S1E10 - Taylor Marsden: Freelancing Queen
Taylor Marsden - freelance copywriter
We met on Instagram after Taylor knew my Never Been Kissed reference. “I’m not Josie Grossi anymore!”
This episode is all about living the freelance life.
First things first, what is copywriting. . . Taylor works with business owners on website content including writing sales pages, about sections, service pages, blog posts, content strategy, social media captions. . . anything that is a written piece of content that a business person would need digitally, Taylor can provide.
Taylor did freelance copywriting as a side hustle for four years before transitioning to doing it as her primary job.
There’s more creativity in freelancing. You’re not stuck working on the same things over and over for the same company. You can work on a wide variety of projects.
Side hustle first or dive straight in to freelancing? People have different opinions. Some promote jumping head first into quitting your job and becoming a freelancer. For Taylor, the side hustle was a better plan.
“Hustle” is a tricky word. A side hustle can be working just one day a week on an outside project/job. It doesn’t mean you have to dedicate every single extra minute of your life to your side hustle.
Freelancing is not for everyone. Over the past five years, the amount of women entrepreneurs has been on the rise. Freelancing and being your own boss is being promoted everywhere. It may not truly be for everyone.
Taylor decided to do full-time freelancing in 2014. She and her partner went on the digital nomad journey and travelled to Southeast Asia for six months while both freelancing. They were the digital nomad OG’s!
How do you deal with being completely alone at home as a freelancer? Taylor has found the following things to be helpful:
Not being home every day, finding a coffee shop or somewhere to go work a few days a week or a few hours a day. If you are working at home, have a dedicated work space.
Writing out a to-do list. It’s almost like guilting yourself. It sounds bad, but it actually works sometimes. At an office, if you work for someone else, you are motivated to do things because if you don’t do them someone is going to get on your case or you could get fired. Sometimes you need to place some kind of guilt on yourself that you will feel if you don’t accomplish the things you set out to do. When you see the list, you are accountable to do those things.
Play the game “worst case scenario” with yourself. If I don’t accomplish these things the worst case scenario is. . . I won’t make any money and I won’t be able to pay for anything in my life. Slightly fear based, but it truly helps to be honest with yourself.
When you see other people in your industry who are killing it, use that to inspire you to up your game. Lacy Philips’ idea of seeing other people as “expanders” for you.
“Give it a shot every day.” Give yourself a chance to do it instead of focusing on why you can’t do it. Give it a shot and see what happens.
When things are not going well it’s easy to feel depressed, lonely, like maybe you’re not right for this career path, maybe you should just be working in an office. . . .
When Taylor felt like quitting her freelance gig about a year ago:
She was taking jobs based on money alone and wasn’t inspired or excited about what she was doing. Negative self talk ensued. She felt really down and out.
She made a resolution for herself - I can’t do another year of sitting around in this headspace. Something needs to change.
She signed up for a course about Instagram marketing.
She said “Just try this and see what happens.”
Started feeling connected to other women in her industry and feeling motivated by them.
Taking a chance and not having huge expectations.
Other contributing factors to recognizing the need for a change:
Relationship with self was a struggle. She felt very lost.
Key component was when Taylor’s partner said, “I don’t think you’re working hard enough.” This initially triggered a defense, but upon reflection she knew it was true. She had given up and didn’t want to deal with it. (How difficult to have that honest conversation with a partner, but also how wonderful!)
How to know when to get your butt in gear vs. knowing this isn’t for me:
Having an independent spirit when it comes to creating.
Can’t imagine going back to work for someone else. No aspect of that seems appealing.
Some people do great with a 9-5 job and that is great!
Here’s this idea, why don’t you try it and see?
Use curiosity to try something out. Not clinging to an outcome, but being willing to attempt and then reassess. Trial and error. You don’t really know until you are doing it.
What other changes or mindset shifts did she make?
Taylor created a routine for herself. She got up earlier, started doing yoga and meditation again, eating better, getting out of the house. Little things that she decided to do all at the same time. She feels chaotic if she doesn’t have routine.
Taylor has legitimately put in the work to make her Instagram what it is. Her honesty on Instagram is something that people gravitate towards.
Being a girl boss is all good, but it’s not all glitz and glam all the time!
How to know when you may need to get out of the house and work from a cafe:
You’re getting distracted easily with things like YouTube, Facebook, chores around the house, etc. that are causing you to avoid your business to-do list.
When you look at the clock and it’s getting close to noon and you haven’t done anything on your list.
Sometimes you need an “off” day since your hours are your own and sometimes you end up working nights and weekends.
Once you realize you need to get out of the house how do you get yourself to actually go?
When you have been in a place where you are so often neglecting the things you truly want and need to do, it can be scary to keep neglecting them. You know you want to change and if you don’t force yourself to make the changes, it is scary to think about going back to where you were and repeating old habits. It’s a slippery slope. If you convince yourself to stay home when you know you really should get out of the house, it’s hard to resist other undesirable behaviors.
Alex is currently where Taylor was a year ago. Rock bottom situation. Sometimes you need to experience the rock bottom in order to know where you don’t want to be. Recognizing the rock bottom is what allows you to adjust and alter your behaviors and choices to move towards where you truly want to be. You almost need to feel disappointed in yourself when you know you can do better. It’s slightly masochistic or using a tough love strategy, but sometimes the self-love and understanding method is no longer going to cut it.
Building connection with others when you work alone:
Using social media to connect with people in the same industry as you. Feels like you have “colleagues.”
Supportive friends. Tell them what you’re doing and what you’re struggling with. Surrounding yourself with a community of people who understand what you’re trying to do is important.
Connection with people in your same industry is something Alex has not done.
Even lone wolf types like Alex and Taylor need help and support sometimes.
Start with connecting on small things and then continue the conversation, maybe be vulnerable with something to build trust and a bond. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for advice. You will start to realize that people actually do want to help. Also, many people are in the exact same boat and they are grateful to have a channel open where they too can ask for help when they need it. Use each other as a resource! Reach out to those on the same level as you as well as those you aspire to be like.
How does Taylor “inhale balance” in her life?
She creates boundaries with her business! She uses boundaries to find balance between her work life and personal life.
You can find Taylor Marsden, the amazingly talented, warm, generous, clever copywriter at these places:
@copywritertay on Instagram
Lacy Phillips - To Be Magnetic