Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in freelancing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Betsy Ramser Jaime, freelance writer and editor, located in Gainesville, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a freelance writer, and I primarily write about productivity, remote work, and entrepreneurship. You could say that I really have two groups of customers. First, I have clients that I write and publish content for. These clients tend to be small business owners. The second group would be people that find my blog on productivity and remote work and consume my content or even contact me to do consulting or coaching. My blog readers are often people that are into personal development and productivity or want to start working remotely but don’t know where to begin.
Tell us about yourself
I started my blog in 2012 as a way to write about personal development and productivity. Back then, I didn’t write as much about remote work as I do now since it was much less common then. Along the way, I started freelance writing and also began doing some coaching, consulting, and digital marketing work. Believe it or not, I found my very first freelancing client on Reddit! You never know where you will find a great opportunity, so be open-minded and pay attention.
I’ve always been the type of person that loves working on multiple projects at the same time, which is why I love freelancing. I see so many people around me that feel trapped in 9-5 jobs that they hate, and knowing that I have so much flexibility over my schedule and in choosing what projects I take on is extremely motivating for me. I truly believe that having autonomy is priceless.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I would say that two things immediately come to mind. First would be the first $50 that I made as a freelance writer. I remember reading a job listing for someone to write about entrepreneurship. At the time, I’d earned a Master’s in Entrepreneurship and had worked for myself, so I figured why not give it a shot. For someone to pay me to do something that I enjoyed doing was really exciting.
The other accomplishment that stands out is getting such encouraging emails from readers or past clients. Knowing that I’ve written something that has had a positive impact on another person is a wonderful feeling.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I think many business owners would agree with me that the lack of stability and certainty can be hard. For example, during the pandemic, I lost multiple clients because they needed to cut back on their own expenses.
Another challenge can often be wearing so many different hats. If you are a one-person operation, then you are probably responsible for client work, marketing, administration, furthering your skills, etc. On the other hand, this can also expose you to so many different areas. For instance, I once had a client that asked me to take on their marketing work. While I didn’t have traditional experience in that area, I’d been doing it for myself, which allowed me to help them.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My first tip is to put yourself in the mind of your customer or client and try to give each person the best possible experience. You always want to be as in touch with the people you’re helping as you possibly can. You might even gift your product or service to a friend or customer to get genuine feedback to see what’s working and what could be improved.
My second tip is to grow on the side until you feel really confident about quitting your day job. Initially, if your business isn’t paying the bills, this can put a lot of pressure on you. Instead, try keeping your job and building your business on the weekends and evenings. This is also important because this allows you to start your business purely for fun rather than focusing so heavily on getting paid.
My third tip is to schedule time for hobbies and time with family or friends. Becoming a workaholic with no life isn’t good for you or your business. At the start of each month, try to plan a few activities and think about how you can spend your free time, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day. This could be reading, sports, playing an instrument, taking a class, etc.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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