A Veteran Corporate Copywriter
Goes Out on His Own

Many freelancers discover direct-response and copywriting by chance. But Bob Leonard had been in marketing – and doing a lot of copywriting – for more than 25 years for tech companies before he went out on his own.

But one thing he definitely shared with all copywriters was a desire to not be tied down by a standard 9 to 5 work schedule. In his case, it wasn't even an option anymore.

“I had a significant health issue a few years back which made it difficult for me to do a traditional job,” explains Bob, 58. “I inventoried my skills and copywriting was one of the few things that I know how to do that people would actually pay me for. With the rise of content marketing, effective copywriting has become even more sought after.”

With his experience, business-to-business was the ideal niche. B2B involves companies who sell products and services to other companies. In Bob's case, he has laser-focused on marketing consulting for mid-sized information technology companies. In his role, he writes a lot of copy, mostly online. He works on websites, search engine optimization, and blogging, as well as B2B staples white papers and case studies.

Bob knows that B2B, as with any marketing channel, is always changing, and you have to adapt to keep up. So he's also taking on a lot of projects in an up-and-coming B2B sector.

“What worked yesterday won’t necessarily work tomorrow,” says Bob. “Over the past year I’ve begun to specialize in producing online video case studies – which also require writing skills.”

Bob credits web writing expert Nick Usborne (they first met at an AWAI event) with helping him kick-start his freelance career.

“You can waste a lot of time on activities that won’t pay off. Nick taught me how to take a step back and look at things in an unbiased way,” says Bob. “His extensive experience in this business is also valuable. He’s 'been there, done that' so his advice can save a lot of time and trouble.”

Bob has replaced his corporate world income as a freelancer, but he most enjoys the freedom of the freelance life.

“I don’t have to wear a suit to go to work. I don’t have to spend 45 minutes commuting each way. I don’t have to work with people who I don’t want to interact with,” explains Bob. “I can take my dog for a walk whenever I want. I grocery shop in the middle of the day when the store is less crowded. I can workout, go to a doctor’s appointment, visit family and friends, garden, etc. when it best suits my schedule.”

But Bob still takes his job very seriously.

“I don’t have a ‘boss’ per se, but I still have clients and I need to deliver value to them – meet deadlines and produce quality.”

For more information on Bob's work as a B2B consultant and copywriter, visit www.acsellerant.com.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: February 6, 2013

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