What I do
I’m a messaging advisor for freelancers, consultants, and other independent business owners.
In a role that’s a mix between business consultant and writing coach, I help self-employed people become more articulate, confident, and purposeful in communicating about their work so they can focus in on their favorite work and attract better clients.
If you want help defining your ideal client, making a plan for reaching them, and writing content that pulls them closer by telling your story, then you’re in the right place.
My most recent background includes writing copy, content, and articles for a variety of small businesses, publications, and non-profits. (Here’s my portfolio and some writing testimonials.) I’m also the founder of the Asheville Creative League, an online directory of local creative professionals.
Prior to my freelance writing work, I was a grant writer and communications manager for non-profits (including Mountain BizWorks in Asheville and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC), as well as an independent bookkeeper for creative businesses. (Here’s my LinkedIn profile.)
Originally from Washington state, I earned an English degree from Oberlin College, then spent a decade in New York City before moving to Asheville, NC, in 2010, where I live with my husband and daughter.
Who I work with
My clients are service-based independent business owners.
This means you provide a service of some sort to your clients (as opposed to selling a physical product) and that service is primarily delivered by just one person (you!). Some of my clients outsource some support tasks (i.e. via a virtual assistant, bookkeeper, etc.) but the key is that the thing your business sells is your own expertise. You might call yourself a freelancer, an entrepreneur, self-employed, or a small business owner. You probably invoice your clients, and they probably send you 1099s at the end of every tax year.
Most of my clients have already been in business for a few years, have done a lot of experimenting, and are ready to level up, focus in, and craft a brand that more strongly reflects their own personal values, goals, and purpose.
My clients have included: graphic designers, web designers and developers, photographers, videographers, financial planners, information architects, business consultants, multi-cultural facilitators, marketing professionals, and voice/breath coaches.
Why this is my jam
Several years ago, I was a freelance writer. I had gotten laid off from my non-profit job, so it seemed like the perfect time to take the leap. And I loved it! I worked with lots of different types of clients on a variety of projects. I enjoyed the independence, the total lack of staff meetings (ugh, is there anything worse?), and the feeling that the sky was my limit.
Of course, I made all the normal freelancing mistakes, like charging hourly before moving to project-based pricing. And I took every job that came along because I needed the money, experience, and portfolio pieces. But I got better at my craft, better at recognizing “red flags” in potential clients, and better at the business side, too (networking, pricing, systems, etc.)
Everything was moving along pretty well.
But then I had a baby. And as my dad (who had a career in film and video) likes to say, when you become a parent, your view of life shifts from wide-angle (the world is full of opportunity, and I can do anything!) to a very tight close-up on a very tiny face (nothing else matters).
In my case, when I became a mother, I utterly lost perspective on who I was and became invisible to myself. For a year, I struggled with undiagnosed postpartum depression – and for a year after that, I worked to claw my way back to well-being and a sense of self.
That time reeeaaally sucked. But it also helped me move forward in my work life, and brought me to this current iteration of my business.
- As I rebuilt my identity, I wanted my professional persona to more strongly reflect my actual personality and values. I wanted to be my true self, through and through, no matter the context.
- I realized that there are truly no rules or “right answers.” After all, if there’s so much conflicting advice about child-rearing (which humans have been doing for, um, ever) then certainly every “rule” about business is up in the air, too. This meant I could make my business into whatever I wanted it to be.
- Since I had less time to focus on work, I realized I simply HAD to get pickier about what work I pursued and accepted. I learned how to implement higher standards and stronger boundaries in my business.
- In working with a life and business coach, I discovered I have a special skill: the ability to ask the right questions that uncover the hidden gems within a person or business. This was useful in my writing work, but I realized that I could also just do this and help many more people with their businesses.
All of this aligned with what I had noticed through working with other independent business owners:
- They need to be empowered to do their own marketing;
- If their website is written for them, that content will never fully match the words that come out of their mouths; and
- More than just a writer, what they really need is someone to help them build a foundation for their messaging first – and then create content on top of that.
So here we are! For the first time in my life, I absolutely love my job. I relish each session with my clients and have seen some amazing outcomes from our work together.