Freelance Copywriter: This is What I Do

Freelance Copywriter: This is What I Do

I am regularly asked, “What do you do”? Some people ask me a few times as it doesn’t sink in straight away. For the few who don’t know, I am a freelance copywriter (my work website is here) and have been my own boss for coming up thirteen years now. I can tell people this and still, people aren’t 100% sure what it means. Do I copy things? Do I stop people from copying things? Not quite. 

What Do You Do?

I am a freelance copywriter. I write content for clients. Content can include anything from website content, blog posts and articles, product descriptions, sales and marketing information and much more. As a freelancer, I don’t work for anyone. I am not employed. As a freelance copywriter I work with a number of clients, some regularly and some on an ad hoc basis. I have a contract with each client. I have to source my own work, nothing is given to me. Fortunately, I rarely have to go looking as word of mouth works well for me and I regularly have enquiries hit my inbox asking about my availability. 

I work with a variety of different clients, from one who is pretty big in the vaping industry, to a fab wedding photographer, the owner of a single parenting resource website and many others. Over the course of the month or year I can work on a huge number of topics, from digital marketing to food organisation, SEO to finance and some rather “unique” topics too. I once wrote for a client who ran a website that produced products for pampered pets. Really pampered pets. Like Kardashian-level pampered. 

I work with small businesses, start-ups, huge corporations, charities, public sector, the private sector and individuals. I love the variety!

Freelance copywriter, common computer issues

A Freelance Copywriter Doesn’t *Just* Write

The bulk of my work is of course writing. There’s more to it though. As I run my own business I am responsible for:

  • *Finance/Bookkeeping
  • All Admin (From client onboarding and contracts to emails and more)
  • Sourcing Clients
  • Contracts
  • Website Maintainance
  • Social Media
  • AnalyticsThe list goes on….

*I have an accountant who does my year end accounts and sorts my tax return for me. He is an absolute gem and if anyone is looking for an accountant in Thirsk please let me know as I’d be happy to give a recommendation.

Where Do I Do It?

I work from home, from Caffe Nero, from a coworking group (more on this in a mo) and with a fellow freelancer. The beauty of my work is that I can work anywhere with a decent internet connection. While I love working from home the ability to remote work appeals to me. If I’m having one of those days and I know that I’m not that motivated (I’m human!) and Netflix is calling, the laundry pile starts to look attractive and I suddenly have the urge to reorganise kitchen cupboards I know that I need to go and work somewhere else.

Often I work somewhere else purely because I like the buzz! Take Caffe Nero for example. Our local branch (Thirsk) is fabulous and incredibly freelancer-friendly. There are often 5-6 people at any time on their laptops or taking meetings in there.

Freelance copywriter, coffee, caffe nero, Thirsk

Who Do I Do it With?

As a freelance copywriter, I work alone in my business but I work alongside numerous people. I work a couple of times a week with my good friend and fellow freelancer Gemma Symmonds of My Little Graphics Co. She is an incredibly talented graphic designer (get in touch with her if you need a GD). We work on our own projects but will occasionally collaborate. She keeps me motivated and is great company. 

I set up the Thirsk Coworking Group back in 2017. I am used to working by myself and am fine with it but recognise that others can struggle with the isolation and that sometimes, working alongside others can help with motivation, productivity and that a little accountability can go a long way. I currently run two coworking sessions a month that are completely free. There’s no membership or anything else. These sessions are not networking sessions. People pitch up with their laptops, we chat for a few minutes, then all crack on, then chat, then work. It works! The TCG has become very popular. 

Thirsk Coworking Group, Nicki Cawood, Freelance Copywriter

 

Why Do I Do What I Do

I went freelance back in 2006 after my eldest was born. I wanted to be at home but still work. I didn’t want to pay for childcare five days a week and I didn’t want to miss anything. My eldest walks to school on his own now obviously but I do all of the school runs for my youngest, go to all assemblies, can help with school trips, never miss a sports day or anything else. I can be completely flexible around the needs of my family, and it works! If one of them is poorly, I don’t need to feel bad, apologise to my “boss” or use holiday time. I just rejig things a little.

Family flexibility isn’t the only reason I do what I do. I do it because I love it. I love the freedom, the work, the clients and the fact that there is no cap on my earnings. I’m not held in by salary banding. I work when I want, with who I want to and I set my own prices.  

This is Me!

This is me and this is what I do. I love my work life and it offers me work-life balance that I couldn’t have enjoyed in my previous career. Being my own boss works for me. I can’t imagine being employed by someone else after all of these years! You can see more of the daily happenings over on my “business” Instagram.

Now I want to know what you do! 

Nicki Cawood, Freelance Copywriter

 

Lucy White Photography and Me

I’ve been working for myself, running my own business for over a decade. I’m pretty clued up on what a business needs in order to tick along quite nicely, for example, a website and a smattering of decent branding. I am also the builder whose house is never finished which means that up until recently, my website was a 20-minute throw together and my professional images were selfies taken in my kitchen. That’s where Lucy White Photography, North Yorkshire photography superhero comes in.

lucy white photography, selfie
Clearly, selfies as social media and website images weren’t doing me any favours

I’ve known that I needed to have some professional photographs of myself taken for a long time. Knowing something and actually doing something about it, however, are two very different things. I’m not comfortable in front of a camera and so became a master procrastinator. That is until I saw some pictures that Lucy had taken for someone else, posted on her Facebook page. No hard lighting, no stuffy studio but a series of fabulously fun photos taken in our own (naturally gorgeous) local area. Despite misgivings (sorry Lucy, you’re great, I just hate my photo being taken), I booked a session.

Photo Shoot Preparation

Lucy White Photography, Nicki CawoodLucy knew I was apprehensive and so we met up for coffee locally for a quick chat before setting a date. I left that meeting buzzing, and not just because of the numerous coffees we’d enjoyed once we’d got chatting. Lucy listens! Lucy heard my concerns, had great ideas but ultimately I knew it was up to me and that she was happy for me to take the lead on what I did and didn’t want. After all, when it comes down to it, it would be me using the images and as they were to be for my website and social media etc, I had certain things in mind.

The Photo Shoot

What a hoot! I’d say that Lucy is a loon but I mean that in the best possible way. She put me completely at ease, had me giggling and was fabulous at getting the angles right so as to avoid sneaky grey hairs above and any hint of a second chin below. This lady knows her stuff.

We walked around Thirsk, took photographs with ducks (after throwing suitable food at them from Lucy’s bag in order to coax them closer) and even hit up the local library for some indoor shots. 

I had a brilliant time and really enjoyed myself.

lucy white photography

 

A Photo Shoot With Lucy White Photography

I don’t remember Lucy taking so many photographs but sure enough, the online gallery I had access to, so could download my pictures etc, was stuffed with so many fab photos, in so many positions. I was standing, leaning against a wall, holding a Filofax by a tree, hugging a book in the library, looking serious and working at a desk and laughing under a tree. Thrilled didn’t come close. Lucy, you are a star.

I should have written this post months ago, when I first received the photos, however, I wanted to use them primarily for my website (www.nickicawood.co.uk) and for that website to be perfect. Months on, it’s far from perfect or finished. Indeed, there has been quite some angst over the darn thing but I couldn’t wait any longer to shout about Lucy. The website will take time, however, having all of the photos I want and need available makes life so much easier.

Lucy White Photography, Nicki Cawood

Please have a look at Lucy’s website (Lucy White Photography), or catch up with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. She books up incredibly fast, however, is a true superstar (and a lot more affordable than you’d expect, particularly as she has no studio overheads to incorporate into her fees).  

Lucy… thank you! I was petrified about having photos taken but am so glad I did. It certainly won’t be the last time I’ll be calling you! 

Lucy White Photography, Nicki Cawood

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