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Daily Inspiration: Meet Carrie Cochran

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carrie Cochran.

Hi Carrie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 7 years old. I spent countless hours of my elementary-year summers hunched over our old word processor, writing little stories that I was so proud of. But back then, no one thought of writing as a career. If you got lucky and sold a novel or became a journalist it was doable. But it wasn’t a realistic goal for me.

However, my love of writing continued and grew throughout high school, and I was motivated even more after winning several state and regional writing competitions through my school. For a short time, I truly believed that I could make something of myself as a writer. But when the time came to go to college, that dream was cut off.

Due to my dad losing his job right before my junior year of high school, I found out that I couldn’t afford to go to a college with a writing program. We had moved for his work my senior year, and he had taken on a job at a tiny, religious college in a small country town that only offered a couple of degrees for girls. It was not what I wanted, but my tuition was free, thanks to my dad’s new job. So with no other options, I settled for a 2-year degree in church secretarial.

After graduation, I worked as a secretary for three years, saving as much money as possible for what I thought would be a house downpayment. But in the early spring of 2016, I realized that I had had enough of answering phones and entering data. My favorite parts of each day were writing the email flows that encouraged people to become clients. (I didn’t even know yet that that was copywriting!).

So at 23 years old, I decided that I would go back to college and pay my own way through. If I crammed 18-20 credits into each semester, I could finish in two and a half years with the credits that transferred from my old college.

I started college again in the fall of 2016 and immediately fell in love with the writing program. I learned so much about the different writing avenues and how I could turn them into a viable career–just maybe not as a novelist. Two specific paths came particularly easy to me: editing and copywriting. I was optimistic that I could pursue those two aspects and on my own terms–because I was not going back to an office again and working for someone else. I graduated in the December of 2018 with straight A’s and so much excitement for what was ahead.

After getting married just a month later, I “started” my business as a freelance editor. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I knew how to write, but I didn’t know how to run a business–yet. I spent the last nine months of 2019 learning the ins and outs of running a freelance business and getting my certification as an AWAI copywriter.

Once I had that business knowledge, things quickly picked up for me, and I have been blessed to see substantial growth over the past two years. I owe a lot to the copywriting team at AWAI for spreading their knowledge of copywriting with me and helping to make my dream a reality.

I now work as a contractor for several companies and have quite a few clients that I can call my own. And the best part is, I know there’s still room to go. There’s not as much of a “glass ceiling” in freelance work as there is in the standard office, and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been smooth. My first big obstacle was the inability to go to a college that trained me how to write due to finances. After that, it was believing in myself enough to quit my job and pursue a new degree at the age that most people are finishing theirs. Finally, I was faced with my lack of business knowledge that kept me from knowing how to find clients.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a freelance editor and copywriter. On the editing side, I check books, blogs, lessons, etc., for everything from proofreading to developing plot lines. But copywriting takes up most of my time, and I love creating marketing copy for my clients. I write blogs, website copy, lead magnets, emails, and occasionally ads.

I specialize in helping travel companies and Christian-based organizations because those are what I’m the most familiar with. I offer special discounts for companies/ministries with a faith-based emphasis because I know from my childhood that ministry work isn’t always lucrative. Aside from those two categories, I frequently work with clients who sell everything from dog-training programs to designer bags.

I also run a travel blog called The Mandala Traveler. It’s been fun to see that grow over the past couple of years, and I love working with hotels/travel brands/etc., to discover new experiences and fun gear to feature on my posts and social media.

The thing I’m proudest of is that around 96% of my clients accept my first drafts with no changes. I love finding the perfect words to embody their brand voice, and nothing makes me happier than a client falling in love with the very first draft.

What sets me apart is my attention to detail and desire for perfection (both a blessing and a curse). I say that because, in college, one of my professors told me that I had about the same raw talent as several of the other top students, but those two qualities made my work stand out.

It’s what drove me to make straight A’s even with a full credit load each semester, and I believe that’s what helps me in my business. I may not be inherently more talented than the next copywriter, but I always give 100% to make sure my clients are happy and that I’m constantly improving myself.

What makes you happy?
As far as business, I get so excited when a client tells me that I nailed a project or that they loved my work so much that they’re referring me to a friend. I can’t ask for higher praise than that, and it satisfies that annoying perfectionist nature inside me.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband, who is my best friend. We go on all sorts of adventures together for my travel blog and make so many incredible memories. It makes me happy just to be living our fullest life together and keeping smiles on our faces.

Last but not least, my corgi pup, Atlas, is an (almost) constant source of laughs and snuggles. As long as he’s not eating my shoes, he makes me pretty happy, too.

Pricing:

  • Website Copy/blogs $.20 per word
  • Christian web copy/blogs $.10 per word
  • Emails $35 each
  • Christian emails $20 each
  • Copy Editing $.02 per word

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Daniel Cochran

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