Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
I’ve spent most of my life telling stories through photos and personal journals. I don’t think there’s any better feeling than penning stories to paper or visualizing them through photographs.
I’ve always had a love of storytelling. I was the kid at school that actually enjoyed English classes. I still have a little journal from when I was about eight that asked, “What do you want to do when you’re older?” My response was, “storytelling”.
I was a photojournalist in Scotland before embarking on a career in marketing. I soon fell in love with content marketing and started to take my writing more seriously.
Copywriting — having the power to engage and captivate an audience with words — was always an area that intrigued me. I decided it was the path I wanted to take to help brands reach their audiences.
What work are you most proud of?
Tough question. I once worked with Edinburgh Zoo on a press release for the launch of Alexander McCall Smith’s new book at the time, ‘Precious and the Mystery of Meerkat Hill’. The idea was for him to do a ‘story session’ with the meerkats at Edinburgh Zoo.
The press release was a fun one to write up and I enjoyed the process. I received great feedback for the piece, it led to more collaborations and I ended up photographing Alexander McCall Smith too. Not bad for a press release.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
It’s probably an obvious one, but I think Innocent’s copy shows us how to create a tone of voice. It’s quite incredible how they use their sense of humour in a light-hearted way without being forcefully funny.
Their approach is casual, and I find it hard to turn away without reading their copy, which, I guess, is the point.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
I recently wrote a blog on this for ProCopywriters about the five things I usually do when my creativity is in a rut. I think it’s healthy to step away from my screen for a while.
I also find inspiration in bookshops, sometimes you just need to be surrounded by the smell of books, right?
If what I’m doing isn’t working creatively, I do the opposite. It’s so easy to get caught up and stuck. It’s good to break free from the cycle and ditch the structure for a while.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
Most favourite: getting to know new clients and building new relationships. Freelance work can be lonely work and my clients are effectively my ‘colleagues’. It’s great when I find clients that are excited about what I can do for them.
Least favourite: the admin element – i nvoices, quotes, and taxes.
Any copywriting pet hates?
The word “best”, especially in headlines. I find it a lazy word to use and always think to myself “according to who?” Unless you’ve earned something to really back-up the claim of being the “best”, I avoid using it.
The word “delighted” is another one that fails to fill me with joy, especially in press releases.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
When I worked as a photojournalist, my boss said to me: “This can be a tough gig and there will be people who want to see you fail. Act with integrity, work smartly, and focus on what matters.”
It’s something I’ll never forget, and I try to apply it to all areas of my life, not just my career.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Socialise, network, and lean. Stay in touch with connections from past jobs, lean on friends and family for advice, and network to build new business.
Think about your business plan and who you want to target. Having this kind of information will allow you to hone your pitch and focus your goals.
What’s your favourite thing about being a copywriter?
Writing with freedom. I can do what I love from anywhere and I get to meet great people while doing it.
What made you decide to become a member of ProCopywriters?
When I was doing my research on becoming a freelance copywriter, I kept finding articles mentioning ProCopywriters. I love the idea of having a community of likeminded people to share ideas and advice with.
Where can people find out more about you?
Visit my website: https://www.laurenwrites.co/
I’d love to chat.