Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
The prospect of weeks away from my family as I returned to my European brand management role following maternity leave. It made me decide to take a risk and focus on writing, the one area of my role I enjoyed the most.
With several months in Norway looming heavy, I earnestly set about building a portfolio and updating my knowledge to sell my experience and skills. My client base grew quickly and before I knew it I was getting great opportunities to work with established brands to develop their copy and tone of voice.
What work are you most proud of?
Recently, working on a sample piece for a pitch to a London based B2C client, I had to really step outside of my comfort zone. They needed a tone of voice to fit a very distinct target market. Thankfully my hard work didn’t go unnoticed as they signed me up to deliver their online content for the end of the summer.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
Easy. The Virgin Atlantic in-flight information. Even the safety video breaks the mould, kiboshing years of in-flight safety information that’s as dry as the crackers airlines serve with the on-board meal. Hell, even Virgin’s menu is engagingly written!
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
Writer’s block is normally an indicator that my work isn’t hitting the mark with me. And if it isn’t working for me, it won’t work for my client.
If time allows, I’ll move on to an alternative project for a day or so. If not, I’ll take a swim, a walk, or just a really good night’s sleep. Usually, that’s enough to get me scribbling away once more, often with a whole new direction or approach to a project that takes the content to a whole new level.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
Without a doubt, quoting and invoicing. A necessary evil for just about every copywriter, but outweighed by the enjoyment I get from other areas of the job.
My favourite writing challenges are helping companies to find a brand voice, especially when they are looking for something unique and a little edgy, like in an email campaign I recently worked on for Lenovo.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Controversial I know, but I’m a fan of the Oxford comma. Whilst this isn’t the place for debate, earlier this year a US Court of Appeal case turned entirely on the lack of an Oxford comma. The decision was made on the grounds that the lack of a comma lent an entirely different meaning to a description within a contract of employment. Need I say more?
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Invoice per project, not by word or hour. This frees me up to deliver my clients the best content, without worrying about whether it takes me that extra time to find the right ideas or get the right voice, and without clients worrying about creeping costs.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Value every contact you make as you never know when they’ll need your skills. Over the years I’ve found work has come from the most unexpected of places. One of my biggest projects came from a contact I made in my first ever free networking event in the local town. Another, from volunteering at the village fete!
What’s your favourite thing about being a copywriter?
Flexibility, freedom, and spending my days doing something I love are all great, but the single thing I love the most about being a copywriter is the opportunity to be a part of something that is quite literally changing the world.
I find myself working on a number of IT Security and Artificial Intelligence projects at the moment, technology that is literally transforming the way the world works. I find it absolutely mind-blowing that I have a part, albeit a small one, in the IT revolution that is unfolding before our eyes.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
I’ve been a member of ProCopywriters more or less since the very beginning. For me, it’s been invaluable to be able to reach out to other copywriters and learn how the tactics they employ to navigate the choppier waters of the writing life.
Where can people find out more about you?
You can find out more about the projects I have worked on at www.completecopywriting.co.uk or of course, my profile on PCN https://procopywriters.wpengine.com/copywriters/danielleauld/.