On a fateful day in August of 2018, the CEO of the company I was working for at the time approached me to see if I knew anyone who could setup the company’s webpage. At that moment, I was elbow-deep in the greasiest part of one of our most important pieces of equipment but I knew how important the website was. Our company had just undergone a re-organization and a re-branding. The webpage, when it was launched, would be the key to a smooth transition with our existing customers and the most powerful tool to market our company to new clients.
“I could probably help you out with that,” I said.
He looked at me skeptically. I smiled as I realized that he was probably having a tough time reconciling the version of me he saw whenever he was in our shop with the idea that I could take on the challenge of telling our story to the industry we served. To be fair, the version of me that he saw was usually pretty dirty, typically buried in a piece of heavy equipment, or, failing that, standing next to a wellhead on some remote client location. With the exception of the timecard I turned in every week, he probably hadn’t seen anything that I had written since the resume that I had submitted when I had joined the company many months earlier.
It took some effort! I had to remind him of my degrees in Communication Studies from the University of Pittsburgh (B.A. – 2004) and the University of Southern California (M.A. – 2008). Not only had I taken courses on persuasion, rhetoric, public speaking and emerging technologies but I had also taught many of those subjects to undergraduate classes while designing syllabi, crafting lesson plans, editing and grading coursework. In addition to that, my primary job had been to conduct research and write for academic publication. I had published journal articles, book reviews, encyclopedia entries and blog posts.
“Our website has to speak to our clients,” he said. He was worried that I would fill our page up with egghead academic jargon that would strike a sour note with our clients.
“Dude, I got this!”
I quickly traced the entire history of my life as a writer; from winning awards for creative writing in grade school and junior high to working as a local sports reporter for my hometown newspaper while still in high school, my experience doing business and legal writing while working for a pre-employment background screening service as well as my responsibility for editing and proofreading the work product of an entire department, and finally my life-long hobbies of songwriting and creative writing. I was starting to wonder why I wanted the project so badly. I was also getting worried that I had run out of ammo if he remained unconvinced.
“Alright . . . If you want it . . . give it a shot,” he said.
My persistence paid off and continues to do so. I learned a couple valuable lessons from that first project. The first was that I had a lot to learn about building webpages before I could call myself a pro in that arena. The second was that I truly enjoyed freelance writing. I produce exceptional content that has true value for the people who put me to work on their projects.
Since that day I have continued to pursue and execute freelancing projects that allow me to help people get things done. I value the partnerships and relationships that have come from these projects. I particularly enjoy the projects that challenge me to develop new skills or extend beyond my comfort zone.
What can I do for you?