Annabella is a CERT 5 creative freelancer who loves innovation, has an interest in behavioural change and graduated with First Class BA HONS in English & Anthropology from Durham University! Annabella is one intelligent lady!
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into freelancing?
I got into freelancing because I love doing a variety of things, and I like working with different people. I couldn’t stand the thought of working in the same office everyday, so I set up on my own. By getting experience doing only small jobs initially, I was able to really hone my skills in specific areas such as copywriting, branding and marketing.
What was your previous job before deciding to go freelance?
I did lots of different things from catering to working for an auctioneer… you could say I’ve had quite a varied working life! I also founded and ran a web start-up which taught me a huge amount, which has essentially prepared me for freelance life!
How did you come across PPH?
I actually came across it by accident… I think I was looking for an accountant!
What was your first job like on PPH?
I did a few small copywriting jobs. It took me a while to get the hang of doing the proposals and what to ask for deposit-wise, etc. And basically how much or little to write to the prospective client. It’s a fine balance.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up and deal with a lot of emails – I also send a lot of emails pitching for work. I get on with whatever jobs need doing, it could be speech-writing, brand naming, even video production. I am pretty active on the PPH site as I do art direction for a few small businesses and have teamed up with a designer on here! It’s great when you make connections like this.
How does freelancing compare to a 9-5?
Freelancing is extremely hard work – there’s no one to chat to in the office. But it does give you flexibility: if you are organised you can fit work in as and when however I still work long hours! If I’m not doing work, then I am actively trying to get work. Trying to get work is probably the most painstaking bit of freelancing (thankfully PPH helps)!
What benefits have you found by using PPH?
The payment system is great I find it very swift and easy. The review system is good too.
What does your future hold? Where would you like to take this?
I would like to continue doing what I do but work for some bigger clients. I really enjoy working with start-ups but I’d like more work where I can employ other people. I am quite enjoying project management at the moment, and the art direction I mentioned earlier. I would like to do more of that and continue helping people with their branding – both logos and artwork, copywriting and tone of voice development. I would also like to do more property films.
What are your top 5 tips for freelancers who are new to PPH?
- Ask for a 100% deposit – it’s worth it for piece of mind and you have to do a lot less chasing.
- Give honest reviews and hopefully others will do this for you.
- If you say you are going to do something, do it – don’t leave people hanging.
- If you work with a bad apple always be polite and part ways (even if you lose out) with good grace. There are a few people out there like this – they’re a pain, but thankfully there are not many! If you lose out put it down to experience and move on quickly and get a new job. This has only really happened to me once or twice on PPH, thankfully. Most people are great to work with.
- Be sure to put in your holiday days – then people know you’re away and won’t expect an answer that day/week
What are your top 5 writing tips for small businesses?
- Less is more!
- Edit, edit, edit – then read aloud and see what it sounds like
- Send it to others to read and accept the opinions of your customers
- Check and re-check for spelling and grammar
- Give your copywriter creative freedom – let them come back to you with fresh eyes and ears – they might have a great idea
If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
Elephant – because I’d like a nose that acts as a straw. And I’d like to be able to go large distances quickly!
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