Today I want you to meet someone from across the pond: Whitney from Wit & Travesty. She’s a writer and editor who shares a lot of goodness on Instagram, the online venue where we met.
How did you decide to start your creative business?
I majored in English and editing nearly a decade ago—at the time, I thought that I could use my skills to increase my author platform. I realized that editing would help me sharpen my skills and be an additional source of income. As a part of my editing minor, I learned about how to set up a freelance business; I took what I learned and built my business, Wit & Travesty LLC, from there.
When did you come up with the idea? How was it first received in your environment?
When I first proposed my freelance services, people thought it was “cute.” I was fresh out of college, so people saw it as a fun little opportunity to make some cash. People around me didn’t know much about the publishing industry and barely thought that my new SEO job was real. Content creation didn’t make sense to a lot of people. But I went after work that fascinated me, challenged me, and enriched me. I’ve always wanted to love what I do and do what I love. So here I am!
Who are your big inspirations/ influencers in life?
I’m not thinking of any person in particular but I am inspired by the indie authors I met in 2014. I watched them sell their books, build community, and totally rock it. They answered my questions about book publishing and freelancing even though they are technically my “competition.” One author shared how she calculates fees or creates invoices. This inspired me to take care of my business but still be a resource for others who want to break into the industry.
What would you say is the top challenge for warm-hearted and so inspiring creatives like you in this economic environment?
It can often feel icky to charge our worth and talk money when conversing with potential clients. It’s even trickier if it’s someone we know! I decided to put my rates online so my potential clients could see my rates and calculate them before even approaching me. I feel less awkward about money this way.
What obstacles have made you grow with your business a lot?
My major obstacle is finding clients who can afford my bigger services; a lot of authors can’t always afford to pay for editing services in one go. Building a following or finding repeat clients can be difficult, especially because I believe in the “slow and steady” way to success. This obstacle has still been a source of growth because it helped me view marketing or outreach as an experiment. Which platforms work for me? How do I work smarter, not harder? I’m finally at the point where strangers find my work and decide to work with me; it’s a great feeling that all this effort is translating into success.
What inspirational words would you say to someone who would like to follow in your steps?
Sometimes it feels like we don’t stand out enough or we aren’t “the best” in our industry. Trust me—with time, experience, and determination, you will eventually reach a point where you believe it when you call yourself an “expert.” It took me some time but I now believe that I specifically add value to the industry, and I’m more confident that I can help authors reach their goals.
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