Jana Poncarova is a Creative Writer from Plzen, Czech Republic.
You can find her here:
Websites: www.janaponcarova.cz, www.psaniclanku.cz, www.sidimedia.cz
- Hi Jana, tell me who you are and what do you do as a freelancer?
I am a creative writer, coffee lover and gardener. I love stories, freedom, veggies and fresh air in the forest.
- How long have you been working as a freelancer now?
Time goes so fast. It has been 5 years. And I still love it.
- Why did you decide to become a freelancer? Did you think about it for a long time or did your decision come suddenly?
I lost my job. My director called me one Sunday afternoon and she told me that the investors had decided to stop the project. And I said to myself: I want to have things under my control.
- What is your competitive advantage, which makes your clients hire you?
I am crazy about reliability and responsibility. I deliver my writings exactly on time. I am engaged in every single project and I love the energy that is sparkling around. It helps me to work with enthusiasm.
- Are there a lot of freelancers in your business?
I do not know the exact number. But yes, our professional community is growing which is good. It forces us all to work harder and write better.
- What do your clients expect from you?
Creativity. Reliability. Novelty. It is not easy but it is worthwhile.
- Who are your typical clients?
I write texts for websites, e-shops, newsletters, magazines etc. My clients are local companies, start-ups as well as international companies.
- How has your business changed over time?
Thanks God it has changed. I remember a time when copywriting was mostly about key words and writing texts for “robots”. We have more space for creativity now.
- How did you gain your first customers?
When I was looking for a new job, I answered a job advertisement and it happened to be for a part-time writer and then editor-in-chief for an on-line magazine. Then I answered another advertisement and another. I created my own websites and it helped me to build my name.
- John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?
I agree with John Wanamaker. I do not spend much money on advertising. Recommendation is the best publicity you can have. It takes time but it works best.
- The best marketing move, you’ve done?
I do not think there is some huge marketing move I have done. It is daily hard work, step by step. I write blogs, publish e-books, and organize “copy coffee” meetings, train people how to write. These are important parts of my marketing.
- Do you hire outsourcing service providers for services, which you believe are a waste of your time?
From time to time I ask other professionals to join the project. I am blessed to have great people around me – webmasters, graphic designers and others. How did I meet them? It was lucky coincidence but I believe you must set out to this lucky coincidence.
- How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working?
I wake up at 6 a.m. do my yoga… No. This is what I wish 🙂 I start my work at 8 a.m. with a mug of coffee (there is something inspiring about the smell of coffee). I write, the best time for me is in the morning because my brain is still fresh. After lunch I do some editing work and answer e-mails. The other days I meet my clients or do interviews for magazines. There are only 2 or 3 days in a month I can take a photo from café to show on Facebook how cool it is work as freelancer 🙂
- Which books would you recommend to freelancers?
Thank you for that question! I am reading a book “Na volné noze” by Robert Vlach now which is the first book written in Czech for freelancers. I hugely recommend it, and I wish I could have gotten it before I happened to be freelancer.
- What is your current inspiration that drives you in the business?
Text is what inspires me, sparks that I see in the streets, cafés and parks, energy that circulates around every single new project.
- What would you advise someone who has an idea, but no money?
Start and do it. Create websites or tell your idea to your friends. You never know when an opportunity (money) will come. But opportunity cannot come when you do not take your first step.
- What was the best business advice you received?
Do not wait. Do it.
- What do you often dream about when you’re not working?
About my book being published. I am writing a novel now.
- The place where you find your peace?
It is a forest full of fresh air and my garden.
- Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?
Well, I am not that type that is crazy about apps. Sorry. I use my phone to answer e-mails, text and call my friends and clients.
- What do you do in your free time?
I do yoga once a week. Not early morning but after work 🙂 I love gardening, writing stories, reading, having coffee and beer with friends.
- Your last vacation?
I spent a few wonderful days in Berlin last summer. And I am planning two months in the USA this fall. But it will be work and travel journey. I am taking my laptop with me and I am looking for places with Wi-Fi.
- Business plans for the future?
Make my clients happy and help them to extend their business. It will help to grow my business too.
- Your plans for the future?
Write stories. Travel a lot. Taste yummy food. Meet wonderful people. Enjoy life 🙂