How has your business changed since your first Member Spotlight interview?
I’m pleased to report that demand for my services has boomed over the last 2 years.
Thankfully, the pandemic didn’t affect my day-to-day business detrimentally, as I was already working remotely. In fact, many companies started to embrace the benefits of using an independent, professional copywriter and editor to help with specific projects that they didn’t have capacity for in-house.
What’s been your biggest success since your first Member Spotlight interview?
I think the fact that clients book me time after time makes me most proud. In a demanding and competitive industry, it is a vote of confidence when people are confident enough to use my services repeatedly.
Why did you decide to focus on the kind of work you’re doing now?
Much of my current work is for clients in the pharmaceutical publishing sector, based on my background in this area.
Before I decided to set up my own copywriting and editing business I had many years’ experience as editor of both print and digital pharmaceutical industry publications. This is valued and sought out by clients in this field.
What are you enjoying most about your industry or niche?
I enjoy finding out about innovations in the sector that have the potential to transform health management, whether these are new drug developments, nanotechnologies, or digital devices. There is always something new to investigate, which keeps my work interesting.
What are you working on just now?
It is a good thing that I am used to managing deadlines, as I have a diverse workload. Currently, I’m interim editor of a substantial pharmaceutical magazine that is published in print and online. Great care is needed to ensure accuracy, as there is no option for corrections once an edition is printed.
In addition, I have a retainer with a pharmaceutical services company to source, manage and write news and features to expand its online presence.
In parallel with this, I’m the editor of a digital publication in the arts sector, writing news and interview features. This client has also asked me to edit its print magazine in 2023. Add into the mix requests from individuals for website text and you can see I am extremely busy! I am not complaining, as I love the variety and different challenges.
Describe your desk and what’s on it, or the view from your window
My desk is dominated by a large, wide computer screen linked to my laptop. This is vital, as I have so many windows open at once to manage my work and research topics. I also have a selection of back issues of the pharmaceutical magazine for reference, plus a pile of papers I need to sort out but never get to!
In addition, I have a kitten who loves to sit on the keyboard, chew the laptop lid and dip his nose in my tea cup. He’s an excellent time manager, as he always reminds me when it is time to break for lunch or dinner.
Tell us about your side projects
Aside from writing, I love working as a stained glass artist. I enjoy designing and making windows and lampshades for clients. I am also in demand for glass repairs.
The TV show ‘The Repair Shop’ has led the public to a greater appreciation of the work involved in repairs and people want to reuse damaged pieces rather than throw them away.
My English skills are put to good use in this business, as I post blogs regularly to keep the website at the top of the search engine rankings.
How has your writing process evolved?
Time is money, so I try to work as quickly as I can. However, I can’t help being thorough and won’t send content until I am happy that I have completed it to the best of my ability.
What do you wish copywriters were more honest about?
We’re all guilty of pretending we spent less time than we did on honing a piece of content. We want to appear slick and efficient, but the reality is that producing high quality writing that meets the brief requires a lot of research and effort, particularly in the B2B sector.
What advice do you often hear given to newbies, but you don’t agree with? Why?
I hate the phrase ‘fake it ’til you make it’. While pretending you have skills you don’t have may be useful in an interview to get you a job, if you can’t do the job when you are offered it you will soon be found out.
Nobody expects someone straight out of university to be an expert, and newbies should not be afraid to acknowledge this and ask when they need help. In all businesses, to be successful requires hard work and experience built up over time.
Any lessons you’re still learning?
There are always new things to learn. Every client has different requirements, systems and approaches that must be taken into account. New clients mean new challenges, but these keep life interesting.
What’s something about your work that makes your inner copywriting nerd happy, but you’re not able to chat about enough?
One of my pet hates is how Microsoft’s Word documents are full of hidden code. This causes issues when loading Word document text to websites, as hidden characters mess up the layout and increase the size of the document so it is slower to load.
Unfortunately, Word is used by the majority of people, so this issue isn’t going away. However I like explaining this to clients and increasing awareness of the problem, one client at a time.