Meet Alicia Kacar from Type A CopyWriting
Tell us about your business
I’m a freelance copywriter and communications queen, and my business is Type A Copywriting.
As a copywriter, it’s my job to make your business sound better. I write websites, brochures, books, and blogs that showcase your business in the best possible light and help you connect with your ideal customers. I also write internal documents, like corporate reports, company policies and newsletters.
Most of my clients are small businesses, agencies and entrepreneurs, but I’ve also worked for big brands and organisations, including Australian Government, Burbank Homes and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
I’m a total word nerd, and I love being the ‘voice’ behind so many amazing businesses.
Why and when did you start your own business?
I started Type A Copywriting as a side hustle in 2016. After 15 years working in marketing/PR and corporate communications, I was desperate to do my own thing.
Despite getting a steady stream of customers from the get-go, I kept resisting the urge to take my business full-time. The idea of giving up a great salary and job stability was scary… Then I got made redundant. So much for ‘job stability’!
I took the redundancy as one of many signs from the universe and went full-time freelance in May 2017. Since then, I haven’t looked back. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!
What does being a business owner mean to you?
Being a business owner means total freedom. As a freelance copywriter, I decide how hard I want to work, who I want to work with, and the type of work I want to do.
Ironically, I’ve never worked harder – but I’ve also never been happier. The lines between work and fun are seriously blurred for me, and I think that’s a good thing. That’s when you know you’re in the right field.
I also love the freedom to be exactly who I am as a business owner. I don’t have to squeeze myself into a corporate mould or conform to someone else’s way of doing things. I am unapologetically me – and that’s what helps me attract my ideal customers.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
At the risk of sounding like a hopeless romantic, I’d have to say, my husband. He’s the one who really encouraged me to start Type A Copywriting – and gave me the permission I needed to let go of my old corporate life. He works full-time as a manager for a transport company, but he even offered to drive an Uber part-time if the copywriting gig didn’t work out. Thankfully it hasn’t come to that!
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I could roll off a list of professional achievements from my time in the corporate world. Awards, promotions, successful marketing campaigns, nominations for this and that. However, as a new business owner, one thing I’m super proud of is building my own website.
I love learning new things, but building an entire website with no prior experience took ‘learning’ to a whole new level.
It was a time-consuming project – and there were a few meltdowns along the way – but I’m so glad I invested the time. And I’m wrapped with the result! Check me out at www.typeacopywriting.com.au
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Get your processes in place. I have processes for everything from how I deal with late payments to how I handle revisions.
When you first start out in business, it’s tempting to fly by the seat of your pants, but taking the time to set up your processes will save you time and stress in the long term.
It also shows your clients know you’re professional, and ensures your both on the same page when you start working together.
Another tip, if you’re a freelancer, is to set up some standard templates. These might be email templates for initial enquiries or Word documents for proposals.
If you work solo, you don’t have time to craft a life-changing email for every website enquiry you receive. Create a template you can customise quickly and save your time and energy for the real work.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Most of my work comes from referrals, which is an ideal scenario as a copywriter. When people love what I do, they pass it on – and I’ve been lucky to connect with some wonderful clients that refer me within their networks.
I’m also a big fan of testimonials, and I think every business owner should be. I’ve made it easy for clients to give me testimonials by creating a ‘tick the box’ template, with space for comments.
Finally, I believe in the power of blogging. Blogging is a way for me to share great content with my audience, show off my writing skills, and give potential clients an insight into my personality. It’s great for SEO too.
What is one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I’m still new, and I’m still learning, but listening to my gut has served me well so far. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably wrong – no matter how good it looks on paper.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
Your Web Toolkit is a free resource that helped me enormously in building my WordPress website. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to DIY their website.
As far as inspo goes, I’m a bit of a podcast junkie. I listen to loads of business podcasts including The Pitch, Starving Artist, The Hot Copy Podcast, How We Built This, and, of course, the WBS podcast.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
In my former corporate life, it used to be shopping – but I’ve saved a fortune on shoes since I started working from home.
These days, I like to keep things simple. I enjoy hitting the gym, cooking, reading and hanging with my hubby and my two cats – Solo and Scribe. I’ve recently started yoga too, which has been a game-changer for a typical Type A personality like me.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful woman in business?
Drive, resilience, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. Plus, you need to REALLY love what you do. Running your own business can be life-consuming, so make sure your life is consumed by something that makes you happy.
What fears have you faced in business? Have you overcome it/them? How do you manage fear?
Public speaking and networking is probably the biggest one for me. Like most writers, I’m a bit of an introvert. I feel much more confident on the page than I do in person, but I also understand the importance of ‘putting myself out there’ – and it’s something I want to do more of.
Joining WBS is a big step towards building my network and meeting more people in person. I’m really looking forward to connecting with some amazing like-minded women.
I’ve also agreed to speak at an event in October this year. I’ll be presenting to a group of around 30 women, talking about personal branding and profile writing. When I was approached, my initial reaction was to scream ‘Nooooo’, but I knew deep down I’d kick myself if I didn’t take the opportunity.
I feel there is a great public speaker inside me somewhere, I just need to coax her out.
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2017?
1. Attend at least one networking event per month
2. Start using video as a marketing tool (I‘m camera shy – but I’m getting over it!)
3. Create a high-value opt-in for my website
4. Add SEO consulting to my suite of services
5. Continue writing amazing copy for my clients
What makes you happy?
A killer outfit, a perfectly punctuated sentence, and Harvey Specter from Suits.
Have you had to make any sacrifices whilst running your business? If so, what are they?
The security of full-time job and those ‘Friday feels’. Life as a freelancer is very much ‘feast or famine’ – and when you work from home, you tend to work around the clock. Friday 5 pm doesn’t have quite the same vibe these days… but neither does 9 am Monday. It all balances out.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 2-5 years?
I’ll still be a copywriter, but I plan to diversify my business to include writing courses, workshops, templates and books. There’s only one of me – and I never plan to subcontract – so there’s only so much copy I can write!
By offering writing workshops and courses, I’ll be able to help more small businesses connect with their customers through words. I’d also like to help other copywriters and pass on a few of the lessons I’ve learnt from running my own business.
What book has inspired you the most?
I love ALL the books. I actually set myself a challenge to read 52 books this year – that’s one each week. I’m currently up to 24, so I’m on track. Sort of.
Business-wise, my favourite book is Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur by Kate Toon. It’s a refreshing take on what entrepreneurship really looks like – and it’s not all impossibly white teeth and four-hour work weeks!
I’ve just finished reading The Barefoot Investor too. I’m a bit late to the party, but I really enjoyed it. The strategies make sense, it’s a fun read (rare for a finance book), and I plan to start implementing the recommendations in the very near future.
How do you measure your success in business?
With copywriting, the ROI isn’t always easy to measure. I look at things like leads and conversions from website copy, or the number of times a blog post has been viewed or shared. However, the real benefit of great writing comes from making a connection with the reader – building trust and rapport – and results from that may come days, weeks or months down the track.
For that reason, I pay most attention to customer satisfaction, referrals and number of enquiries. If my clients are happy, I’m happy.
Where is your dream destination to go for a holiday and why?
Japan was my dream destination and I ticked that off the bucket list in 2015. I’m heading to Hawaii in November this year, which I’m really excited about. We planned to go several years ago, but my husband broke his leg four days before we were due to leave. Hopefully, we make it this time. Touch wood!
What is your favourite inspirational quote you would like to share with other WBS members?
‘Success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not’ – Eminem. Is that too much?!?
What are your top 5 business tips?
- Always write for your audience first. It’s about them, not you.
- Ask yourself: ‘What am I really selling?’ Hint: it’s not your actual goods or service.
- Be consistent. This applies to everything from your branding to your tone-of-voice – and, of course, the quality of your work.
- You can do anything, but not everything. Outsource the non-essential elements of your business, and find experts to help with tech, bookkeeping and other scary tasks.
- Be yourself, even if you’re an absolute weirdo. ESPECIALLY if you’re an absolute weirdo. That’s what will set you apart from competitors.
Why did you become a WBS Member?
I’d been looking for a local networking group for some time, and WBS seemed like a good fit. When I heard Cazz say in one of the podcasts episodes, ‘Don’t bother joining WBS unless you’re a bit crazy’, I knew I’d found my people.
Connect with Alicia