Jenny Catton — ProCopywriters Member Spotlight Revisited

How has your business changed since your first Member Spotlight interview?

Back then you’d have found me rushing around, juggling lots of one-off projects for multiple clients. Now, I’m consciously working with fewer clients – but on a monthly retainer basis.

It’s made my business more predictable and means I can add more value, building ongoing relationships with long-term clients.

What’s been your biggest success since your first Member Spotlight interview?

Moving clients onto a retainer model has been a big success; it’s something I’ve been trying to do for years. I knew a retainer model would be best for my business but it’s taken a while to get there.

Before, I never knew what my workload, or my income, would be one month to the next. This had to change so slowly I started turning down the smaller one-off jobs and instead focused on larger clients who wanted to form an ongoing partnership.

Why did you decide to focus on the kind of work you’re doing now?

Most of my work is online copywriting such as SEO product copy, web copy and articles. I worked as a website project manager before setting up my copywriting business so it was a natural progression.

What are you enjoying most about your industry or niche?

I don’t really have a niche but I do specialise in writing SEO copy. I know some copywriters don’t like the constraints of SEO but I love the challenge of writing copy that is enjoyable to read while still meeting the SEO brief.

What are you working on just now?

Product copy for an international toy manufacturer, website content for an aesthetics company and blogs for an IT support provider.

Describe your desk and what’s on it

I keep my desk as uncluttered as possible so it just has my keyboard and monitor on it. I have a pen and notepad beside me; I always plan on paper and then move to the keyboard. I usually have a cup of coffee on the go too.

Tell us about your side projects

I recently helped a friend launch her own copywriting businesses and I’d love to create an online course for others who want to become a copywriter. I did make a start earlier in the year and hopefully one day I’ll find the time to continue.

How has your writing process evolved?

I’m more efficient. I plan my time much more effectively than I used to. When I’m writing, I close my email to avoid distractions and help me stay focussed. It’s all too easy to constantly switch from one job to another when email is open.

What do you wish copywriters were more honest about?

Imposter syndrome. I’ve battled with it for years and it’s only recently that I’ve discovered most other copywriters do too (no matter what stage they’re at in their careers).

What advice do you often hear given to newbies, but you don’t agree with? Why?

When it comes to marketing your copywriting business, you’re often told you need to be visible on social media to attract clients. But for many copywriters, shouting about ourselves on social media just doesn’t come naturally.

We’re great at doing it for our clients but not ourselves.

If you don’t like marketing yourself via social media, don’t worry. There are lots of other ways to attract clients – just find the method that works for you.

I’ve used the time I could have been spending on Twitter and Facebook to focus on SEO for my website. As a result, almost all my clients have found me through a Google search or word-of-mouth.

Any lessons you’re still learning?

As a copywriter, you never stop learning. There are always new insights into human behaviour or new technologies that shape the way people access information.

As the world evolves, copywriting evolves too so it’s important to always be learning new techniques.

What’s something about your work that makes your inner copywriting nerd happy, but you’re not able to chat about enough?

I love finding great copy in unexpected places. I took a photo of an Innocent drinks bottle the other day because I loved their recycling message.

Rather than simply saying ‘please recycle this bottle’ they’d written a little story about your relationship with the bottle after the drink has gone.

My friend thought I was crazy for taking a pic of an empty bottle, but I know any other copywriter would understand.

What do you think?

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