Copywriter, Author, and Journalist Kristen Fischer Discusses Life as a Freelancer – The Busy Creator 60

The Busy Creator 60 w/guest Kristen Fischer

Kristen Fischer (@KristenFischer) is an independent copywriter, author, and journalist living and working at the Jersey Shore. Following a stint as a cub reporter, she turned to freelance writing, making efforts to diversify her professional practice along the way.

A proponent of freelancing and professional issues around independent creatives, Kristen co-hosts Freelance Radio and has written When Talent Isn’t Enough, a business guide for creative professionals.

Our conversation covers writing tactics, the relationships between designers and writers, and how Kristen balances client work with authoring books. We also discuss the emotional trials of freelancing and some of the mistakes made and drama faced in her earlier years. Catch up with Kristen via her site, KristenFischer.com

When Talent Isn't Enough by Kristen Fischer

When Talent Isn’t Enough by Kristen Fischer

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Show Notes & Links

  • Kristen describes herself as a copywriter, journalist, author
  • Part of being a business writing is taking less-than-brilliant assignments at times
  • Two camps of copy — white papers, articles, and other long-form vs headlines, lead-in paragraphs, and short forms
  • Kristen teams up with designers; the best relationships work when writers think with design in mind and vice-versa
  • Kristen approaches a project as a journalism, getting right to “the gist”
  • Prescott wrote for The Triangle, the student newspaper of Drexel University
  • Kristen studied Environmental Science … naturally.
  • As a freelancer, Kristen, like Prescott, has worked part-time jobs to cover the gaps
  • Previous episode with Jeff Goins, author of The Art of Work

“Sometimes freelancing ‘on the side’ is very difficult to manage.”

—Prescott Perez-Fox

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“Don’t ‘take the leap’, instead ‘build a bridge.'”

—Jeff Goins

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  • The Art of Work by Jeff Goins On Amazon and On Audible
    • Kristen worked as a night editor for a year while she was building her freelance practice

    “The first few years [as a freelancer], I was a hot mess.”

    —Kristen Fischer

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    Tools

    Techniques

    • Keep an email headline to 50 characters
    • Marketing messages differ from subject matter messages
    • Concentrate on the gist, and add tone after
    • Write using an “Inverted Pyramid” for articles — if the bottom gets cut off, it doesn’t matter
    • The order of writing: Intro — Need — Call to Action. But that might change depending on the client and medium.
    • Keep asking yourself “why am I doing this?” and purse the long-term goals
    • Learn to develop a thick skin as a freelancer, not to take things personally

    Habits

    • POP your troublesome tasks. (POP = Procrastinate on Purpose)
    • Schedule admin tasks like invoicing
    • Schedule time within the routine to work on your book or side project; a big block of time won’t appear
    • Stay “old school” with software and office tech
    • Clear your household to-do list so it doesn’t interfere with your business tasks
    • Give yourself permission to have a flexibility schedule (gym in the morning, when everyone else is at work)
    • Use Sunday as a Writing Day — go to Starbucks

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    About Prescott Perez-Fox

    Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.