Hi, I’m Nicola. I’m a freelance writer with my own writing and copywriting business, Nicola Greenbrook.
I help businesses, creatives and musicians to tell their story and promote their brand, work and services. I find a way with words - through blogs, articles, social media and website content, biographies and ‘about me’ pages - to help my clients get their work out there. I write articles about lifestyle, fashion and work and I’m a contributing writer for an online music magazine.
I live in Walthamstow Village with my husband Alex and our 3-year old son. I met Alex just before I left to live and work in Australia and travel around New Zealand. He came out for 3 weeks and we travelled the East Coast, then when I returned to the UK we got together. I moved back in with my parents and Alex asked me to stay with him in Walthamstow while I was flat hunting. I intended to stay for 2 weeks… and that was 10 years ago!
I’m a south Londoner (and a part of my heart remains south of the river), but I love being in E17. It has a friendly and inspiring community and a powerful creative buzz. There’s so much to do here. As a London devotee I love being close to the city, but also escaping to the forest. As well as a freelance writer, I'm a HR Specialist for an intellectual property law firm in the city for 3 days a week which I love. I’ve been in HR for over 20 years now, but I've loved writing since I was little and took creative writing courses here in London and Sydney. Alongside my HR career, I started a blog in 2010, Material Whirl, (I’d broken my wrist at the time and was typing one-handed!) and started writing for RockShot Mag. Without realising, I was building up content. I was asked to write for Jazz FM then for a HR consultancy. It was then I thought seriously about realising my dream and pursuing writing professionally.
During maternity leave, I wrote an article for local author and freelance journalist Annie Ridout and then the work started coming in. When I went back to work as a Senior HR Business Partner for a well-known charity for 4 days a week, with an 8-month old baby, I was spinning lots of plates. The opportunities were opening up, but I was pulled in lots of different directions. Something had to give! After much deliberation, I took a risk and left my HR job with nothing but a head full of ideas. After job-hunting tirelessly, I found the 3-day HR Specialist role I wanted in 2018, which meant I could then start my freelance business properly, balancing my two jobs (balance being the elusive word) with being a Mum to Evan. I’ve never looked back.
I love helping busy creatives find a way with words and creating content for their blogs, websites and social media platforms. I work with a diverse range of clients. I write careers and lifestyle articles for the UK’s leading charity recruitment specialist and have interviewed DJs and written business biographies for the founder of a top London DJ consultancy. I interview musicians and cover live gigs and festivals for the music magazine (dream writing assignment as a massive music fan). One of my first clients was Born at Dawn (Walthamstow-local Lucy Knights and a former Hive Speaker) and I’ve also had an article published in Goldie Magazine (edited by Rebecca Weef-Smith) who I met through Galina Sherri of Gigi's Dressing Room on Wood Street.
I went to my first Hive event in February 2019, a workshop on Digital Presence at Perky Blenders @ The Magistrates. It was so insightful. There was a voluntary open mic session offering a minute to talk about you and what you did. I *may* have practiced in the car on the way there. I was overwhelmed at the prospect of being in the presence of established, successful people and having to talk about what I do. I couldn't even neck a prosecco as I was driving. Yet, everyone was so friendly and relaxed that I got up, rattled through my one minute and survived to tell the tale.
My Hive Success story is, on the back of pushing my fears and imposter syndrome aside to go to my first Hive event I gained two new writing clients immediately after - Alexandria Hall Photography and Patrick Falaniko Art. I was then asked to interview Nat and Carmel for The E List and I’m the writer for the Hive Collective, including the Hive Success Stories series (and it's lovely to be asked to write my own!). I’ve participated in skills swaps that have been transformative for my small business; I had a great coaching session with Nat Harrison (Ayama Coaching and Hive Collective) and I’m currently working with Walthamstow-based Visual Strategist Bernadette Baska (who I also met through Nat), who has provided invaluable advice and imagery for my website and social media platforms.
Hive events are friendly, informative and inspiring. I particularly love the Hive Meets on a Monday at Craftworks, which falls on my freelance day. I get so much out of the 2 hours, see some friendly faces and then I’m home in 15 minutes to crack on with work. I’ve met some lovely people who are also going it alone and doing brilliant things, like Sara Lewis, founder of On Good Authority and Louise Gordon, founder of Louise Gordon Media.
Being a small business owner can be challenging but exciting; there's a ton of stuff to do let alone the writing itself, like marketing, networking, social media’ing, answering client emails and invoicing. This can feel a bit overwhelming, especially with a young son and another busy job but this is where Hive really helps. I feel informed and educated by experts and supported by a friendly and knowledge bunch of people in the same boat as me. Writing professionally is a dream come true - and Hive are helping me to take my business to the next level.
If you have a story to tell about your product, work or services, need a smashing new business biography to tell everyone all about you or just need words… get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.