After years in different industry sectors, Faith Young decided to change career and to become a freelance copywriter and PR consultant. She now offers bespoke copywriting, PR and website administration services for businesses in various industry sectors.
She accepted to answer our questions to understand how she moved from the retail sector to the PR and digital one and to learn what makes a successful freelance writer. We hope it will inspire others who are thinking of taking a similar path.
1. Tell us about you and your professional background
I started out on my school newspaper, acquired a BA (Cons) and MA then worked in local media for a number of years.
2. How did you get into PR and ultimately become a freelancer?
I started out working in other sectors that would ultimately help my business; catering, retail, etc and I've also done a lot of volunteering. This gave me a number of transferable skills and a good network of contacts. I noticed there was a gap in the market locally for small businesses needing assistance with PR, copywriting and website maintenance and I thought I could plug that gap.
3. What services do you generally provide your clients?
I usually help with website admin, copywriting (press releases and printed/digital media), social media management and general PR. I contact local papers, magazines, radio stations and TV channels with business news.
4. How do you find new clients?
I attend regular business networking sessions. LinkedIn has been helpful too. However, I am very lucky as most of my client list is the result of word of mouth recommendations.
5. What’s the piece of work you’re proudest of?
A local company that is acquiring national clients as a result of our ongoing working relationship.
6. What has been the biggest challenge in your freelance career so far?
Time! I work tirelessly for my clients and this can involve long days, seven days a week. However, my clients appreciate it and they see results so every moment is worth it.
7. What makes you keep doing it? What do you love about what you do?
As long as I see results, help clients achieve their goals and work collaboratively with them, I'm happy. I love working with people and ensuring their business is a success. There is an element of flexibility too which works both ways. I have been known to go for fun at 10 am and stay in casual gear all day if I'm working from home!
8. What are your top tips for aspiring PR consultants?
Prepare to work very hard. Deliver better customer service than your competition. Ensure you meet your client face to face. Tailor your services to each client as every business is totally unique.
9. What average rate do you charge your clients?
I charge hourly and discuss fees at the first meeting.