Jon Beach

26 March 2013

Jon Beach

When and how did you become a copywriter? What did you do before?

After studying English Literature at University, I was lucky enough to land a freelance job at a small web design firm out in the Kentish sticks. From there, I was plucked into the big bad city, and my career built from there.

What made you want to be a copywriter?

I always loved writing, ever since I was a kid. Even as a bespectacled primary school twerp, I fostered a vivid imagination and always enjoyed freaking my teachers out with my horror stories. To this day, I am terrified of numbers and excel sheets – writing is and always will be my absolute passion.

What types of copywriting do you do, and for what clients?

My portfolio consists mainly of financial services clients, but I’ve also worked on charity and retail brands. I’ve written concepts for press ads, email marketing campaigns, social media communication, news articles and video scripts. Since I started working for a big market trading firm in the City, I’ve been working on livening up their product range and bringing the world of finance to a wider audience.

I’m a massive videogame nerd in my spare time, so I’ve also contributed my critical writing to some review sites.

What do you enjoy most?

If I was given a choice, I’d say conceptual work is the most enjoyable. There’s nothing more satisfying than coming up with an idea that really works.

What sort of working setup do you have?

My setup at home is a laptop that has definitely seen better days. It’s missing the ‘k’ button, which could pose a problem if I ever end up working for KitKat.

What one book should copywriters read, and why? (Not necessarily about copywriting.)

Budding copywriters should pick up a copy of We, Me, Them, It by John Simmons. I read it when I first started my career and still apply a lot of the lessons today.

It’s practically impossible to choose a favourite piece of fiction, but I guess I’d go with The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. Not for the faint of heart, it’s an absolutely unforgettable read with a genuinely shocking ending.

How have things changed in the time you’ve been a copywriter? What’s better, and what’s worse?

My vocabulary is twice the size it was when I graduated, but I’ve found I can’t stop analysing Tube advert copy in my head, it drives me mad. I think that over the years, my ability to accept criticism has also improved.

What are you most proud of in your copywriting career?

I remember feeling especially happy and proud when my copy appeared in a front page advertorial for City AM, so probably that.

If you could change one thing about your working life as a copywriter, what would it be?

I wish I could devote a little more time to recreational writing. It’s always been my dream to write a novel, but my time is taken up by either copy briefs or videogames.

What advice would you give other copywriters?

Stephen King summed it up best. I love this quote:

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.

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