Katie Partridge is the founder of Kosie Copy, your friendly freelance copywriter.
As with many during the lockdown, Katie found herself starting her own business and two years on, she’s built a business that not only fits her lifestyle but is better for her health. This is her story…
What is your name and what do you do?
I’m Katie Partridge, founder of Kosie Copy, your friendly freelance copywriter based in Glasgow.
How long have you been freelancing and why did you decide to become a freelancer?
I have been freelancing for almost 2 years now; I started in June 2020 and I kind of fell into it rather than choosing to do it…
In 2018, when I was 33, I had a seizure and was diagnosed with Focal Epilepsy. I immediately lost a chunk of my independence; I had to sell my car and, until the medication kicked in, I couldn’t really be left on my own. At the time I had a fast-paced corporate marketing job that involved a lot of travel. I took the lead in organising global events and had a voice in decision-making for award-winning drinks brands.
Focal epilepsy isn’t just about having seizures; the side effects caused by the medication had an impact on my confidence and self-esteem. Walking into a room full of people and not knowing whether I was going to have a seizure would fill me with dread. I wasn’t sleeping at night. I was anxious, sad and paranoid.
My seizures are triggered by tiredness, stress and being run down.
So I left my job.
When I chose to leave, I took some time out to think about my next steps. Writing has always been a huge part of my working life; tag lines, web copy, brochures. product descriptions, social media content. When I wasn’t working, I could be found tapping away on my laptop writing short stories.
Words are my thing, and I’m a massive research geek. So I founded Kosie Copy and now I write words for companies in exchange for coins. Or notes. Preferably notes.
What strategy do you find most effective for attracting new clients?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my freelancing journey so far; all of my clients have been via referrals although things have started to slow down lately. I’ve started going fishing on LinkedIn but that is a BIG pond with a lot of competitive wee fishes. Any pointers on where and how to attract new clients would be most welcome.
What app or social media platform could you not run your business without, and why?
I mostly use Instagram as it’s a great tool for humanising your business and showing your face. People buy from people after all. I’m a bit of a newbie on LinkedIn. I used to hate it, but I’m slowly starting to get into it.
Do you research prospects before a call or meeting? If so, what information do you look for?
YES! I’m a research geek.
I’ll take a look at the basics starting with the ‘About Us’ page on the company website and checking out their social media.
If they have a ‘Meet the Team’ page I’ll take a look at who I’m going to be speaking with. If I can find them on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, I’ll take a look to see if we have anything non-work-related in common. So, if I found the person had a public page on Instagram and they had posted about Bake Off, I would start the call with a casual drop-in about Bake Off. It’s a nice way to start a call; conversational rather than corporate.
What do you do to help maintain positive mental wellbeing?
If I’m having a ‘funky brain’ day when I’m feeling totally wiped out, I’ll take it slow. I’ll either take regular breaks or a nice long one with a nap.
If I just need some time away from my laptop, I’ll stick on a true-crime podcast (Morbid is my go-to at the moment, it’s great) and do housework. True crime probably isn’t very positive though is it?
Is being a freelancer what you expected? Do you work more hours (or less) than what you had first anticipated?
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I went freelance. There are times when I panic. It can be pretty daunting not having any colleagues beside you to answer questions, but I know that I have the FLH community at my fingertips should I need to ask for advice.
I *think* I work more hours. I don’t switch off, but not in a bad way. As a copywriter, if I hear a good word or phrase, I’ll stop what I’m doing to scribble it down. I’ve been known to sneak out of the cinema mid-movie to save something to the notes on my phone. Does that count as work?
What are the most common objections you’ve had from potential clients? How did/do you overcome them?
Pricing. I’ve actually found pricing a real struggle; I still don’t really know what to charge. I’ve had people be incredibly rude about my pricing (like, ‘slam the phone down’ rude) which has knocked my confidence a bit.
I once panicked on a call and halved my day rate, and they still said they were shocked at how high it was. I’ve thoroughly researched what other copywriters charge and I’ve priced myself at around £50 below average, so I’m not sure what people are expecting… Any pointers are welcome.
Have you ever turned a prospect away? If so, why and how did you do it?
Yes, I go with my gut. If it is a project I don’t feel excited about, or I know I won’t fully understand the subject matter, I’ll send a polite email and decline.
There has been one occasion I didn’t go with my gut and it was a HUGE learning curve. Wonderful brand to work on. Awful human to work with. Always go with your gut.
What do (would) you do when a client ghosts you?!
I would send a couple of chaser emails and move on.
Are your motivations now the same as they were when you started freelancing?
Pretty much the same, yes. Keep both clients and myself happy. Continue to learn as I go and keep building my business.
What is it about being a freelancer that you enjoy most?
I love the versatility of my job. I’m a generalist copywriter, so every day is different. One day I could be writing about travel destinations in Scotland, the next I could be writing about award-winning premium gin.
I also like the fact that my boss isn’t a dick (arguable) and if I want to take an extended lunch break, she’s totally cool with it.
What do you enjoy the least about being a freelancer?
Pricing. Urgh. Hopefully one day I’ll figure it out.
What one thing do you wish you had known before you became a freelancer?
How to say NO. I’ve always been a people pleaser and I let my first few clients scope creep quite a bit. I’m stricter with my time now.
What is your ONE top tip or piece of advice you would offer to other freelancers?
NETWORK. Having a pretty website doesn’t mean people are going to find it. Like, comment and share other people’s content. Be seen and be heard!