If I had a pound for every time I read that no one cares about you or your new website or what’s going on in your business, I’d have about £6. And I think the copywriters who say that are wrong. People do care.
At least I hope you do because I want to tell you about my new website and what I’m up to.
This is as much me organising my thoughts as sharing them with you, and as so much of copywriting is about telling stories, here’s a little bit of mine…
About six and a half years ago I started working for myself. It wasn’t “what I’d always wanted to do”, the culmination of years of hard work and dreaming, it wasn’t even really a plan, it was the solution to a situation brought on by illness – which meant I couldn’t work full-time.
Not that I’m complaining. I’m glad things have worked out the way they have but I can’t pretend that I had any idea I knew what I was doing when I set up WordNerd. I had no contacts, no money and pretty much no clue. I’d worked in marketing for a few years and done all sorts of writing but I’d never even had the job title ‘Copywriter’ before.
Writing blogs and websites for small businesses (and anyone else who asked!)
I started out writing blogs and web pages for small businesses – people I met out and about at networking events, social media meet-ups (anyone remember those great evenings we had at My Coffee Stop on the platform at Enfield Chase station?) and training events. Some of my first clients were friends, friends of friends, my family members, my (then) partner’s family members… anyone and everyone.
And business took off. I’d be lying if I said I made much money but I was always busy: meeting clients, networking, writing, spending unconscionable amounts of time trying to edit my website, doing all the fun things working for yourself entails and teaching myself how to become a better copywriter.
Fast forward to 2018 and I’m almost completely office based, nearly all of my work comes from my website, LinkedIn and recommendations. It’s made me very lazy but I am trying to make a conscious effort to get out a bit more and be more pro-active by approaching companies I’d love to work for.
That started with me contacting innocent last summer. I tracked down one of the founders, he gave me a contact name, I emailed her, she asked me to do a writing test… and then never got back to me one way or another. I chased her a couple of times then gave up so it wasn’t exactly a life-changing success but when I read that even getting a response to a cold targeted email like that is good it gave me faith that I should perhaps send more than one out!
So, that’s a new strategy for me – targeting and approaching companies. I’ll let you know how I get on when I’ve contacted a few more.
It’s taken me a long time to work out what I’m doing: Am I running a business? Setting up an agency? Employing other people?
Actually, none of the above. I’m doing what I always said I wanted to do: be the best copywriter I can be. That’s it. And I like to think I’m slowly getting there.
Last year I worked with Global Action Plan on National Clean Air Day (NCAD), which was a huge success. Air pollution is finally being seen as the huge health risk it is and NCAD is working to make a real difference to people’s lives by changing their behaviour. [I wrote a Client Success Story about it]
That was on the back of working with a massive worldwide brand for about seven months, which I absolutely loved. It gave me a lot of confidence and I worked in-house two days a week with some really brilliant people.
Towards the end of last year I collaborated with Square on two eBooks. Have you heard of Square? No? But I bet you’ve heard of Twitter. Square was set up by Jack Dorsey, who also founded Twitter, it’s his other company. Then, this year I’ve worked with NPR (National Public Radio in the US), who have the same audience figures as the BBC – so you could say I’m quite proud of the clients I’ve worked with and the work I’ve done for them.
No one said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it
I know showing off isn’t cool but I’ve worked really hard over the years. I’m one of those people who believes in providing quality work over a quick buck and I still have that chronic illness (which is a bit like not shaking off the flu, for 14 years) and makes life a lot more challenging. When you work for yourself, you’re only as good as your last project so you do what you need to do to deliver excellent work on time, however you’re feeling.
Relaunching my website
I’m very excited to be launching my new website! Anastasios (from Crowded Tent) has very patiently worked with me to re-design it, Joanne (Joanne Cooper Photography) came and saw me in action to update my photos for the site and Jenny (Jen Creative) designed my new funky logo and brand colours last year, so it’s been a real team effort. Anastasios and I are still working on how we’re going to display my work (websites are a work in progress, aren’t they?) but I’m thrilled with everything so far – thank you so much Anastasios, Joanne and Jenny. I hope you like it too.
It feels like I’m finally getting to where I want to be with my work and the new site and I haven’t done it without heaps of help, so, thank you. Thank you to my clients, thank you to the people who chat to me on Twitter and LinkedIn, thank you to the people I used to hang out with at My Coffee Stop, and thank you for reading my blog.
Life has never gone the way I thought it would – perhaps that’s why I’m not great at planning – let’s see what the next chapter holds!