Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
Pretty much as soon as I left high school after my GCSEs, I joined the military. After various deployments around the world, I decided that I couldn’t see a long-term future in the military and left the service at 21.
I spent a little time bouncing between different jobs until I settled on writing. I’d always enjoyed reading and writing from a young age, but it had never occurred to me that I could write for a living.
As I’d missed the opportunity to attend college and university during my teen years, I joined The Open University to study an honours degree in English and Creative Writing and started from there.
I’ve been lucky to find companies that gave me a chance to develop my skills, experience and confidence in the industry, which has set me up nicely in my career as a Freelance Copywriter and Journalist.
Over the years, I’ve worked for property management firms, vacation rental companies, global investment firms and I still write for the UK’s biggest Mixed Martial Arts news site – MMA UK.
I’m incredibly grateful for MMA UK, as they give my first opportunity to write about a sport I care about and it expanded my portfolio in a type of writing in which I had no prior experience.
What work are you most proud of?
When my daughter was born, I left my job as a copywriter with a global firm so I could be home more. This inspired me to explore the world of freelancing instead of taking another job closer to home.
It was a risk at the time and, to be completely honest, it’s still early days, but the first project I was commissioned for is something I take the most pride in. It was a massive sigh of relief, and it showed me that I could make a career doing something I love without compromising on time with my family.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
I read books and articles all the time that I wish I’d written. So much so, that I couldn’t narrow it down to only one! I love the Paddy Power campaigns, and I’ve always felt like my dream job would be with them. I like to push my luck a little bit, so their boundary-testing
content has always struck a chord with me.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
I know many people prefer to take some time away, go for walks and other relaxing things. Not me. I make myself sit at the desk until I get somewhere.
I’m not saying it’s the best strategy, but if I let myself take time away, I’d find myself side-tracked doing something completely different!
It usually includes a lot of writing and deleting sentences, and sometimes some swearing and pen throwing, but I get there in the end.
What are your favourite and least and favourite writing-related tasks?
I love being able to voice my opinion and being allowed the freedom to create something in my image.
I also enjoy long-form writing projects that allow me to research and learn about something new. I don’t always get the opportunity to do either, so when I do, I like to run with it a little.
I’m the worst salesman I know. So, pitching to clients is something I need to focus on for the future. That’s probably my least favourite task.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Nothing that bothers me too much, but I’d say incredibly vague briefs do annoy me more than anything else.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received wasn’t any single sentence. But, my fiancée, Chelsea, pushed and encouraged me to try my hand at this in the first place and without her support, I probably wouldn’t have made the jump into writing for a living.
Also, my mum, Colette, has always had the confidence to try something without the fear of failing, which is something I take with me in life, for better or worse. So, without both of them, I’m not sure what I’d be doing now.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Just do it. It might not work out, and you may find that you don’t like it or that you’re not very good at it, but you won’t know unless you try.
The Open University has lots of free writing courses too if you want a cheap insight into writing.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
I’m pretty new to ProCopywriters, but the resources are useful, it’s nice to be in a community of other people in the same boat as you, and it’s a great place to find some inspiration when you need it most.
Where can people find out more about you?
I operate under my own company EG Marketing Services, so you can check out our website www.egmarketingservices.com.
You can also find me on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/joshua- cassidy-18566b120) and ProCopywriters. I don’t have my own blog or anything like that, but if you ever want to get in touch with me, LinkedIn’s the best place!