/  2024   /  Quick chat with Carrie Hutchinson

Quick chat with Carrie Hutchinson

You’ve been a freelance writer for many years. What do you love about what you do?
Every day is different. Sometimes I’m writing content for a tourism board then I might spend a couple of weeks overseas, researching travel stories.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Working at Vogue and Wallpaper* in the UK where I learned so much. Editing National Geographic Traveller for a few issues. As a ghostwriter, helping a lot of different people get their stories published. Travelling to all corners of the globe and getting to tell other people about it. But, funnily enough, it’s the little things that are the most fulfilling. Last week, a friend from high school told me her mum had cut out a piece I’d written on Penang almost 10 years ago and they’d just taken it on their trip there. I lose things I cut out of the paper last week!

We know you have dipped in and out of freelancing, occasionally working inhouse. What do you enjoy about freelancing?
There’s no ‘the man’. You’re ‘the man’. You make up your own rules about when you have to sit at the desk. Most bosses aren’t great about you starting work at 11am, taking an afternoon break to watch Below Deck, then doing some more work later in the evening. But this boss says, ‘Carrie, if that’s what makes you happy…’

What skills do you think are the most important for freelancers to acquire?
It’s important to keep learning all sorts of new skills. You might not be a world expert on SEO, Canva, AdWords or WordPress, but if you can do the basics you’ll be able to take on more and different types of work. But you’ll also need to grow a tough exterior because although there’s plenty of work out there, you’ll get told no a lot of times.

You were a speaker at last year’s Summit. What was that experience like and did it have an impact on your career and how you do things?

It was such a great experience. I’d never presented at a conference before and, although the lead-up was completely nerve-wracking, it was so good for my self-esteem because I got through it unharmed and embarrassment-free, plus the response was positive – people said they got some useful information they could use in their work life. Hooray! That’s all I’d hoped for, really. That, along with some of what I picked up from other speakers, has given me the confidence to push back when I have to, say no when I want to and go after jobs that perhaps I wouldn’t have in the past. Can’t wait for this year!

Why do you think the Summit is important for freelancers?
First of all, it’s a great way to meet your workmates. We often ‘chat’ on Facebook groups but freelancing can be very lonely, so it’s great to put faces to names and find the people you think you’d like to have coffee with occasionally.

Apart from that social aspect, you are also going to pick up more valuable tips on finding good, consistent, well-paid work than you’ll ever be able to action. Everyone attending or speaking might be a freelance writer of some sort, but we all have different backgrounds and ways of doing things. I can almost guarantee that, during the course of the weekend, you’ll have a lightbulb moment about how you currently run your business and how you could do it better.

The conference theme is all about futureproofing your career. What steps are you taking to futureproof your own?
Looking for a broader base of clients, both in the corporate and publishing worlds. That way, if work drops off in one spot, you’ve got back-up until you fill that gap.

Do you think the future is exciting for freelancers, and if so, why?
Absolutely. You can pivot, learn new skills, take on new clients, crack a different niche…

If you’re good at your job, meet deadlines and are great to deal with, you’ll always find work.

What are you most looking forward to at the Summit?
I cannot wait to hit Bar 83 at Sydney Tower on Thursday night, of course. But I’m also keen to hear Brooke Hill and Sara Howard talk about growing your business beyond a solo operation. At times, I’ve wanted to do it, but I’ve always worried about the admin.

Carrie is a panelist on Day 1. The panel topic is: How to find corporate and B2B content work

Find out more about Carrie on her profile page or via her website.

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