After 25 Years Performing for the USAF, Corporate Retail, and Non-Profits, This Faithful Professional Traded His Marching and Corporate Orders for the Writer’s Life
For 25 years H. James Hulton III was a USAF military officer, corporate retail executive and non-profit executive, he took the plunge and started working from home. His faith led him to writing. Already an active member of his church, Jim’s life of faith inspired him to start writing articles for Christian churches and offline/online newsletters. He had a talent for it, and even drew the attention of fellow church members. “I soon discovered I could write a lot of different subject articles, but it might not be the best way to make enough stable income,” Jim says. “I really liked the idea of ‘the writer’s life,’” Jim says, “but I didn’t know there was this whole world where you could really make a living as a freelancer!” I decided to continue using my writing to serve, this time as a freelancer for faith-based non-profits, small businesses, and personal histories for private individuals. And with over 1.8 million active nonprofits registered in the U.S., there was no shortage of potential clients for me. “Just from going around, looking at these faith- based nonprofits, online newsletters — some are a mess — I could see they had a real need for professional content and copy.” So Jim poured himself into AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. But How Would Jim Get Clients? But before he could start freelancing, Jim faced another challenge. It was an intimidating task. “Starting out I remember not feeling very confident at all,’ Jim says. To overcome his doubts, he started networking in the business community.” he says. “It took some of the pressure off and I just put myself out there.” The responses rolled in and soon he landed his first copywriting assignment for a car repair organization. Within several weeks he reached a goal of 10 client responses! “There’s been no shortage of work since,” he says. “I mean, just for a small business to sit down and talk to a potential major client, they need a PowerPoint, they need stories about their impact, they need a response device — you name it!” It didn’t take long before Jim settled into a steady flow. “I would say 6 – 12 months into it I stopped being less confident,” he says. “And about two years after going full-time I was set — I knew I didn’t have to worry anymore.” Now 10 years later, with 8 anchor clients, Jim has never had to go hunting for clients again. He still writes for some of his early clients, and picks up others through referrals, his website, or social media. Why Such a Focused Niche? Jim credits his success in part to choosing such a focused specialization. He knows the niche inside and out, and says, “That’s very attractive to my clients because I already know what they’re doing and can anticipate what they need.” “For these leaders, it is lonely at the top, and if they feel like they have someone in their corner who’s got their back, they’ll come to trust and rely on you. It’s really rewarding.” He’s been a part of their strategic planning. He earns their trust by being proactive to ensure his clients’ success. “If I know they have something coming up, I reach out,” Jim says.