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Freelance copywriter? How to learn when you’re the boss

I’m a freelance copywriter. Being my own boss, setting my own hours, choosing the projects I work on… It’s all brilliant. But the big thing I miss is colleagues. Specifically, senior colleagues whose desks I can swerve by to ask dumb questions on my way to something new.

And that’s the rub as a freelancer. How do you keep learning when you’re on your own?  Here are all the ways I’ve found to make every day a school day. Continue reading

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How a strong copywriting brief can boost your business

While I do work with agencies, most of the time I’m hired directly by my clients. And that usually means we create the copywriting brief together.

It can seem like unnecessary process – “we need a brochure and here’s what we do, over to you” – but a good brief is the surest way to great copy.

A copywriter’s job is to describe you irresistibly, to set you apart from your competition and inspire your audience to take action. And the more your copywriter knows about you and your audience, the better able they are to put all their energy into stringing the perfect words together.

But I’ve noticed time and again there are questions in my standard copywriting brief that have my SME clients pausing for thought, scribbling notes and scratching their heads. Not because the questions are odd (if you’re a copywriter, you’re bound to have similar in yours) but because they really go to the heart of my client’s marketing approach and even their business.

In short, there can be surprising insights for a business in creating a strong copywriting brief. These are the questions that we often linger over: Continue reading

Master Content Marketing by Pamela Wilson – Book Review

Master Content Marketing: A Simple Strategy to Cure the Blank Page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience, by Pamela Wilson

“Old marketing? It was like throwing marketing “spears” at a school of fish in the hopes you’d hit one…. Content marketing? It’s like offering some delicious, nutritious bait, and inviting the fish to swim your way.”

Pamela Wilson’s Master Content Marketing promises structure and processes that will help you create customer-winning content over and over again.  And she promises that her approach is a “lazy” one. She begins with an introduction to content marketing and strategy, describes a seven-part creation formula and finishes with how to stay productive in the long term.

Why listen to Wilson’s advice? In 2010, she decided to try her hand at writing and began contributing articles to Copyblogger. By 2015, she had earned Copyblogger’s lead role. She knows how to write content that converts people by the hundreds of thousands. Continue reading

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What I learned about B2B copywriting in a Fortune 50 executive office

Have you seen The Devil Wears Prada? Anne Hathaway’s all-consuming job as Meryl Streep’s bag-carrier/mind-reader is a real one, and for a while I did it.

For some brief and endless months, I jumped through hoops in the executive office of a Fortune 50 company. Sadly, there was none of the glamour of the fashion industry. Only the daily goal of removing any and all needless-friction from my boss’s life.

The job wasn’t fun, but it gave me an extraordinarily personal insight into how senior leadership make decisions and how to grab (and miss) their attention. Here’s what it taught me about the vital ingredients of business-to-business copy.
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Why do I need a website? 10 fantastic reasons to take the plunge

“That sounds great. Ping me your website, and I’ll have a look.”

“Ummmmm…..”

There are lots of reasons you might not have a website yet. Maybe you get plenty of business from referrals today? Or maybe you’re building your business or side-hustle, and you’re not ready to commit the time and money?

Here are 10 fantastic reasons to get on and take the plunge. Future You and your future business will thank you for it. Continue reading

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How to turn your company’s strengths into powerful copy that sells

He was fizzing with excitement: grinning and hopping from foot to foot. This was big news for our company, huge news for our industry and enormous news for the region. And he was about to step on stage and break the story in his conference presentation…

So, did I have to retrieve my boss from a clamouring crowd twenty minutes later? Keep our press officer in espresso for the next 48 hours? Nope, not a soul picked up on his words.

Why did our brilliant news fail to spark interest?

To turn your company’s greatness into a message that has customers grabbing the phone, you need to do three things… Continue reading

Start-ups – how to get help when you make the leap

You’ve found a gap in the market that’s you-shaped. You’re convinced you can execute that idea far better yourself. You know that your blend of skills is unique and your offer is priceless. If now is the time to start your own business, here are some helping hands…

This is the last post in a three-part series about getting back to work after a career break. There’s no shortage of articles online about the practicalities of starting-up. Instead, this focuses on seven steps for shaping your mindset and skillset to get you fit for the journey ahead. Continue reading

How to find a second career you’ll love. 5 steps to action.

Do you have the feeling that your dream job is still out there? Or that your career doesn’t fit with your values or the shape of your life any more? A career break might have given you space to daydream of something different… and it’s the perfect opportunity for reinvention.

This is the second of a three part series about coming back from a career break with confidence and purpose. I’m sharing the amazing resources that I found as I made the career shift to copywriting. Part one is aimed at you if you want to return to work and have a clear idea of the role you’re targeting. Part two is for you if you want to find a new direction.

Here are five steps to move you into action when your mind is racing but you can’t find your path… Continue reading