NEIL Cumins is the founder of media agencies, G75 Media and G75 Images property photography.
He submitted this on May 1 2020…
What exactly do you do?
I was a property photo-journalist for most of the Noughties, and I’ve separated those two specialisms into distinct brands.
There’s the G75 Media side of my business, which involves freelance journalism and copywriting for companies around the UK and overseas.
Then there’s G75 Images, which provides residential, commercial and industrial property photography. Although most of my photography clients are estate agents, landlords and housebuilders, I’ve also photographed everything from petrol stations to military bases!
What did your working day yesterday comprise?
One of the things I love about being a writer is being able to work for clients in completely different industries.
For instance, yesterday involved three main projects. I spent the morning writing about a new Audi for an American motoring website, which involves re-calibrating my brain to use Imperial measurements and Stateside jargon like ‘hood’ and ‘gas’.
Then I wrote an opinion piece for a Scottish housebuilder about how families can survive lockdown – some of my clients are requesting more consumer-oriented blogs and articles in lieu of the usual sales-focused material.
And then, before shutting down the laptop, I drafted a beginner’s guide to cloud storage for a price comparison website.
How different or similar is your average working day to when you started?
My career started 20 years ago this month, in a windowless office in the marketing department of an Edinburgh car dealership.
Compared to that, everything is different!
However, it’s ten years since I made G75 Media my full-time focus, and there are more similarities with my 2010 work life than my 2000 one. I was working from home a decade before Covid-19 made it necessary, and I’ve always had a habit of writing late at night. For some reason, I’m at my most creative between 10pm and 2am – my mind seems to find an extra gear.
The biggest change in my average working day has involved the industries I cover.
I’d originally intended G75 Media to provide freelance property journalism, but, unfortunately, I launched it at the start of the global financial crisis as the housing market fell off a cliff.
I had to diversify to keep the business afloat, and, as a former amateur computer programmer, I started doing tech writing.
This industry is now my primary source of income, especially at the moment while there are no property photography opportunities. That’ll hopefully pick up as soon as lockdown restrictions ease and everyone tries to put their house on the market – I suspect estate agents will be extremely busy during the second half of this year…
How do you see your job evolving?
I think my job will evolve in response to other people’s jobs evolving post-lockdown.
For instance, home working is likely to become far more common, which may mean conducting interviews via Skype and Zoom rather than in person.
I also think technology writing will occupy an even bigger proportion of my working week, as everyone starts relying on the web for things like shopping, entertainment and even employment.
However, I’d love to think that, in May 2030, I’ll still be uploading white label blogs via WordPress and photographing homes for local estate agents.
What gives you the most job satisfaction?
I’ve got a young family, so sending out invoices at the end of each month is always a reassuring feeling. I also like the occasions when I Google something and an article I’d written years earlier appears at the top of the results.
Many of my clients are household-name brands, so their website content automatically ranks highly – though the quality of the articles also helps!