CommsPeople Profile: Kaye H

Describe what you do in a couple of sentences…

In a nutshell, I am a freelance writer and communications specialist. Any given day consists of writing commissioned articles and interviews – typically in the travel and lifestyle sphere – for titles including The Telegraph, as well as copywriting (creating words to promote a product, a business, a person or an idea). I work with agencies, as well as directly with clients who have approached me or vice versa.

Tell us about your best freelancing gig…

That would have to be a press trip to Valencia in early January 2020 to experience Rustic Escapes’ Valencian property. It took me away from my day-to-day mania for a short time and was just such an enjoyable weekend – I met some fantastic people who were passionate about sharing their city with me. The icing on the cake? The weekend was all paid for.

I’ve been savouring the trip throughout the pandemic which, like everyone, has really clipped my travel wings. Writers don’t get paid anywhere near what most people expect, but we are rich in extraordinary experiences.

What are the benefits for clients of working with a freelancer?

We’re cost effective compared to a full time employee (clients basically pay for the time they want without having to worry about holiday and sick pay), offer a fresh perspective, are passionate about what we do and, crucially, reliable. Freelancers are adaptable – we’re used to working both remotely and in-house, and to deadline.

In your opinion, which brand(s) gets their communications consistently spot on?

I think Nike is at the top of their game – they have always just ‘got’ and utilised the power of great storytelling be it through their slogan “Just do it”, instantly recognisable logo (the swoosh) and partnerships. From taking a bet on a rookie Michael Jordan to Colin Kaepernickl, the former NFL quarterback who took the knee in 2016 in protest at racial injustice in America, and Justin Gallegos – the first-ever pro athlete with cerebral palsy.

What is your pet peeve when it comes to working with clients?

Probably when one client calls or expects an instant answer to an email, when I am on another client’s time. I hate saying no  – I’m a people pleaser – but I’ve learnt to resist responding immediately, as I have other clients who have booked me for that specific time.

What are your top tips for anyone about to start working with freelancers?

Outline your brief and expectations clearly at the start so as to avoid any unnecessary confusion further down the line, and give freelancers the heads up if you think you’ll need some extra support. I’ve often been asked on a Friday afternoon if I am available for a project starting the following Monday, but the reality is that most freelancers will have tried to line up work at least a couple of weeks in advance. We have to be able to pay our bills!

What advice would you give to someone embarking on a freelance career?

Market yourself! You have to be good at what you do, of course, but in this day and age you have to put yourself out there and start becoming searchable. Use social media, network like crazy, write a post on LinkedIN, compile work samples and collect testimonials… you get the gist!

Above all, don’t be afraid to make the jump. As the Tony Gaskins’ quote goes: “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.”

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