Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in writing services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andrew Knighton, Owner of Words For Hire, located in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a freelance writer, producing content for businesses, entrepreneurs, and independent publishers. A lot of my work is ghostwriting, helping others to refine their ideas into content that will represent them and their brand in the best light. I write a wide range of materials, from articles containing practical advice for business leaders to fast-paced novels about horny werewolves.
Tell us about yourself
I became a freelancer so that I could focus on what I most enjoy - writing. I was already doing a lot of business writing in my role at a public sector organisation, writing email templates, complaint responses, procedures, position papers, and content for the website. Meanwhile, I was getting stories published in my spare time. Somewhere along the line, I wondered if I could pull these things together to make writing my full-time job, and a decade ago, that's exactly what I did.
I love the craft of writing, the challenge of finding the right words to clearly convey a message or vividly evoke a theme, to give voice to a client or the characters they've created. And I'm also a voracious reader, so I love learning about the topics I'm writing about, whether it's a high-tech thriller or an essay on dynamic leadership. That challenge means that I love my work and am really motivated both to provide excellent content and to keep my business thriving so that I never have to give this up.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm really proud of just how much I've created over the past ten years. Aside from hundreds of articles, there are forty books out there in the world that don't have my name on them but that I helped their authors bring to life. Those books provide entertainment or useful guidance for their readers, and that's something I couldn't have done without this job.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a lone freelancer, the biggest challenge is ensuring that there's some structure to my day. Without it, work either doesn't get done or takes over your whole life. I've had to set clear boundaries around when I do and don't work, enforcing those with myself, my clients, and the people around me. That can be hard when other things seem urgent, but discipline is what gets the work done.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start by playing to your strengths. I used my experience and training in business writing to get my first few freelance gigs, which helped me establish a reputation and pick up other projects.
- Trust your gut. If the way a client approaches you makes you feel uneasy about the work, then there's probably a reason. Take the time to work out where that unease comes from and what that means in terms of how you would approach that project.
- Set boundaries. If you let work take over your whole life, you'll burn out, and that's not going to lead to success.
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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