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Eman Ismail — ProCopywriters Member Spotlight

Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?

A couple of years ago, I was running the communications department for a food charity when I discovered the Hot Copy Podcast. At that point, I was underpaid, overworked and not seeing my then 2- year-old son nearly enough thanks to a long commute.

With the help of the podcast, I got the confidence and guts to leave that job and set up a full time copywriting business: InkHouse. Not long after that, I joined Belinda Weaver’s Confident Copywriting community – and that’s where things really took off for me.

What work are you most proud of?

There are two projects I’m really proud of. Both are examples of me turning my coaches into clients.

One is the onboarding sequence I wrote for Belinda Weaver’s membership (Belinda’s been my coach since November 2018). The other is the sales email Joanna Wiebe hired me to write for the Copyhackers mini-mastermind launch. (Jo’s been my coach since January 2020).

Both women were my dream clients and I’d actually written their names down on my client wishlist at the start of 2020. I never imagined I’d be working with them within just a few months.

What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?

The welcome sequence for The Honest Company.

The Honest Company is a wellness brand in America that’s run by actress and business owner, Jessica Alba. I signed up to their email list so I could do a teardown of their emails. Instead, I fell in love with them!

They’re. SO. Good. I loved everything about their copy.

What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?

I walk away. I walk away from the task and go do something else. I go for a walk, I eat, I watch Netflix, I watch funny YouTube videos that’ll make me laugh and get me out of my head. Then I’ll go back to that task a few hours later or the next day.

What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?

My favourite writing-related task is probably the editing stage when I’ve finished writing the first draft.

By that point, I’ve conquered the blank page and all I need to do is find a way to put it all together. To bring out the best of the writing and remove the worst of it.

The hardest part for me is actually starting to write. Even now, the blank page scares me a little. It can feel really overwhelming to have to fill a page with words that make people buy the thing you’re selling. I wonder if that feeling will ever go away?

Copywriting pet hates?

Lazy copy.

Doing something because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do. Or because everybody else is doing it.

I really believe everything we write should be intentional. To the point that if anyone were to challenge our decisions as writers or strategists, we’re able to defend our decisions. You can’t do that if your copy is lazy.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

Hire yourself as a client. Joanna Wiebe taught me that.

Initially, I thought that meant just blocking out time for your own business development and projects. But it means so much more than that.

Yes, it’s about making time for your own business and hiring yourself as a copywriter when you need to. But it also means putting as much time and energy into your own copy as you would for a client.

It means working just as hard on your copy, as you would for a client. It means respecting your business and giving it the time, attention and focus that it really deserves.

What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?

Get a coach, join a community, find other copywriters and learn as much as you possibly can.

Why do you find the ProCopywriters membership useful?

For me, it’s the community aspect. I feel a little safer as a freelance copywriter, knowing there’s an organisation that’s looking out for me. It’s also great to be part of an online community that’s UK-based, since most of the other communities I’m part of are US-based.

How can people find out more about you?

You can find out more about me at www.inkhouse.org.uk, LinkedIn or at @inkhousewriting on all the other socials.

What do you think?

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