Peer Brain Pickin’: How Jamie Jensen Built Her Freelance Writing Biz

jamiejensenWhat’s the best way to reach an unfamiliar destination? It’s learning from folks who’ve been there and know the path — its road conditions, pitfalls and hidden treasures — like the back of their hands.

As you work to launch or grow your freelance writing business, it’s helpful to hear from writers who’ve braved similar challenges, wrestled with the same fears, and reaped success on the other side.

Today, we check in with Jamie Jensen, the feisty writer behind yourhotcopy.com.

Everyone’s journey is a bit different, of course. And yet, I bet you’ll see yourself and decisions you’re pondering right now somewhere in Jamie’s experience.

Let’s dive right in, Q&A style:

How did you transition into full-time freelancing from whatever you were doing before?

JJ: My first few freelance writing jobs were for friends and fun! It wasn’t until I got really serious about starting my own business that it became clear exactly what I wanted that to look like. As my background was in writing for film and producing, I always worked a side job as a bartender in New York. It’s always been in my nature to juggle a handful of projects and passions and jobs. So at first, I was building my business by day and slinging drinks by night. I did that for about a year before I leapt into business full time.

What was your biggest obstacle or source of anxiety, and how did you overcome it?

JJ: I was totally terrified that I wouldn’t make enough money, and that I would miss my friends at my old job. Luckily for me, a lot of my favorite people began transitioning out of there around the same time as me — not all of them, but many. This made it a little easier to jump ship without having hardcore FOMO (fear of missing out) about it.

My job was hard labor, but it was also fun, social and something I was good at — it’s not always easy to see why you need to move on from things. For everyone, it’s probably not necessary. I took the leap and the money followed suit.

What mistakes did you make?

JJ: I wish I would have planned better financially, but that’s an idealist’s wish! In the first 2 years of business, you’re always in the midst of a little chaos (because you’re learning) and not quite sure what to expect.

How do you drive new business or find high-paying clients?

JJ: Referrals. Referrals. Referrals. And networking. I’m a very face-to-face, experiential type of person. I give my clients an incredible experience, and I think that speaks volumes and leads to them recommending me a lot. There is no better marketing than word of mouth. And I love my clients. 🙂

Who’s an ideal customer for you? How did you land on this niche?

JJ: My ideal customer is definitely a millennial entrepreneur who is driven by the idea that things are good, but they could be better. 🙂 They TRULY believe in their services and products because of that.

Usually (but not always) female, she knows what she wants, so knows when she finds it. These are the clients that come to me 100% certain that we are a match made in business heaven. They’re the type of entrepreneurs who are driven to succeed, not just for themselves, but for the sake of their clients and for others they are inspiring with their leadership.

They also appreciate and value the skill set a professional writer will bring to the table for them. All in all, they’re fun to work with, and would be just as fun to share some wine and conversation with off the clock.

I landed on this niche through trial and error! Which is common. I always knew I wanted to work with creative entrepreneurs, but I was never quite so narrow earlier on in my business.

Tell me about the Champagne Room, your Facebook group. Who hangs out there and why?

JJ: Mostly female service-based business owners who enjoy the company of other fun, driven lady bosses AND know that they need feedback and help to truly thrive. They hang out there to workshop their web content and copy, to meet other cool ladies, and to soak up the Q&As and trainings with me.

Anything else you’d care to share with aspiring or ambitious writers looking to build a high-income freelance business?

JJ: Take your time, stay focused, and don’t do work that you don’t really love. There is a lot of room for different types of writing in the internet marketing space and it’s 100% worth it to hone in on what area you are best at, and brand yourself with that in mind! Remember that your relationships with your clients is key — they are your business. 🙂

You can check out Jamie’s work at yourhotcopy.com and hang out with her crew at The Champagne Room on Facebook.

Did you find this helpful? What questions or ideas has Jamie sparked for you? And what questions would you like me to ask established freelance writers next time around?

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