Member Spotlight: Jillian Richardson
I'm a freelance writer who wants to inspire people and make them smile. That comes in a variety of forms, whether it's working on a funny company newsletter, a chatbot with personality, or my weekly newsletter, The Joy List. Some of my fantastical clients include Moo, Intel, Ellevest, and Time.
I also enjoy group meditations, laughing to podcasts in public, and ridiculously themed parties.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a comedy writer and brand copywriting consultant.
I was the president of my university's sketch and improv group for three years, and a member for four. I also produced a sketch TV show. In other words, comedy was my life. When I graduated, I still wasn't sick of writing jokes– so I moved to New York to get a job as a TV writer. I took most of the awesome improv and sketch classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade, went to a crazy amount of shows, and spent my nights and weekends writing with friends.
However, I quickly realized that the pressure of "making it" in the entertainment industry was not fun for me. The "aha" moment came when I was sitting across the table from an agent. She told me that she'd forward my packet to an important person– and I didn't even feel excited. A few years ago, I would've done a back flip in her office... or at least cried happy tears in the bathroom.
That's when I considered becoming a full-time freelance writer. After all, I'd made some solid money writing for The Content Strategist and The Freelancer in college. The Contently team encouraged me as a writer and helped me get professional clips at a young age.
What have you done in your career that you are most proud of?
I'm most proud of two things: 1) Believing in myself as a writer and entrepreneur. 2) Making my brand all about joy.
To be honest, I was not prepared to go full-time freelance when I left school. But I networked my butt off, got accepted into a professional writing society, and started learning what the hell a pipeline is. It feels good knowing that every job I get is because of my hustle.
For a while, I wasn't sure how to market myself. How could I possibly make myself stand out? Then I went to Camp Grounded, a summer camp for adults. I saw how "grown-ups" transform when they're allowed to find their inner child. Those weekends were the happiest I'd ever been. That's when I realized how much fun is missing from our adult lives and businesses. I decided to use my writing voice to change that.
What is Hustle Fest and what do you hope that it will accomplish?
Hustle Fest teaches you how to be a world-class thief.
Okay, just kidding. It's a career fair for freelancers. The day will be jam-packed with amazing speakers, companies looking to hire, and giveaways for people of the freelance persuasion. Even better, it's at New Women Space– a venue that encourages women to start conversations about what's important to them. (Shout out to the kick-ass co-founders, Melissa and Sandra. They're Goddesses.)
I want people walk away from Hustle Fest armed with the knowledge to treat their freelancing like a business. That means they know a little bit more about negotiating their contract, creating great content, and knowing their worth.
I also hope people will make a new friend, laugh really hard during the happy hour, and fall in love with New Women Space.
Do you have any tips for being productive?
So many! Here are a few:
- Hang out with people whose hustle you admire. I adore my friends who inspire me to be better. Once a month, we even get together and do timed work sessions. It's a little nerdy, but we have fun and get shit done.
- Put 20 or 30 minutes aside every morning for marketing. If I don't do that, it won't happen.
- Write your to-do lists the night before. That helps me set more realistic goals.
- Set monthly income goals. Know how much you need to make per day, and per week, in order to hit that number
- If you don't want to pay for a CRM service, I recommend Trello
What is your favorite thing about Croissant?
Croissant prevents me from going crazy in my own apartment. Seriously. I'm way more productive when I'm out of the house and able to talk with other human beings. It's also really nice to have a meeting in a fancy coworking space, rather than a Starbucks. I feel like it immediately gives me more credibility as a freelancer.