Seriously, there are times when I think people believe copywriters are either mind readers or magicians! Not because they are in awe of what they do, but because they don’t understand how to work with them. Therefore, there are occasions when a client will engage in a way that results in the copywriter being expected to produce copy (instead of bunnies) from a hat!
Freelancing suits me but it is not a career choice for everyone and in all honesty, it can totally suck! I am not trying to put people off – with the industry growing at a significant pace, there are some great opportunities (a recent survey by Payoneer cited that in the US alone freelancers will comprise roughly 40 percent of the American workforce by 2020). However, if you want to be part of this growing industry you have to be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Having worked in busy offices, I understand the social benefits of being in close proximity to colleagues. Whether you are discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones at the coffee machine, bouncing ideas regarding a client or celebrating a birthday, these can be welcome distractions in your working day. There are even colleagues who cross the boundaries of work and become life-long friends beyond the confines of the office.
As I freelancer, why do I always feel so guilty? I could put it down to my catholic upbringing which, despite my lapsed status, is still deeply ingrained within me. Or I am simply suffering the well-known affliction of freelance guilt? A disorder that leads to daily self-reproach for just about everything – not being productive enough, working too little, having time off, not using every minute of the day to work, not doing enough admin – gosh the list is endless! With no formal set ‘desk hours’, you feel you should be working 24/7 or you are not working hard enough and wasting time.
Content is key, especially in a world where we are bombarded with messages and information on a daily basis. To create stand out, you need to have words that cut through the clutter and identify with your target audience. Every company needs effective words to inspire interest and sales. A freelance copywriter can help with this.
I heard this the other day and it really resonated. A few years ago, I returned to work after being a stay at home mum and the job I took was great but didn’t challenge me enough. Yet, it was perfect for building my confidence and re-affirm that I was capable and good at what I do. I decided I needed to push myself more and challenge my abilities. It was then I made the scary decision to become a freelance copywriter!
When you mention to people you are a freelancer, do they think you roll out of bed, work a few hours and have no structure to your day? Do they think it is an easy gig? Ahh, if only they knew!
There are loads of weird and wonderful myths and misconceptions out there about freelancing. Here are just a few that I will set straight
Despite the fact studies have shown that multitasking is not an efficient way of working, we still do it. Stamford University’s findings in 2013 stated that it not only kills your performance but also your brain cells! According to their studies, multitasking reduces efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. Uh-oh!
But as freelancers and small business owners, what are we to do, as there is always a constant demand to get a million things done every day? We don’t have the luxury of admin staff to remove some of our juggling balls from us. So, instead it looks like we will just have to take the gamble and work out a way to minimise that brain drain!