Faces of Freelance Austin is a monthly feature to get to know one of our many members just a little bit better. For our fourth installment, we check in with our hard working Co-Chair, LuAnn Glowacz. Want to nominate a member to be interviewed for this feature? Let us know!!
Name: LuAnn Glowacz
Business name: Wordcove
Find LuAnn: http://www.wordcove.com/
Number of years freelancing: 9
Located: Austin, TX
Accepting new work? Not at this time
What’s your superhero power?
Over years of working as a public relations pro, I’ve learned that my best talent is to take complex ideas and turn them into tasty, digestible content. And, as an introvert, I frankly was burning out as an “always on” “people person” publicist. So, even though I had freelanced before as a PR consultant, I decided to renew my freelance passport about three years ago to focus solely on executive ghost writing and editing.
How do you describe the work you do?
I call myself an executive ghost writer and editor. Others who do nearly exactly what I do will call themselves content marketers or business writers. But my niche is to work directly with/for execs and business owners to help them write what they need: books, blog posts, contributed articles, op eds, white papers.
Essentially, I serve as a journalist for my clients. And, now that every organization is expected to produce its own content, I continuously find myself with more work than I need. I’m blessed!
Describe your path to becoming a freelancer/small business owner/solopreneur.
I became a business owner when I became a mom. The flexibility, being able to do what I love to do professionally…but in my PJs as needed…is a priceless gift. But the perfect storm for my success includes social media. I started tweeting and meeting people at tweetups and social media events like Blogathon and Social Media Club (as well as Freelance Austin) long ago. When I went back out on my own as a writer a few years ago, having those connections made all the difference. I secured clients right away.
Our members cite connections with people from varied expertises and career stages as one of the biggest benefits of Freelance Austin. Have you had mentors along the way, from Freelance Austin or elsewhere?
My Freelance Austin and Women Communicators of Austin tribe is very important to me. I can’t name all my mentors from these two groups because there are dozens of them. These colleagues are my close friends and also my best referral sources. I’d say at least 75 percent of my business comes from connections within WCA and Freelance Austin. The best part: these leads are vetted. My close colleagues know exactly what I do and what type of clients I prefer.
Has there been a point when you’ve taken a big risk to move forward?
Every day is a risk. My husband and I are both entrepreneurial so we’re used to risk. But I consider myself more secure than I ever have been at a full-time job, because I’m lucky enough to have a diverse and long-term client roster right now. If one client drops off, that’s only 1/3 to 1/4 my full income. No employer can promise you that.
Austin has a thriving independent worker population, do you see any ways the creative and freelance community in Austin could be better?
I see a lot of freelancers trying to blend in and be “normal.” That’ll get you nowhere, especially in Austin. You need to identify your secret sauce and communicate it. That’s what will get you noticed. People will always ask, “But do you do website copy, too? What about social media?” And you can always say, “Sure! I do that, too!” But, to get noticed, be a little weird. When I tell people I’m a ghost writer, they’ll take a step back and arch their eyebrow. It’s certainly a conversation starter.
What was the biggest surprise or shock you found in freelancing? If you could share a bit of wisdom with your newbie freelance self what would it be?
Coming primarily from a communications agency background, I’m thankful I have the work experience that I do. I know how to handle difficult clients, how to work with art directors, how to invoice (that’s a huge one), how to put together an ad buy, and how to run a trade show booth. I’m shocked to see so many young people heading straight into freelancing…especially as consultants. I certainly I wouldn’t be as successful if it weren’t for my other work experience.
Don’t forget to nominate someone for a future Faces of Freelance Austin interview! Who should we feature next?
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