Q&A with Freelancer and Entrepreneur, Linda Coss
Linda Coss is a freelance marketing writer who brings over two decades of marketing expertise to every assignment. Known for writing high-quality materials that are done right the first time, Linda specializes in writing for both digital and print – including websites, brochures, blogs, newsletters, sales letters and much more. To learn more about how Linda helps organizations in a broad range of industries reach their goals, visit her website at www.PlumtreeMarketingInc.com.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at UC Irvine, where I graduated with honors. Prior to launching my freelance copywriting business over 11 years ago, my career included close to a decade working in various capacities in the marketing field. In addition to a great deal of writing and editing, my broad marketing background includes product and project management, print production, publishing, branding and positioning, research and analysis, and more.
What inspired you to start your business?
I started my business to create my dream job. As a freelance marketing writer, I work with clients across a broad swath of industries, located both near and far. I love the challenge of finding the perfect words for each project. Sometimes the goal is to make an emotional connection with prospects and help them start to feel and experience the benefits of making a purchase. Other times the goal is to present information in an interesting and understandable a way as possible. Either way, I have the privilege of doing work that I thoroughly enjoy, working with wonderful clients, and truly learning something new each day.
Where is your business based?
My business is based out of my home in Orange County, California.
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
I started with the structural issues: I formed a corporation, created a website, opened a bank account, ordered business cards, etc. Then I reached out to everyone I knew and asked for referrals to people who could potentially use my services.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
Over the years three of my most successful marketing tactics have been business networking, search engine optimization, and posting free ads on Craig’s List.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge happened very early on: I launched my business shortly before a worldwide recession! I overcame this by persevering, discounting my fees, and living very frugally in the lean months.
How do you stay focused?
This might sound counter-intuitive, but I stay focused by taking regular breaks to get away from the computer. I find that if I don’t, I get headaches from looking at the computer screen all day. And these headaches make focusing very difficult!
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
While most marketing consultants take more of a full-service approach, I differentiate my business by focusing exclusively on writing and editing. One of the benefits of this is that it enables me to team up with other marketing professionals who offer synergistic services (such as planning, graphic design, website development, etc.). I actually do a lot of “virtual team member” work for others who want to position their business as being full service but don’t actually need to keep a full-time writer on staff.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Do such incredibly good work, and provide such amazing customer service, that customer retention is not an issue, and clients are happy to sing my praises to their colleagues who might benefit from my services, too.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
Have savings to fall back on if the ramp-up takes longer than expected!
What do you have planned for the next six months?
I just got married at the end of February. Because I want to focus on getting my marriage off to a great start, I’m not planning any major business initiatives for the next six months.
How can our readers connect with you?