Finding My Market & the Awesomeness of Business Owners
If you Google “freelance writing” you get 1,640,000 results. Freelance writing is not an easily definable job. There are constant debates in the blogosphere about whether or not people who write for so-called content mills can consider themselves writers.
A freelance writer might write articles for magazines, blog posts for sites, poems for greeting cards, Facebook page status updates or sales materials for corporations. The phrase covers an enormous range of activity.
When I first started Smiling Tree Writing, the plan was to find alternative energy companies, farmers and others interested in sustainable practices who needed a writer. Pretty quickly I had a couple of clients – both operating very small businesses and both people I already knew. After that, the marketing got tougher.
As time went on, I realized a much better, but still related, market for my services was people who operate small businesses in my town and who simply do not have time to write their own marketing materials. Most entrepreneurs are aware of the need to operate sustainably, and many are overwhelmed by technology.
But the point of this post is not that I changed focus and found more clients.
The point is, seeking those clients has led me to meet business owners and managers all over Chattanooga and they are an inspiring group of people. At the time I began talking to people and learning about their businesses – a little over a year ago – the entire country was mired in recession. The outlook is better now, but many tiny businesses have suffered.
The suffering is not what I’m hearing about, though. Instead, I’m learning about all the ways businesses are thanking their customers and how business owners are going an extra mile to provide an outstanding customer service experience. They are planning new products, promotions and expansions to improve business.
I’ve always admired people willing to take on the risks of running a business, and now that I know several of them, my admiration is even greater. The optimism and positive attitude it takes to run a business inspires and motivates and gives me something to emulate.