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I ❤️ freelancing - meet a copywriter for good causes

@penofsteele | 20 Sep 2018

Hello! Tell the readers who are you and what do you do.

Hi. I’m Richard Steele and I’m a writer and editor for charities, social enterprises and ethical businesses. After 15 years in London working for the Man (well, a mix of businesses, agencies and charities) I now live on the west coast of Wales and work for me. As bosses go, I’m OK. So far.

Why freelancing instead of a full-time job?

I tried having a proper job and didn’t like it. Too many emails, meetings and desk lunches. And not enough time for the fun, creative stuff. Now, my time is my own, my commute consists of walking from the bedroom to the kitchen, and there’s generally much less nonsense in my life. I do miss the monthly wage dropping into my account though. That was nice.

For those interested in getting into your field, who should they follow on social media other than you?

Ooh, so many people. I’ve been blown away by how supportive the copywriting community is. Who says Twitter is all rants and arguments. Start with @thatcontentshed, @megrfreelance, @andre_spiteri, @lmpcopywriter and @fi_digitaldrum and you’ll be in good hands. And make sure you follow @dr_draper to remind you to steer clear of bullshit and keep your feet on the ground.

Biggest challenges you've faced when you started freelancing?

Getting new clients. Most of my work came from people I’d worked with before but making new contacts was (and still is) a challenge. Especially when you’re a two hour drive from anywhere. The internet helps.

Your worst experience with a client? And how to avoid that situation.

No bad experiences at all so far. If I get an enquiry and alarm bells start ringing, I politely say I don’t have time for the job right now and point them to a reliable freelance directory.

A piece of advice for those who want to start freelancing

Get your outgoings down as low as you can. And save enough money to keep you housed, fed and watered for a few months as a backup. It’ll give you the confidence to take the plunge and remove some of the anxiety. Then, do it! You won’t look back. (Well you might. In which case, please don’t come after me.)

Thanks for reading! ❤️

If you have any questions or want to share some love, go to @penofsteele twitter!

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