“EnterprisingYou gave me the insight and the confidence to push my business forward.”
Anna Bartholomew has worked as a freelance writer for over eight years. Through her business A B Copywriting she offers a full range of copywriting services in Manchester and beyond.
With both of her children being in school full time as of September last year, Anna had more time to work on building her business. After finding out about EnterprisingYou by chance, Anna joined the programme and has seen her business and her confidence grow.
We caught up with her to find out how the things she learnt on the EnterprisingYou programme have helped her business so far.
How long have you been interested in writing?
I’ve been interested in writing for as long as I can remember. I loved writing stories when I was little and then I put my writing skills to good use as part of my English degree. I love playing around with language – and the power language has to move and persuade. And now enjoy the technical aspect of SEO writing too.
Why did you want to start your own business?
To be honest, it’s something that I kind of fell into. I was working in a job that I wasn’t happy in. The role involved some writing but I spent most of my time focused on other tasks. I came to the realisation that in this job, and all previous jobs, I’d enjoyed writing tasks the most.
So I started a side hustle, writing copy for clients during the evenings and at weekends and then realised that it was a viable business option.
Now, having freelanced for a number of years, I appreciate the flexibility I get running my own business. I can balance work and family, picking my children up from school most days of the week. I also love being my own boss and working with clients I feel truly invested in.
What services does A B Copywriting offer?
I write website copy, SEO blog posts, emails, e-books, social posts – basically any written content my clients need to engage their target market. I help clients to attract visitors to their website and convert them into customers.
I tend to work with SMEs in creative and purpose-driven sectors. Clients like that I’m friendly, uber-reliable and able to capture or develop their brand tone of voice.
Currently, I’m writing long-form blog content for a digital healthcare client. I’m writing SEO website copy for a photo printing business called Inkifi, helping them drive more traffic to their website. I’ve also been writing an eBook on different points of view in literature for a client who offers book editing services.
How did you find out about the EnterprisingYou Programme?
I was volunteering for a local Manchester charity, City of Trees, planting trees in a forgotten corner of Chorlton. Some members of the GC Business Growth Hub team happened to be doing a day of volunteering there too. I got chatting to Vicky Wilding and she said that the programme might be able to help me and my business.
How has EnterprisingYou helped you and your business?
As of September 2022, both of my children were at school and I had much more time to work on the business. At this point, I was short of clients, I wasn’t making enough money and I was debating whether I had a long-term future in self-employment.
EnterprisingYou gave me the insight and the confidence to push my business forward. It helped me see things that now seem blindingly obvious – that I needed to devote more time to marketing and networking, that I was undervaluing and under-pricing my services, and that a simple service package makes life easier for prospective clients.
Thanks to EnterprisingYou, I’m getting better at building connections and finding new clients. I’ve also increased my prices without (as I’d feared) clients running for the hills. This has helped me to believe in a strong and successful future for the business.
It’s all a work in progress. I still struggle to find the time for business promotion. And I can spend far too long editing and re-editing a LinkedIn post before finally building up the courage to publish it! But, compared to September last year, I feel I have the confidence, knowledge and tools to sustain and grow my business.
What sort of things have you learnt from the workshops?
The workshops have been incredibly useful, offering lots of actionable business tips.
I’ve learnt that LinkedIn isn’t just for suited, corporate types and that regularly posting makes a real difference to the number of enquiries I get. I’ve learnt that price and value aren’t directly related and that finding the right market for your service is key. I’ve also learnt strategies for being more productive (particularly useful for those days when I’m just working during school hours) and for combatting moments of self-doubt.
What’s next for your business?
More of the same I hope! I started the EnterprisingYou programme in January and am amazed at how far the business has come in a few short months.
I want to continue developing my business management skills, building time for marketing and networking into my schedule more consistently. I also want to connect with clients who run creative or purpose-driven businesses, so more of what I write aligns with my interests and values.
What would you say to someone who is considering starting their own business?
I’d say that it’s a bit of a rollercoaster. And I’m not sure you ever really get used to the ups, downs and general pressure of running your own business. I certainly haven’t! But if you can handle all that, you get to enjoy an amazing payoff: the joy of being your own boss and getting to decide how and when you work.
I’d also say – for anyone who (like me) cringes at the sales stuff when it comes to my own busines – adopting a sales alter ego can really help. Stepping into the shoes of a bold, brave, sales-pro character can help you to leave self-doubt at the door when selling your services or products.
Visit the A B Copywriting website to find out more about Anna and her business.