“Are you a freelancer?”
When someone asks that, I nod yes-ish and answer, “I have a copywriting business.”
I’ll call myself a consultant, a professional copywriter, an independent contractor.
I’ll say I’m for hire.
A free agent.
Available for projects. A business owner.
But I don’t say “freelancer.”
Because it sounds poor. Poor, and desperate.
It might be a good word for SEO. But in my experience, the second you say you’re a freelancer, people think you’ll take any scraps, for any pay.
They think you must need help, and push to connect with people they think are “in your field.” (“My cousin’s husband sells subscriptions for their local newspaper. I’m sure he’d be happy to meet with you and talk about the business.”)
Most of all, they think offering you work is throwing you a bone.
No thanks. I want the whole steak. (Not that I mind it served “bone-in.”)
As for the word “copywriting,” that’s a whole other thing. Sometimes it requires explaining, or people say, “Oh, you’re a lawyer? I need you, I have a book title I want to copyright.” You can’t copyright a book title, but that’s a whole other thing within that other thing.
I’m happy to explain what copywriting is, as long as I don’t have to explain that I’m doing just fine, which I will if I say “freelancer.”
So that’s the F word I don’t use.
The other one? F yeah.