Q&A with Freelance Writer and PR Expert, Jacqueline Ryan
Jacqueline is dedicated creative professional who has worked in a variety of industries doing public relations, marketing, and strategy. It took her a while to figure out exactly what she wanted to do, but she never gave up trying until she was able to find a career that was both exciting and challenging. She lives in Stamford, CT with her husband, toddler son, black lab, and kitty. She's equally addicted to both politics and SoulCycle.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire and majored in Economics at Bucknell University. From there, I was able to participate in some high profile public relations internships, such as Fox Broadcasting Company. After college, I went to law school for a year. While I loved school, after my first internship, I knew that a legal profession wasn’t for me. I’ve always been interested in the media and connecting with people in a creative way so I soon transitioned into agency life for public relations. When I got pregnant in 2015, I took time off from a traditional job and did freelance marketing/PR as well as writing. Currently, I work in marketing for an organic candy company, YumEarth and write on the side. I am also taking business classes through Harvard Business School’s online platform HBX.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was inspired to start writing professionally because I was pretty bored sitting at home pregnant. I started writing about fashion and beauty (two passions of mine) to keep a piece of who I was and find a way to share the things I loved with the world.
Where are you based?
I live in Stamford, CT.
How did you start freelance writing? What were the first steps you took?
I put together a portfolio of my best prior work and went from there. I also did consulting for free for my friends to help expand on my skills.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your writing?
Sharing with friends, using social media, and pitching editorial content to media outlets.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
The hardest thing for me has been balancing work, classes, being a mother, and working out. Honestly, the biggest thing that has helped me with this is to stop thinking of the weekends as a “break from the week” but more as a “chance to get as much done as possible.” I know that sounds silly, but it’s worked well.
How do you stay focused?
I am addicted to my planner and to do lists. I am always making and updating lists as well as setting calendar alerts to remind me of important dates (even if it’s just to follow up with someone).
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your freelance writing?
Flexibility and being able to adapt. How people get their information is changing all the time with the influx of social media and social media influencers - being able to adapt to the current communication styles and channels is so important.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
Get a good start on Monday mornings. Whether it’s going for a run, treating yourself to an at-home mask, or even just pre-brewing your coffee and getting to bed early Sunday night. The better I am able to start off the week, the stronger I’m able to finish it.
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
My favorite blog is Betches.com just because it’s hilarious and can provide quick breaks when I’m getting overwhelmed.
My favorite book is Half the Sky - written about the struggles of women in various 3rd world countries. It’s sad and hard to read, but each chapter ends talking about fantastic organizations that are working in that area of the world on that problem so it gives you hope.
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
Microsoft Excel - I’m obsessed with getting as much data as possible and Excel helps me analyze it.
Who is your business role model? Why?
My father. He was an excellent businessman from the numbers alone, but he also always made an effort to look out for the people he managed. He is so smart, but never misses an opportunity to listen and learn from others. He is so accomplished, but always humble and he conducts his life with empathy and work ethic rarely seen.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
Working as hard as I can in every area of my life.
How can our readers connect with you?
@jacquelinerosenyc on Instagram