Living the Writer’s Life: Christopher Dean
What led you to life as a writer?
I first heard about copywriting from a good friend of mine. He’s a graphic designer and needed a bit of writing done. At the time, I had no idea what copywriting was, so I hit the library to learn the basics. It started with writing a brochure for him, and then brochures for another graphic designer I knew. As I kept learning more, I eventually decided on B2B because of its editorial tone.
And I must say, writing and working from home is a nice change of pace from the grind I used to do as a manager. I frequently had 11- or 12-hour days, and I got burnt out. The transition to working with clients who don’t need endless hours of work each day has been great!
What’s your favorite type of writing project?
I specifically enjoy writing customer case studies in the B2B world. The storytelling aspect, along with the classic structure of someone facing a challenge, finding a solution, and coming to a resolution with excellent results is appealing to me. I also enjoy interviewing people, pulling out the best quotes, and weaving a story around everything they tell me.
What works in marketing yourself and attracting clients?
I’ve had good luck when I contact a company and let them know who I am and what I do. I usually try email first, but I’m not afraid to pick up the phone if calling makes sense. Also, once I niched myself as a B2B case study writer — that helped potential clients find me because they were searching for that type of writing.
Tell us about a project you’re really proud of.
Breaking into the B2B market with a good high-tech company was a big success. I wanted to get into case studies, but struggled to find clients who needed them. I’ve always had an interest in technology, but I have the mind of a writer, not a computer programmer. So when I got that first client in the marketing department, who does web-based security, I was excited. Together, we’ve done three case studies, and we’re slated for more.
What do you think was the most important thing you did to find success as a freelancer?
I think taking action and getting started was the most important step. After that, it’s all about persistence and not letting the failures keep you down.
Do you listen to music while you write?
No. I prefer pure silence when I write.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
At this point, I’m happy living in the Greater Seattle area. All my close friends and family are here, so life is good. I grew up as a military brat, so I’ve lived in five different states. Plus, in college, I lived in Japan as an exchange student for over a year. I think I’ve moved around enough.
Christopher's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.
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