Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
Writing has always been my first love and after realising I was never going to be the next JK Rowling, I decided to become a copywriter. This way I get to spend my days sculpting soundbites while getting paid for it!
I started out copywriting in my spare time, producing brochures for a travel company which was a fabulous way to become a walking thesaurus. (Nothing like writing copy for 200 beach hotels to really increase your vocabulary.)
From there, I became a Communications Manager then Communications Director before realising I was drifting away from being able to write every day. So I took the plunge and became a freelance copywriter, which is the best thing I could have done.
What work are you most proud of?
I recently rewrote the web copy for Love Welcomes. It’s a brilliant charity supporting refugee women, but was being held back by dense web copy with few SEO-keywords and hardly any emotion woven throughout.
It’s always uplifting when you know you’ve added value to a business through good writing.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
My all-time favourite campaign is This Girl Can. Not only did it get 1.6 million women and girls into exercise (which is seriously awesome), it produced hilarious taglines.
Some personal favourites include ‘Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox’ and ‘Take me as I am or watch me as I go’. Great copywriting doing good in the world. What more could you want?
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
Change the situation! Go for a walk to let ideas percolate, surf the net for inspiration or research topics to nail down keywords which can be used as a launch pad to conquer the blank page.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
I love editing a piece of copy, shaping it into a sharp narrative with a killer opening line. My least favourite task would be transcribing interviews, lots of rewinding!
Any copywriting pet hates?
When people feel they need to use big, rarely used words in the mistaken belief that it lends some sort of credibility to their writing. It doesn’t.
Write so people can understand. Write so people can emotionally connect with your copy. As Maya Angelou always said, people will forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Don’t ask, don’t get! So many things get in our way with many obstacles actually coming from ourselves. Whether you’re battling imposter syndrome or insecurity is getting in your way, don’t let anything stop you from reaching out and asking for what you need.
Set up those meetings with inspirational people, pitch for the contracts you really want, ask for the freebies (you deserve them).
Tell fear where it can go and seize the opportunity before you. Because if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Understand the difference between good copywriting and bad copywriting. There’s a famous saying that everyone has a book in them but in most cases, that’s where it should say.
Not everyone can write great copy and, with your skills, you bring value to the table.
Be ruthless in educating yourself about good copywriting and don’t be afraid to educate others.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
I’ve just joined as I wanted to find a community of copywriters to bounce ideas off and share in triumphs and tribulations.
It’s exciting to see the hum of activity and useful resources. I’m looking forward to connecting more.
Where can people find out more about you?
You can find me at www.creativecomms.org or say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org. If social media is your thing, visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Creative-Comms-326726261423143.