Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
I’ve always enjoyed working with words. But in my previous career as a project manager, I spent more time in meetings than I did writing. So I began copywriting as a hobby.
That’s because outside of work I was a volunteer for a political party. Firstly I wrote the copy for campaign leaflets and letters. Then for emails and websites. What I loved was using words and psychology to engage and persuade people. And then last year I decided it was time to turn my campaigning skills into a copywriting career.
What work are you most proud of?
It’s great to write the words for websites because of the impact they have on customers or clients.
But I’m most proud to have helped a local food bank charity with the copy for their new website. When the site went live they got a large boost in their online donations.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
Given the importance of story-telling, I wish I’d written the story ‘Inside Out’ for Pixar.
The book Creativity Inc. by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull reveals Pixar’s relentless focus on the rewriting of the story. To them, this is the most important part of each film.
And the story behind the creation of ‘Inside Out’ is the best part of the book.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
My first trick is to start writing whatever I’m thinking at that point. This is often a long list of questions or sometimes an “arrrrghhhh”. This frees my brain from its fog.
Also, an old favourite is doing something completely different. Like washing the dishes or a walk in the fresh air. That’s a great way to let my brain tick over in the background.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
Editing is my favourite task. That’s when I’m most creative. Being able to turn a jumble of words and thoughts into something that flows with ease.
For the least favourite, I’d say waiting for feedback from the client. I get anxious at what they’ll say.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Well, it’s more a frustration than pet hate. When I meet people their first question is usually “What is copywriting?” Some people think it’s only about perfect spelling and grammar. Or that it’s something to do with legal contracts.
So I’d like to improve the recognition of copywriting.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
You’ve got choices.
It was a big step for me to switch into copywriting. Reminding myself that I had a choice about the work I did was what I needed. Now that I run my own business, I make choices every day that decide the direction I’m going in.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
You can do it!
Sure, it’s not easy. There’s a steep learning curve and it takes time to build a new career.
The biggest challenge for me was self-belief. But once you believe in yourself and put in the work then anything’s possible.
What’s your favourite thing about being a copywriter?
Being able to spend time writing and rewriting – and getting paid for it. In my previous career writing was such a small part of my job I felt guilty spending time on it. And, as a freelancer, it’s liberating to be my own boss.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
ProCopywriters has been most useful to me as a peer group. People who’ve either been there and done it or are going through it alongside me.
The webinars have also been informative and helpful. Listening to the experts I’ve picked up invaluable tips and advice. I look forward to the future ones.
Where can people find out more about you?
The best places to find out more are on my website or LinkedIn: