Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
I hate to admit it, but I got into copywriting for the money! After a long career in journalism in which freelance rates continued to go down rather than up, I knew I needed to change tack.
So 6 years ago, I took a training course (Jackie Barrie’s amazing ‘Copywriting for Freelance Journalists’) and I was off. It’s been a very steep learning curve with a fair bit of ‘fake it til you make it’, but I’ve never looked back.
What work are you most proud of?
Gosh, that’s a tricky one. I’m a property and interiors specialist and I’ve recently started working for a couple of media agencies – writing brochure copy for some big construction brands.
I love the fact that all the different elements of my career are brought to bear on work like this. Speed because of many years spent working on weekly magazines, customer insight thanks to a background in PR, and psychology because of all the copywriting training I’ve soaked up over the last few years.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
I’m writing for a big paint brand at the moment, so the one that keeps springing to mind is Ronseal’s “Does exactly what it says on the tin”. So simple and so effective.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
I push on through and force myself to crack on. This often involves a social media blocker on my Mac, putting my phone in another room and switching on a Pomodoro timer. You can do anything, however horrible it might feel, for 20 minutes!
What are your favourite and least and favourite writing-related tasks?
Well, I love that feeling when I’m totally in the zone and the copy is flowing almost effortlessly. This zone unfortunately represents only about 1% of my working week!
My least favourite part of the job is that sinking feeling when you get copy back from a client with a load of amends. It doesn’t happen very often to be honest, and when it does it’s usually because of a multiple stakeholder situation. Very headache-inducing.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Keyword stuffing. So outdated and unnecessary.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Quote for a piece of work, sleep on it, and then double it.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Get all your systems and processes in place as soon as possible. This will not only save you time, it will also make the admin side of what we do so much more bearable.
Also, listen to the entire back catalogue of Kate Toon and Belinda Weaver’s Hot Copy podcast. There’s so much great advice in there!
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
It’s invaluable from an SEO point of view because my directory listing comes top for my niche. So thanks, ProCopywriters, that’s my membership fee paid for right there!
I’ve also found the training sessions and the annual conference really useful. There is so much to learn in this industry and I love it when a new insight directly informs a piece of copy I’m writing.
Where can people find out more about you?
https://www.lucybanwell.com/ I’m also pretty active on Instagram. Such a brilliant platform for writers working in a visual sector like mine.
Do take a look at my feed if you enjoy pictures of inspiring interiors.