CommsPeople Profile – Francesca B
Please describe what you do in a couple of sentences…
I’m a copywriter, marketer and PR – a bit of a comms whizz. I work with everyone from big brands to small start ups, national charities to local causes, and help them connect with their audiences to achieve objectives. I run my own business And So She Thinks.
Tell us about your best freelancing gig…
The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday Campaign was a high profile national campaign to celebrate the impact of The National Lottery on the lives of people in the UK. The National Lottery has made more than 5,500 millionaires but its primary purpose is giving to good causes. There were 25 activations, 650 million people reached, 6,117 pieces of coverage and 365 million social media impressions. I was the copywriter, meaning my words gave shape to the campaign, communicated the message, and connected with the audience. Without my words, the campaign would not have been so successful. I worked with the campaign managers to distil messages, understand audiences, and consider what we wanted them to think, feel, and do – and made it happen.
What are the benefits for clients of working with a freelancer?
A fresh pair of eyes, creativity, and someone coming at things with a wealth of experience to lend a different perspective. Some people say you need a niche. I don’t. In fact, I’ve written about this here. I work on everything from charities to culture, tech to business, health to lifestyle. I write reports, websites, content, social media, and press releases. I run high profile national marketing campaigns, and work with small businesses starting out. I develop strategic frameworks, and get stuck in and implement them. All this means that the client gets a creative and bright brain who learns from the best and applies it to each and every client.
In your opinion, which brand(s) gets their communications consistently spot on?
I love love love writing tone of voice and brand messaging documents and I often refer to Mailchimp’s brand guidelines, they’re ace.
Arena Flowers Twitter account as far more sass and sharpness than any florists social media I’ve seen before.
Heritage Open Days (a client of mine) do some brilliant communications that really engages their audience and makes them feel part of a collective with personality.
What is your pet peeve when it comes to working with clients?
I’m super efficient, so anyone that waffles during meetings, or requests things and then changes their mind annoys me a bit. Also clients who employ me and then do their own thing. I ran the social media for a small arts in health charity who would then go in and post their own stuff – always with typos and mistakes! If you’ve hired an expert, let them do their job.
What are your top tips for anyone about to start working with freelancers?
Have a think about specific objectives that you want to achieve. You’ll be able to get a much better service if you have a focus.
Be open to new ideas. The point of hiring someone outside of your organisation is that they have different perspectives. Make the most of those.
Pay your invoices on time.
What advice would you give to someone embarking on a freelance career?
Get ready for the hustle. There are some people who are booked out for months and have clients queuing up. You’ll get there. But at the start you have to be constantly putting out pitches and will be rejected from them. Ask for feedback, and learn from it.
Enjoy the opportunity for a work life balance. You don’t have to be chained to your desk all day. In fact, I’d encourage you to get up, move around, and reenergise. You’ll be able to do much better work as a result.