Back in November/December when I was applying to Praxis, I started looking for possible business partners in my city. My parents weren’t going to let me move out yet and I was okay with that. I started thinking about the small businesses I knew of and what I could offer them. The majority of my income has previously come from babysitting jobs and teaching piano lessons, but I wanted to expand my skillset. Even though I have a lot of experience working with kids, I wanted to work on something new.
So what could I offer?
My mother has a business called Bliss & Brahm. They make clothing sets for fraternal twins. Because she was my mother and because she needed more exposure, I started running her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I set her up with a MailChimp and generated ideas for blog posts she could write. I didn’t do many of these things very well, but I was learning.
It had been a while since I’d worked on a business’s online presence but I started offering it as an option. I also noticed that there was a need for consistent, quality blog content in small businesses. So I told them I would do it. How hard could it be? I was a decent writer and I’d been blogging for over 2 years.
It turns out that copywriting is a lot harder than it seems. You have to be genuine and you have to represent the company and you have to give people something they want. There’s a lot that goes into writing good copy and I’m learning through experience and trial and error. And rewrites.
After pitching myself in phone calls, emails, and working on value propositions, I was hired to write copy for a photographer and run the Pinterest account for an Etsy shop. Those job descriptions have changed as I started branching out into writing email newsletters, managing SEO, and finding new tools that we can use.
“Freelance Marketer” sounds professional and grown up and awesome. The reality is, I often have no idea what I’m doing. So my policy (and my advice to all my fellow newbies) is this: Google it. That’s what has helped me the most. And make use of your network! I have the Praxis community, which has a lot of marketers and advisors. I’m also in a facebook group specifically for photographers’ websites (SEO, design, content). If you don’t have one, you can easily find a knowledgeable group of people on the internet. (Facebook, Reddit, private groups, etc.)
Don’t let a lack of experience stop you from trying something new. Be honest about where you are and what you know, but be willing to experiment. Try something unexpected. Take initiative. Remember what the big picture is. And ask Google if you have questions.