Andrew Harkin — ProCopywriters Member Spotlight

Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?

I used to sell business insurance, but I always enjoyed writing the sales letters, emails, faxes and ads more than cold calling, strangely enough.

Every job I had from then on, I would end up writing the marketing copy, then I had several small businesses including a leaflet distribution biz and it kind of evolved from there really.

What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?

Depends on if I have a looming deadline. If I have, there is no time for writers’ block, I just keep on writing, stream of consciousness style until I get back on topic.

If no deadline looms, then a cup of tea in the garden usually helps.

What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?

Favourite is writing emails I think, especially story-based auto-responder series. Least favourite are blog posts for my own site, I write emails to my subscribers every week, so don’t feel like I need to write anymore. So I don’t have a blog anymore.

Any copywriting pet hates?

Over the top, in yer face, shouty, salesy copy. Hopefully that ‘style’ has had its day. I write engaging call to action copy with a compelling reason why. If I can weave a story into the letter or email, so much the better.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

My old boss “you know, you’re actually quite good at this writing lark” – thanks, Jim.

What advice would you give to people starting out on a career in copywriting?

Don’t specialise at first, just get a few clients, build your portfolio, by then you can segue into your chosen niche, and start justifiably commanding higher fees.

What’s your favourite thing about being a copywriter?

Being able to work from home and listen to Test Match Special as and when there’s a Test Match series on.

Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?

Because freelance copywriting can be a lonely existence, especially if you have come from a corporate environment. Even exchanging a few emails can help. Plus, and this is going to sound really lame, a feeling of belonging.

Told you, lame.

Where can people find out more about you?

At my website or on Twitter @mrandrewharkin.


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