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Thursday, 20 August 2015

Career Series; Working as a Copy Writer and Social Media Consultant

Name: Carly Bennett

Blog: (books) and (beauty + lifestyle)

Industry: Creative

Job Title: Copy Writer and Social Media Consultant

Brief description of job role and industry

I write copy and create social media content for brands. The copy includes anything from blog posts to newsletters, web copy and press releases, and the social media side of things includes social media content, channel set up, editorial calendars, account management and the occasional dash of graphic design.

An average day consists of: 

One of the best things about my job is that every single day is different, as I have ten or so regular clients, which means Im always working on something different, but I stick to the same rough schedule every day:

8.30am (after sending my boyfriend off to work and taking my dog for a walk through the village): Start work and have a quick read through my to do list, as well as checking my emails in case any urgent work has come in overnight. A few of my clients are based abroad so I get emails round the clock because of time differences!

9am - 12.30pm: My morning session. In this block of time I usually write up two or three articles and draft a weeks worth of social media content for whichever clients Im working with that day. I try to focus on two or three clients each day so they can get my full attention.

12.30 - 1.30pm: Lunch, which usually involves ten minutes for lunch and fifty minutes for Netflix Ah, the merits of being your own boss.

1.30pm - 5pm: My afternoon session, where Ill finish off my to do list for the day (usually another two or three articles) and then use any leftover time to work my way through the never-ending stack of admin! Where does it all come from?!

5-5.30pm: In my last half an hour I write up my to do list for the next day and reply to any urgent emails that have come in throughout the day.

Some days I find myself working until 10pm at night, some weekends are taken over by work but, on the whole, this is how I spend my working days.

Career progression

When I first set up my business I was focusing purely on copy writing (as I come from a writing background) but gradually I was contacted about the social media side of things, so I started to add that into the services I offer. I try to keep evolving with the industry, so Im shortly going to start offering training courses and ebooks, as well as a few other bits and bobs.

I also started off freelancing part time as a copy writer and working in an office part time. Eventually I got the point where I was in a position to leave my office job and work for myself full time so I took the plunge about eighteen months ago - so I guess that was the biggest moment of progression so far!

Qualifications/experience required

You dont need any particular qualifications to set up a business but its definitely handy to have some business knowledge. I studied Business Studies for A-level and it was also my minor at university, which has really helped me out with setting up a company and handling the financial/legal side of things.

Aside from that, I have a degree in Creative Writing, which was obviously integral to becoming a full time writer as it taught me so much about the industry. That said, I havent had a single client ever ask about my qualifications, so theyre certainly not essential!

Best tip to crack the industry

Dont set your focus on one area of business. Working for yourself is tough and, while copy writing isnt so competitive, social media can be, so dont limit yourself by thinking I only want to write about beauty so I wont accept anything else.

I started off writing about gadgets, crafts, cars and I even had to write a 1500 word case study about copper wiring However, those commissions all led onto other jobs and I now write about a whole host of different industries, including travel, tech, dressage, web design and beauty. If Id only focused on one highly competitive area of the market I doubt Id have as strong a client base as I do today.

Also, be smart about money! Running your own business is more empowering and rewarding than anything, but youll probably be skint for a very long time and work can be irregular, so you need to save when you can and stick to a budget.

Best thing about my job

It gives me the freedom to work the way I want to and live my life on my own terms. Im not working on anybody elses schedule and if I want some time to work on a new project I can. Im branching out and launching a motivational and wellness business later in the year (to run alongside my current business), and if I didnt have the freedom of my current job theres no way Id be able to try new things like that.

Worst thing about my job

The lack of security. A client can end a contract at a moments notice and you can never count any job as permanent, so youre never 100% secure when it comes to finances. You wont ever get sick pay, holiday pay or a Christmas bonus, and there are things like pensions and taxes to navigate as well.

Also, its really hard to switch off when you work from home. Although I officially finish at 5.30pm I often get urgent jobs in the evenings or at weekends, so Im pretty much always attached to my emails and refreshing various client accounts to check everythings ticking along okay and there hasnt been a social media meltdown on a channel I manage!



  1. Replies
    1. I agree Pam! Such a great write up on it too - thanks Carly! xx


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