Despite being born with a passion for writing, Comprehensive Copywriting Academy student just couldn’t seem to find a way to make it her full-time gig. But spending 20 years working in the bar and restaurant industry, living paycheck to paycheck, had started to take its toll physically and emotionally.
Within a matter of months of starting the CCA course, Kelsey’s portfolio site was up and running and she landed the job of her dreams. Not only has she already bagged herself a promotion to senior copywriter (in under a year!), she also gets to work on some pretty exciting (ahem, KIM K!!) brand collaborations. Listen in to Kelsey’s story, which is a great testament to taking action, even when you have doubts.
Looking for closed captioning or a transcript? Watch the episode on YouTube!
A Sneak Peek at the Episode
[2:37] Our hosts are joined by CCA student Kelsey, who has always wanted to be a writer. After spending nearly 20 years in the bar and restaurant industry to pay the bills, she used her expertise to create a column as a stepping stone into professional writing. Despite getting published consistently, Kelsey was never able to make it a full-time gig.
[7:42] One of the biggest wins from copywriting is that she’s no longer living paycheck to paycheck, in fight or flight mode. This has had a huge impact on her mental and physical health.
[8:38] Kelsey first began copywriting—although she was unaware of this at the time—when she started a nonprofit organization in the pet industry. She was writing the website, email, and social media copy and developed a brand voice.
[10:30] Kelsey vowed to change her life financially in 2022 and figure out a way to write full time. She started the CCA course in January that year, finished it by May, and launched her portfolio site in June.
[13:24] Even before Kelsey launched her site, she had paid for the course with copy work! She started telling everyone about what she was doing and hit the ground running.
[14:21] Kelsey wanted to have three months of all her expenses set aside ready for when she quit her full time gig. She was exploring different brands on LinkedIn and came across a fitness supplement brand that excited her. Not long after, they posted a job for a copywriter!
[15:43] Kelsey’s original goal was to freelance full time but she applied to this role (despite not feeling qualified) and they offered her the job! She’s been there for a year now and recently got promoted to a senior copywriter.
[17:30] Kelsey loves working in a team full of creative and talented people and still does some freelancing when her bandwidth allows– although she’s a stickler on work-life balance now.
[19:55] You don’t have to have a certain number of years of experience in order to be a senior copywriter. It’s really down to your level of skill. And you can develop that skill very quickly if you’re willing to put in the effort like Kelsey has.
[20:52] Kelsey’s openness to opportunities has played a big part in her success. It would have been easy to close herself off at certain points in the journey but her willingness to explore paid dividends in the end.
[22:00] When it comes to new opportunities, like the senior copywriter role that came out, Kelsey’s default is “well, why not?” This attitude has served her incredibly well and even if she hadn’t landed the role, what’s the worst that would’ve happened?
[26:41] Kelsey encourages us to have a strong financial plan in place when taking the leap into full time copywriting, and to honor your needs and not be afraid to say “no” sometimes.
[29:56] Having a strong community around her and a partner who had total confidence in her goals has been a massive source of support in Kelsey’s journey.
[33:44] All of Kelsey’s editorial journalism work helped lay the groundwork for being an efficient and effective copywriter.
[36:00] The company that Kelsey works for has given her the opportunity to work on some very exciting brand collaborations–they recently ended up landing a partnership for an energy drink flavor with Kim Kardashian!
[39:42] If you’re interested in getting into copywriting, Kelsey reminds us that doing it alone is hard and unnecessary. Make sure you have a community that you can lean on and folks that you can reach out to as that helps you realize that you have the power and the skill to do it.
As with every episode, we highly encourage you to listen to the entire conversation! But here are a few of the highlights:
“I was consistently getting published and really enjoying flexing that creative side of my writing but was never able to make it a full-time gig. I constantly had to be working a full-time job in another facet of my life and then be writing on the side and I was just constantly burning the candle at both ends. And It’s something that I haven’t actually realized until recently how I was constantly in that fight or flight mode and now that I’m not, I’m just resting all the time and it is so amazing. That’s one of my biggest copywriting wins is just getting out of the stress and trauma of living paycheck to paycheck and trying to figure out how to get by.” – Kelsey
“Some of the experiences that I’m having are really laying a path for me to dream so big and just see where it takes me.” – Kelsey
“Being able to really reach those emotional benefits is something I think I’m strong at and I think my editorial work helped lay the groundwork for that. I can transfer those skills in a really easy way and make it work towards my benefit and produce better work in that way and faster.” – Kelsey
“We get so used to thinking, “well, you have to have a certain number of years of having done this in order to be a senior copywriter.” And that’s not the case. It really is a level of skill. And you can develop that skill very quickly if you’re willing to put in the effort the way that you have.” – Nicki
Mentioned on this Episode
- Building a Copywriting Side Hustle With a Full-Time Job – Claire’s Story
- Build a Copywriting Business While Working 9 to 5
- Journalist Turned Copywriter – Dori’s Story
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About the Build Your Business Podcast
Ready to turn your love of writing into a successful copywriting career?
Join professional copywriters Nicki Krawczyk and Kate Sitarz to get the tips, tools, and training to help you become a copywriter and build a thriving business of your own. Nicki and Kate have 20+ and 10+ years of experience, respectively, writing copy for multi-billion-dollar companies, solopreneurs, and every size business in between.
Whether you want to land an on-staff job, freelance full-time and work from wherever you want, or make extra money with a side hustle, the best place to start learning is right here.
Last Updated on February 13, 2024