Remie is a TOP CERT freelance writer and blogger with a passion for the written word (and cake).
To see our archive of other freelance interviews click here!Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
I’ve always loved writing ever since I was a little girl and in 2011 I started a lifestyle blog as a platform from which to showcase my writing and passion for travel and beauty. While I was working as a copywriter for a marketing agency, a couple of freelance opportunities arose and I decided to take the leap into a full time freelance role in May 2014.
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
After completing an English Literature Degree at York St John University, I went on to work for a marketing company where I spent five years as a copywriter. I decided to go it alone almost two years ago and it was the best decision I have ever made.
How did you come across PPH?
I had used PeoplePerHour in the past to find freelancers so this was naturally my first port of call when looking for new clients. PeoplePerHour was the first and only freelance site that I signed up for and really stuck with. Once I joined the site, I focussed on finding jobs that complemented my skills and started to gain positive feedback from clients.
What was your first job like on PPH?
My first job was a temporary social media management task for a singer/songwriter to promote a new album. My second job was a batch of product descriptions for a fashion brand called Lyst. This one job lead to monthly work that continued for 18 months. Since then I have found three of my biggest clients via PPH. I love the variety that PPH offers, it’s a great way to gain experience in different areas of your chosen field and build your portfolio while getting paid to do so.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day involves four to six hours of copywriting (I usually write around 2000-4000 words per day) as well as various social media and admin tasks. I have my own personal lifestyle blog so a portion of the day will be spent replying to emails, editing images, scheduling tweets and drafting blog posts. I will usually start the day with any time-sensitive projects and move on to admin duties in the afternoon.
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
First of all, it’s not all afternoon naps and 3 o clock finishes. As a freelancer, you can never fully switch off. My favourite things about freelancing is the flexibility it offers. You can set your own hours and create a work environment that encourages creativity. When I first started, I was engaged and it made planning a wedding so much easier as I could visit venues and suppliers during the week. However, building up your client base, networking and organising regular work is one of the more challenging aspects of the job. It’s not easy to leave the security a 9-5 job offers but I find it extremely satisfying to work for myself. I love nothing more than having full control over my workload.
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
I find that it is not only a great way to showcase my skills but each time you get feedback your rating increases. The higher your rating, the more jobs you will be awarded as this is a simple way to stand out from everyone else on the site. One of the worst aspects of being a freelancer is waiting to be paid. PeoplePerHour encourages instant payment via PayPal and the invoicing process is sublimely simple. I also love the financial security it provides. If your proposal is accepted, you receive a deposit instantly so you don’t need to draw up a contract with the client.
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
I’d like to one day evolve my copywriting business and create my own freelance team. The freelance lifestyle can be a solitary one and I do miss the social gatherings and events that come with working for a company.
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
1) Take the time to create bespoke proposals for each job you apply for. A generic proposal may take you less time to create but it won’t stand out amongst the sea of other freelancers.
2) Dedicate a portion of your day to sending proposals. It’s easy to fill your time with projects but scoping out possible opportunities even when you are booked up will help to ensure a steady stream of work. Even when I have jobs lined up for the month ahead, I’ll still spend 30 minutes each day looking for future opportunities. Don’t expect the work to come to you.
3) Make the most of quiet days. Polish your portfolio and make your profile look professional. Sell yourself. Fill out your bio sufficiently and add new examples of your work.
4) Learn how the fees work. (PPH take a 15% fee from the first £175 earned in the month which then drops to 3.5%).
5) Finding your price point can be difficult at first but don’t sell yourself short. When sending a proposal with your rates, don’t forget to factor in the relevant fees and taxes.
What are your top 5 writing tips for small businesses?
1) Update regularly – Google loves fresh content and so do your customers.
2) Utilise images – Break up large blocks of boring text with images to make the web content you create more engaging.
3) Hire a freelancer – If writing isn’t your speciality, outsource this task to a professional freelancer.
4) Create valuable content – Content should be thought-provoking and useful. Creating valuable content for your business can be challenging but make sure you ask yourself what your customer is getting out of each piece of content you create. Be the resource your customers really need.
5) Proofread – Your content should reflect your company and nothing will turn customers away faster than spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. If you choose to create content yourself, always proofread it thoroughly.
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