ikano 1 - Ikano Bank 01

Ikano Bank 01

ikano 1 960a4fc7ea62075e294ef17dfb0cdf7e - Ikano Bank 01


This new bank wanted content to help start an online conversation around people’s relationship with money


The blog was written from personal experience and is an irreverent commentary on the risks and rewards of going freelance

What the client said: >

Sample copy

From 9-to-5er to pen for hire

What I’ve learnt from becoming a freelance copywriter

If you had to interview before going freelance it might run something like this:

‘You’ve got the job. But we can’t pay you. The workload is…unpredictable; a fourteen hour day will be followed by 2 weeks emptier than the Gobi desert. There’s no sick or holiday pay and no pension. Take the desk in-between the toaster and the kettle. You’re on your own.’

This scenario illustrates some realities of being your own boss. But in my experience, nearly 1 year in, the benefits far outweigh the risks. By following my dream and becoming a copywriter I’ve joined the ranks of more than 1.5m people in the UK who class themselves as freelance. I’ve sacrificed job security and subsided canteen slop, but gained creative fulfilment and control of my career. My work life balance is healthier than ever and my relationship with money has changed dramatically for the better.

A freelance copywriter pays his dues

My monthly pay cheque bred complacency; easy come, easy go and the wheels of drudgery kept turning. Now every pound is hard won and paid invoices land in my account like manna from heaven. Understanding the value of money, and my ability to earn it, is an important motivator as I teeter on the cusp of an exciting life stage. I’ve ticked the mortgage box (secured before leaving my job – banks don’t like lending to the newly self-employed) and soon my girlfriend and I want to try for kids. In my romantic vision of the writer’s life I stand at the edge of a boiling sea pondering big questions, like:

‘Can I afford Pampers or should I go own brand?’

Perhaps an ensemble of knotted dishcloths will do. I expected, optimistically, my earnings to soon equal my previous salary. Wrong. There were plenty of copywriters doing a good job before I lobbed my pen in the ring; why should anyone hire me? So, I knuckled down to endure regular rejection and months of unpaid work. When morale was low I took inspiration from the words of Benjamin Franklin:

‘Energy and persistence conquer all things.’

I persisted because the responsibility of providing my unborn child with appropriate underwear is not one I take lightly.

Going rogue is a gamble but the rewards are great; finding and owning your sense of purpose is a huge boost to happiness. Thinking about becoming freelance? Do it. You can never be prepared enough and you might spend your whole life waiting for the right moment. But remember…

Be ambitious – it’s all on you so you have to give 100%.

Be realistic – your income will start low and fluctuate. You’ll need backup savings.

Get out – meet people in the same field; interaction keeps creative juices flowing and prevents conversations with plants.

Get dressed – do this first. If working from home, maintaining sartorial standards puts you in the right frame of mind and stops the neighbours talking.

Lucy Witt, Senior Consultant – Claremont Communications

We needed interesting content on people’s relationship with money for the new website of our client, Ikano Bank. Olly produced a set of high quality articles and really understood what we were trying to achieve – i.e. start an online conversation around everyday financial topics. The tone of his articles was spot on – approachable, jargon free and honest, with just the right amount of humour.

Olly provided a considered and professional service. He asked lots of questions upfront, which was reassuring because it meant he was taking time to understand the brief. His delivery was prompt and he helped to promote our website by sharing his articles across his own social media platforms. He’s a reliable supplier, no nonsense (he just gets it) and fun to work with.