Anca Dumitru is a freelance writer who specializes in helping B2B companies share their success stories through written content. Read on to find out how she got her start, what her favorite part of the job is, and how you can follow in her footsteps…
How I Know Anca
The story of how I met Anca Dunitru is very similar to last month’s PIK interviewee, and the month before’s PIK interviewee, and the month before that’s as well! We just happen to run in the same circles.
However, Anca and I then started writing for some of the same publications. We wrote for the same blogs. And we even scored cover stories for the same magazine! We even shared a difficult client and ended up swapping notes on how to handle his wily ways.
Over the past year, I’ve grown to admire Anca not only for her writing skills (which are stellar), but for her willingness to help out a fellow writer (namely me!). Anca has become one of my go-to writer buddies when I have a “Hey, have you ever had to deal with…?” freelance writer issues.
My Interview with Anca Dumitru
What do you do?
I’m a freelance writer and content strategist. I help midsize B2B companies boost their lead flow and revenue by writing their customer success stories (also known as customer case studies).
How did you start?
It wasn’t an easy start and neither a clear path for me.
I used to work for 16 years for a large logistics group in Romania, Belgium and Germany. Five years ago I was laid off from my corporate job, which left me with a financial cushion, yet with no direction whatsoever as to what I wanted to do next.
I became a writer by accident. I started a personal blog without even knowing what blogging was. I did it mainly to maintain my sanity during my unemployment.
Being drawn to the entertainment world for as long as I can remember, I began writing TV show reviews and actors’ profiles. Later on, I gradually branched into other topics like business, personal growth, productivity and more. There’s been a lot of trial and error.
What’s your favorite part of what you do?
What I love doing the most is putting other people’s stories on page. It’s what I do best. I learned that I am way better at promoting others than myself. [laughs].
I spent a few years exploring different avenues in the online writing arena, trying to be versatile and burning out a few times while I’d been writing about topics I had no interest in. And when I wasn’t passionate about it, it always showed.
But something good came out of this. I realized what I’d really enjoy to be doing. I discovered I love doing interviews and I’ve done quite a few with people from various industries: actors, writers, entrepreneurs. All these talks were fantastic, but the most uplifting and empowering one was the conversation I had with Barbara Niven, actress and media trainer. It inspired me to think in a broader way. There is no risk in taking a leap of faith. There is in not.
Learning all these skills ultimately prepared me for business writing, particularly customer case studies. I find that writing case studies is such a great mix of journalism, marketing communications and storytelling. You write about a customer’s positive experience using another company’s products and services. This is something that communicates credibility, educates others about what it’s like to use a solution or a product, and validates what’s being featured.
The best part is that content marketing with case studies keeps being the growing foundation of many organizations’ strategy to generate leads and drive sales.
What advice do you have for someone looking into doing what you do?
- Take small steps, but don’t drag it for too long. At the same time, try to avoid falling into the trap of overestimating what you can do in your first year. We all tend to do that. But we underestimate what we can do in three years.
- Figure out what you’re good at and how you can serve your audience best. Subscribe to big blogs in your niche, add valuable and meaty comments to their articles to establish a relationship with the blog owners. Once you have a good rapport, you can pitch them ideas and publish targeted guest posts on their blogs. And then, like Derek Halpern says, promote the heck out of them! This is what makes you truly marketable and brings you high-end clients.
If you’re into self-growth, you might want to include this short exercise in your daily routine: keep visualizing your “destination” three years from where you are now, where you want to be exactly, professionally, financially and personally. Don’t focus on how you’ll get there, but on what you want to achieve. Be very specific with your visualization by thinking of the emotions you’d feel once you’re already there.
Most importantly, trust your abilities. And network as much as you can.
What’s next for you?
A couple a months ago, I was approached by a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (i.e. the guys who decide who gets the Golden Globes each year) who found me through my Huffington Post articles. Besides being a journalist, he’s also a writer and producer, and he offered me to co-write with him a number of scripts in various genres. I wasn’t sure I have anything to offer in this department, despite my fascination with the entertainment industry. It’s always a bit scary when you explore uncharted territories. But you never know unless you try. It can be a springboard to something bigger.
I’m also an avid photographer and I’d like to focus on learning more about that, in parallel with my writing client work. Last year and this summer, my photos were featured in a series of international digital group shows in NYC and Miami, thanks to the New York-based See Me community that supports emerging artists.
All in all, I’m in a continuous process of reinventing myself and I’m optimistic about where this will take me next.
LINKS for More ANCA DUMITRU
Lauren Spear (née Tharp) is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of bylined posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers. Thousands if you count all the articles she’s ghostwritten (but she’s not allowed to talk about most of those).