Kate Crocker from Kate Crocker Copywriter
Who are you Kate Crocker?
I’m a specialist legal writer and SEO copywriter. I help law firms and other service-based businesses attract more website traffic with jargon-free, straightforward content.
What did you do before you became a copywriter?
I worked as a lawyer in private law firms, both in Melbourne and Adelaide. I practised mainly in employment and industrial law, and also in other areas including wills and estates, insolvency and bankruptcy, and commercial litigation.
However, I wasn’t always on a legal path. I started my university studies as a music student, as a violin performance major with ambitions to write music for films and TV commercials. I swapped into law when I realised I’d need a regular income to support myself.
Many years later, I established Gluten-free Lunchboxes, a recipe site, and wrote a gluten-free lunchbox cookbook after one of my children was diagnosed with coeliac disease. This was my introduction to the fascinating world of digital content and digital marketing.
The skills I learned here, combined with my lecturing work (in a post-graduate course providing professional training to law graduates) helped me sharpen my skills in plain-English writing and pointed me towards copywriting.
In 2019, I completed Kate’s Recipe for SEO Success course, giving me best-practice SEO training and launching my business into the next phase.
Now, my services focus on legal and SEO copywriting, served with a side of food and classical music copywriting.
How long have you been copywriting?
I’ve been copywriting for about three years. While I was still sitting on the fence trying to decide between freelancing flexibility and employment security, I worked as a content manager in a law firm for two years.
What has been your biggest copywriting career win?
In setting up my business and learning how to be a copywriter, without question my biggest win was becoming a member of The Clever Copywriting School and investing in the templates. It shaved years off my learning time, gave me instant support, and much-needed direction.
I don’t count big clients or big jobs among my wins. But I had one client, a sole practitioner lawyer, who told me she cried (in a good way) when she read the About page I’d written for her. The website I wrote for another small law firm was sent to the web designer without any changes to the copy because the client was so happy with it.
In those jobs, the client’s reactions showed that I’d met the brief and exceeded expectations.
What was your worst copywriting career fail?
I’ve had a couple of jobs where I’ve had to do a rewrite because I didn’t take a comprehensive brief from the client. That’s a sick feeling that doesn’t go away.
I’ve also worked on a couple of really big jobs where I underquoted and then the jobs dragged on. It’s the worst feeling. Nothing makes you resent a job more than an underquote.
What is your number one fave copywriting tools?
I love Grammarly. Passive voice lurks everywhere in legal communications, so it’s great to have a tool that picks everything to bits.
The plagiarism checker in Grammarly is essential as well, not only to check the information that the client sends to me but also to make sure I haven’t plagiarised myself.
It’s a crucial way to make sure my clients are getting fresh, original content.
I also love Draftium. It’s a great way to wireframe (or mock-up) a website page, especially if the client is creating a website for the first time. It helps me clarify my ideas and recommendations when creating a new website page.
BrainFM is excellent for focus and concentration. Choose music specially composed for particular tasks (for example, focus, study, sleep, meditation). It doesn’t invade thoughts or divert attention. It’s so helpful when trying to overcome procrastination.
How do you deal with self-doubt?
The Clever Copywriting Community is critical to help overcome any self-doubt.
If I’m having a bad day, if I have a question, if I’m not sure I’ve done the right thing, if I just want to check on something, I can get great advice or affirmation from the Facebook group, often in an instant.
As I become more experienced, I’m also finding that those pesky feelings of self-doubt aren’t bothering me as much.
What work-life balance/mental health tips do you have?
2020 was a challenging year for me, and not just because of COVID. After finishing the year with a huge job, I was burnt out and my self-care was so neglected that I wasn’t even exercising.
I’ve spent the first half of 2021 trying to restore myself with regular gentle exercise, playing piano or violin every day (even if it’s only for five minutes), and being stricter with my workload.
So my biggest tip is to never underestimate the importance of these basic things: exercise your body, feed your soul, and rest your mind.
What tip would you pass onto any newbie copywriters?
Join a community and engage with the members. Ask questions, give back. And above all, remember that no question is stupid.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on expanding my copywriting services into radio and video scripts, chatbot scripts, and podcast show notes.
I’ll also develop some workshop ideas at some point. And I’m really excited about CopyCon22.
Why do you love TCCS?
Whatever the question or issue, you’ll always get an answer. There’s so much knowledge in the group. It’s a happy, safe place and an incredible learning hub. I’m not sure how I’d manage without it.