WHAT DO YOU DO?
Words are my love language, and the skills I just mentioned are my most fluent dialects.
I’ve been fortunate to have many opportunities to tailor my craft to different fields, which is how I have sharpened my skills in copywriting, social media and blogging in addition to journalism. My copywriting projects have allowed me to create content for a variety of industries, which I love. I’ve done product and site copy for skincare brands, convenience stores, jewelers, restaurants, non-profits, transportation companies and more.
As for social media, I make it a mission to take time during any project to analyze audience demographic and behavior to ensure I’m putting together posts that “speak their social language,” if you will. I always stay on top of analytics to measure overall performance and make sure end goals are being met, especially if I’m experimenting with new post structures and content (which is key to a dazzling social presence).
When it comes to blogging, I’ve worked on the full spectrum of projects, from the most structured corporate blogs to my own personal blog focused on self-love and self-care. Blogging is a powerful way for a person or an organization to establish their voice and express what they’re truly passionate about, and my goal is to make that voice as loud and clear (and fun!) as possible.
Finally, I am a journalist, which I feel is a passion that has both enhanced and been enhanced by the other three aforementioned skills. I’m addicted to asking questions and getting to the root of my stories and subjects - what makes them special? What makes them tick? How can their story help the community as a whole learn and grow? As a journalist, I am especially drawn to feature pieces and anything related to art, culture and music. I am incredibly passionate about uplifting stifled voices and telling stories that lie on the outskirts of the mainstream.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I graduated from Arizona State University in 2016 with a B.S. in Business Entrepreneurship and a B.A. in Print Journalism. I’ve worked as a content producer at a local news station, a copywriter at a creative marketing agency, an arts reporter and investigative reporter at my college newspaper and (currently) a communications specialist at a continuing education company. I’m also currently doing freelance work for a transportation company and a local women's empowerment/education group.
How do you stand out in your field?
My diverse skill set and background gives me an edge wherever I go, because it allows me to create content that not only looks and sounds good, but performs well and accomplishes measurable goals for the client. I’ve learned that there is so much power in saying “yes” to opportunities that may not seem like your cup of tea or are outside of your typical “field.” Coming out of college, I thought that I absolutely had to focus on being a reporter, and that focusing on anything outside of that would be a waste of my degree. In fact, the opposite has been true - building skills in different aspects of digital media has only served to enhance my degree, my career and my value within my respective fields.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I’m currently working full-time as a communications specialist at a continuing dental education company, so I’m doing a lot of PR, editing and editorial management, analytic tracking, SEO monitoring, testimonial production and social media posting. After work and on weekends, I’ve been very focused on pursuing freelance opportunities and thinking up/submitting pitches to magazines and news outlets. I am also making an effort to continue building my personal blog. Eventually, I would like to create emails and videos to accompany my blog, so I am constantly thinking of ideas and concepts for that. I feel like I’m currently more driven than ever to collaborate on new projects and take on new freelance work, so I am excited to be part of such a dynamic community of creatives like ilovecreatives.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Everything I create and every professional dream I hold for myself is driven by a passion for finding and telling stories that we simply don’t hear enough of. I want to hear from people who are in the minority and show the world just how incredible and impactful they are. “Minority” refers to truly any number of characteristics, but I will note that I am especially passionate about uplifting those who are racial and cultural minorities. The key to sharing these perspectives is to really get to the deepest part of a story that you can access, and I think this is why I’m so in love with feature-style pieces and culture writing. In the past, I’ve done feature profiles on Phoenix-based artists and organizations, and it has been both inspiring and humbling to hear of the things that have driven people to create what they do.
One example that quickly comes to mind is my profile of Phoenix artist Tato Caraveo. This is an example of a person who truly lives and breathes his art. Tato embodies his art in every part of the way he lives, and to be invited into his home and studio was such an exciting experience that gave me so much insight into who he is.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
While words were my first love even as a child, a very close second was art. I love drawing, and I would really like to be better about taking time to practice drawing and painting and get better at creating visual mixed-media pieces to bring my thoughts and perspectives to life. I have also loved photography for many years, and I know that improving my photography skills would be so valuable in my path. I am able to make well-composed photos to accompany stories and projects when requested, but I’d love to make photography more of an art form for me and something I practice and produce with much more regularity.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Generally speaking, I recently haven’t had a great deal of luck finding agencies/companies in my area who are in need of any of the freelance skills I offer. This is a huge reason why I’m happy to have found an outlet like ilovecreatives, and I also let this rut motivate me to keep connecting with people organically.
The task that keeps landing at the bottom of my to-do list is my personal blog. I’d really like to take more time to create more posts and start implementing emails and video to accompany my written work, but have been focusing on my full-time work and freelance pursuits. This focus is entirely intentional, but I do know that there are ways I can be better about making even a little bit of time for my personal blog, as this is something I’d love to grow and find success with.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I’m BIG on creating spreadsheets and filling them out with every bit of information I could possibly need for a project or pursuit. It would save me a lot of time if someone could help me do the research I need to complete a project (e.g. if I’m pitching to a publication - who is the relevant editor? What’s their contact info and LinkedIn? What does their editorial calendar look like? How do they accept pitches?). I’d also like it if they could find and peruse various job boards or even social media posts for freelance copywriting, social media or writing work. It’d be especially amazing if they could meal prep and tidy up my room for me as well (dreaming big, I suppose).
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I would go back to my high school self and tell her that the one talent she brushes aside the most is her greatest gift, and that the sooner she embraces it, the sooner she will unlock amazing doors to her future.
Writing has been a part of my life since the moment I learned how. If I’m not writing something for work or something creative, I’m writing lists or notes or thoughtful texts to friends. When I was very little, I used to spend hours writing short fiction and illustrating my own printed books. As I got older, I started and stopped journaling on and off for years, and finally stopped altogether once high school got too busy. I was always told by teachers that my essays and short-answer responses were my strength. For whatever reason, I didn’t think writing was cool, and I grew tired of being “the student with the great essays.” I wanted to be known as the great artist or the great athlete or something else. It wasn’t until my second year of college that the journalism bug bit me hard, and with that, my deep well of unwritten capacity came pouring out. I fell deeply in love with writing and words all over again, and I haven’t gone back since.
I wish I could tell my high school self that her way with words is so beautiful and has so much power, and will be the driving force behind her entire career and lifestyle in the future.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
Talking to entrepreneurs - specifically, those who are living my dream and running their own successful publication - is a huge source of motivation and empowerment for me. I’d love to be able to sit down with the founder of Nylon or Remezcla or Ms. Magazine and learn all about their journey and ask them what I can be doing now to better prepare myself to be in their position. I’d love to get their perspective on what an up-and-coming media entrepreneur needs to know about things like networking, site creation, digital media and social media in order to succeed.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I am looking for either remote or Phoenix-based freelance work with a flexible schedule that will allow me to work evenings and weekends to accommodate my full-time position. (Side note: I want to stress how truly interested I am in collaborating with people in other states/countries, if the scope of the project allows!) I’m open to working with any type of client, from individual entrepreneurs to boutique agencies to major brands. I am also open to work on either a one-time or recurring basis. To break down my skill set a little bit more, here is a short list of some specific tasks/projects I have experience with: website copy, blog copy, email/newsletter copy, research articles, social media copy, social media analytics, news article writing, feature article writing, editing, interviewing for testimonials and stories, SEO strategy, whitepaper writing and composition, event coverage, and press releases.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Some of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on have been new businesses and brand refreshes. I love taking time to really sit down with a client (such a journalist), talk through their highest goals for their business and learn more about their voice, their mission and how I can help them convey that to their desired audience - whether they’re a brand new organization or one that has been around for a while and is looking to do a total renovation of their marketing strategy and messaging. The copy and social media I’ve provided for these types of brands in the past has resulted from genuine conversation between them and my team. In my favorite scenarios, these conversations led to a decision to develop a written and video testimonial campaign across their website and social platforms, a goal to create bold social content, and a blog that really got into the core of the company, their clientele and their passion. All that to say, I’d love to work with somebody who’s looking to establish or reestablish a voice for their brand that shows the world why they’re special and helps them accomplish their goals.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Because I’m offering 3-4 specific services, my rate is extremely dependent on the scope of the project in question. My very general base rate is about $38-$40 an hour, though I have typically worked with clients on a per-project rate rather than hourly. I take a variety of factors into consideration when calculating my project rate, including necessary tools/travel, deadline, estimated content creation time and estimated editing time. The more details you can provide for me in your initial inquiry (e.g. “I’m looking for website copy on x, y and z pages/projects with goal deadline of x/xx/xxx.”), the better!
Again, my overall rate is entirely dependent on the scope of the project at hand, so please reach out to me for more specific requests.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
The best way to reach me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also DM me on Twitter or send me a LinkedIn message. I prefer to be sent a scope upon initial inquiry. And don’t be afraid to make your message fun! I love a great gif or meme to break the ice.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Be curious, be bold, be open!
This member profile was originally published in November 2018.