Gillian Jones — ProCopywriters Member Spotlight Revisited

Gillian Jones

Taith Copywriting - working with b2bs, b2cs, providing web copy pages, bios and profiles. Available for quick turnaround projects.

How has your business changed since your first Member Spotlight interview?

Since my last interview, I have started to niche in two areas of interest and I’m still developing in those 2 areas.

I focus mainly on bios, e.g. media bios for keynote speakers and thought leaders, about pages for b2bs and SMEs and web copy, ideally within the Saas, mental health, health tech area. But I’ll work with anyone if I think it’s a good fit and I can add value.

In other areas, I’ve started to invest more in training and marketing, both in time and money with a view to working my way towards a more packaged, value-based business. Lots of ups and downs, but it’s been exciting so far.

What’s been your biggest success since your first Member Spotlight interview?

I would say the biggest success has been in me nailing marketing that little bit better and becoming more visible.

Visibility means different things to different people and for me, it’s been about getting more comfortable in a space where I can be seen and heard by the people I want to attract, which is my target audience.

Why did you decide to focus on the kind of work you’re doing now?

I love bios and I love a good backstory. How people, businesses get from A to B is often so complex and interesting that it can provide an excellent way in to a new audience and paying clients who can identify with your story.

It’s not the be-all and end-all, but it can certainly provide a trajectory that can lead to a sale, a booking, a future engagement. And I just love it.

What are you enjoying most about your industry or niche?

People, stories, connections and nurturing client relationships, and the relationships I have with my fellow peers.

What are you working on just now?

A couple of about pages and media bios for both SaaS and e-commerce clients, as well as some ad editing and revising for another client. 

Describe your desk and what’s on it

I’ve got a snug little desk and chair with some books behind me, and on my desk is a laptop mounted on some books, a ring light and two monitors with a keyboard.

Slightly cluttered area but it’s organised clutter – at least that’s what I tell myself.

Tell us about your side projects

Writing a marketing book, groan, with the sole purpose of using it as a lead magnet. It’s always on my to-do list but I never seem to get round to it, starting is great, finishing it is an entirely different matter. 

How has your writing process evolved?

It’s gone from struggling to put something down to being able to put something down more quickly. It’s not that I’m oozing creativity 24/7, but that I’ve developed ways of being able to access tools and methods so that I can gather notes and relevant information quicker, and as a result be able to create content that doesn’t feel like it’s onerous or too painful a process.

What do you wish copywriters were more honest about?

The struggle because the struggle is real. When I started out people weren’t talking and were constantly talking about the laptop life and how everything was done from some poolside paradise.

Then it was the 6-figure lifestyle and how everyone was earning thousands of dollars with minimal effort. Copywriters are now more honest about how it’s not all peaches and cream, and that sometimes there are bad days and struggles just like any other job.

It’s not always perfect, but if you work hard you can create a sustainable business that nurtures you.

What advice do you often hear given to newbies, but you don’t agree with? Why?

The pressure to create online courses or become a coach as soon as possible, either that or create and manage a podcast, write a book or start a webcam series with a view to getting out of the actual writing part of copywriting.

All of those things are a great way of increasing visibility, but are not necessarily the be-all and end-all if it’s not something you’re comfortable with doing.

Also, it takes a few years to learn your craft and do it well, you can’t coach other copywriters when you’ve only been in the game for a short period of time. Many of us in the copywriting business are introverts, so don’t do something if you don’t think you’ll enjoy it. You can increase your visibility without selling your soul or being online 24/7.

Any lessons you’re still learning?

To find time to market myself and do important training. Basically, to spend more time on my business, because it’s so easy to focus on clients and their needs without thinking about your own and what it is you need to do to see your business grow healthily.

I’m not talking about novelty branding/7-figure domination here but being able to have a healthy business that can sustain you through both good and bad times.

What’s something about your work that makes your inner copywriting nerd happy, but you’re not able to chat about enough?

Finding new apps to write on like Penzu, Diarium or Scrivener (ok that last one is not strictly a journal but still good for that). I love to experiment with my own writing style and format and a good online journal is great for jotting stuff down quickly.

I usually like to write on a document before creating a blog. I don’t type it directly onto the page of my website. I like to nurture it and write it on a separate app.

I haven’t ventured into the online journal tablet area yet (any recommendations?) and I’m still taking notes on actual physical paper journals, but the area is expanding brilliantly and it’s so good to be able to jot things down on the go when you have some ideas.

It’s important, I think, to be able to get any brainstorming down or any new ideas in writing before they leave you. Accessibility and functionality are key for this. 

What do you think?

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