses via questionnaire – here are Laura’s replies:
1) How would you summarise the service(s)/product(s) your business offers?
I’m a freelance copywriter and editor. I write advertising copy, long copy, short copy, web copy and social media copy for advertising agencies, digital marketing agencies and small businesses.
I write for B2B and B2C audiences across all industries (from enterprise to beauty).
2) How long have you been a small business owner?
About four months now, although it feels like four years!
3) What inspired you to set up your business?
The freedom to work on my own terms. I found the daily 9-5 grind killed my creativity. Now I can work when I feel creative (which happens to be early morning or overnight).
4) What platforms/strategies do you use to promote your business?
I network on Twitter mostly. My website is going live this week, and I want to focus on LinkedIn. I know LinkedIn is a big lead generator.
Word of mouth and referrals are vital in the early stages of freelance. I’ve had to pass work to other writers, and they’ve given me jobs during busy periods.
5) What do you consider your greatest business achievement so far?
I’d probably say securing five retainer clients in under four months.
The first thing I did when I went freelance was to tell everyone I know about it. I helped out friends, people I’d worked with previously and even my mum (worst client yet).
The Professional Copywriters’ Network should be the first port of call for any freelance writer. I won three big contracts in my first month of signing up.
6) What do you consider your greatest business challenges?
Self discipline and procrastination. I’ll spend hours endlessly scrolling through Twitter or snacking on tea and biscuits. Sometimes I’ll walk over to the fridge every 10 minutes to see if there’s anything new in there to eat!
On a serious note: fitting in self promotion around client work has been my biggest challenge so far. The most important things often get neglected.
7) What resources/training have been most beneficial to your business so far?
I’m a professionally qualified copywriter with the Institute of Digital Marketing, and a HubSpot certified content marketer.
I know people think it’s all about your portfolio but I’m a stickler for the basics and the old fashioned way of doing things. I would recommend investing in training (if you can).
Making friends with and learning from other writers has been invaluable. Don’t view people in your industry as the competition, instead learn from them, and it could lead to paid work.
8) What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting their own business?
Be optimistic no matter what!
Accept that they’ll be slow days, bad days, days when you don’t want to get dressed, days when you eat way too many biscuits (or is that just me?).
Freelancing has ups and downs just like any job. But if you’re optimistic, you’ll do just fine.
9) What are your future plans for your business?
Right now I’m taking things day by day. I’ll be heading to my first corporate networking event this week and more in October. I don’t like to plan too far ahead in case something unexpected crops up (which seems to be all the time now I’m a freelancer).
10) Are there any other small businesses you would like to give a shout out to who have been an inspiration/support to you?
Yes, please! Big thanks to these folks
Pro Copywriters’ Network (@procopywriters) for helping copywriters everywhere.
John Espirian (@espirian) for his wisdom and support.
Dave Smyth (@websmyth) for creating my brand (to be revealed) and for putting up with my crap jokes.
Gareth Hancock (@thatcontentshed) for being a top bloke.
André Spiteri (@Andre_Spiteri) for the funnies.
Matthew Dryzmala (@indeliblethink1) for helping me with last-minute copy deadlines.
Elise Dopson (@elisedopson) for kindly referring me to her contacts.
I wish I could mention everyone.
Any other comments?
Work on yourself and things will work out for you.