Unexpected costs of being a freelance copywriter

So you’ve ruddy done it, you’ve set up your own freelance copywriting business, for which I congratulate you. This is the hard part. Taking the leap, making the jump and any other metaphors you wish to apply in this specific case. However, whilst you may think making the decision to leave behind your cosy, secure agency/in-house job was tricky, wait till you start navigating freelance life. Brilliant, exciting, glorious and awfully scary being a freelance is bloomin’ difficult, so for those of you who are wondering exactly what this means…let me enlighten you.

  1. Web design

As a newbie freelancer, you will, in truth need a website. Not only will it reassure prospective clients that you are genuine, authentic and worth investing in, but it will also imbue you with a huge amount of confidence. Meaning when you pitch or approach companies cold, you will have an online presence to back it up. Now if you are lucky enough to be design inclined then you can obviously do this on Wix without too many issues. However, in truth, I do believe this is one of those fundamentals that is very much worth the investment and I would look to spend around the £1K mark.

  1. Marketing

You know that ridiculous saying, “if you build it, they will come.” Well….obviously this is not just the case. Building it is not enough. Not by a long shot…..and so to actually make money you have to go out and make connections. Now, the main way I have done this is through networking my socks off around London, the Home Counties, and more recently, Israel. And sadly whilst there are a number of free networking groups, these are often – how should I put it? A little shite?

Most groups worth their salt charge, at least, a nominal fee and if you’re not sure where to start, have a quick gander on Eventbrite or take a look at your local BNI chapter.

  1. T Support

Quite possibly the least sexy part of having your own business, but trust me on this one. You really really want someone to call when shit hits the fan, as it invariably will. And, in this case, it really is a case of ‘when’, and sadly not ‘if.’ Have someone on monthly retainer who can act as your technology superhero when your emails crash/computer dies/you spill hot chocolate all over it the day after the initial purchase (obviously, this has never happened to me.)

  1. An Accountant

Your accounts are one of those things you can do yourself, but honestly you just shouldn’t. Not only do you not want to start messing with the likes of HMRC, but an accountant may well be able to think of more “creative” ways of getting those taxes down and hold you to account. Trust me on this, it’s worth the 40 quid a month not to screw this one up. Especially, if like me, you spent most of your maths classes locked in the toilet.

  1. Other ods and sods….

Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive and can also include necessities like:

  • Travel (to and from meetings)
  • Business cards
  • A rented desk (working from home is fun for like the first two days)
  • Lots and lots of other things

That being said this blog is by no means meant to scare you. However, I do think it’s important to be realistic and go into the life of a freelance copywriter with your eyes wide open.

If you would like any more advice on freelance copywriting or would like to discuss your content needs. I work in London and Israel and am able to offer sparkling copy for websites, brochures, blogs, events – essentially everything and anything.

Please do be in touch and feel free to give me an email on helena@helenabaker.com or a call on 0208 629 6465. For some more information on my process and prices please do take a look at my website here.