Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
It seems funny to me how copywriting is never really explored or mentioned as a viable option when you’re younger. I’ve always loved writing, and studied English Literature at Uni, but had no idea what copywriting was until years down the line!
After juggling a multitude of jobs and internships over the years, in all sorts of disciplines, I was definitely drawn to copywriting and knew that’s where my talents lay – so I started to freelance on the side. I joined an agency as a full-time copywriter in 2018 and adored it, but dreaded the commute every day.
That’s when I knew it was time to take the leap. I’ve been freelancing full-time as The Very Hungry Copywriter for just over a year and it’s my dream job.
What work are you most proud of?
You’re only as good as you last gig, right? There are a lot of pieces I’ve been proud of over the years, but most recently I’ve been working on explainer videos for an amazing studio based in Argentina.
A lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into the final videos (both from me as the copywriter, and visually from the incredible animators.) The fact that the projects are always so varied is exciting, and it’s always super rewarding to see your words come to life once the video’s complete.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
Pretty much anything written by Innocent Drinks. Their copy is a masterclass in how to nail your brand’s tone of voice!
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
Get out of my seat and out of my head! If I learned anything working as an in-house copywriter, it’s that inspiration doesn’t come from being chained to a desk 24/7. You can’t force creativity.
My biggest tip is to consume good stuff. Absorb a bit of nature, read a few lines of a book you love, stick on your fave podcast, walk, have a snack!
Whatever it is, it’s just important to get away from your desk for a bit. I usually find that’s when my best ideas pop up. I say give yourself a mini reset then you can go back to work and let it all pour out.
What are your favourite and least and favourite writing-related tasks?
Tone of voice is my jam. I love the creative challenge of adding personality to something. I’m a sucker for a good pun, too. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t get a rush of excitement every time I finish a project that I’m proud of.
When you’re a freelancer you really do have to do it all. You have to be your own boss, marketer, accountant, admin assistant, life coach…the list goes on!
So I’d probably say that money-related tasks like finances and quoting for jobs are my most dreaded. It’s got to be done but ultimately words are my thing, not numbers!
Any copywriting pet hates?
Keyword stuffing and pretentious jargon! Both of these do nothing but dilute your message and confuse your readers.
A real bugbear is people who undervalue copywriters and are under the impression that they don’t really need a copywriter because “everyone can write.” Sure, anyone can have a go at writing, but that’s a million miles away from being a skilled and professional copywriter!
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
I’ve always loved the quote “write drunk; edit sober”. The writing process is never easy, so whether you’ve got a million ideas rushing around your head, or are struggling to think of just one; the answer is to just start!
Just get something down and things will start to flow. More often than not with copywriting, the magic is in the editing.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself! Before I went freelance, I assumed all other copywriters where my biggest competition. Now that I’m part of an amazing freelance community I understand that’s totally not the case.
Everyone has their own niche, interests, and skills – so be unequivocally ‘you’. Something that isn’t the right fit for someone else, might be the perfect match for you.
Likewise, if a job comes your way that isn’t in your skillset, pass it on to someone who would love it. Freelancing can be lonely, so I’m grateful to be part of a brilliant supportive freelance community I can share my ups and downs with.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
It’s great to be part of a community of other copywriters, and the webinars are super useful (when I eventually find time to watch them!)