Interview with freelance writer Jocelyn Chamberlain

Find out why Jocelyn Chamberlain decided not to return to work after maternity leave – and launched a successful freelance writing career instead.

What’s your career background?

My career started in advertising, and then moved into marketing when I completed a CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing. However, I undertook my original BA (hons) degree in Modern Visual Culture and Art. I’m a creative person and enjoy writing for business, but also poetry in my spare time.

How did your career change after having children?

After my maternity leave I looked at going back to work full time, but without family very close by I did not want to put my son in childcare for long hours every day. So I decided to stay at home and try to work part time from there.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I had written a lot of content in the marketing work I had undertaken for various companies, and so I thought the next step was to work from home, writing freelance.

How did you move from idea to actual business?

I rang HMRC and set myself up as self-employed! Then for the first time you realise you have to market yourself and so I contacted companies and small businesses who I thought might need to outsource work.

What’s your USP?

Working from home enables me to keep my costs low.

Who’s your target audience?

Small to medium sized businesses or marketing agencies, who can’t always complete the many content posts or social media updates required for websites they manage.

How do you spread the word about what you do?

Word of mouth, social media and through email marketing.

What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?

Email marketing; conducting my own research and personally emailing the relevant contacts about the services I offer.

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

Time management! It’s hard when you work for yourself to be motivated, but I think I now juggle it around family life well.

And your proudest moment so far?

Working consistently on monthly social media updates for a marketing agency, it provides a nice instant hit every week and makes me fire up the brain cells to think of new ideas.

Why is work so important to you?

It helps you to feel you’re making a contribution. To life, your family and to society.

Who inspires you?

Emmeline Pankhurst

What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?

  1. Believe in yourself and your capabilities
  2. Try to fit phone calls in when little ones are napping!
  3. If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail

You can find out more about Jocelyn on her website