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Exploring Life & Business with Renee Beaman of Cedar Creek Creative

Today we’d like to introduce you to Renee Beaman.

Hi Renee, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’ve had a few different experiences to get to where I am today and never set out to be a business owner. I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and my first job out of college was at a large corporation. I was let go from that company during a round of layoffs and used that opportunity to take some classes and move to the nonprofit sector; I knew I wanted to make that shift after volunteering in animal rescue and on the board of directors for a youth conservation organization.

In one of my classes, I met a woman who was doing some consulting work for a sport-based youth summer camp. She put me in touch with the Executive Director, and I started working with him a few months later. I learned so much about messaging and nonprofits in that role because we were a very lean organization. I was doing everything from managing the website and marketing materials to writing grants and handling registrations. Over time my goals changed, and their needs changed. I loved the creative side of messaging for the organization, so I left that position to start my own copywriting and website design business.

I started my copywriting career by taking an online course and followed the steps to establish my LLC, Cedar Creek Creative. I began to market myself through Instagram and email outreach to get started with clients. I’ve been fortunate to work off of several referrals, and I love that I can choose who I work with and what projects I take on. Over time I’ve become an expert at writing in my client’s tone and style so I can deliver clear and compelling content consistent with their brand voice. A few months later, I started adding website template customization to my services when my clients needed it. Well-written copy and strategic design complement each other and can make a business stand out.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The hardest part for me was just getting started. I knew I was a good writer, and I knew that if I ran into a problem I didn’t know how to solve, I would figure it out, but having that confidence while speaking to potential clients isn’t always easy. To get passed this, I worked with a business coach to make sure my processes and communication were seamless for my clients so their experience would be simple and they’d get the results they were looking for. Now that I have some experience and am building my portfolio, it’s much easier to share those results and ask the right questions when meeting with a new client. On top of starting a business, I’m a mom of two. Like any job, finding the balance between work and family is challenging. I love the flexibility to take on as much or as little client work as I need to provide successful projects while not missing important milestones for my family.

As you know, we’re big fans of Cedar Creek Creative. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
My business is called Cedar Creek Creative, and I’m a freelance copywriter for sustainability and wellness brands and nonprofits. I love working with businesses and organizations focusing on sustainability, animal welfare, health and wellness, and conservation. I like to group them and say I work with socially conscious brands. If you’re an advocate for people, animals, or the planet, we’ll get along just fine. It’s an art and science. My focus for my clients is to take their customers from awareness to action through intentional copy that helps educate and inspire them. Good copy incorporates storytelling to capture the reader’s intention and emotions while using SEO and keywords that the robots over at Google can read and understand. I’ve never considered myself a salesperson. The great thing about copywriting is you can write in a way that helps your customer make a well-informed decision, so you both benefit and feel good about their action. Customers are smart and selective, so businesses need messages that resonate with them. You want them coming back. My copywriting services include website copy, blog posts, social media captions with image creation, product descriptions, case studies, and more. Every business needs some form of copy, either digitally or in print, so I’m always open to talking through specific needs with my clients. I’ve worked with various businesses, including e-commerce stores, dog trainers, construction companies, designers, educators, nonprofits, and more. In addition to my client services, I’ve started offering white label copy services for other copywriters and designers. This is perfect for other writers who need a bit of support to take a vacation or just to lighten their workload as they onboard new clients. I love learning from other writers so it’s a win-win.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting.
The two things that come to mind for those just starting are:
Invest in yourself: From the beginning of my business, I put a lot of my revenue back into courses, coaches, and other ways of learning. This can give you a valuable shortcut in learning what works and doesn’t and how to handle challenges. There’s a benefit to learning from experience, but if I can cut out some of the failures along the way and learn from those who have gone before me, I will do it. So far, almost everything I’ve invested in has been worth every penny and has saved me so much time and energy.

Don’t be afraid to change your mind: When starting a business, you may not know exactly what you want it to look like, and that’s ok. You might think you want one thing only to find out you prefer something else. I’ve seen many copywriters change their niche or services after starting. Some even moved on to being editors or ghostwriters because that’s what felt right for them. I wrote many types of copy before figuring out what I liked best. After working with a few clients, I found that creating custom bundles of my services gives more flexibility for the client and works better for my business. Sometimes they need a specific number of blogs or a single copy project and other times want to work on a retainer. Listening to their needs helps me create a package that works for them. I also realized early on that I missed the creative side of managing a website and creating social media posts, so I added website template customization and done for you social media calendars to my offerings. When you find something isn’t turning out how you hoped or if you want to do things differently, change it. You don’t have to keep doing the things you don’t enjoy.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Personal Photo: Heather Dotseth Photography Others: Unsplash and Canva Graphics Stillwater: Personal photo

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