Welcome to 9 to No Thank You! an interview series with freelancers who kicked their 9 to 5 habit and now kick serious business butt. These inspiring ladies are sharing the stories of their cubicle escape, and giving helpful tips along the way.Today we’re joined by copywriter extraordinaire
Today we’re joined by copywriter extraordinaire Nikki Groom! Nikki shares what her days look like as an entrepreneur, and how she schedules her week to complete client work while building her business.
Hey Nikki! Let’s get started.
Where do you live?
Bristol, Rhode Island—or Lil Rhody as it’s more affectionately known. My place is about a block away from the ocean and I can walk everywhere (which I love).
Bristol’s a great little historic town. There are a ton of bars and restaurants, a long winding bike path that leads up to Providence, and no shortage of sailboats in the bay over the summertime.
What do you do? What is your business all about?
I’m a copywriter for female entrepreneurs who want to harness their message and amplify their voice with the right words so that they can serve others in the best way they know how.
How long have you been freelancing? What were you doing before?
Since 2012. Before that, I was in marketing for a decade—first in the UK, and then over here in the States.
What was your transition into freelancing/entrepreneurship like?
Tough. I didn’t want to have “that” conversation with my boss. But I did, in the end, and although it’s been a steep learning curve, I’ve never looked back.
What do your days look like now?
I start the day by walking my dog, Luna, down by the bay. Back home, we’ll have a bite to eat—usually avocado on toast. (I recently worked with an awesome personal chef to come up with healthier meal options.) Then I’ll empty my head of any “open loops” (things I need to do) and load them into Things For Mac—a great task management tool. I also work my way through my inbox and either Boomerang emails to come back later or turn them into projects in Things and Evernote.
Throughout the day, Luna reminds me to take regular breaks away from my desk. We’ll go outside to throw her ball, or stay inside and play with toys. Around 5, we’ll go on our second walk of the day and after that, I usually close down for the day unless I have a deadline. I find that my brain isn’t that sharp after 9pm, so anything after that time will have to wait until tomorrow.
I’ll cook dinner and watch one of my DVR’ed TV shows—The Profit is a favorite—or head down to a local bar for tapas and a glass of wine, depending on what kind of day it’s been.
I try and keep Mondays free for content creation and community development. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are set aside for client projects, and Fridays are reserved for working on my upcoming podcast and copywriting course.
What is your favourite part of being a freelancer/entrepreneur?
I like that I have the freedom to decide my own schedule, including how much I get paid. I also love the fact I no longer have to commute!
What were some of the doubts or roadblocks you had when you started, and how did you work through that?
I wanted to make the transition from full-time employment into entrepreneurship as seamless as possible, so I saved a nest egg to see me through and booked clients into my schedule ahead of time so I knew I had work waiting for me.
Is there something you know now that you wish you would have known when you were first starting out? And what are you best tips for freelancers just getting their start?
Taking a group program when I first started out introduced me to an entire network of people who could (and did) use my services. After that, the referrals kept on coming. Before I knew it, I was booked up for months in advance.
If you can connect with some key players when you’re just getting started, you’ll find it makes a big difference.
What are some of your favourite tools for running your freelance business?
Boomerang is a lifesaver when it comes to keeping my inbox streamlined and manageable, while Things For Mac keeps me organized and on task. I also like Focus Booster to sharpen my concentration for short bursts of time, and Self Control to keep me off social media when I have a deadline.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
A podcast and copywriting course. Also, refining my one-on-one offerings, and exploring the future of The F Factor as a larger movement for female entrepreneurs.