Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?
I got into copywriting as part of my first SEO role in 2002 when I worked for a mobility products retailer. I translated mobility product specifications into real-world features and benefits the target audience would understand.
I continued focusing on copywriting, including improving on-page copy, creating blog posts, and carrying out content audits in my SEO roles for web design companies, until I left in 2018 due to ill health.
Following a year of recuperating after spinal surgery, I decided I wanted to run my own copywriting agency and launched Write Again at the end of 2020.
What work are you most proud of?
I work with a change management consultancy and all too often they are asked to firefight problems at the end of a project, instead of at the beginning.
However, they know that they offer the most value and make the biggest difference when they’re involved from the beginning. So, we determined how best to describe the common problems they fix, who they do it for and when.
We’ve produced content that helps explain common situations, why they’re problematic, and why early intervention is important. This approach means my client is now far more confident talking about what they do, can have better conversations with prospects, and shares this content with their target audience.
What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?
Having children means that I read for fun as well as for work, and although not technically copy, I think that many children’s authors are brilliant at scene-setting, piquing curiosity and building suspense in just a few words. The Thomas the Tank Engine series definitely springs to mind!
What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?
I tend to go for a walk, spend time with my children, or work on a different task.
What are your favourite and least favourite writing-related tasks?
I really enjoy research, and getting to know my client’s needs and their clients’ needs. I don’t always enjoy the admin element of the business, although I’m getting better at delegating.
Any copywriting pet hates?
There aren’t too many, but I’ve been told things like, “That’s easy!”, “Anybody can write, can’t they?” or “So you’re saying you’re better at English than me?”.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
My wife has always said, “I’d rather you were happier than we were wealthier.” I’ve stayed in some jobs longer than I should have, or chosen the wrong job because it was well-paid, but in our case, money doesn’t buy happiness!
What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?
Become comfortable talking about money. As children, we’re told not to talk to strangers or ask questions about money. Then as we start our own business, we spend a lot of time talking to strangers about money!
Focus on the reader/visitor, not the client. The client doesn’t buy their own product or service.
Go to networking events and speak to everybody you can.
Also, unless you’re a natural salesperson, invest in sales training. Just because you’re passionate about your business and know it inside out, doesn’t mean your prospects care.
Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?
I’ve got the ProCopywriters logo on my business card and website which alone is worth it for the authenticity, reassurance, and professionalism it adds. Also, the help and advice, blog posts, and events listings are useful.