PTA, Mimosas, and Yoga: Confessions of a Work-At-Home Copywriting Mom …
A year ago, I had a 9-to-5 J-O-B. It was actually a pretty good one, too. I enjoyed what I was doing and the pay was decent, but deep down I knew it wasn’t satisfying my soul.
Looking back, my personal journey to becoming a “six-figure freelancer” was not actually a long one. But boy oh boy, while I was going through it, it sure seemed to last forever.
It actually only took me 10 months to get to where I am now.
The reason I’m telling you this is not to brag. Not at all. I want to give you hope that the writer’s life IS possible. And, it doesn’t have to take a long time either!
In fact, I’m sitting here turning away clients because I have more work than I can handle.
So, I know for a fact there is a huge demand out there for copywriters. Businesses need your help right now.
I have a confession to make. I’m not “officially” a six-figure freelancer – yet. However, between the retainer clients I’ve landed, and the other random projects that fall in my lap, I will be proudly wearing that title by Bootcamp this November.
But back to my journey …
I made the decision in December of 2008 that I would take the plunge into copywriting. Here’s the thing though … I have three kids. So, there was no way in hell I was going to just up and quit my J-O-B cold turkey.
So … January 1, 2009, I created a six-month plan to launch my freelance business working nights and weekends. And, I made sure my husband and kids were totally in on the plan.
April 2009, I stumbled across AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. I knew this was the Mecca.
Later that month, my direct mail sales letter went out. Two weeks later, I landed my first client who gave me over $20,000 in projects over the next six months.
By June 2009, I was able to quit my J-O-B and shift into full-time freelancing. We bought our first house and all seemed good. For a few months …
After going through some rocky times with that first client and landing a few other smaller gigs, the well seemed to dry up.
Our savings ran out. I was not pulling in clients. What was I doing wrong?
The turning point
Luckily, I took the advice of a very successful AWAI-trained copywriter, Joshua Boswell. He told me you have to become a Six-Figure Copywriter first. In your head. You’ve got to clear away all the garbage that tells you that you can’t do this.
I spent a couple of months working on myself …
- Getting really clear about what I was doing that was good and bad
- Creating some positive affirmations
- Writing down a crystal-clear vision of what my ideal life was like
- Taking a 15-minute walk each night – by myself – to go over my affirmations and envision my ideal life
I also practiced getting rid of that nasty little voice in my head that told me I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, old enough, young enough, hip enough, marketing-savvy enough, blah, blah, blah.
And you know what? That voice went away completely. The constant worrying went away too.
By February, 2010, clients started to flood in. Good clients. People who value what I do and are willing to pay me what I’m worth.
Okay, so I’m really into ninjas. And, yes. Girls can be ninjas, too. Even moms can be ninjas.
Listen, I don’t fancy myself to be the best copywriter out there (although I do tend to sound like I am at times). There are so many people who are smarter at running a business, and who are better writers than I am.
However, I like to think that AWAI has given me the super-secret ninja tactics I need to really help my clients with their marketing. From having access to experts like Joshua and programs like Jay White’s Autoresponder Apprentice, to all the articles and teleconferences, I have so many awesome tools at my fingertips.
A typical day in my writer’s life
In the last 10 months, I’ve been able to:
- Walk my 3rd grader to school each morning.
- Enjoy my morning coffee with my husband.
- Get our toddler ready for preschool and get her off for the day.
- Be there to help our 14-year-old son who does a home school program.
- Volunteer at my kid’s school every Thursday.
- Have a leisurely breakfast with a few girlfriends on Wednesdays (sometimes mimosas are involved).
- Take off in the middle of the day sometimes to take a yoga class or grab a pedicure with a friend.
- I also have an awesome client who flies me all over the place to network for him at these cool VIP marketing events. Then I get to write all his email promotions for him in-between the traveling.
- Sometimes (when I can rope our in-laws into staying with the kids) I get to take my husband with me, too!
- And most days I’m home when my 3rd grader gets back from school at 2:30 p.m.
Sure, I may have to make up for those middle-of-the-day jaunts by working after the kids have gone to bed, but who cares? I’m in charge of my schedule.
As long as I’m meeting my agreed-upon deadlines, my clients could care less what I do with my time. In fact, they don’t even need to know. That’s the great thing about being your own boss.
“How did you do it?”
This is one of the biggest questions I get asked. Honestly, I think people want some magic formula or think that I’m special or lucky.
I hate to break it to you, but there is no magic formula, and I’m not lucky or special.
Here’s the advice I give when asked the above question:
- You have to become a Six-Figure Copywriter in your head first … just like Joshua instructed me.
- F-O-C-U-S: Follow One Course Until Successful. That’s been my mantra this year. Just pick one niche or one area of specialty, like autoresponder writing or web content, and study up on it. Then create some solid samples.
- Directly contact people you want to work with. Decide who your ideal client would be and go after people like that. Maybe you’d like to work with savvy marketing directors in mid-to-large sized companies. Make a list. Start emailing, phoning, tweeting, whatever-ing them. It’s just a numbers game – someone will say “yes.”
- Hold your work time sacred. For work-at-home parents, this is tough. Especially if you’re starting out like I did on nights and weekends. Yes, you will miss out on watching TV or movies. But in the end, it’s worth it.
Follow these steps and don’t lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. You CAN do this.
Just make sure you take a little time out to put your kids to bed and thank your spouse for supporting you in this journey. Because that’s why you’re doing this, right? To spend more time with your family and live the life you all deserve.