Day in the life of: Anna Hollisey

Do the thing that frightens you. Freelancers are underestimated by both themselves and their clients, I think. I work alongside a number of people who I’ve picked up along the way and who I think are the best I’ve met: we’re specialising in what we do best, and that’s worth a lot. So just do it!

What keeps you busy all day?

My lovely, wonderful clients, of course! I work on a range of marketing projects for websites, brochures, campaigns, reports and speeches for a variety of clients, from publishing companies to retail and mail order outlets to hospitality companies. My time is fully booked up at least a fortnight and sometimes a month in advance – I haven’t had a quiet week in four years!

I love everything about my job. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and determine my own working hours and have something that fits into my life better. I think anyone whose day drags should resign immediately and go freelance.

What keeps you awake at night?

Not a thing. I fall asleep the minute I touch the pillow. Isn’t this a sign of a contented mind?

Describe your working day:

Each one’s different – last night I was writing a speech at late notice, this morning I was working on product copy for a kidswear brand.

My favourite days are when a client calls with an urgent brief, which always ignites the creative sparks for me!

Freelance copywriting is hugely rewarding, but also difficult and demanding. I am a terrible diva and refuse to answer the phone if I am writing (between 5 and 10 hours each day).

The rest of the average working day I’m likely to be preparing pitches and samples, communicating with clients and booking my schedule, reading industry news and blogs and wondering when and if I’ll be able to pop out to get my hair done.

What’s your busiest time of day?

5pm, when I am ‘inspired’ by the thought of a glass of wine – and the looming deadline.

What brands have you worked on?

I have worked with retail names such as H Samuel and Ernest Jones but also I’ve done a lot with designers and agencies to deliver projects for their clients such as Cathay Pacific, the NHS and Hunter. I don’t have an agency background, but since starting to freelance I have built a network and attracted clients through referrals and word of mouth.

Best day at work:

The day I started freelancing! It felt so good to sit at my own desk. But then every day I win a big new client is pretty good as well – come to think of it, there is a lot of singing coming from my office on most days!

Worst day at work:

At the beginning of my career I worked in PR, and a comment in an email covering note was taken out of context and made a big splash. That was the day I learned that sexing things up a bit too much is never a good idea…

Name one thing you’ve achieved that has made your bosses sit up and take notice:

This year I was Editorial category winner in the Xchangeteam Freelancer of the Year Awards for work I’d done for East London-based jewellery retailer BEES.

The campaign was a huge success; it achieved highly tangible business results – no less than a 25% uplift in sales for BEES, which, as no other marketing activity was taking place, was down to my campaign. I was especially proud of the creative because it was conceived to play on the ethnic identity of the audience and the way we all express our identities through colour – and it really hit the spot. The client was delighted and the award made me feel even more appreciated!

The Award has been an excellent boost to my credibility; it’s a good thing to put after my name or on the website and it’s a valuable quality indicator for clients.

Ambitions:

I would like to carry on doing what I do. In other words, my aim is to do more of what I do best, becoming more of a specialist and hopefully winning more awards for my work.

Advice to other rising stars:

Do the thing that frightens you. Freelancers are underestimated by both themselves and their clients, I think. I work alongside a number of people who I’ve picked up along the way and who I think are the best I’ve met: we’re specialising in what we do best, and that’s worth a lot. So just do it!

Quote from the boss:

I’m the boss. I’ve far too much drive and independence to work within the confines of a company for long, so I had to set up my own.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here