How to run a copywriting business

in Musings

I started my business, Pippin Copywriting Ltd, on 1 June 2012 so it’s about this time of year I look back at how far I’ve come.

This year, I’ve been thinking about all the tools and widgets I use to run my business as efficiently and effectively as I can.

So here’s the lowdown on everything that holds Pippin Copywriting together…

Accounting and banking

I do all my accounting in Xero. It’s brilliant. When I started the business I tracked invoices and expenditure on two separate Excel spreadsheets so any kind of analysis was basically impossible. With Xero, I can track everything I need to and access any kind of report I want.

I keep track of expenses with AutoEntry – you email or upload invoices to it and it automatically populates an expense line for Xero. Receipts for parking, coffee etc can simply be photographed using the app and this automatically populates an expense line for Xero too, which is very handy.

I track my mileage with MileIQ, which creates a mileage spreadsheet at the end of each month. I upload this to Xero and arrange to reimburse myself the relevant amount. I love not having to calculate mileage using Google Maps at the end of each month!

I pay the subscription costs for Xero and AutoEntry via my accountant (the brilliant Greendawn Accounting Ltd). MileIQ comes as part of my Office 365 subscription (more on this later).

I bank with TSB Bank plc. It’s been a pretty turbulent couple of years and the online banking is still a bit glitchy, especially at month end when everyone’s trying to access it. But everyone I’ve ever spoken to, whether on the phone or in a branch, has always been really good, honest, helpful and friendly, so it’s worth staying with them for that.

I have Stripe so people can buy courses on my website or pay their invoices by credit card if they want.

Administration

I’ve got a Microsoft Office 365 subscription so I’ve always got the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc.

I have interviews transcribed using Rev.

I store my files on iCloud so it’s easy to access them on my phone, iPad or laptop.

When I need to share files with clients I use Dropbox or WeTransfer.

Business and professional development

I’m a member of ProCopywriters, the alliance of commercial writers and it’s a really supportive network. There’s a really great annual conference and its annual survey into the profession is very valuable.

I up my copywriting and business skills with The 10x Freelance Copywriter.

I subscribe to The Economist. I really value the in-depth insights it gives me and it’s maintaining an informed up-to-date overview of what’s going on in the world and business.

Marketing tools

I send my monthly newsletter using ActiveCampaign. I also use it for the email automation sequences on my website.

Speaking of which, my website is hosted and managed by the excellent Rather Inventive. It’s built on  WordPress and uses WooCommerce.

When I need photos to liven up blogs I source them from one of these:

And when I need new photos of me, I go to the amazing Andy Hockridge at Imagemaker Studios.

Finally, my logo and branding is by Reeves Design.

What have I missed?

That’s it – that’s how Pippin runs. How many of these tools do you use? And what nifty ones am I missing? Let me know on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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