Friday, May 21, 2010

Who Are You? What Are You?

Susan Johnston blogged about this topic recently on The Urban Muse, and I found it interesting because I’m struggling with this very thing right now.

I’m stepping up my marketing and trying to get the word out about the services I offer. One of the sticky spots I’m running into is what to call myself. Should I be a “Freelance Writer” (which, as someone commented, doesn’t always get the respect it should), “Writer”, “Copywriter”, “Freelance Copywriter”, “Word Magician”, “Word Wizard”….? OK, so I’m joking with those last two, but I’m seriously stuck. I have business cards that say “Freelance Writer”, but I’m wondering if I necessarily need to keep the “Freelance”? Would potential clients take me as seriously as they might if they just see “Copywriter”, which is a bit more specific?

The other challenge I’m facing is…okay, I’ll say it…many folks may not even know what a copywriter is. I already have to explain (a few times a week) that, as a writer, I haven’t written any books (yet), nor do I teach high school English (not that there’s anything wrong with that—I respect high school English teachers and don’t think I could ever be one!), nor am I a newspaper reporter. So how in the world do I explain what I do write?

So, I need a few suggestions. How do you market yourself? Who are you, and who should I be?


  1. “What would you say you do, Bob?”

    Couldn’t help but think of the quote from the movie Office Space when you brought up how awkward it can be explaining your skills/job. It happens to me all the time even though I work as an editor. I thought people would kind of get what that means, but there are still a lot of blank looks. Good luck with marketing yourself! Sounds like you are doing great.

  2. Thanks, Sarah. Things are going well, but could always be better. I decided to go with "Copywriter" but leave off the "Freelance" so people don't confuse "freelance" with "free". I'm trying some direct mailings, so I hope something comes out of that. I'll be blogging about my progress!