2020 was a busy year for me.
And when we went into lockdown for the first time, things got even busier.
Clients used their enforced time out to crack on with marketing and they wanted updates, website re-writes and case studies. Changes to people’s employment and the introduction of the furlough scheme meant that things were changing daily in the financial world.
Mortgage payment holidays and temporary lending policy changes were introduced. Physical valuations of properties for mortgages were stopped – e-valuations were introduced, but with strict rules governing lending policy and affordability. Interest rates were reduced, and then reduced again within the same month.
There were changes to physical locations like branches – most were closed completely to start with, then opened again with reduced hours and strict rules on customer numbers and social distancing.
Customer service centre hours were also reduced while financial institutions arranged for their Helpdesk staff to work from home.
All of these changes had to be communicated quickly and comprehensively
I had two weekends off in about three months which isn’t unusual. When you’re a freelancer, you do the work when the work is there for fear of there being nothing around the corner. It’s just something you deal with. But in COVID times, it didn’t escape my attention that I was one of the lucky ones. I was still working – and busier than ever.
So here’s a little glance at the kind of work I do…..
The personal coach
For a personal coach client, we wrote case studies, blogs and posts for LinkedIn. She’d been using Zoom for coaching sessions for a while anyway, but now it was even more relevant. It also opened up some barriers for her – she could easily see clients all over the country.
“I’m very excited about this. I really like your approach. And I’m thrilled that it gets across some key messages that I’d like us to develop for the website.”
A client who’s a skin care expert and a metabolic nutrition coach wanted website copy, blogs and sales pages. She’d started a separate business on Etsy and needed product descriptions – and she also asked me to write some sales copy to promote a book.
I wrote both her websites and interviewed around ten of her clients, writing up case studies for her, both for her non-invasive skin care treatments and her nutrition advice and metabolic diet plan.
A lovely gentleman approached me a couple of years ago. He was in his eighties and had written a preliminary draft of a book which he wanted me to proofread. I gave him some initial feedback and he went away to carry on working on it.
Last year, he came back to me with a much more finished version and I proofread it for him. The concept is (in his words), that “an angry chimp is not mimicking human behaviour, an angry human is mimicking a chimp’s behaviour”.
Very interesting, very technical and very detailed. I wish him all the very best as he self-publishes.
The children’s project
Having written the first lot of adventures in 2015 and subsequently orchestrated their journey through space, I was asked to write Geo and Atlas’s further adventures in another seven countries in 2020.
The countries they visited this time in Geo Journey were: Austria, Canada, Iceland, India, Mexico, Scotland and Thailand.
They went dog sledding in Banff, visited the Halstatt salt mines in Austria, rode on a rickshaw and met a Bengal tiger in India, and danced the Hat Dance in Mexico. What fun! I love these characters and it was a real treat to be able to write for them again.
The wedding photographer
As you can imagine, all weddings were cancelled during lockdown and then severely restricted. The wedding photographer stepped up his marketing activity and asked me to write a series of case studies about weddings he’d covered.
These were fun – and some were so imaginative!
Guests staying in tents and doing a yoga class on the morning of the big day, a wedding present of a cow from the bride to the groom (don’t get sentimental – it’ll be eaten on their first anniversary).
Puppies that weed everywhere, caber tossing and tractors, chief bridesmaids rapping and three wedding receptions in one day – one Persian, one Hindu and one English.
Horse-drawn carriages and helicopters, Bhangra dancing, zip wires, caterpillar cakes and axe-throwing.
‘Trash the dress’ parties, tree climbing, smoke bombs, breast-feeding, owls bearing rings – and lots of tears.
They were a joy to write.
“Wow! This is the best blog I’ve ever read. It’s totally how I wanted it. So incredible – couples can totally feel the day.”
“You have a way of creating stories that bring back such great memories.”
It was an odd year for all of us, but a very interesting year for me when it came to work. It was always varied, often fascinating, and sometimes a little bit crazy.