Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
My first experience was during my last term at university in London (doing an HND in Advertising & Marketing), a friend and I got together a portfolio of poster ads and went to a few ad agencies in London trying to find a way in to becoming creative ad copywriters.
Didn’t get anywhere but it was a great educational experience. I then worked in online marketing for about 15 years which involved writing blogs, articles, newsletters, SEO copy, etc whilst also writing some novels and screenplays in my spare time.
So when I got made redundant last year, I thought I’d take the leap into freelance copywriting. I had a wide range of writing experience and some money to help kickstart me, and here I am, writing something for ProCopywriters.
What work are you most proud of?
I loved doing a range of beer can labels for an Australian brewery, Common Ground. They had about 12 label designs with each
having a unique character requiring a short story that also mentioned the flavour.
I also wrote a tagline for the range. Writing each story was a lot of fun and researching Australian slang was about as good as it gets.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
There must be loads, but the first one that comes to mind is the copy on the products and packaging of Puccino’s. Irreverent, humorous, playful, they’ve got to be an ideal client.
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
Walk away from the computer by either literally going for a walk or a run. Get outside. Sleep on it. Research more, try and find another angle or some new information. Move on to another piece of work.
Don’t be afraid to get back to it either, be fully prepared to write rubbish to get back into the groove.
What are your least and favourite writing-related tasks?
I love naming and tagline writing. I’d love to get into more long-form, storytelling type of writing and scriptwriting for corporate videos, and utilise the experience I’ve gained from novel and screenplay writing.
Social media hashtag research doesn’t exactly fill my heart with light and joy.
Any copywriting pet hates?
Not a pet hate but more of a jealous fascination with whoever writes perfume ads. I’d love to use that approach with any other sort of client, just to see how it would go down.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
A lot of copywriters online talk about valuing your worth and not working with penny-pinchers and anyone who mucks you around. It’s hard to disagree with this.
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
I’m only just starting out myself. One thing I’m keeping front of mind is why I’m getting into this, because I want to be my own boss and try to do interesting work.
Now, this is easier said than done when bills need to be paid, but I’m refusing to go to those kinds of sites where you have to smash out articles for $10 and it all becomes a numbers game. I’d much rather stack shelves.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
I’m making my way through the webinar videos which are really good. The membership directory is useful and worth spending some time on filling out, I’ve received a couple of referrals from there.
Where can people find out more about you?
I’m online here – ellis-copywriting.co.uk – and on LinkedIn here – uk.linkedin.com/in/benellis, feel free to connect with me especially if you’ve got some naming or scriptwriting work. Or a perfume ad 🙂