Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
I didn’t choose a career in copywriting! Copywriting has kind of chosen me. I’m a marketing consultant and freelance copywriter.
Throughout my marketing career, copywriting and editing have always played a large part in my roles. I have written all sorts of copy in my marketing positions including sales brochures and flyers, mailshots, newsletters, press releases, adverts and advertorials, website content and blogs.
When my second daughter came into the world, a full-time marketing role seemed untenable. I soon got my first freelance copywriting gig which resulted in regular blog-writing work and a long-term client.
I now offer both marketing and copywriting support to companies on a consultancy basis. Often my work is in the healthcare sector as that is where a lot of my experience lies. Luckily, I also have the opportunity to embrace other sectors too which provides the diversity I love.
With the rapid growth of digital marketing, my copywriting has developed into this sector and I now write a lot of SEO content for websites and blogs as well as social media and Google adverts.
What work are you most proud of?
I aim to be proud of all of my work. What pleases me most is when a client says “This is absolutely amazing and better than I can have dreamed of”. This is the feedback from a recent client in the charity sector who needed their website content reviewing and rewriting.
I’m also very proud of my long-standing clients who come back time and time again with differing copywriting requests, often for blogs once their website copy is fine-tuned. This is a testament to their confidence in my copywriting skills.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
I really love the Innocent branding and their messages. It’s fun, appealing, sustainable and they give back to charities that support the alleviation of hunger.
It’s an all-round great product, with fantastic packaging, marketing and messaging which is demonstrated in their success.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
Luckily, this rarely happens as I’ve usually got lots of ideas brimming. So much so that I need to write them down quickly so as not to forget them. Interestingly, in the 1970s, clinical psychologists Jerome Singer and Michael Barrios found that there are four broad causes of writer’s block:
- excessively harsh self-criticism
- fear of comparison to other writers
- lack of external motivation, like attention and praise
- lack of internal motivation, like the desire to tell one’s story.
I believe writer’s block can happen to anyone. Everyone has bad days when they are not as motivated as normal or feel inadequate.
If I feel like I’m having a writer’s block day, I may try going for a run, walk or bike ride to clear my mind completely and then come back to it with a different approach.
Sometimes I start from a different point, such as the middle, and then come back to the beginning of the story or copy once I know more about where it is going.
Other times it might be useful to map out the story or copy with an outline with brief notes of what I will include.
This helps focus my mind. Another trick I use is to give myself permission to write imperfectly so that I can get the first
draft down. I write what I’m thinking rather than seeking perfection straight away. I can fine-tune it later.
What are your favourite and least and favourite writing-related tasks?
My favourite writing-related task is researching. I find it fascinating to learn about new subject matter and fresh facts. It’s so interesting to dig deep and gain meaningful insight into different sectors. I love learning, growing my knowledge and taking challenges that stretch my mind.
My least favourite job is condensing down my copy and editing, especially when every word is important and has been carefully selected. However, I know how important it is to make time to thoroughly edit my work to ensure it is perfect for the client.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Generally, I work on my own and in my own space. However, during lockdown, this was challenged as home-schooling became the norm for my children, and just in mid-flow they would come and ask me a question.
My other pet hate is when the phone rings and I’m mid-thought. By the time I’ve answered the questions or finished the phone call, my creative flow has gone and it needs re-igniting. So, it’s then time for a cup of tea to poise for the return of my thoughts.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
The best career advice is to follow your heart and do something you enjoy. You tend to excel in the things you relish. I love writing and I live a healthy lifestyle. That’s why I’ve ended up being a healthcare specialist copywriter.
The best advice for copywriting is to create a persona of who you are writing for. That way you will always write with that person in mind. Your copy will be relatable to your target audience and touch on their pain points and answer their needs.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
I would advise anyone starting out in copywriting to read lots of different styles of writing and decide what niche they want to be part of.
Also, I would explain the multi-faceted skills required to make a good copywriter including a dedicated researcher, a skillful listener, a quick learner, a creative storyteller, an engaging communicator, a grammatically correct plain English writer who writes for their audience, and a meticulous editor.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
I find Procopywriters membership useful for a number of reasons. It obviously provides referrals to my copywriting business. It also offers a copywriter’s community and connection with other copywriters.
This is really important as copywriting can be a solitary profession. Recently I have found some of the webinars thoroughly useful to keep abreast of marketing and copywriting. There is also always something new to learn when reading other copywriters’ blogs.
Where can people find out more about you?
You can find out more about me on my website: www.hkennardmarketingandcopywriting.co.uk or my LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-kennard-5900b11a/