Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
I have always wanted to be a writer, and did a lot of editorial and content roles before going freelance last year.
Copywriting is appealing because it forces you to be succinct, every word has to count, there is not room for waffle.
I got into it initially doing a bit of copy at the agency I worked at. They didn’t need a full time copywriter so I took the experience I gained from that time to go it alone.
What work are you most proud of?
I’d like to choose two.
In terms of making a difference, I wrote web copy and a script for a short planning film about Dementia for Red&Yellow Care. I am very proud that the film helped to get the permission they needed to build a new site in London that will make a huge difference to patients and their loved ones.
The other is writing a film treatment for an exciting client! It was a really fun, creative challenge and I look forward to writing some more killer tag lines.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
The New York Times: All The News That’s Fit To Print – over a hundred years old, yet timeless. No jargon, just a very clever statement of intent.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
Get away from my screen and take a walk, even if it’s just stepping out for 5-10 minutes. It’s not about the length of time, more just the act of allowing myself to mentally re-set and come back to the task.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
• Bouncing ideas around during the early stages and responding to a creative brief/
• Getting ‘in the zone’ when I feel like the idea is taking shape.
• Receiving an ‘all signed off’ confirmation from my clients!
• Waiting for (or politely chasing) feedback.
• Proof reading – it’s hard to edit one’s own work. (But I love Grammarly)
Any copywriting pet hates?
Lengthy, jargon heavy copy.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Throw yourself at it! Join meetup groups and talk to people. This was especially valuable when I was just starting out.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Probably see above!
Two big things: know your worth – establish your rates early on, and don’t work for free. You may need to negotiate, but don’t sell yourself short.
Also, make sure you have a website or portfolio of samples you can show people.
What’s your favourite thing about being a copywriter?
Variety, you get to write about lots of different subjects. The other thing I love is the chance to make a difference. It might sound a little cheesy but it’s very satisfying to work with smaller companies or new companies and help them to establish their brand.
Where can people find out more about you?
My website http://becky-matthews.com/
Creative Pool Portfolio: https://creativepool.com/beckymatthews/projects