CPA Leverages Experience Creating In-Demand Freelance Writing Career
Liz Farr spent over a decade building her career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) at Albuquerque accounting firms. However, despite consistent praise, Liz felt trapped by the complete lack of advancement opportunities.
She needed to escape the long hours and endless stress.
“I loved the work, the clients, and the people at my firm. But every time I thought about doing that for the rest of my life, it was like looking down a dark tunnel with no exit,” she says.
Copywriting Lights the Way
Surprisingly, accounting and taxes aren’t solely about numbers. Liz regularly wrote business valuation reports, company communications, and persuasive letters for clients to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
While she enjoyed these writing tasks, Liz never considered copywriting as a profession until an email from American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI) dropped into her lap. It contained a guaranteed low-risk offer for The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
Having already earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Liz was searching for a new career that could provide her the same income – without requiring an additional college degree.
“What sold me on AWAI was the integrity of their programs and the variety of featured experts,” says Liz.
Suddenly she felt the different paths of her life connecting, overlapping, and converging. She started to see how writing could be the light at the end of the tunnel and decided to take The Accelerated Program for a “test drive.”
Pioneering a New Trail
Liz wanted to apply her years of accounting experience to help accounting practices with marketing. So, it's no surprise that as she studied The Accelerated Program, AWAI's business programs captured her attention.
After completing several AWAI business-to-business (B2B) programs, Liz attended an AWAI FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. The copywriting industry leaders she met were genuinely friendly and universally supportive.
Liz also met a member who, like her, was both a CPA and a copywriter. “I realized I’m unique but not alone,” Liz says.
With confidence from AWAI’s B2B programs and Bootcamp, Liz landed her first client while scrolling through her LinkedIn feed. After listening to a podcast on marketing for accountants, she reached out and connected with the guest speaker. Almost immediately, he hired her to write a series of blog posts.
Tired of her firm’s “drive-by” management style and lack of support for her marketing passions, Liz left her job for a better fit. Her new organization appreciated her writing abilities and embraced her freelance work – especially since Liz’s skills quickly brought in new business.
“My first newsletter featured retirement plans for small businesses,” she says. “Within 20 minutes of hitting the send button, one of our clients called the owner and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got to talk to you about setting up a retirement plan for my company.'"
Over the next two years, Liz changed careers by growing her writing business. She established her credibility with the library of freelance articles for industry-leading trade journals. Liz also networked at accounting conferences, spreading the word about her copywriting services.
Liz successfully replaced her previous accounting income with copywriting.
Freedom and Influence
With her copywriting in high demand, Liz writes full-time, selecting the projects that interest her. Mostly, she ghostwrites and edits for other accountants.
"I can work at home, set my hours, and choose my projects. I'm free from the mind-numbing work of tax returns. And it's introduced me to people that I would never have met if I had stayed in the cubical," Liz says.
Her circle of friends and clients now includes some of the brightest and most well-known people in the accounting world. This network has enriched Liz's life in a way her former career as a highly regarded CPA never could.
Accounting Today publishes an annual list of the top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting. Liz has personally met at least 15 of the top 100, five of whom are her clients. The A-listers of accounting recognize Liz as the one who makes them all sound wonderful.
With her new-found freedom and flexibility as a freelancer, Liz spends quality time with family and friends, hiking and skiing in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.
"Becoming a writer has set me free! I'm making the same money or even a little more than when I was an accountant – while working fewer hours and having more fun," says Liz.
- Leverage your prior experience – Professional expertise will give you a head start in copywriting. Of course, you can always change niches later if you want.
- Listen to your gut – Discover what resonates with you, then learn as much as you can about that type of writing. For Liz, it was B2B and educational/informational content marketing.
- Take Action – Look for opportunities to implement the tools and techniques you've learned, and don't hesitate. Be confident.
Ready to pursue the writer’s life?
Learn more about the program that launched Liz’s career, The FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair.
“Becoming a writer has set me free! I'm making the same money or even a little more than when I was an accountant — while working fewer hours and having more fun.”
Los Lunas, New Mexico
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
She reached out to a prospect on LinkedIn after hearing him on a podcast about marketing for accountants.