Full-time remote freelance copywriter Taylor Marsden has been a business owner for ten years… but she still struggles to keep it all together sometimes! In this week’s DCWW interview, she gets candid about the challenges (and benefits) of being a self-made freelance writer. Grab yourself a coffee and prepare to get inspired.
Freelance Writing Cafe: What was the #1 reason you decided to start freelancing?
Taylor Marsden: To work with a variety of different types of clients, learn more skills, and make more money!
How did your freelance journey begin?
I was working full time at an e-comm startup and started freelancing on the side to branch out and work with different kinds of companies. I was bored writing about the same brand every single day and wanted more. Another copywriting friend who was in high demand gave me my first client (it was work she didn’t want to do) and directly after working with that person I threw together my website and started seeking out any side work I could find!
Thankfully, I worked with other creatives at my 9-5 who also freelanced and they referred me a lot of work at the beginning of my career. Starting this as a side hustle was amazing because I never felt any pressure to make money in order to live or to be perfect with clients from the get-go. I was just having fun and seeing what was possible!
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?
Communication is everything! Whether it’s learning how to talk to clients 1:1 about your process, dealing with harsh feedback, standing up for yourself when people try to lowball you on rates – whatever it might be! Learn to communicate like a pro and you will go far as a biz owner.
What is something you still struggle with as a freelance writer?
Oh god, a million things?! Ha! People seem to think if you’ve been a biz owner for a long time—I’ve been doing this almost 10 years—that the struggles stop because you figure everything out, but that’s not true.
I struggle with imposter syndrome, overworking myself, procrastination…all the time. They come in waves and every day is different but it’s all part of this journey and it’s totally cool. I’ve learned to embrace the struggles for what they are and then move on ’til the next one hits!
What advice would you give to freelancers who are just starting out?
Don’t quit your day job before your freelance hustle is making you a full-time salary! Trying to build a business from scratch is hard and the money won’t flow immediately or consistently. It’s normal. You need a safety net until you figure out how to make this work so you don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation!
What is your favorite thing about freelancing?
Freedom. Of course, right? I make my own hours, take on only the clients I want to take on, and get to work from wherever I want. I lived and traveled half a year on the other side of the world with my man just for funsies.
What is your favorite app, tool, or tip for productivity?
I make lists constantly! A daily to-do list with only two big goals per day. If I do more than that, I’m stoked but I like to set myself up to win every day rather than stress and freak out about everything I still haven’t completed.
Do you have a go-to mantra or quote that keeps you inspired?
“Why not you?” A great reminder for days when you think you’re not good enough or you’ll never get to where you wanna go!
What’s your favorite hot beverage to sip while working?
I have two: Americano or black coffee with a splash of oat milk
Want more inspiration? Read more from our Drinking Coffee With Writers series.
☕️ Drinking Coffee With Writers is here to give you a dose of inspiration and actionable tips for the week ahead. We’re showcasing freelance writers who are designing their careers and living life on their own terms. Want to be our next featured writer? Drop us a line at email@example.com
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IMAGES VIA TAYLOR MARSDEN