Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, founder of Making You Content, helps businesses who lack the time, inspiration or expertise to write their own content. IPSE’s Young Freelancer of the Year 2015, she is passionate about the freelance community.
I was approached by a newcomer to the freelance industry, who wanted to become a copywriter, but had no portfolio and little experience.
Having recently started building a team of freelance copywriters for my copywriting agency, Making You Content, I coincidentally met a budding writer who was hoping to break into the industry as a freelancer.
He explained that as he didn’t have a portfolio, he was struggling to find paid work, but that he was desperate to get a foot in the door and determine whether freelancing was the right career choice for him.
I offered to set him a mock brief, so that he could get a second opinion on his writing abilities, and found that whilst he needed a lot of work, he certainly had a flair for copywriting.
Eager to build up his portfolio, we agreed that he would join my freelance team on a training basis; I would offer guidance and mentoring, whilst paying him a slightly lower rate than my other freelancers, to reflect the support I was giving.
He accepted the opportunity with zeal, and within the space of a few months his copywriting skills improved significantly. The arrangement worked really well; he was progressing every week, and I had a valuable addition to the team.
Eventually, he improved to a point where I was editing his work no more than my other freelancers, so I decided to increase his rate to mirror the rest of the team. He was made up with the news, and it solidified our relationship further.
The experience was extremely rewarding, and reinforced my belief that hard work should be given the recognition it deserves. I would definitely recommend this arrangement when building your team if you have expertise to share.
I hope my approach will encourage other businesses to give fledgling freelancers an opportunity to develop their skills and experience, without working for free or ‘exposure’ alone.