How has your business changed since your first Member Spotlight interview?
Wow it feels like ages ago. I guess a lot, and not a lot, has changed. I’ve ironed out the wrinkles – and gained a few wrinkles – over the last few
years. The biggest change has been moving from Edinburgh to the countryside in North Yorkshire.
I (perhaps naively) didn’t think it would affect my business but it really has. The type of clients I work with has completely changed in that I now work for a lot of small, local businesses rather than large companies.
What’s been your biggest success since your first Member Spotlight interview?
I’m sorry if this answer causes anyone to roll their eyes but, in all honesty, the biggest success is still being a freelancer.
There have been many, many moments where I’ve wanted to pack it in in favour of the stable nine-to-five job, but I’ve persisted as I know it’s the right thing for me. I love the flexibility and being able to walk the dog when I feel like it.
Why did you decide to focus on the kind of work you’re doing now?
The simple reason being geography. The town where I now live is home to so many amazing small, family-run businesses. I’ve been able to get to
know them all really well and work with a variety of local clients rather than just a handful of larger companies.
What are you enjoying most about your industry or niche?
I started out writing a lot of travel copy, but, for obvious reasons, I’ve had to move away from that for the time being.
Having said that it’s great to have a new challenge – I now work with property, lifestyle and interiors businesses who are based in my hometown. I’ve also decided to refocus on writing copy for Spanish companies and ‘transcreation’ as I’m fluent in Spanish, something I hope I can work more
on in the future.
What are you working on just now?
I’m finally getting round to updating my branding and website – it’s long overdue. And something of an embarrassment.
Describe your desk and what’s on it
I would do, but my husband, who’s a teacher, has commandeered it for his online lessons since lockdown and I’m now stuck either in the kitchen or on the sofa.
If I were at my lovely ash grey desk, I’d be looking out over the rooftops towards the Yorkshire Wolds.
Tell us about your side projects
I have a list of things I’d like to do that, well, I never seem to get round to doing. For instance, I wanted to set up an Instagram account for my
business and I went about taking photographs for content but it’s all still sitting there yet to be opened.
How has your writing process evolved?
I now spend a lot more time on planning, researching and drafting. Before I’d like to get a first draft finished as fast as possible and tweak it until the
cows come home.
But now I set aside much more thinking and mulling time before I even start typing. I bring out my trusty A3 pad and I write down everything before moving on to mapping out how I see the copy looking. I think things through better with pen and paper.
What do you wish copywriters were more honest about?
I think we’re all pretty honest folk (especially when there’s a grammatical error in sight!), but I’d like to discuss how this past year has affected
everyone more openly. There aren’t many opportunities to chat with other copywriters when you work for yourself.
What advice do you often hear given to newbies, but you don’t agree with? Why?
I’m not sure I’d disagree with any of the advice I see – I think some things work for some people and some things for others. I appreciate my
experience of starting out might be different from other people’s.
Having said that, I don’t think you need to home in on a niche too soon, it’s okay to take your time and get the experience/clients before deciding on
which path to take.
Any lessons you’re still learning?
I’m still learning how to be more confident in my abilities. I tend to sell myself short and get embarrassed when talking about my business or
justifying my rates.
I also still think of myself as a newbie, but I’ve been copywriting – either as a freelancer or in-house – for well over five years now, so I need to learn how to make that transition.
What’s something about your work that makes your inner copywriting nerd happy, but you’re not able to chat about enough?
I really enjoy the ideas stage of copywriting and envisioning it all come together – especially when you’re on a roll. As a solo freelancer, I miss
chatting to other creatives, hearing other people’s take on something and being able to think through concepts.
Find out more about Lucy’s work at: www.lucythecopywriter.com