Following on from Part 1 last week, which looked at changes to the type of work I do and my client base, this post explores the major impact that technology has had on my freelance copywriting services – mostly for the better…
The advent of emails, conference calls and Skype has largely eliminated the need for face-to-face meetings or briefings. Consequently, I am able to work remotely for clients across the UK, sometimes without even speaking to them – although that is rare.
When I first began providing freelance copywriting services I had to save all of my drafts to a 3½” floppy disc (remember those?). I then posted the work to the client or, if urgent, would hop in my car and deliver it by hand. Today, pretty much everything is sent and received electronically via email or, more recently, Cloud file sharing applications such as Dropbox.
In the same way, any amendments requested by the client would have to be explained to me over the phone or sent back by fax – neither of which proved a particularly satisfactory system. The use of Tracked Changes has simplified the process, enabling all stakeholders to have a written record of who has changed what (and why).
As for most office-based workers, standard working hours for those offering freelance copywriting services used to be 9-5.30. Nowadays, it’s not unusual for clients to expect me to respond to emails during the evening or to be available to work weekends. Likewise, turnaround times seem to have reduced, with nearly everything these days being a ‘rush job’ – but that may well just be a symptom of society at large?
When I started out, the only real way to market my freelance copywriting services was via word of mouth to friends and former colleagues, mailshots to local businesses or attending local networking events. Although there’s still a place for each of these activities, they’ve largely been replaced by online platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, which allow us to connect with like-minded people as well as with prospects. In addition, it’s taken for granted that freelance copywriters will have their own website on which to showcase their skills, services and experience.
Over to you
So, you’ve seen how technology has changed my day-to-day working life over the past 18 years. How about yours? What are the main ways – good or bad – that it’s affected your job, whether you’re self-employed or employed?