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Freelance Journalist and Music Man - A self interview with Gideon Thomas

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by Startacus Admin

From MA, to hobby, to blog, to freelance journalism, Music PR and a full blown business. Self Starter of the Week and Startacus member Gideon Thomas shares his journey with Startacus...

Can you start off by telling us a little about yourself and your business, what you do, and the journey you’ve taken to get to where you are.

I’m a writer, and I’m involved in music journalism, PR, copywriting, promotion and research. I work on a freelance basis, for a range of different clients and publications. I’ve been writing seriously since 2010 and the business was established in 2012.

Gideon ThomasI’ve always been interested in and involved in music, and I have written small pieces about music in different contexts throughout my life. I undertook an MA at Sheffield University where I wrote a dissertation about traditional American music. This was important as it taught me to try to find musicians’ perspectives and journeys. However, my business grew organically out of my hobby, when I started posting short reviews of Youtube videos on Facebook. This grew into a blog (still visable at my website), and then into journalism, and then into PR and copywriting.

So the idea for the business just seemed to grow?

It really did. One of the different jobs before I started the business was for the local council where I was living helping new business establish themselves, so I learnt a lot when I was there, and that helped me to solidify a lot of my ideas. I spent about eighteen months or so writing for exposure, then started the business. Things have gone quickly, but I’ve worked really hard to make it work.  My motto since I started has been to inspire others to become as inspired as I am by music, and to promote the music I love to as many people as possible.

Tell us a little more about the projects you are involved in and some of the products and services you offer?

I write for a couple of dance music magazines, the journalism side of the business is what I started out doing, and something that I want to do more of. I offer a full press and PR services to clients in the music business, from preparing press releases to advising on press campaigns and the delivery of those campaigns. I help to promote new releases, events, clothing brands, you name it! My first love is writing about music itself, and my other services have grown out of that. I also provide copywriting services for artists’ and record labels’ websites and social media.  I’ve worked in a variety of different genres and musical styles, all of which have been equally interesting and rewarding.

What advice would you give to other start-ups?

First and foremost, you can do it. It takes a lot though. A lot of drive, determination, sacrifices and goodwill. An idea and motivation are notFreelance Journalistenough. If you are anything like me, you’ll ALWAYS be thinking about the business. But, that fact alone does drive you on, gives you more ideas, and ultimately makes you money. Discipline is as important as ideas and hard work.

But the pay offs are amazing, and the feeling of liberation when you start to do it full time are indescribable. You can do it, and more importantly, you should do it. Don’t look back and think ‘I should have done it’.

I work in an area that I love and wouldn’t swap for the world, but even so – it’s still work, and its hard work. Don’t be under illusions –you may love your area a lot, but establishing a business means a lot of hard work.

Finally, do you have one piece of advice to anyone who is in a similar place to you as an early stage self starter / entrepreneur?

Don’t be afraid. It can be incredibly scary to be out there, in the ‘real world’ (without a team, without a boss and without a regular pay check, if you’re a freelancer). But it’s worth it, if you can make it work. The freedom to do what you want, when, is incredible, and you get to do what you’ve always wanted. Take the leap.

Thanks so much for this opportunity. For myself, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting projects in music promotion, writing, and copywriting, so spread the word and get in touch! (new site coming soon!)

We’re always keen to give as much ‘airtime’ as possible to other self starters / startups, to tell us what’s happening in your little corner of the world. A 'Self Interview' and Q and A's for you / your startup / business to write. Here's the link to the recently published article and do give us a shout if interested. If you fancy self interviewing on Startacus - well click self interview to find out more! 

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Published on: 1st February 2014

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