Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in content creation but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Claire Hoffman, Award-winning Writer, Editor & B2B Content Creator of Claire Hoffman Media LLC, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business, Claire Hoffman Media LLC, specializes in writing, marketing, and other content creation for the event, meeting, experiential marketing, and hospitality industries.
My freelance work includes:
- journalistic reporting for leading industry trade publication BizBash
- ghostwriting blogs for a number of global event production companies
- copywriting for websites, newsletters, and social media
- consulting on PR coverage and event content curation
Every day and every project is different, and it's thrilling to help tell the stories of this incredible, resilient industry in so many different ways.
Tell us about yourself
After graduating college in 2007 with a degree in Journalism, I moved to New York City and took the first editorial job I could find—a fact-checker role for a trade publication that covered events. It quickly (and unexpectedly!) grew into a career-spanning passion for the multi-faceted event and hospitality industry. Throughout my career—which brought me to Los Angeles in 2016, where I still live—I've written in-depth case studies on everything from the Academy Awards to CES to Coachella, along with strategy-focused thought leadership pieces about live, virtual, and hybrid events. I also regularly write about new event technology; venue openings; wedding, food, and design trends; and marketing and social media strategy. After more than a decade on staff, I decided to make the leap to start my own company.
Now, in addition to my journalism work, I've expanded into marketing and content creation, working behind the scenes with some incredible clients to showcase their creativity and thought leadership through blogs, case studies, newsletters, and more. I'm also a frequent speaker and moderator for event industry panels and podcasts and currently serve on the ILEA Los Angeles board as Director of Content & Marketing. I often joke, "I go to parties for a living,"—but as any event professional knows, there's so much smart strategy, careful thought, and inspiring passion that goes into every single detail of a live gathering. I'm honored to play a part in it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In my first year in business, I not only matched my full-time salary—I grew it by 30%. I now have over a dozen regular clients, including five retainer clients that I produce content for on a weekly basis!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Knowing your worth. When you're coming from a salaried position, it can be a real learning curve in terms of pacing yourself and setting your rates in a way that reflects your skills and your time. But part of being a business owner is about scheduling your workload and remembering that your expertise is your #1 asset. Study up on what others in similar fields are making, and weigh it against your specific experience. When I set my rates, I remind myself that clients are not just paying for my time—they're paying for the 16 years of experience and knowledge that I bring to the table. I need to value my work accordingly.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find your niche. What skills, experience, or something extra can you bring to your field that no one else is doing? What gap can you fill in your desired industry?
- Learn to say no! Particularly when you're starting out, it's so tempting to say yes to every project—and then quickly find yourself dealing with the type of work and bosses you went solo to avoid.
- Remember to unplug. When you go out on your own, the phrase "time is money" becomes even more accurate. But on the flip side, breaks have become more important than ever. You're your own boss now—so treat yourself the way you've always wanted to be treated!
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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