nDash writer Deborah Huso is an internationally published, award-winning journalist and book author with more than two decades of experience in media. She is also a founding partner of WWM, an elite content marketing and strategic communications firm. Her work has appeared in U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, BBC, and HousingWire. Read on for her thoughts on freelancing, travel, perfectionism, and experience:
nDash: What excites you about freelancing?
Deborah Huso: Being a freelance writer was my goal from an early age–age 6, to be precise. I’ve been writing as an independent contractor for more than 20 years now. I love the opportunity it provides to work in a wide array of markets with different clients every day. There’s rarely a dull moment, as the work is always shifting. That being said, I have some clients I’ve retained for more than 15 years.
nDash: What subject areas are you passionate about?
Deborah: I’m probably most passionate about travel, as I’m definitely a globetrotter, having traversed every continent except Antarctica (but it’s on the list!). And while I do travel writing occasionally, most of my paid work is in construction, real estate, finance, and food and agriculture. As the granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of a builder, I honestly haven’t strayed very far from my roots when it comes to writing.
nDash: What’s your best piece of advice for new freelancers?
Deborah: Don’t let desperation incline you to take low to no pay for your work. Not only will you be placing yourself in a financial rut where you’re routinely earning pennies for your work, but you’ll also be hurting your fellow freelancers who are trying to make a living wage. When companies think writers are a dime a dozen, it hurts us all. Solid companies who value skill and experience will pay you what you are worth…and they’ll keep coming back for more.
nDash: What sets you apart from other writers?
Deborah: Perfectionism and expertise are often little-understood market sectors (like ag, finance, construction, and even freight rail). I always turn in well-researched, clean copy on time every time. That’s what brings clients back. Once you’ve worked with a writer who cares deeply about excellence, it’s hard not to hire him or her again and again.
nDash: What’s your favorite weekend activity in your area?
Deborah: Hiking. I live adjacent to two national parks and numerous national forests, so exploring mountain trails is my go-to for disconnecting from work and the responsibilities of everyday life.
nDash: How did you get into freelance writing?
Deborah: I wanted to write from a very young age and started working in newspapers almost right out of grad school. I soaked up as much experience as I could, then moving into corporate communications for a Fortune 500 company and finally working as a copywriter for an ad agency. After seeing multiple sides of the world of communications, I decided to take a leap of faith and go out on my own. That was almost 20 years ago, and I’m still here!
What makes a great client?
Deborah: Organization, communication, and professionalism–pretty much the same things that make a good writer. I always make room in my schedule for clients who consistently provide clear creative briefs, are professional in their dealings, and stay on top of needed feedback and deadlines.