Want to know the one weird way to get freelance writing clients that nobody talks about? And how to easily drop into a new country without disrupting your work flow? Freelance copywriter Robbie King shares his expert tips in this interview.
In this interview with Robbie King, we chatted about how he manages travel alongside growing his copywriting and video production business.
I initially met Robbie at the Copywriter Club Think Tank mastermind retreat in Barcelona. I was fascinated with how he was blending his video and motion graphics career with his new copywriting business, without missing a beat in his travels.
We talked about Chiang Mai, and I was pretty sold on heading there after the retreat (mostly for the khao soi noodles, I think!).
Introduce yourself to the world!
Heya. My name’s Robbie and I’ve been bopping around planet earth for two and a bit years now. Originally I’m from London. Now I’m not sure.
What did the path to working remotely look like for you?
Back in the real world, I was working in the London ad industry writing for TV, posters, radio etc.
So once I saw a good opportunity to write remotely it was a no brainer.
When did you start your business?
My writing business has only really been going about a year in its current form. Before that I was doing video work. Editing motion graphics etc – another lil skill of mine.
What was your first paid project and how did you find it?
Website copy. And technically I got it off a dating app! Basically someone I matched with worked in marketing and needed a copywriter.
Get on the datin’ apps kids, they’ll make you money.
Do you have a specific niche?
My signature service is explainer videos. And they sit nicely with the SaaS industry.
I also write the web copy and landing pages that the explainer videos sit on, as well as blog content. That’s for both the tech and SaaS world, and a few other industries like eCommerce and personal development.
How do you typically find clients?
Besides dating apps? Mostly through networking (either in person or by reaching out to people on LinkedIn) and referrals.
How many clients do you work with at a time?
Depends on how big the job is, but four is usually pushing it. Two to three is ideal. Basically a retainer and whatever other projects I win.
Do you set specific income goals for each month? If so, how do you work towards reaching them?
It’s usually a combination of 90-day goals and one week goals really. I also find that because my business is still pretty young, there’s a lot of pivoting and figuring things out that usually alters a 90-day goal somewhat.
What are the biggest advantages of your business?
Besides being able to work in my underpants… hmm… I’d say it’s the freedom to pursue the work that really interests me. And the freedom to take Monday off if I need to.
What are the biggest limitations?
The flipside to the previous response though is that sick days and holidays are pretty hard to come by.
What’s your #1 challenge as a freelance business owner?
Hustling and building my brand equity. Always gotta be hustling.
The extra hours I put in on LinkedIn can make me question my life choices. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the price I pay for being able to design my life, I guess.
What has been your biggest win in business so far?
Probably the video project I landed recently. It was the first proper job I got for a new project of mine so it was very much confirmation that this new project’s got legs.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Start around 7am chatting to people on LinkedIn for a bit. Bit of exercise. Bit of coffee, and then I’m usually at my desk by 8.30ish.
How do you juggle working and travelling? Any handy tips?
Nomad List is all you need really, it’s a great little directory of most places you’d want to visit.
Having a pal in the place you’re going to helps, but as long as you do your research and immediately get a phone SIM card in every country you touch down in you’re fine.
I’d also recommend setting aside at least three days to make the switch to a new country. Add more if it’s a super long flight.
One day to travel. One day to recover and get your bearings. And one day in case things go tits up. So, basically take a Friday or Monday off and fly on a weekend.
Any interesting stories to tell us from your travels?
I once flew 2000 miles for a date. Let’s just say my money would’ve been better spent elsewhere.
Favourite remote work place that you’ve travelled to so far, and why?
Like a lot of remote workers, Chiang Mai is a home away from home. But one place that really killed it is Oviedo in northern Spain. Totally unspoilt. Beach, mountains, cleanest place I’ve ever been. Great food AND decent internet.
Co-working spaces = yes or no?
Absolutley ADORE them. They’re all so quiet and clean. Heaven.
What are your top 3 recommended resources online for new freelance writers and aspiring nomads?
Nomad List can help with the travel side of things.
What are your goals for your business over the next year?
If I can grow my video studio to six figures in revenue then I’ll be laughing.
Where can people find you online?
Find me on LinkedIn, that’s got everything. My articles, my ramblings and my face.
And of course, check out my video studio Bullseye Motion.
What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d like to share with aspiring freelance nomads who are reading this?
This has to be your dream. This has to be a hill you want to die on. If you’re just in it for the coconuts and the hammocks, you’re doing it wrong.
Paradise gets boring super quickly. Sure it’s cool. But it’s a shallower thrill compared to what really matters in life; doing great work and having great relationships.
Ensure you get those right first. It makes the coconuts taste better.