Hi, my name is Jay; nice to meet you. I guess this will serve as my first blog post on freelancejay.com. I’ll start with why I’m here, and maybe it will take some time, or perhaps it won’t, but we will just have to wait and see where it goes.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer of some sort. I was an English major in college, and I would always get the question, “what are you going to do, teach?” I honestly didn’t have an answer or any idea what I wanted to do; I romanticized all kinds of things like being a novelist or an actor or something in the arts; however, that never seemed practical. My practical mind told me that I would have to get a regular job, but I wasn’t even sure what an English major did as a regular job. So, I did what many people do, and I worked in restaurants and bars through college and beyond. I would write or journal on and off, but I could never make it a consistent enough habit.
I loved working in bars. I met so many interesting people. It taught me valuable lessons about the kind of person I wanted to be; it gave me an interesting perspective on humanity, kindness, and how people should treat others. The best thing that came out of my time in the bar industry was my wife. Throughout the time we spent dating, it was always in the back of my mind that I had to get out of the bar business, but it seemed like such a hard thing to do (it was). I was making good money, I was able to hang out with people I enjoyed, and it was exciting.
Moving forward, I did get out of the bars, and I took a job selling radio advertising (I had to wear a suit, which was a drastic uniform change from shorts and a t-shirt). A cutthroat industry, to say the least. It was a crash course in sales and marketing, but I really developed a love for helping other people grow their business. I had several clients that I wrote 30 and 60-second radio spots for, and my favorites were always the small business owners who would see an immediate impact from our efforts. The excited calls where they would share that sales increased by x% and that people were telling them that they ‘heard them on the radio.’ That was a good feeling, and it validated my love of and ability to write.
Around this time, my wife and I found out that we were expecting, and we were so excited. I was incredibly nervous, the radio business was great, and I built a solid clientele; however, it was all commission and volatile month to month. I started to panic about not having a reliable enough job and wondered if I should start looking elsewhere, and then boom, a stroke of luck.
One of the prospective clients (a college) that I had been communicating with for a couple of months was finally moving to town to open a new campus. He agreed to meet with me but kept pushing the date back and rescheduling. I started to think I should move on, but I was persistent, and finally, we set a time to meet. I showed up on campus.
As I delivered my pitch and the marketing plan I had in mind for him, he asked me questions like, “do you have a bachelor’s degree” and “how do you like the radio business?” I answered and thought maybe this is just how he liked to do business, but as we reached the end of my pitch, he asked another question, “have you ever thought about recruiting or admissions?” The answer to that question was no, but the upside to me was a consistent, steady paycheck and the opportunity to help people pursue a college degree.
It’s been seven-plus years since I first sat there on campus with my radio pitch, and in that time, my wife and I had our first daughter, our second daughter, and then our third. In that time, I have written a variety of things for the college, including recruitment emails, content for direct mail and radio ads, marketing pitches, etc. I have grown a lot, both personally and professionally. And, as I sit here today in front of my computer at home (because we are no longer on campus, see covid), I type this post ready for the next challenge. Call it the next opportunity to help people. I love watching students graduate and the feeling of a student committing to the college because of their interaction with my team or me. I especially love managing my team and the intricacies of motivating people to perform at their best; however, I miss that feeling I got when someone could grow their business because of something we created together.
So, I guess that’s it. That is why I’m here. I want to use my passion for writing to help your business grow. I want to use my writing skills and experience to collaborate with people and to evolve. And, now that you know a little bit more about me, maybe we could work together. Blog post one complete.