Today we’d like to introduce you to Betty Hilliard.
Betty, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in a family of educators. My dad was a college professor. My mom was an instructor at a two-year college and a technical writer. From an early age, they instilled in me the importance of education and a passion to learn. I fell in love with words at an early age. My parents encouraged me to read a lot, and I did. As a child, you would often find me getting lost in the pages of a good book. In college, I turned my focus on words to corporate communications – using words to tell stories about products or businesses. I worked in the marketing/public relations industry until I had children. Then, I took a few years off to be home with them.
When I was ready to get back into the business, I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to do it on my terms – in ways that enabled me to connect with more people and in ways that empowered me to help more people and their businesses. That is why I started my editing and copywriting business. I get to combine my love of words, my knowledge of marketing and my desire to help others, and I get to do it as my career.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It is incredibly rewarding to help my clients fine-tune their messages and ultimately grow their businesses. The editing part of my job is the easy part.
However, there are always bumps in the road. My biggest challenge has been educating people about what I do. People find out that I am an editor, and they think all I do is correct spelling mistakes and put commas in the proper place. Most people don’t realize there is so much more to editing. Yes, I correct spelling and insert commas where needed, but I do a lot more than that. I make sure my clients’ messages are clear. Does the message speak to the customer? Is the message easy to understand? Is the message concise? In today’s fast-paced society, you only have a few seconds to grab a customer’s attention. If a message is too wordy or is full of jargon, the customer moves on.
I confirm my clients’ contact information in their publications, and I make sure links are active in their online communications. I check my clients’ messages to ensure they are consistent across all forms of communication. Does their website convey the same information as their brochure?
People are forgiving, and they will forgive a few mistakes. But, if written content is littered with errors, it reflects negatively on the person or the business. Mistakes in written content become a distraction to the readers. Readers begin to focus more on the mistakes than the message. My job is to make sure my clients’ keep their customer’s attention on the right things, and that they build trust with their customers through their written communication.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mainstay Editorial Services story. Tell us more about it.
Words say a lot about a company, and I love working with clients on their words – their written content. Websites. Blogs. Brochures. Newsletters. Articles. Presentation materials. Handouts and more. I help my clients with anything that is written. Whether I am writing content or editing content, I am the behind-the-scenes support for my clients making sure their messages are clear, concise and free of errors.
What I love about my business is the variety. One day, I am writing content for a client’s website. The next day, I am editing a company’s employee handbook, and the next day, I am helping a client with her e-book. Not only are the projects different, but the topics vary as well. In the last year, I have written and edited content about snow shovels, international humanitarian programs, early childhood education, employment policies, and home organization. I get the amazing opportunity to learn about things I never imagined while I am helping my clients. It’s a win-win.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe in luck, but I think luck only takes you so far. Achieving your goals and chasing your dreams takes a combination of faith, luck and hard work. All three of those have played a role in getting me to where I am today in my business and in my life.
- Website: www.mainstayedit.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MainstayEditorial/
- Twitter: @MainstayEdit