Lucie Rhoades – Pro Copywriters Member Spotlight

Why did you choose a career in copywriting and how did you get into it?

Like most copywriters, I’ve arrived at this career following an innate love of storytelling from a young age, undertaking an English degree and then discovering a pathway into communications. I specialise in food and drink and, given I spend most of the day thinking about the topic, it made sense to put the obsession to paper and build my professional pursuit around a real passion. 

What work are you most proud of?

I particularly love working with developing brands, and when the results start to happen – whether that’s more sales, more followers, or greater brand visibility – it feels like you’ve really had an opportunity to make a difference with your words and writing. And really any piece of copy that moves clients to feel special or emotional in some way.

I recently had an OOH advert described as a “masterpiece” and whilst they weren’t my words, I’ll certainly take them. That was a proud moment. 

What piece of copy do you really wish you’d written?

There’s so much fantastic brand work out there these days, it’s hard to pinpoint one example exactly, but I’m loving the playfulness that’s finding its way onto LinkedIn.

I saw a really tongue-in-cheek brand partnership LinkedIn announcement not so long ago that genuinely made me stop scrolling, smile and share. Any copy that does that is a job well done. 

What do you do if you hit a bit of writer’s block?

Take my energetic dog for a walk. He’s constantly in need of exercise (and attention) so I find the time spent walking in the beautiful countryside near me and a bit of fresh air helps to create creative space. I suppose the Lake Poets were onto this some time ago… 

What are your favourite and least and favourite writing-related tasks?

The third or fourth round of editing is usually my least favourite task. And it’s usually needed for the shorter pieces of copy so it’s easy to sit there obsessing over the tiniest word or meaning.

I love when I have a day dedicated to a piece of storytelling work and to really immerse myself in the brand world and language. That’s a happy day at the keyboard. 

Any copywriting pet hates?

When brands try too hard to find a personality that’s not authentic. It’s great to draw inspiration from other quirky brands but the work has to be done first to find your unique voice.

You can’t jump straight into copy without a clear tone of voice, purpose and brand direction, and sometimes that step gets missed in the pursuit of project delivery deadlines. 

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?

I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of very inspiring and talented people during my career so far.

The best piece of advice that stands out for me though, is to always keep an open mind. And to enjoy the journey. It’s easy to set a goal and stay focussed on getting there, but it’s harder to navigate the bumps in the road and to not always see them as obstacles, but perhaps benefits you hadn’t considered yet.

Keep a folder of all the positive feedback you’ve received for those wobbles and keep smiling, it’s all experience. 

What advice would you give to people starting out on a copywriting career?

Reach out to copywriters you admire and speak to them!

It’s so easy to hide behind a screen these days, but the opportunities for networking are back and they matter. Find yourself someone that’s a confident editor – that’s the fastest way in which I’ve improved.

Get someone to properly challenge your work so you can grow and develop. A good editor will push you and support you simultaneously and they’re gold dust.

And keep reading, not always copy-focussed books or literature, but actual novels and non-fiction writers. Draw inspiration from all areas of copy – ultimately the job is to inspire someone into taking action or feeling something. As great as some of the great copywriters of our time are, the novels that have stood the test of time hold lasting power. 

Why do you find ProCopywriters membership useful?

Being listed on the directory has already brought me business in a short period of time, for which I’m hugely appreciative. It’s also wonderful to be connected to a strong community of copywriters and have the opportunity to join talks and gather insights. 

Where can people find out more about you?

My website or over on my IG @scenicsipping where I talk about all things drinks and cocktails. If you’re a food & drink brand looking for copy support, I’d love to chat (over a coffee & cake of course!)

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