Lorna McGachie — ProCopywriters Member Spotlight

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

I didn’t really choose it – it happened fairly organically. I studied English at university and knew I wanted to do something with words, but at the time, I didn’t realise copywriting was a thing.

After uni, I did a couple of ski seasons and ended up writing for a ski and snowboarding magazine about my adventures. From there, I knew that was what I wanted to do.

I quickly ran out of money, so I moved back to the UK and worked as an editorial assistant for a children’s gifts and accessories company. It was a bit too slow-paced for me, but I learnt so much about the marketing side of things.

Afterwards, I moved to fashion brand FatFace, which is where I’ve been for the last five years, eventually progressing to the role of Senior Content Marketing Executive.

It’s been a great ride, but going freelance has been on my radar for a while now, so here I am.

What work are you most proud of?

My website. I built it singlehandedly from the ground-up and I feel I’ve got it to a place where it truly represents me.

I try to keep my blog updated – it’s a work in progress – but it’s the one place where I can dump my thoughts down in a way that I enjoy, showcasing my tone of voice without having to put a client spin on it.

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

Anything by Soap & Glory. Their branding is just a dream.

I always take the time to read the messaging on every tub and bottle because each word is a joy. It’s cheeky and playful without overstepping any boundaries – I love it!

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

I potter around the house, play with my beautiful cat Nya, and try to find meaningful distractions. I find there’s no point forcing an idea that’s not quite there.

I often come up with ideas in the most random places, so sometimes I let my mind wander until a thought pops into my head. It doesn’t always work, but at least writer’s block forces you to take a break.  

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

 My favourite is without a doubt getting good feedback – especially on projects you’re super invested in. There’s no better feeling than hearing, “this is exactly what I wanted” from a client.

 For me, the hardest part about copywriting is getting started. It’s so easy to let negative thoughts cloud your mind before you begin a task, especially if you’re working for someone new. But once you get started and the ideas begin to pour out, those feelings tend to melt away.

 Any copywriting pet hates?

Poor briefs. Your work is only as good as the brief, and I’ve encountered a small number of clients in the past that think chucking a short list of keywords into an email’s enough to get good results.

Us copywriters are pretty good at conjuring up words from thin air, but it’s so important that we’re given the right tools to get under the skin of every brand and business we work with.

And, of course, poor grammar. That’s a no from me.

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

 Say yes to every job and figure out a way to make it happen afterwards. You’ll always find a solution.

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

Don’t let negative feedback put you off. I wish someone had told me this when I first started. It’s so important to have thick skin, but you also need to know your worth. Copy is such a subjective thing. You won’t get it right all the time, so try to dust yourself off, learn from it, and try again.

Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?

I like seeing how other copywriters present themselves. The member spotlight is a great resource to get advice from writers of all walks of life. The blog also features some excellent articles where I can get hints and tips from people who have already been in my shoes. It’s a lovely community and I enjoy being part of it.

Where can people find out more about you?

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