What happens when a pandemic hits and you’re furloughed from your job? For Stuart Tarn it meant taking advantage of his additional time and learning an entirely new skill. Stuart has been in his current job in the airline industry for nearly 17 years.
In this episode, he shares why he pursued copywriting, the ways his past experiences help his copywriting, and some of the mindset shifts he’s made to move from full-time employee to successful freelancer.
A Sneak Peek at the Episode
[1:00] Nicki and Kate welcome the special guest, Stuart, onto the show. To get some background on his copywriting experience, Nicki asks Stuart about what he did before copywriting and how he got into the profession. Stuart explains how unprecedented circumstances (*ahem* Covid-19 pandemic *ahem*) suddenly had him sitting at home looking for things to do.
[5:00] Stuart talks more about the way he has been figuring out the differences between his full-time career and his new freelance copywriting business. He says that it has been a real mindset shift and he enjoys the freedom of not being beholden to any one company or position.
[8:13] Nicki, Kate, and Stuart discuss job security as it relates to both full-time employment and being a freelancer. Kate highlights the amount of control you have with a freelance career is far more than you might think. Kate asks Stuart how he is balancing the two worlds, as he has not left the full-time world for freelance (and he doesn’t want to!).
[10:30] Stuart discusses his feelings of job security with his freelancing side hustle. He finds himself questioning whether he enjoys copywriting because of the writing or because of the eclectic client base he has worked with (Spoiler: it’s both!).
[12:00] Stuart emphasizes that part of the beauty of freelance is that you do not have to be “all-in.” Freelancing side jobs can be incredibly manageable and profitable.
[14:40] Stuart talks about how going through the CCA made him realize that a lot of what he does in his full-time job is persuading and pitching people, just going to show the lessons in the CCA really are versatile and can be implemented in practically any industry.
[16:10] “How can I get customer from A to B in a way unlike anyone else?” Stuart highlights the importance of transferable skills and how not having direct experience can actually make you a better fit for anything that will benefit from a fresh perspective.
[17:00] Nicki asks Stuart about his experience being a paid writer. He explains that when late summer came around in 2020 and the pandemic really made Christmas feel like a struggle, he was able to gift his family and friends the way he wanted because of his copywriting income. He credited Nicki with saving Christmas, but we all know he just used her lessons to save it himself!
[20:38] Telling your family and friends about embarking on your copywriting journey is a big deal. Kate asks Stuart to share any advice he has for people who are hesitant about posting their new career, especially if you have not left your previous job yet. Stuart says to clear it with your current employer and as for family and friends, they will support you, don’t worry.
[23:30] Nicki asks Stuart about his experience following up on pitches. Sending follow-ups can be scary but the most important thing to remember is you can’t assume anything about the companies current situation.
[26:30] In regard to follow-ups, Stuart says it’s crucial to “be open to being a human instead of some faceless email person.” The companies you are reaching out to are made up of real people, just like you. Remember that!
[29:50] Stuart emphasizes, if you go at pitching proactively, it could be the wrong time for the company or it could be the exact right time, you never know. It can be incredibly difficult to avoid reading into a company’s situation but assuming will only hinder your potential success.
[35:00] Using email reminders can be beneficial in certain ways but Nicki, Kate, and Stuart all warn to be cautious when relying too heavily on them. You don’t know why they didn’t open your email yet or why they have not responded.
[39:00] Stuart laments that he has run into dry spells when he stops pitching for a few days when working on big projects or just taking time off. Dry spells are OK but if you want to have a steady stream of work, you have to keep pitching!
[40:30] Even if it is not the right time for the company, if the pitch is good, they could keep your info and reach out when it is a good time.
[43:00] Stuart talks about why he loves the CCA Facebook group. You might think there are only so many ways something can be phrased but every now and then somebody posts something in the group with a completely new perspective. Looking at everyone else’s work, giving feedback, and participating in the community has helped Stuart become the strong copywriter he is today.
Mentioned on this Episode
- Career Security Comes When You Take Control
- The New Truth of Today’s Working World
- Listen: The Illusion of Safety: Freelance vs. Full-Time Copywriting
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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 15+ 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.