Angela Denly from Angela Denly Writing and Communications Services
We love our members, hard. Harder than a hard thing.
This year several are celebrating their 4th or – gasp 5th year with us. And we wanted to share their stories with you.
First off the mark, the original Copy Beast, Angela Denly. The first to join, and celebrated MEMBER OF THE YEAR in 2018.
She’s an all-round good egg, who is always on hand to help with advice in the community.
Here’s her story.
Who are you Angela Denly?
Angela Denly (Ange to just about everyone) is a Sydney-based copywriter who loves helping businesses that mean what they say to say what they mean.
As well as being awesome at B2B communications, she loves writing for food and beverage clients to mix things up.
Ange is unashamedly a part-time copywriter, fitting her business into school hours and providing a taxi service to her two daughters from 3pm onwards.
What did you do before you became a copywriter?
I started my working life as an office manager at Surf Life Saving NSW and discovered a love for communications.
I went on to study public relations, and worked in PR agencies for nearly 10 years. I worked mainly in technology PR, with a focus on B2B campaigns.
How long have you been copywriting?
I’ve been a copywriter for about six years. But I’ve essentially been paid to write for more than 15 years now.
What has been your biggest copywriting win?
Ooh, tough one.
Probably my first project in the food and beverage space, as it was such a big win convincing someone I could do more than B2B, tech, and professional services type stuff.
It took a big leap of confidence to go after a new segment and make the project a success.
What was your worst copywriting career fail?
Any time a client is disappointed is hard.
You pour so much of yourself into jobs, and when it doesn’t hit the mark it hurts.
I’ve really only had one job where I knew the client wasn’t happy, and even though I knew I’d done the best I could and tried to resolve things, it still hangs over me a little bit.
What’s your number one fave copywriting tool?
My essentials are my laptop and an internet connection. Everything else is just nice to have.
How do you deal with self-doubt?
I have a little crew of buddies I regularly go to for pep talks and sanity checking quotes when I have those “Why the hell do you think you can do this job?” and “WTF are you thinking with that ridiculous quote?” moments.
As long-term TCCC members will know, I’m also pretty shameless about asking for advice to lift me up.
What work-life balance/mental health tips do you have?
I’m a big believer in making time for exercise.
But I’m pretty rubbish at disciplining myself to do it, so I pay a personal trainer to keep me accountable and make sure I turn up.
As a mum to two primary-school-aged kids, I’m also pretty strict on being realistic about how much work I can fit into school hours.
It’s rare for me to work past 3pm and I try to keep weekends work-free too.
This space to play is important and helps to keep my life in check.
Finally, I’m a recovering perfectionist so I’m a fan of asking myself, “Is this work good enough?” I try not to agonise over a draft before sending it to a client for review.
I’ll write it, check that it meets the brief, and then send it before I get too caught up in my own head. And you know what? Ninety percent of the time, the client has minimal edits.
So just sending it saves me countless hours of rewrites and heartache.
What tips would you pass onto any newbie copywriters?
- Read more.
- Read the back of the cereal box (just like seven-year-old me used to do).
- Read the news. Read that fluffy chick-lit book without guilt.
- Read the latest non-fiction blockbuster.
- Read everything and absorb different ideas and ways of playing with language.
What’s next for you?
As my confidence has grown, I’ve started working with better-known businesses.
I’m looking forward to that continuing and being braver and bolder in my own marketing.
Finally, why do you love The Clever Copywriting Community?
I love the companionship and water cooler chit-chat that I miss from working in an office. (I always took 30 minutes to make a cup of tea because I was having a chat).
And the fact that online connections have blossomed into real, deep friendships about the stuff that matters in our lives beyond punctuation and persuasive language.