Providing the best and feeling proud of myself
When challenged to identify my best work for clients, I found myself re-evaluating exactly what that meant and whether I was truly offering a service that represented me at my best?
I’ve been a self-employed Sole Trader since 2012. Currently I have two businesses. I work as a copywriter and also as a delivery driver and am constantly on the lookout for ways to expand each business and improve my earnings. Perhaps, however, I’ve been going about that the wrong way…
Prompted to ask myself: what matters most?
A few months ago I was approached online by a Sales & Marketing Consultancy who, having reviewed my presence on Social Media was making enquiries with a view to commissioning white label work from me on a variety of fronts. I was initially quite interested in their proposals, but despite their contacting me the process quickly turned in to one where I was required to further demonstrate my suitability for the work by, among other things, identifying previous projects I had worked on that I was especially proud of.
This initially threw me, but I subsequently put together four or five examples, ensuring I included both large and small projects and some more recent work. I forwarded an e-mail, as requested, but it never got to the recipient as I got one of those unsent message notifications, advising me there was some sort of fault with their account. I contacted them on Social Media and was invited to resend my submission to another person which I did. That e-mail was apparently sent successfully, but I have heard nothing since.
I imagine that, like me, most small businesses, particularly within a creative field, where perhaps there are no tangible or specific measurements of “results” are used to tendering for contracts by demonstrating a mixture of previously successful work supported by client testimonials. I don’t mind doing it – it goes with the territory, but the situation described above and the way it ended, really got me thinking.
Reflecting on problems and possibilities
Two things emerged. Firstly, that the underlying reason I had initially struggled to identify projects I was especially proud of wasn’t because these were hard to identify, but because I have been proud to work on almost every project I’ve undertaken, knowing that I’ve always committed fully to them and, on all but one occasion, so far as I can recollect, provided work that the client was fully satisfied with. Secondly, however, I also recognised that, for copywriting work, I am increasingly being approached by potential clients who then disappear after I’ve met their requirements to tender for work and/ or (and this has happened several times in 18/19 so far) offered substantial pre-contract advice or ideas, only to see the contract taken off the table. This all got me thinking – what do I really, truly want to do? Where do I want to take my copywriting business to next? Do I want to carry on at all?
For a while I was wracked with self-doubt and uncertainty, but, with apologies for the end-of-movie cliché, I feel now that I’ve emerged in to a new dawn under a clear sky.
A few years ago, in the early days of building the copywriting business, I worked with a Business Coaching team. I loved the experience and, although we’ve not worked together for two or three years now, I remain in touch and still, often, receive good advice and tips.
One of the exercises my coaches undertook was to research my internet presence and offer critical and constructive feedback on how I came across online. To cut a long story short, they discovered a website I had set up called Rainbow Poetry which I was told, despite it’s not being of core value to my business as it was developing then, very much showed me off at my best and presented an area of work and creativity that, when challenged, I admitted was what I most enjoyed.
Going back to doing what I do best
I started off writing for a living not as a “Copywriter” per say, but as a poet; trying, but failing to find much of a market for poetry as a tool to promote businesses. I had a little success and when I did my clients, in tandem with the very enthusiastic reception I got for the idea, during the dozens and dozens of networking events I attended, were thrilled with the off-beat nature of what I produced and the quality of the poetry written for them. However, going back to the question at the heart of this blog, the work I most enjoyed and was most proud of was always the poetry-stories I crafted, from information provided to me, for private customers. The greatest reward was in producing genuinely unique, moving, memorable and valuable pieces of poetry for special occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and all sorts of personal and family celebrations and achievements.
Several of these poetry-stories were supported with graphics – photography or illustrations, and framed or printed on slate to fashion a fabulous gift or memento. In my next few blogs I’ll share some of the successes I enjoyed working in this area and explain how much these pieces meant to the recipients and their families.
For now though I’m simply announcing that, whilst general B2B copywriting services remain available from robertcopywriter.com and clients for those services can be 100% assured of my continuing professionalism and commitment to each and every contract received, I’m going back to what was quite correctly identified by my coaches as me at my best: to focus on what I truly love, where I can offer client’s something special and of immeasurable value to both them and to me.
Of course I might still have to present well and be persuasive to secure a commission, but I’m convinced the effort will be thoroughly worthwhile. J
To discuss commissioning work from me, without obligation, call me on 07387 587878 or e-mail to