Meet Eddie Rice, freelance speechwriter and founder of Custom Speech Writing. As a freelance speechwriter, Eddie writes for CEOS, college presidents, keynote speakers, politicians, startup founders and much more. He also ghostwrites for OP-EDs, magazine articles, press releases, and any other documents that help get the speaker’s message out to his or her audience.
Eddie realized teaching 8th-grade science wasn’t the right path anymore. It inspired him to start Custom Speech Writing. He enjoyed public speaking throughout high school, college and after. Whether it was giving a professional development seminar or doing Toastmasters, getting up in front of others energized Eddie. “I took that love and thought I was going to be a public speaking coach, but I found it difficult to find clients and sell my services. I found that many would-be clients were either stuck on the actual words or just wanted more of a ‘turnkey’ solution.” Eddie pivoted and started selling just the speechwriting services and built his portfolio by taking jobs off Elance.com (now Upwork). From there, with a combination of self-generated PR, an email list, content marketing, and cold-calling, he built up a steady stream of clients.
Eddie joined the LaunchHouse community because he wanted a space to do work that wasn’t in a coffee shop. “When I moved to Cleveland, I looked up coworking spaces and LaunchHouse seemed like the perfect fit.” Eddie’s favorite part about LaunchHouse is the welcoming group of people with diverse businesses and backgrounds. “Everyone has a unique take on their niche, and it’s a fun group to be around each day. I like the camaraderie and the feeling of going into work even though it’s not a typical 9-5.”
Here, Eddie shares some advice and thoughts on starting a business:
What’s the best advice you ever got?
You can’t do everything yourself. If you lack a specific skill, let’s say coding or graphic design, you can either learn it yourself, take an inordinate amount of time to get good at it or hire someone who is already good at it.
What has been your biggest learning experience from starting your business?
Marketing is a much larger part of a freelancer’s budget in terms of both time and money. You have to not only do work for your clients each day, but you have to work on yourself. It’s not enough to be good at what you do, but clients have to be able to find you.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
No jargon. It’s easy to smell BS. Whatever you are trying to sell or explain, do it in terms that any normal person can understand. You aren’t fooling anyone when you are the 100th person to say that your app is going to, “Disrupt the cloud infrastructure with hyperlocal social media integration.”