This year, I have some big shoes to fill…
Like all of you, I’ve enjoyed hearing from Steve Maurer as the B2B Writing Success Reality Blogger, and I’m honored to be taking up the title.
Since you’re going to be hearing from me a lot this year, this seems like a good time to introduce myself… to tell you who I am, how I got here, and where I plan to go in 2019…
Who am I?
My name is Tammy Powell, and I started my career as a veterinarian. I was in clinical practice for seven years, mostly in the U.S., but also overseas (Abu Dhabi, UAE). Then, I decided to make a big change — here’s why…
First, there was my daily routine as a veterinarian. You might not know this, but veterinarians don’t just work with animals — more than 50% of my job was working with people. After all, pets don’t come in by themselves to see the doctor.
It was certainly enjoyable at times, but as an introvert, I often felt exhausted on busy days when I saw appointment after appointment after appointment.
Add to that, a lack of sleep from emergency shifts, as well as the initial symptoms of compassion fatigue (a type of emotional fatigue that comes from repeated exposure to things like euthanasia and serious medical conditions), and I decided it might be time for a change of pace.
The second factor was discovering a love of writing. I’d always enjoyed writing, but only thought of it as a hobby. But within one year, I started writing a novel, and stumbled onto travel writing and copywriting — and I loved them all!
The final ingredient came from living overseas, in a place with a lot of expats from many different countries. It was definitely a melting pot, and I got exposed to many different philosophies on life.
I met people who didn’t define themselves by their job descriptions — people who traveled a lot, and who were always doing interesting things because they weren’t afraid to take new career opportunities. I guess you could say these new friends inspired me.
With that, and with a few initial writing successes under my belt, I moved back home and officially became a freelancer.
My writing journey
There was a bit of a learning curve, but gradually I started getting more and more clients.
And because of my unique combination of experience in veterinary medicine and writing, I was lucky enough to meet Pam Foster and subsequently take over her website PetCopywriter.com when she was making a shift in her career focus — and that led to even more clients.
I’m grateful for everything that’s happened so far. But, now I’m ready to take things to the next level, and I plan to share tips, strategies, and learning experiences along the way.
So, here’s what you can expect from me in 2019…
A plan for increased income
I’m grateful to be paying the bills as a full-time writer. But, to make my freelance career sustainable for the long-term, I need to start earning more. Here’s how I plan to do that…
- Working faster and more efficiently, so I can take on more clients and projects without feeling so busy all the time.
During 2019, I’ll share the tips and strategies I use for myself, including but not limited to: reading and researching faster… overcoming procrastination and staying motivated… figuring out the best way to prioritize and schedule everything… and any software or other helpful programs I come across that save time…
- Actively finding more B2B clients. 2018 was passive, as I largely waited for clients to come to me, and said “yes” to almost everything (and by the way, I’ll also explain how and why I had clients coming to me — as a preview, it was a combination of Spec Challenges, having a niche, having an online presence, and in-person networking).
This year, I have a more active marketing plan — to leverage my professional experience and find more B2B clients.
- Asking for higher fees when appropriate. I’ve already started doing this to some extent. But, I have to admit that I still struggle sometimes with asking for the mid-to-upper range fees that are listed in the AWAI copywriting price guide. As I get more comfortable with this, I’ll share my pricing tips, and also let you know what works for me and what doesn’t.
Improving my online presence
This will include blogging, getting certified in SEO copywriting, and using LinkedIn effectively.
Of course, I’ll share tips along the way.
And if you’re intimidated by technology, don’t worry — I am, too. Since I fall into the Millennial age range, many people assume I’m naturally good with technology, but it’s actually something I struggle with. At times, it baffles me.
So, everything I share will be explained in plain English — because that’s the only way I’ll understand it myself.
Despite my technological reservations, I definitely know the value of keeping up with these things. And of course, these are all skills that help my clients, too, meaning I can not only keep them happy, but also charge more for my services when writing online copy.
Strategic in-person networking
Of course, I’ll be attending AWAI’s Bootcamp and Job Fair again in May. But, I also plan to try some additional avenues, like local Meetups and networking groups.
Along the way, I’ll let you know what I thought was most beneficial and may be worth your time to try, as well as some networking strategies for my fellow introverts.
Fiction writing techniques
While novel writing is currently just a hobby, fiction writing techniques and theory (including the Hero’s Journey, showing versus telling, maintaining tension for a reader, and so on…) are absolutely helpful for writing stronger B2B copy.
So, you’ll also hear some of these great fiction writing gems from time to time.
Taking care of current clients
While I do all of this, I also want to keep my current clients happy. I guess you could say I’m a very loyal copywriter — when I find a good client, I stick with them!
So, I’ll have to find a balance between current client relationships and expanding my business — and I’ll share what works for me.
Besides sharing my tips for working faster (to work less and play more), I’ll also share some techniques for managing stress and staying healthy as a writer. This comes from my eight years of daily meditation practice, as well as research I’ve done to set up my work space and manage my time.
Helping fellow B2B copywriters
I hope you’ll find all of this to be interesting and beneficial — and if you have any specific topics you’d like to hear about, please mention them in the comments!
Because really, despite the other goals I just listed… my biggest goal as the 2019 Reality Blogger is to keep you informed, motivated, and entertained.
I’m looking forward to getting to know you and sharing this journey with you in 2019!