“Book in a half hour or an hour with another copywriter that you’re friends with, and have a bit of a brainstorm about story ideas that you could both be putting yourself out there for. Having another human to bounce ideas off can be really helpful when you’re trying to get out of your own way.”
– Erin Huckle
When you Google ‘copywriter’, you might notice one thing.
There are a lot of us.
And if you check out most copywriter websites, they’re very similar.
And the socials? We’re all posting Ernest Hemingway quotes, sharing advice on how to use colons and popping up pictures of our dogs.
So how do you stand out in a crowded market?
How do you become known for what you do?
Build that solid trustworthy reputation and become the go-to human in your niche?
Well, our guest today is not only a successful copywriter but a PR guru and my personal guide to becoming more known.
Using a smart combination of award entries, PR, blog posting, podcasts and more, she helps people just like us, raise their profile and in turn win more customers and charge more money.
Tune in to learn:
- Erin’s career journey before becoming a copywriter
- How the worlds of copywriting and PR crossover
- How to overcome shyness and getting yourself out there
- Award writing and entering awards – is it worth it?
- How to handle client’s expectations
- How Erin raised her profile
- The biggest mistakes copywriters make when trying to raise their profiles
- Erin’s top copywriting tip
Listen to the podcast
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If you like what you’re hearing on Clever Copy Chats, support the show by taking a few seconds to leave a rating and/or comment on iTunes or Spotify. Thanks.
And big thanks to Assault Trifle from the United Kingdom for their lovely review:
“More Toon Content? Yes, please!
Love all of Kate’s podcasts and this is no exception. Looking forward to more!”
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About Erin Huckle
Erin Huckle is the founder of Chuckle Communications, and she’s all about helping her clients raise their profiles through proactive PR, amazing award entries and compelling written content.
Erin works with innovative, ethical and creative small businesses and leaders, to find their voice, tell their stories and be seen by their ideal customers.
Fun Fact: Erin used to hang out with Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest.
Connect with Erin Huckle
Now when you Google “copywriter,” you might notice one thing. There are a lot of us. And if you check out most copywriters’ websites, they’re very similar. And the socials, now we’re all posting Ernest Hemingway quotes, sharing advice on how to use colons and popping up pictures of our dogs. So how do you stand out in a crowded market? How do you become known for what you do, build that solid, trustworthy reputation and become the go-to human in your niche? Well, our guest today is not only a successful copywriter, but a PR guru and my personal guide on becoming more known.
Using a smart combination of award entries, PR, blog posting, podcasts and more, she helps people just like us raise their profile and in turn, win more customers and charge more money. Hello, my name is Kate Toon and I’m the head copy beast at The Clever Copywriting School, an online community and teaching hub for all things related to copywriting. Today I’m talking with Erin Huckle.
Hi. Now check out the screenshot for this episode. You’ll see that my microphone is a lot bigger than Erin’s microphone, but as we discussed before the episode, it’s not what you… Not the size of your microphone, but what you do with it and you do a lot. So let me explain who Erin Huckle is. She is the founder of Chuckle Communications and she’s all about helping clients raise their profile through proactive PR. Try and say that when you’re drunk. Award entries and compelling written content, Erin works with innovative, ethical, and creative small businesses and leaders to find their voice, tell their stories, and be seen by the ideal customers. Fun fact. Erin used to hang out with Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest. Well, you Maid Marion, what does this even mean?
Oh, I’m so mysterious.
My last official PR job, I spent six years as the chief promoter of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire in the UK and Sherwood Forest is part of that jurisdiction. And so yeah, I got to talk to people all the time about Robin Hood, about Sherwood Forest, the Major Oak. Got to hang out with Robin Hood and yeah, it was really cool. Do archery.
That’s such a good job. I was so excited.
It was the best.
When I was young, when I was young… This is boring story. If you’re British, you might remember this. And if you’re over 40, you might remember this. There was a series on, called Robin of Sherwood and it started off with a guy called Michael Praed. And then the next guy to play him was Sean Connery’s son, Jason Connery. He wasn’t very good. He wasn’t as good as Michael Praed. I was obsessed with that show. So I… There’s nothing, I don’t know about Robin Hood even though 98% of it is completely made up, but he was probably just a dodgy thief living in the woods. But I… Probably that’s against all the PR that you want to put out there. I’m sorry, Erin.
No, it was true. We were like, we’re kind of promoting a man and a myth. It was all very-
Yeah, it’s like King Arthur. Many people still think he was real, but anyway… We could keep talking about Robin Hood. And you obviously done a lot of different things before you started Chuckle Communications. So tell us a few of those core milestones before you became a copywriter and a PR expert.
Well, boringly compared to most of your guests, I actually did study PR and writing at uni and now I work in PR and writing. So I’ve kind of followed a fairly boring trajectory in that way.
But yeah, my first job out of uni, I was book cover-cist, so I worked for a big publisher and I got to go on tours with authors and it was back in 2002, so we still sent out press releases in the mail sometimes and even faxes when we were feeling creative. So yeah, it was a little bit old school, but a lot of fun.
Then I worked in tech PR in London for about four years, which yeah, wasn’t really my thing, but being in London was a lot of fun. So that was good.
Back to Sydney and I worked in sort of events PR for a really cool agency here and I was actually on the first ever PR team for Vivid Sydney back when it was a inkling of an idea, a seed of an idea from the New South Wales destination organisation and they said we need to bring more people to Sydney during the cold winter months. The city’s just dead at night and now Vivid Sydney is obviously some kind of monster and beast that takes over Sydney every year. So that was fun.
Then back to London and that’s when I did my six years hanging out with Robin Hood, talking about Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and now back to Australia. So a bit of back and forth.
My husband’s actually English, which is part of the reason I’ve sort of split my career between the UK and Australia. And now I live in Wollongong and work as a copywriter and a PR consultant, which kind of came about because I just couldn’t find a job here, so…
If you can’t find a job, make a job. Well it sounds very glamorous back and forth across the world and then you end up in Wollongong. Not that there’s anything wrong with Wollongong, it’s a beautiful place. But as you said, you’re one of the rare people who’s actually qualified to do what they do. You’ve actually had a lot of experience and that you’ve studied in it. And I think the common theme of the guests on the show is often that they have no formal qualifications in copywriting. They didn’t do it for degree, they’ve written a lot in their business, but they don’t feel like a copywriter because they haven’t done that thing. So you must feel like a proper PR person.
Well, I do and I don’t because the PR world has changed a lot in the last 20 years since I first graduated from uni. Digital media wasn’t really a thing back then. I mean we had the internet, but it wasn’t the way we are today with so much kind of digital media and not that many print publications. So the whole landscape has changed a lot.
And I think the writing I’ve always done throughout my career in PR, I never actually thought I could do that as a separate service. I’ve over the years, written hundreds of media releases. I’ve written feature articles for the different clients I’ve worked with, but it was only when I heard about The Clever Copywriting School and thought, “oh actually, I could use my words to make money. And it doesn’t just have to be about media relations and PR, especially coming back to Australia from being in the UK for six years, I didn’t really have an up-to-date list of contacts. I was a little bit out of the loop. So copywriting was my way to dip my toe in the water. And I started with your big SEO course as well because I thought, okay, if I’m a copywriter I have to be an SEO copywriter. But I have also bumped the system a bit and I don’t really do SEO copywriting.
Yeah, I mean you’ve kind of evolved. I mean you’ve obviously started, came back to copywriting and did a bit of that and now really I wouldn’t even say you’re a PR, I like to call you a profile builder because obviously you’re a member of Digital Master Chefs as well and you’re a PR kind of profile building expert there. So really copywriting is a skill that you use, one of the many skills in your… One of the many arrows in your quiver. Do you like that?
Oh, that’s not bad actually.
Oh but it’s not your only arrow. Not your only arrow. How do the worlds of copywriting and PR cross over?
Well, a lot of what we do in PR is about compelling communication, just like in copywriting and it’s about storytelling. So with the work I do in PR and profile raising, a lot of the time it’s using storytelling to try and get other people to share your story. So it’s not just you saying, “Hey, I’m awesome and this is my business and this is what I do.” It’s about getting a podcast host or a journalist to talk about why you’re awesome instead.
But it really does come down to storytelling and a lot of that is still in written form. I do a lot of ghostwriting for some of my clients who may be are experts in their field, but they’re not confident writers. Obviously, you don’t have that problem Kate, but a lot of my other clients are a bit more hesitant to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. So I will interview them on their subject area and write articles on their behalf once we get opportunities in the media. So there’s that kind of crossover. And then things like awards, I’ve become a bit of an award writing… I don’t want to say expert, but it’s all-
But you do a lot. Yeah, you’ve got a lot for me and I wanted to talk about that award. So PR I think most people get, this writing of the press release. The hard bit of that PR bit; however, is then getting them out to a media list and having a media list and building those relationships. So a lot of copywriters don’t have that bit, but you actually have worked on that as well. But as you said, you’ve only been back in Australia for a short time. How did you go about building your own little media list?
Yeah, so that was the thing that was my biggest barrier to coming back into the world of PR, like I said. So I’ve been back for in Australia for five years and I’ve been running my business for about three years now. So it was really just a case of Googling, looking at the outlets that other people were being featured in, contacting editors and then building relationships. It’s kind of boring. There’s like no overnight secret. You can purchase media lists, which I did do in the early days as well. I purchased a few lists just to get a bit of a foundation to build from, but they’re not cheap. So especially if you’re a copywriter trying to do your own profile raising, you probably don’t want to spend $3,000 on accessing media nets, media lists.
So it’s about looking at where else are people getting featured and following key journalists and editors on places like LinkedIn or Instagram. Like with anything, building relationships takes a bit of time. So it’s also making the contacts that you have with those people valuable rather than just spamming them with every story you get that might be of interest, reading their publication, reading, listening to their podcast. I think we’ve talked before in other forums about the importance of actually reading and listening to the outlet you want to pitch to before you pitch, rather than just sending these cold pitchers that people just delete. So it’s about playing the long game, really that relationship building.
Yeah, and I think for those listening who are interested in offering this service, that is something that small business owners, entrepreneurs, thought leaders just don’t have time to do. I don’t have time to read publications and understand the editorial guidelines. I don’t really want to listen to business podcasts. I want to be on them, don’t want to listen to them, and I don’t have the energy to keep pitching and pitching, understanding that maybe my first four pictures will not hit home and it’s the fifth one. So that’s something that, I’m going to call it grunt work, which makes it sound very unglamorous, but that grunt work is something that entrepreneurs don’t want to do and anything that people don’t want to do, you can therefore charge quite a premium for. Because it’s like I have the connections, I know how this works, I can give you a much better chance of getting into this publication or in this podcast than you can.
But I guess… I’m sorry, I’m stray from the questions, but I guess one of the big challenges with PR is you can write the most beautiful pitch, you can write the most beautiful media release and you have to charge for that, but then it can go absolutely nowhere. So how do you manage that expectation of the client to say, “Hey, I want to be in Marie Claire,” and you’re like, “okay, I’ll try” and I’m going to write 17 pitches, but then none of them worked. So how do you manage that expectation with the client?
I think like you said, it is about managing expectations because that is the hardest thing with PR is that often there isn’t that much to show for all of your efforts. Like you say, you might spend hours crafting these pictures and you contact 20 different journalists with a similar sort of stories and only maybe get one hit or none at all. So there’s a bit of luck involved, but it’s also why I think PR is so valuable because it’s not just a pay-to-play, there’s no guarantees. And that’s why I get so excited when I do lend articles because I know that how hard that can be to do.
But I think the way to frame it, if you’re a copywriter thinking about adding PR as a service or looking at specialising in writing press releases or helping clients with their profile raising, look at the other ways that the work you’re creating can be create value for that client. So things like a media release, yes it’s about sending out and trying to get some media coverage off the back of that news, but could it also be turned into a blog article for their own website? Could it be used as a story they can share in their next few years letter that they send out? Could they grab snippets from it for their social media? How can they repurpose it so that paying you to write that release and send it out is still a good investment and gets that ROI for the client.
Yeah, and I think that’s it. You know, come up with a few pitches, you try different publications, but they can also use that same pitch for podcasts. You can use it for speaker arrangements, you know, can use it for online master classes. A lot of groups and so many memberships now. Nowhere as good as mine. There’s so many memberships who are looking for someone to come on and talk about X or Y. I even noticed on your socials today you did a master class for us and now you’re using that same master class and doing it for another membership. So you can recycle the content and share it around. So I think that’s a great option, creating something that’s got a bit of legs in it.
We were going to talk about awards. I side stepped there, so let’s come on to awards. So as you said, you, you’ve become a bit of an awards beast, written a lot. You’ve done personally a lot for me this year. I’ve been a finalist heaps and heaps of times. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride I like to say, although I did, I’ve won a few so I should shut up.
Awards. Tell us a little bit about writing award entries and some tips for copywriters listening you think that might be something they’d like to do.
So I think for copywriters, awards are great in that we can look at writing them for ourselves as part of our own profile-raising strategy because who doesn’t want to work with an award or award-winning writer? I’m a bit basic in that, for example, if I’m choosing a bottle of wine, I go for the one with the shiny award stickers on it. I don’t necessarily look that closely if they actually won a decent awards show or a wine show, I just look at, “oh that one’s got some sort of third-party approval or endorsement” And I think it’s the same for us as copywriters. So awards are something we can enter for ourselves. And obviously we’ve got our own Clever Copywriting awards that happened recently through the Clever Copywriting School and they were open to all copywriters. So that was a really exciting thing that people could enter.
So we can look at writing awards for ourselves for profile raising, but we can also look at offering it as a service for our clients. And I really want to give people the confidence to start doing that because I’ve realised writing awards is something not many people want to do for themselves. They’re time-poor and they just feel a bit cringey about writing about how amazing they are. If they can outsource that to someone like you, they’ll be really happy. And I think why I’ve become a bit of an award-writing beast is because I’ve realised it’s a service a lot of people want, not because it’s brain surgery. I don’t think writing awards takes a huge amount of skill. It’s got to be a good writer and answer the question and I can talk through some tips around that, but loads of people just don’t want to do it because they’re time poor and they just don’t want to put themselves out there.
And I think it’s really hard to draw out your, the question’s like tell us, “what do you bring to the business world? It’s like, oh I don’t know stuff I hate mean awards questions. I think they’re awful. But the thing is they’re all awful. So you end up answering the same awful questions again and again. So once you’ve come up with one big awards deck, you can recycle it a little bit again and again. So that first one is the hardest. And drawing out from the client their success is their milestones, their values can be quite challenging. I know from being on the other side of it. I don’t know what’s to say and you’re like, well you could mention that you did this. And I’m like, Oh yeah, I did do that, I forgot about that. So yeah, it takes a bit of investigation, doesn’t it?
And that’s why it’s a great kind of add-on to existing clients as well. So if you’re working with a client and you’ve already gotten to know their business fairly well and worked with them on perhaps website content or whatever it might have been, if you then see an award coming up, there’s no harm in just sending them an email. “Oh I saw this award’s coming up the deadline’s in a few months time, perhaps you should consider entering. I’m happy to write the entry for you if that helps.” It’s a great way of upselling yourself as a copywriter because you already have a bit of knowledge around that client. Although I do also work with clients who I haven’t worked with before and obviously then the interview process takes a little bit longer and the fact finding, but at the end of the day people are just really relieved to be able to hand it off to someone else and get it off their own to-do list.
Yeah, exactly. And you mentioned a few things there. We have a set up our own awards, kind of have a copywriting school awards, I’ll make sure I include a link to that. I’m quickly going into the episode notes. You’ll probably hear me typing and adding a link to Clever Copywriting School Awards. So we’re just updating that page at the moment to get it ready for 2023. So we will be running that again. That was a great success. I think we both learned a lot from doing that awards, didn’t we? And the questions and yay gosh, the entries and seeing the different quality of the entries and how a few people just completely ignored the word count and it’s like, “oh you are immediately disqualified.: And how so many people had not proofread their entries as well, which is a really hard one because it was actually quite good answer. But the fact that you’re entering the proofreading category and you didn’t proofread it. Hard, right so it was with big learning curve for us, wasn’t it?
Yeah, absolutely. So interesting to be on the other side after writing so many award entries and like you said, it just comes down to really getting those basics, sticking to the word count. Some of them are really hard. We had quite a short word count on our questions, but everyone’s in the same boat. And I think especially if you’re a copywriter, that’s a skill you should really be able to work on and have really being succinct and getting all of the sort essential info into just a couple of paragraphs rather than waffling on for pages and pages.
I’m wanting to submit loads and loads of evident evidentiary stuff as well. I want to submit this link and this link and this link and this pdf. It’s like, well would I want that? You need to be able to sum it up because that, especially the copywriting awards, that is illustrating your ability as well. It was really interesting. And also one of the challenges for us was we really wanted to be honest and we wanted to be fair. So our judging process, we had a lot of judges. They didn’t see each other’s judging criteria, they didn’t see each other’s who was in which wards, which meant that one particular person, Tanya, was a finalist in four categories. And I think a few people were like, wow, but it’s no one saw each other’s categories. But equally we had debate there about people paying for the awards.
And I think this is the other thing, you’ll actually put together a spreadsheet as part one of your lead magnets. I think we should link to it in the show notes with a calendar of awards. But I guess you would agree that part of the copywriters judge job is to say, “Is it, I wonder,” to say to the client, “This one probably isn’t a great one for you to enter. This one doesn’t have a lot of respect in the market, this one…” because there’s lots of awards where it’s like, join enter, you will definitely win. And then you pay to get a trophy and then you pay to get it. So there’s a bit of a job there, isn’t there? Do you ever push back on clients and say don’t enter this?
Yeah, I have pushed back before both on those pay to play kind of awards and also those pay to play media opportunities that I know you’ve received requests for in the past where it’s, we’ll include you in this top 10 best copywriters article if you pay us $500 or whatever it is. And it’s all a bit scammy, but it’s hard. It can be hard to push back on clients and say, Oh actually I don’t know if those awards are the best thing for you to enter. But it’s about building trust, isn’t it? So if that’s a client that you already work with or you want to have a long-term relationship with.. If you say to them, “Look, I’ve had a look at the criteria and perhaps next year would be a better time for you to enter. Your business is only a certain amount of time old, maybe you’ll have more sort of runs on the board to share next year.”
Or it could be a case of saying, “look, I’ve heard word around the traps that these awards aren’t actually very well recognised and they don’t have a great reputation. Perhaps they’re not the best use of time right now and we could look at this instead.” But the idea with that awards calendar I’ve created is I think a lot of people also feel like… Clients often feel like they don’t see the deadline for an award. They don’t know the awards even happening until they see the competitors crowing about being a finalist and they think, why aren’t I in that list? So the idea with the calendar is that I want to give copywriters that tool so they can then look at it. And it’s a work in progress, it’s a live document. We’ve got more than a hundred award programmes on there already.
Yeah, it’s huge. There’s –
Good on you. There are so many awards and someone’s got to win them, right? Someone’s got to win them. Anyway, we’ll keep going on about awards because it’s a big pep topic, but I want to move on to talk about, I guess, what have you used to raise your profile for actually your own business? What’s worked for you to make people know more about Chuckle communications?
Yeah, I decided to drink my own Kool-Aid about a year ago because I was putting myself out there as a profile razor, but I wasn’t necessarily doing any of my own PR or entering my business into awards or putting myself out there as a podcast guest. So those are the three things I’ve been focused on doing in the last year partly to raise my profile as a PR consultant and copywriter and of my business, but also to be able to evidence to potential clients. If I can do it for myself and I can do it for you too. So it’s been around things like putting myself forward as a guest article contributor for different places. So obviously we’ve just been going on about awards, so I’ve written a number of articles about how to enter awards, the benefits of entering awards, that kind of thing for more business media.
I’ve written articles about profile raising and PR. I’ve been a guest on podcasts talking about PR and profile raising for businesses. So really just trying to treat myself as my own client and all of those things I’ve done. Even entering awards and getting to be a finalist in of local awards for my business and that kind of thing. Again, it just gives me nice badges to put on my email signature put to put on my website and really kind of boost that reputation. And it’s really interesting because people see that and it definitely has that kind of effect. You know, you were talking before about being the bridesmaid rather than the bride with awards, but even being a finalist, I get so much feedback from people. “Wow, you’re doing so well. I saw you won another award.” Well actually I haven’t won any, I’ve just been a finalist but I mean, being a finalist is still an amazing achievement.
It’s just kind of builds that kind of positivity around your brand and your business and I think all of the things that I’ve done any copywriter could do. Even if you have a niche, so perhaps you’re a copywriter who writes for the travel industry, you could be putting yourself forward to travel media outlets, talking about how to work with copywriters, how to get your story told, storytelling advice for businesses. I think, yes, there are lots of copywriters out there, but we all have different expertise and I really do believe everyone has something that they could talk about in that sort of PR area.
And I mean couple of the articles you’ve had published have been in Mamma Mia and they haven’t even been directly about what you do or what you said, but just they have huge reach, lots of people hear about you, again, you can share it. And the fact that that publication is willing to publish you, associates with the brand, as you said, the badge on the website.
So it’s less tangible than doing a Facebook ad and getting 17.2% click through rate or whatever. It’s much more kind of ephemeral, that the overall impact. But I think it’s funny because you say about the kind of people saying, “Oh you’re doing well people,” as you said, I’ve been a finalist bridesmaid, not a bride and I’ve done this and the other, but people just seem to think I’m doing well and it’s because of these mentions. And why does that matter if people think I’m doing well, that’s what I’m reflecting on. It’s good for the ego and there’s nothing wrong with boosting your ego a little bit. So no, it’s good,
But also it raises your profile. People take you seriously. I know that when I won Businesswoman of the Year, I think it was last year or the year before, and I put that on my LinkedIn, gosh, the number of people who had never bothered with me before, decide to take me a bit more seriously. Yeah, interesting.
What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes that copywriters make when they’re trying to raise their own profile? I’m going to say it’s that they just don’t do anything and they’re not very good at tooting their horn. Is that what you’re going to say?
I was going to say the same. The biggest mistake is that they just don’t do anything. It’s that sort of almost like that analysis paralysis. And I think because we are professional communicators, we can kind of get in our own way and think, “Oh well other people are already out there talking about writing for business or other people are already talking about the value of SEO friendly content for your website or whatever it might be. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a reason to put yourself out there. And I think it’s just starting. Just doing anything. It doesn’t have to be a national publication to start with or a big-name podcast. It could be a really small podcast that is a friend of a friend’s running it and it just gives you a chance to practise your skills and be interviewed and start to talk.
It could be doing something with your local newspaper about your business or offering advice to a local network. I’m in Wollongong, there are a number of local business networks that I’ve attended over the last few years to raise my profile and pick up local clients, whether that’s speaking or just being present and meeting people or offering advice.
I think just starting is the main thing. And just getting out of our own ways. I think we sort of feel that we don’t deserve to be in the spotlight, but we do. And it all just helps. I always say PR is more of a communication function than a sales function. It’s not necessarily going to lend you clients straight away, but it just builds that reputation and it gives you great content to share potentially great back links to your website. So there’s nothing to lose really.
There’s not, I think people underestimate that trust factor that am I going to choose to work with a copywriter that I’ve never heard of, that’s never been featured anywhere, that’s never entered an award, that’s never had a blog post published somewhere else, kind of all the skills in the world. But we need that external affirmation to go other people have trusted and admire and respect this person. Therefore I’m safer making a purchase decision with this person than this person. Simple. Really it’s proof. We’re all obsessed with testimonials and putting client logos on our websites, but having an As Featured In panel, you’ll see all entrepreneurs do. Old for leaders and coaches. There’s no reason why copywriters can’t do that to you. So I love that and I feel that that’s almost your tip that you would pass onto newbie copywriters as well.
Starting now… My little tip… I’m going to do a tip for you and then you can do a tip. I think one of the hardest things I’ve found with entering this late, because I’ve never entered awards with very anti-them. I’ve always kind of done guest blogs and stuff, that’s how I built my business, writing for a business or flying solo and things like that. But I never kept a track of what I’d achieved, ever. The date when I launched the recipe course, the number of people who were in it, the day I launched the podcast, the number of dollars. I didn’t have any of that data to then use in awards and it was very hard to retrospectively go back and do it.
So I think it was a really nice idea for you today, newbie copywriters to have a little folder on your desktop with a document in it, and every time you achieve something, the first big client you win, the first project’s over 10K, the first time… The nice testimonial you got. Keep it. It’s like a nice things folder, but it’s also an achievements folder because you will need that at some point. It may not feel like it now, but later you’ll be thankful. What do you think of that tip, Erin?
I love that tip. I similarly wish I had started doing that earlier on in my business journey. So in the last year where I’ve been entering awards for myself, it took a little bit of time to do that kind of fact finding and go back and look at how many clients I had in my first year compared to my second, compared to my third. But now that I entered those awards, they were a great opportunity for me to reflect and to now have that baseline data to build on, like you say, so that maybe five years into the business are we able to say, “Oh wow, I’ve now grown by this much” or “I’ve ticked off these sort of big hairy goals I was hoping to achieve.” So that’s a great tip.
My other tip would be if you are a newbie copywriter or you’re still not that clear on your niche, is to just maybe have… If you have a copy-buddy or another copywriter that you’re friends with or you kind of connected with in some way, maybe book in a half hour or an hour with that person and have a bit of a brainstorm about story ideas that you could both be putting yourself out there for. And it doesn’t need to be how to use a semicolon as we’ve covered before. It could be around, it could be around setting up a business, maybe leaving the corporate world and becoming a consultant. It could be around why my standup desk is the best investment I made in my business in the first 12 months, or any kind of quirky story that might be something that you could then pitch to a media outlet.At the very least, you’ll have some great topics for blogs for your own website, so it’s a half hour or an hour well spent. But just sort having that kind of other human to bounce ideas off can be really helpful when you’re trying to get out of your own way and start putting yourself out there a little bit more.
I love that. Great tip, great episode. I just personally want to thank you for all the help you’ve given me in raising my profile, but I’d like to finish off with a bit of a seedy question. So tell me what is the strangest thing you’ve ever done for a bit of PR coverage?
This is a good question because I have done a few things over the years, but like I mentioned before, I got to hang out with Robin Hood Sherwood Forest. So I did things like staying overnight in cabins of Sherwood Forest and taking part in archery with journalists from all over Europe, which was really fun. But the funniest thing I think I’ve done was I worked in book publishing when I first started, as I mentioned, and I worked with this amazing kids’ book author and he wrote these Selby books about this big yellow dog and his former life. He was a chemist, a scientist. So we got him this great piece of media in one of the Sunday papers in their magazine and it was a bit of a then and now about people who had had quite a dramatic career change. And he was in the photo in his lab coat being his pre-author self as a chemist. And I got to be in the Selby dog suit. So I got to be this six-foot-tall yellow dog. And I was in this photo double spread in the Sunday papers, full colour.
No one knew it was me because I was in-
You still have it? Do you still have the photo? I want to see that. You got to share that in the group.
But my brother had it on his fridge for ages. He’s like, “Let’s put this up.”
“I’m so famous.” Oh, what a shame. Your big moment and dressed as a dog. Well look Erin, I always love talking to you. For listeners, where can people find out more about you and all that you do?
So I’m on LinkedIn. If you look for Erin Huckle, you’ll find me on there. My business is called Chuckle Communications, so that’s my website. I’m on Instagram, but mainly active on LinkedIn. If you want to reach out to me there or connect with me there, always happy to answer questions or have a chat. And the awards calendar we mentioned a few times is on my website and we’ll put a link to it in the show notes, but hopefully that’ll help give you some inspiration for asking clients to enter awards or entering yourself in awards.
Fantastic. And Erin is both a member of Clever Copywriting School and our profile raising expert in Digital Masterchefs. We have oodles of master classes in both memberships about award entries, PR, how to write press releases or fact jazz. So if you want to learn more, then head off to either of our communities and see about a joining. But Erin, thank you so much for joining us today.
Thank you so much.
Went all squeaky at the end. I’m just excited. Thanks so much Erin.
So that’s the end of this week’s show. If you want to grab more tips, head to The Clever Copywriting School website and possibly sign up for our free pricing guide. We have a UK, a US, and an Australian version. And thank you to Erin Huckle for being our fabulous guest. We also have a lovely review from Assault Trifle, what a great name from the United Kingdom.They said, “more Toon content. Yes, please. Love all of Kate’s podcast and this is no exception. Looking forward to more.” Thank you Assault Trifle. And thanks to you for listening. If you like the show, don’t forget to leave a five-star rating and review on iTunes, Stitches, Spotify, or wherever you heard the podcast. You’ll help others find the show and learn more about the lovely world of copywriting. You’ll also get a shout out on the show. And don’t forget, you can check out the show notes where we have linked to our 2023 copywriting awards and to Erin’s awards calendar spreadsheet. So until next time, happy writing.