Not long ago, while waiting in a line, I was asked what I did. I replied that I was a freelance copywriter in the digital marketing field. The follow up question (as you can guess) what is that? Which I get a lot. I had my elevator answer ready to go and said, I produce clear engaging text for a variety of channels or destinations. Online (or digital) and print where you take the master copy and head to Kinko’s. Most people believe all these things are created in advertising and that’s about it. But the writing for the catalogs, billboards, menus, scripts, banners, posters, (I could go on and on) they all get their start at a pad of paper or a computer. The term freelance simply means choosing not to work as a company employee and write for your employer exclusively. Therefore, a freelancer is open to take contract work from one project to the next.
Work comes from word of mouth, from your company website, (although some choose to forego the website and operate from their LinkedIn page and other social media platforms). Which are so huge nowadays, Facebook has 2.2 Billion users worldwide. Mindboggeling! Freelancers also possess the capacity to research a topic and distill it down into the material that’s being requested. I like to think of it as a detective or treasure hunter. That puts a spin on it and makes it more fun. Believe it or not there was a good amount of research in my work as a Realtor and as a Mortgage Loan Officer.
Sometimes several pieces are requested simultaneously that dovetail together like a puzzle. If it’s a new product being launched or a white paper for a business sale, a great deal of research is involved, sometimes weeks and weeks. From there it’s a process of working through each phase until the final touches are complete and the end product is called the “deliverable” and lastly it gets…delivered. The piece has been sent to the buyer several times already for approval points so they’re not waiting till the end for a complete surprise. They are in the loop making comments and rewrite requests occasionally.
Freelance work also entails doing your own marketing, purchasing, planning, records and billing which typically is half down at the start and second half upon completion. Although it’s common for a company to be so in need of a good copywriter, that they will put them on retainer and get a package ordered (multiple marketing materials) which could take several months. The retainer eliminates the drudgery of invoicing each and every piece along with individual payments. The retainer is paid, invoices gathered and submitted at the end where the balance is brought to zero. Makes the process a bit less tedious. I suggest getting a Dunn and Bradstreet business credit report; in the event the retainer amount exceeds the small claims court amount of $5000 (or whatever is your states limit) I am not an attorney so you should speak with one for legal advice.
That’s when I was informed that the lady in line with me was returning to work as a Real Estate Broker after a lengthy illness and would like my services to help her reinvent herself into the workplace. Imagine her delight when I told her I myself had been a real estate broker/owner for 10 years. Right place at the right time.
Have a great day!