Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
It certainly wasn’t the traditional way! My mum was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour so I left my marketing job to look after her and also started blogging about my experiences.
The creative director of a marketing agency read the blog and liked my writing style so sent me an email asking if I was interested in doing some copywriting work for them. I said yes and it’s just snowballed from there.
What work are you most proud of?
There’s definitely a buzz from seeing something you’ve written out there in the world. I’m sure I annoyed my friends getting far too over-excited when I saw a tagline I’d written on a huge billboard in Dubai and the time a national daily paper printed the ‘puntastic’ headline I’d written in a press release.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
You can’t beat a catchy slogan. I love it when a tagline for a particular campaign or product becomes so iconic that it gets absorbed into everyday language. Things like ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin’ and ‘Every little helps’.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
Get away from the screen and do something else, whether it’s a quick walk, making a call or even doing some dreaded admin. I usually find that if I take a bit of time out, I come back with a fresh pair of eyes and the words start to flow.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
I love developing tone of voice guidelines as it gives you the chance to really get inside the personality of a brand. On the other hand I hate writing something which flows just right and sounds great but then having to cut it down to meet strict word counts.
Any copywriting pet hates?
It always makes me laugh when a writer seems to be on a mission to prove their vast vocabulary. If you can say something simply then why make it complicated? There’s no need to use a thesaurus for every word in every sentence.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Copywriting is as much about people as it is punctuation. It’s so important to understand what the client wants and how your audience speaks before you start writing. It’s not just about creating great-sounding copy, it’s about making sure what you produce meets the underlying business objectives.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Seek out copywriting opportunities that are a good fit with who you are and what you love. For me that means writing for travel and property clients. Not only is it more enjoyable to write about a product or brand that you love, but I think that kind of passion and enthusiasm always shines through in the work that you do.