Rachael Kraft realized early in her teaching career that it wasn’t the best fit for her mobile lifestyle. She waded into Barefoot Writing through the back door of research, and then gradually added new skills to her freelancer’s arsenal. Now, as she says herself, “Every day is different.” Find out why…
What did you do before you were a writer?
I graduated from college with a degree in education and taught high school science for five years. My husband was in the military, and I found myself hopping around from school district to school district, trying to substitute and finish up my master’s degree. Teaching is not a good profession when you’re moving around a lot.
I heard about AWAI from my sister. She had gone through the research program and thought I would really like it. I took the Secrets of Becoming an Internet Research Specialist program in 2012, started taking clients, and really liked it. From there I found the Graphic Design Success program. I really enjoy doing graphic design. That’s how I made my transition from teaching to being a freelancer.
Do you still offer research assistance?
I phased out the research and started copywriting in 2014, almost by accident. One of my graphic design clients said to me, “I’ve got this blog. It’s not doing well. Do you think that you could start writing for it?” I had just been to my first Bootcamp in 2014 and knew enough about copywriting to give it a try. I started writing for him, first his blog, then his web content, then emails. I even did some advertorials and special reports for him.
Eventually 50 percent of my business and income was from copywriting, but I still didn’t think of myself as a copywriter. Then last year I got serious about copywriting and finally finished the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. Now I consider myself a copywriter. That’s pretty exciting!
Have you already chosen a niche?
Most of my writing is in health and lifestyle. I manage two different health- and fitness-related websites for one client, and I write for supplement companies.
At the 2018 Bootcamp I met with a former research client. I had kept in touch with him, and as I added skills to my resume, I would reach out and say, “Hey, by the way, I’m doing this now. I’d love to send you samples.” I sent him some of my copywriting samples, and he liked them enough to hire me.
That’s a great reason to stay in touch with former clients!
It’s surprising how receptive they can be. They like working with you already, they know that you are responsible and that you are going to turn things in on time. It seems like they’re willing to give you a shot at a new area.
What do you love about the writer’s life compared with your former teaching life?
I can set my own schedule and spend time with friends and family when I want to. As a teacher, I had to get up every morning and be in the school by 7 a.m., dressed and ready and energetic. Now, if something comes up, I can be flexible with my schedule.
Every day is different, and I always have something new on my plate. I can take my laptop and go lie in my hammock for the afternoon and work there, or I can take a trip or go on vacation. As long as I have my laptop, I can keep working if I want.
Has that flexibility led to some great vacations?
Yes! Halfway through my husband’s yearlong deployment in Afghanistan, he got two weeks off. We met in Hawaii, and I hadn’t seen him for a long time. We hopped around for two weeks and saw three different islands. That was a fantastic vacation!
What life lessons as a copywriter can you pass on to new members?
It’s important to learn all that you can. There are some fantastic courses and some really fantastic people that you can learn from and have as mentors. But there comes a point where you just have to go for it. You have to say, “Okay, I’ve learned it. Now it’s time to go out and get those clients and actually start doing it.”
Editor’s note: Find out more about Rachael on her website: https://kraftedonline.com.