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    An interview with Copywriter Phyllis Stylianou

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Job posted: 15/09/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Phyllis Stylianou from Write Stuff Media


     

    Who are you Phyllis Stylianou?

    I’m a freelance journalist and copywriter, mum of three teenagers and two cats, Harry Potter aficionado and I’ve recently discovered The Hunger Games. I’ll write anything for anyone, but have found myself specialising in engineering and construction copywriting. I’ve written two books, carried the Olympic torch in 2000 and wish I had some sort of talent, but unfortunately I don’t.

     

    What did you do before you became a copywriter?

    I’ve been a journalist unofficially since I was 15 and officially since I was 18. I used to go to the local newspaper every afternoon after school to work. (They invited me back after I did work experience.)

    I worked at Cumberland Newspapers (the Murdoch local papers in Sydney), then went to Readers Digest where I was a sub-editor of Handyman magazine, then returned to local papers (Fairfax). I love local media. It’s a shame they’re dying out. I always had Write Stuff Media as a bit of a side hustle but didn’t get serious about it until I was made redundant five years ago.

     

    How long have you been copywriting?

    Five years full time.

     

    What has been your copywriting career win?

    Securing a fairly regular client that is a large engineering company – Calibre.

     

    What was your worst copywriting fail?

    Getting conned into writing 30 x 1000-word webpages and not getting paid.

     

    What are your number one fave copywriting tools?

    Kate’s email templates, Grammarly, Tiny URL, Voice Recorder, and Rev transcription service.

     

    How do you deal with self-doubt?

    Curl up in a ball and fall apart. Tell my husband I’m hopeless. My eldest daughter slaps me around (figuratively), I have a cry, think of a plan and write it down, dust myself off and keep going. Cuddle my kids.

     

    What work/life balance or mental health tips do you have?

    Set regular business hours and stick to them, go for a walk, and remember how bad things seem, good things can be just around the corner and nothing ever stays the same forever.

    Try to keep regular business hours so you don’t spent the evening or weekend thinking about the jobs that need to be done. Try to eat well and exercise. Above all, talk to other people if you feel unsure, upset or worried.

    Talk to people in the TCCS FB group, talk to family or friends. You can even chat with your doctor. I’ve found that people in the TCCS FB group are always there to give you a boost, and will even offer advice or to lend a hand. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

     

    What tip would you pass onto any newbie copywriters?

    Join this group, do some courses (they’re great), get Kate to do a Member Makeover or, if she still does them, a one-on-one consultation (best money I’ve ever spent). Get Tony Cosentino to build your website or, if you can’t afford it, get him to give your website a health check (another great investment).

    Get some part-time work if you can to keep you going financially and build your confidence. Don’t overprice yourself – start small (not too cheap though) and gradually increase prices. Learn about SEO through Kate’s course so people will find your website.

     

     

    What’s next for you?

    I’ve been getting some contract work as a comms officer which is building my skills and experience. I hope to keep doing that but really need to get back into making a big effort with my business. I’d love for my business to take off enough that I never have to worry about money again.

     

    Why do you love TCCS?

    I love Kate and she is the heart of the group. It’s a great place to come for reassurance when feeling down, for information and advice, and for company – because working at home can be a bit lonely sometimes. I love that Kate doesn’t allow any nastiness, and anyone who makes cutting remarks soon leaves. (Happened to me a couple of times so I stopped posting.) It’s a place of friendship.

     

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    How to get more clients on LinkedIn

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Job posted: 08/09/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    A guide for freelance copywriters

     

    This post was written by TCCS member, Beck Cofrancesco


     

    Everyone’s talking about LinkedIn right now. And for good reason.

    It’s a golden window of opportunity.

    Of the near 700 million people on LinkedIn, only 1% post weekly content.

    Which means it’s less crowded than other social channels, and your content is more likely to be seen.

    And best of all it’s what’s known as long-tail content. It will keep performing for weeks.

    Wouldn’t it feel great to be an in-demand copywriter with clients chasing you to work with them?

    It’s time to up your LinkedIn game and get visible.

    LinkedIn is a client goldmine waiting to be tapped, especially if you work in the B2B space.

    I’m sharing what’s worked for me, and why I love it so much. (Yep, I’m a total LinkedIn geek.)

    “People on LinkedIn have money.
    A budget ready to spend.
    If that’s not a qualified lead, I don’t know what is.”

     

    First, work out your goals for LinkedIn

    To get more clients on LinkedIn you need to be clear on three things:

    1. What you want to be known for
    2. Who you want to connect with
    3. The results you want

     

    Second, nail the LinkedIn profile

    Think of your LinkedIn profile as a sales page for your business.

    Include everything you need to dazzle potential customers, including a great banner with your unique selling proposition.

    You want as many people to check out your profile as possible. So, you need to set it up so they can find it. Keywords help you do that.

    Tip: Write a list of keywords people would search for to find you and include them in your headline and profile description.

     

    Build a search-friendly LinkedIn header

    When you’re active on the LinkedIn feed, the words under your name may be the only thing people see. Use keywords to call out the value you bring.

    There are two trains of thoughts on best practice:

    1. Lead with a statement on how you can help (e.g. “I help financial services businesses communicate”)
    2. Signal what you do (e.g. “Freelance Financial Services Marketer I Sydney”)

    I’ve tried both and didn’t see a difference in visibility. So, it comes down to preference and the keywords you use.

     

    Refresh your summary description

    LinkedIn doesn’t have to be a snooze fest. You can let your personality shine.
    Make it all about your potential customer, how you’re the answer to what they need, and why they should choose you.

    Tip: Remember to turn off notifications while you’re fiddling about. Turn it back on when you’ve made your final change and your network will be notified.

    Note: Kate has a great LinkedIn course inside the membership and profile template. If you’re serious about growing your copywriting business on LinkedIn you should definitely get it.

     

    Third, jump in and get social

    To be good at social, you need to be social. So never lead with the sell. Always lead with value.

    A great way to get your feel for LinkedIn is to join conversations on your feed.

    Pick posts that align with your area of expertise and what you want to be known for. It’s a simple way to build your confidence, and you’ll also start showing up on your connection’s newsfeeds.

     

    Start conversations (outreach program)

    If you really want to build traction and get those leads happening, you need to be intentional about it.

    The real gold in LinkedIn isn’t the newsfeed. It’s in the conversations you have in private (or ‘in-mail’ to be technically correct).

    Make yourself a target list of:

    • People you admire
    • Companies who have values similar to yours
    • People you’ve worked with in the past (and want to work with again)
    • Decision-makers (i.e. people with the authority to hire you for freelance work)

    Then systematically start conversations with those people. And when the time is right, you can introduce the idea of working together.

    Tip: NEVER lead with a sales request. It’s annoying. And spammy.
    Lead with connection, show value, and then let the conversation happen naturally.

     

    Post your own content

    Even though we’re copywriters, we’re not immune to getting stuck with what to write about.

    But what better way to get more clients on LinkedIn than to showcase what you’re good at – writing.

    It’s a good idea to create content themes (known as pillars) and stick to them.

    The themes should support what you want to be known for.

    Tip: Always include an engaging call to action. The LinkedIn algorithm is just like other platforms, where engagement on your post triggers it to show it to more people.

     

     

    Conclusion

    If your ideal clients hang out on LinkedIn it’s time you did too. It’s not the snoozefest you think it is. And there is a real opportunity right now.

    It would be a shame to waste it, no?

    Feel free to hang out on LinkedIn with me.

     

    Over to you

    If you liked this article please share it.

     

    About Beck

     

    Rebecca Cofrancesco is the founder of Marketing Goodness.

    Beck is a copywriter and marketing strategist who loves working with service-based businesses.

    Helping them get found, create great content, start conversations, and make more sales.

     

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    Anti-Boring Guide: How To Make Your Writing More Interesting

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Job posted: 27/08/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Your writing can be interesting, even when the subject matter isn’t

     

    This post was written by TCCS member, George Norris


     

    A weathered billboard displays the message “Really Good Jerky, 75 Miles”

    Hey there, copywriter. Whatcha writing about?

    Australia’s most innovative verandah installers?
    Suppliers of authentic cardboard boxes?
    Perhaps a unique accountancy firm?

    They all sound a bit silly, don’t they?

    As copywriters, we often have to take pretty mundane stuff and make it sound exciting.

    It’s what we do.

    And sometimes there’s a tendency to go overboard with adjectives if the subject matter isn’t dripping with natural inspiration.

    And that’s how we end up with misaligned descriptions like these.

    But did you know you can make your writing interesting, even when the topic isn’t?

    Put the thesaurus down, and try a few of these tips and techniques.

     

    Bait your hook

    Start strong. In the digital era, your prospects’ attention span is measured in milliseconds. So you have only a few seconds to grab someone’s attention and slow their scroll, lest they scroll on by or hit the “archive” button on their emails.

    You have to bait them into stopping.

    Classic copywriting formulas like AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action), or PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solve), dictate that you should include a trigger early on in your message. These writing formulas may be decades old, but the logic behind them is sounder than ever.

    Bait your hook with a juicy attention-grabber, and cast it into the headline, subject line or first paragraph of your copy. A fisherman doesn’t wait until the end of the day to put his hook in front of his prospects, and neither should you.

     

    Get a strong brief and refer to it often

    Get a good brief, he says…but, isn’t that Copywriting 101? Well, it is. (Or at least it should be.)

    But even so, every copywriter’s been there; fudging their way through a project where the client didn’t provide a strong brief, or they didn’t push hard enough to get one.

    And we’ve all felt the pain a poor brief can cause down the track.

    A half-cooked brief can send any copywriting project into a tailspin, most likely ending with a burnt-out copywriter and a frustrated client.

    A woman bites down on a pencil in frustration as she looks at a laptop screen.

    A good brief isn’t just the bedrock of a copywriting project. It’s also an essential reference to help you every step of the way.

    Your brief should be your guide when you get stuck with how to phrase something, or find yourself pondering what it is your audience desires.

    Emails with the client can often yield gold when revisited, too—though no promises there. A sentence you may have glossed over initially could hold the missing piece of information you need to break through when you’re in a rut.

     

    Don’t build walls (of text)

    This guy likes building walls. Don’t be like this guy.

    An animated gif shows a caricature of Donald Trump laying bricks on a wall

    Nobody reads walls of text. Why would they? There’s a whole world of well-crafted, punchy, and bite-size content out there to tuck into these days. So, don’t build text walls.

    Break your writing up into easily digestible chunks by incorporating images and subheadings. Write short paragraphs that make a point, substantiate it, and introduce the next one.

     

    Short sentences keep the tempo upbeat

    Sentences. Keep them short. Mostly. Sometimes you need a long sentence to make your point, and that’s fine.

    But why use 11 words when you could say the same thing with five?

    Your readers aren’t looking for Shakespeare when they’re reading your blog post.

    Short sentences are easy on the brain.

    A long sentence that drifts on and on, meandering in no particular direction with repeated words and redundant points that are superfluous because you already made them earlier, with circular logic that goes round and round and round and runs into itself and ends up as an endless string of letters and repeated words, and punctuations with passive voice that means it was taking ages for the point to be made, and eventually the point is lost in the avalanche of words, and maybe some corporate buzzwords have crept in like a pivoting deep dive, and you wonder what the point even was other than to make you annoyed and want to slap the screen you’re looking at and oh my god what is he talking about and please make it stop!

    Sorry. Got a bit carried away there. But I hope that mess illustrated my point.

    Keep it simple, and keep it short.

     

    Remember the 7 Ps

    A metal ornament in the shape of the letter P

    The 7 Ps is an old military adage that goes; Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

    Like a marching band, it’s got a rhythm to it. But what does it mean for us writers?

    Front-load your workload. Fill your brain up with as much information as you can at the start of the project.

    That way, when it’s the eve of your deadline and you’re shaking your head at how the day got away on you, a much-needed nugget of inspiration might just come rattling out from the depths of your noggin.

    You probably didn’t know there’s also a 7 Ps for copywriting. Here it is:

    People Prefer Personality to Piffle, Platitudes, and Posturing Personas.

    Okay, I just made that up. And maybe it’s a bit crap compared to the original. But feel free to try it out the next time a client wants you to talk about the revolutionary qualities of a box of staples.

    Most people react positively to writing they can relate to rather than corporate-speak and buzzwords. It’s why copywriters exist. So don’t be afraid to inject a little personality into your writing.

    Compare these two sentences:

    “Our bakery sells traditional pies, sandwiches, and coffee that your family will love.”
    vs.
    “We don’t just make the best sandwiches and pies in town. We also have reasonably good coffee.”

    The first sentence is cliched and forgettable.

    The second makes the same point but is conversational with a touch of dry humour. More memorable.

     

    Keep it active

    The reader is bored by the sentence with a passive voice. Because the pace of the passive voice is dawdling and clumsy.

    Most readers prefer the active voice. The active voice is crisp.

    See what I did there?

    • Active voice: The subject does the verb to the object. e.g. The copywriter nailed the brief.
    • Passive voice: The verb happens to the subject. e.g. The nailing of the brief was done by the copywriter.

    We see that the active voice gets your point across more efficiently and directly, even in a short example.

    Hemingway is a great tool for spotting instances of passive voice.

    Keep it active.

     

    Chop chop

    When you’re editing your own work, try to shift your mindset. Think like a third party, preferably a ruthless editor, alone in a half-lit room, surrounded by stacks of papers four feet high, dreaming up new ways to chop sentences down to size and make words disappear from the page.

    You have to drop your emotional attachment to your handiwork and focus on keeping the audience front and centre.

    A cartoon gif showing a character smoking a cigar while editing documents

    Just as a butcher breaks down a carcass and sells only the good stuff to their customers, an editor breaks down a document.

    Every paragraph, every sentence, and every word goes on the chopping block.

    Only those that add substance or intrigue should be spared from tasting the cold steel of the cleaver.

    If a sentence isn’t adding anything, or encouraging the reader to read the next one, give it the chop.

     

    Be interested

    Make it your business to be interested in what you’re writing about even when it’s not that interesting.

    The person reading your copy about diesel engines might find them totally fascinating, even if you find them as interesting as day-old dishwater.

    If you skimp on doing your homework because you’re not that interested, your writing is likely to reflect that.

    It’ll be, as Bilbo Baggins says, “like butter scraped over too much bread”. It’s difficult to write in an interesting way when you’re unfamiliar with the topic.

    Deep knowledge of your subject allows for confident and compelling writing that’s interesting to read, regardless of the subject.

     

    Still stuck?

    Take a break.

    An animated gif shows a writer typing at a writer between sunrise and sunset

    Sometimes it feels like no matter what techniques you try, writing’s just hard.

    Try looking elsewhere for inspiration at times like this.

    Loads of great writers post tips on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Follow some, and see if you can’t find some spark.

    You’ll find plenty of them are members of this here copywriting school.

    If that’s not working, try taking a step back from the screen.

    Go for a walk, read a book, or listen to some music.

    Often, the best thing you can do is take a break from the page and come back with fresh eyes.

    It doesn’t need to be a long time, but doing something else will nearly always reset your mind and let you put a new twist on your writing.

     

    Over to you

    If you liked this article, please share it.

     

     

    About George

     

    George Norris is the chief word merchant at George Norris Copywriter.

    He writes marketing content and brand copy for businesses who want to tell a better story.

     

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    An interview with Copywriter Claudia Bouma

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Job posted: 28/07/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Claudia Bouma from Claudia Bouma Copywriter


     

    Who are you Claudia Bouma?

    I’m an Aussie SEO copywriter who loves working with small business owners eager to change people’s lives. An idealist at heart, I believe words can change the world.

     

    What did you do before you became a copywriter?

    During a two-year family camping trip around Oz with three preschoolers, I submitted a travel article to the 4×4 Australia magazine editor, which was published.
    Other travel mags contacted me and I found myself living the dream as a travel writer and my husband as the travel photographer.

     

    How long have you been copywriting?

    I’ve always been fascinated with words. In high school I took English, French and German followed by Spanish and Russian in Business School because I love and breathe language.

    My travel writing career kicked off in 2009 then I branched out into SEO-friendly website copy in 2017 after doing Kate’s Recipe for SEO Success Course.

    I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

     

    What has been your biggest copywriting career win?

    Copy editing for the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service (RFDS) in Victoria. As a kid, I watched The Flying Doctors on TV and was smitten with Tom Callaghan.

    When another copywriter referred this job to me, I was beside myself. The RFDS is an Australian icon and I feel proud to have contributed in a small way to this life-changing health service.

     

    What was your worst copywriting career fail?

    Writing web copy for an online maths program provider after successfully working with the owner to develop the tone of voice. I slaved over the content and he HATED it.

    My confidence took a hit but it was the incredible copywriting community that helped me see it wasn’t all my fault. I learned many valuable lessons throughout this horrible experience, and I’ve become a better copywriter as a result.

     

    What is your number one fave copywriting tool?

    The online thesaurus is my go-to tool for all my copywriting.

     

    How do you deal with self-doubt?

    Having a copy buddy has helped me get through times of doubt. A regular catch-up with someone who understands your world and can bring perspective is SOOOO helpful.

    Most of the battle is in the mind so it’s important to get your thoughts out in the real world, only to discover that things aren’t as bad as they seem. A sounding board is crucial for my mental health.

    And my amazing husband is my biggest fan who buys me chocolate when I’m miserable.

     

    What work/life balance or mental health tips do you have?

    Copywriting is what you do, it’s not who you are. Enjoy what you do and make sure you remember why you’ve chosen this roller coaster lifestyle to make sure you get through the hard times.

    Be realistic about what you can and can’t do. You’re not a superhero.

    Don’t promise the world and put yourself under pressure. Deadlines are flexible, believe it or not.

     

    What tip would you pass onto any newbie copywriters?

    Enjoy the ride! It’s a bumpy ride with exhilarating highs and stressful lows, but it’s so worth it. The freedom to carve out your own life, develop your skills, meet like-minded copywriters – the list goes on and on.

    Don’t be scared to ask for help or advice. We can be our own worst enemy by thinking we’re the only ones struggling with a particular issue.

     

     

    What’s next for you?

    Breaking into UX writing as this nicely blends SEO and my analytical approach to copywriting.

     

    Why do you love TCCS?

    TCCS transformed my copywriting career. I finally believe I’m a professional and have less times feeling like a fraud. When I do, I jump onto the Facebook group and I soon realise my true value as a copywriter.

     

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    Contact Email:

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    An interview with Copywriter Sandra Muller

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Job posted: 03/06/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Sandra Muller from The Smarter Writer


     

    Who are you Sandra Muller?

    I’m a content strategist and SEO copywriter. I help large organisations scope, manage, and deliver complex online content projects.

    I create user-centred content that also meets the business’ goals.

    The bigger, meatier, and messier the project, the more I enjoy untangling it.

     

    What did you do before you became a copywriter?

    I started as a UX designer until I moved overseas in the early 2000s to beat the dot com bust.

    I taught English for a few years, mostly in South Korea.

    My apprenticeship in UX design helped me learn how to research what users need and test my thinking.

    That user-centric perspective is something I still bring to projects today.

     

    How long have you been copywriting?

    I’ve never really identified with the term ‘copywriter’. But I’ve been writing, editing and managing online content projects since 2004.

     

    What has been your biggest copywriting career win?

    Partnering with fellow copybeast, Matt Fenwick and his business ‘True North Content’ to work on some epic projects together has been the best thing for my career.

     

    What was your worst copywriting career fail?

    In the mid-2000s I had a mobile content startup with two others. I wrote comics and English language lessons.

    We invested more than two years of our time and a LOT of cash into a business that was too early for the market and smartphones weren’t smart enough.

    We wrapped it up about six months before the first iPhone was launched.

     

    What are your number one fave copywriting tools?

    GatherContent for content management. It does version control and manages the approval process. It’s a must for large-scale projects.

     

    How do you deal with self-doubt?

    Every time I start a new project, especially the big ones, I feel like a fraud and doubt my ability to get the job done.

    But then I remind myself that I’ve done this before, I have the skills and experience to solve the problems that will come up, and within two weeks I’ll be feeling much more comfortable and less out of my depth.

     

    What work/life balance or mental health tips do you have?

    I exercise every day. That might be going to the gym, walking a few kilometres, or hiking up a mountain.

    It clears my mind and tires out my body so I sleep better at night, which improves my concentration and puts me in a better mood. And the cycle continues each day.

    I also avoid using my laptop after 6 pm and don’t use social media during work hours. It has greatly improved my productivity, leading to more free time after hours on the weekend to spend with my family.

    Because the bulk of my work is on long projects (6–12 months), I also schedule breaks for the end of projects where I travel for a few weeks before the next one starts. That clean break helps me reset and avoid burnout, and gives me something to look forward to during the hard slog when things get tough (and they always do).

    I highly recommend laptopless breaks away. Even a long weekend can be an effective reboot.

     

    What tip would you pass onto any newbie copywriters?

    Make connections in the group. Let people know what your skills and experience are. Do this often, not just once.

    Don’t be afraid to niche. Narrowing your business to a specific audience can feel like you’re excluding all others, but being known for that one type of gig you enjoy and you’re good at can send a flood of work your way – including from your fellow copybeasts.

     

     

    What’s next for you?

    I’m moving back to Melbourne from South Korea at the end of 2019. So 2020 will be all about networking, connecting, and building my brand as a content strategist in the Melbourne content scene.

    I’ll also continue to partner with Matt and TNC and work on projects that stretch me and make me do all the learn new things!

     

    Why do you love TCCS?

    I love TCCS for the connections I’ve made that have grown both me and my business.

    I’ve worked with many fellow copybeasts over the past few years across different projects.

    I don’t find the group competitive. I love that we’re all about collaboration, not competition.

     

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    What’s the one skill every copywriter needs to write better copy?

    How to apply

    1. Read through the job description below carefully and ask yourself:
      1. Do you have relevant experience?
      2. Can you meet the deadline or feel confident negotiating it?
      3. Can you meet the budget or feel confident negotiating it?
        If the answers are all ‘YES’ move to step 2.
    2. Send your best possible pitch to the email address included in the job description below. Introduce yourself, sell yourself!
    3. There’s no need to cc us, but of course we’d love to know if you win the job, please tell us in the TCCS Facebook group

    Job application rules and guidelines

    1. Jobs will be posted on this page as they come in.
    2. The TCCS rules still apply:
      1. Please only apply for jobs you’ve had experience in.
      2. Do not apply for every single job – you will ruin the quality of the replies for the job poster and as a consequence, we’re likely to get few jobs posted.
      3. We will be monitoring responses by following up with job posters to assess quality.  If we find that members have been applying for jobs for which they’re not a good fit, their access to the job board will be limited. 

         

    3. Jobs will be open for a maximum of 48 hours, fewer if the enquirer has advised they’ve received enough responses.

      Suggested format for emails:

      Hi Bob.
      I saw your job post on The Clever Copywriting School Job board.

      Reason for applying:
      Name:
      TCCS Directory link: (Annual members only)
      Website:
      Email:

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

    Happy pitching and as always, if you have any questions or technical difficulty, please email admin@clevercopywritingschool.com

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Job posted: 27/05/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Let’s look at the essential soft skill that helps you relate to your readers and your clients

    This post was written by TCCS member, Beth Micklethwaite


     

    Late last year, someone asked me to name the most important skill a good copywriter needs. My answer surprised me.

    • It wasn’t about being a wordsmith or a grammar geek.
    • It wasn’t about having a wide vocabulary.
    • It wasn’t about being able to make a dangling modifier behave itself again.

    My answer had nothing to do with wielding words effectively.

    Because I believe the most important skill a copywriter needs is empathy – the soft skill of making a connection with another person.

     

    What are soft skills?

    Soft skills aren’t technical or job-related. But they certainly help you succeed in your career.

    If you want to be an accountant, you need well-developed numeracy skills, a relevant degree, and accreditation to one of the profession’s regulatory bodies.

    But it’ll be soft skills such as attention to detail, organisation, discretion, and communication that will help you get ahead of your peers.

    The same is true in copywriting.

    A writer should understand language conventions, communicate clearly, and adapt their writing style and tone to suit the purpose and their intended audience.

    But being good with words isn’t enough to make you a successful copywriter.

    Copywriters also need various soft skills to succeed.

     

    What’s empathy and why do copywriters need it?

    Empathy, as you probably know, means sharing someone else’s feelings and experiencing the world as it is for them. Empathy allows us to understand our audience.

    We’re not writing into thin air; we’re writing to a reader.

    A person.
    An actual human being.
    (Not sure which humans you’re writing for? Download the target audience worksheet to help define your audience.)

    Empathy helps us grasp the reader’s motivations, frustrations, fears, and desires.

    It lets us imagine someone else’s life.

    And that’s how we write copy that builds a bridge between our clients and their ideal customers.

    “Without empathy, you can’t get into your client’s head, nor can you get into their customers’ heads.” – Sandra Muller

    As a healthcare writer, empathy is particularly important to me.

    If someone is searching for symptoms of an illness or trying to find treatment options, they’re probably stressed about their health. My job is to inform, reassure, and empower them by taking the best medical advice on that topic and translating it into plain English.

    I help them understand what might be happening in their body and what they should do next (which is usually to see the medical professional I’m writing for).

     

    Why empathy matters to Australian audience right now

    Health consumers aren’t the only people in a heightened state of anxiety right now. Many Australians have been doing it tough recently, as a quick recap of recent months shows.

    • July 2019: The Murray-Darling basin was in the worst drought in recorded history, depriving communities of water and affecting Australia’s overall economy and food security.
    • January 2020: Ten million hectares of Australia (about the size of South Korea) were burning as raging bushfires destroyed nearly 3,000 homes, killed at least 34 people and an estimated 1 billion animals, and made the air hazardous to breathe even far away from the fires.
    • February 2020: Parts of Queensland and NSW were flooded when more rain fell in just a few days than in the entire previous year.
    • March 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic hit, cases and deaths began to rise, borders were closed, social distancing measures began, and life as we knew it was put on hold.

    Next time you’re writing to an Australian audience, think about how these traumatic experiences may have affected their lives. Some of your readers have been knocked down many times over, and are struggling to get up again.

    In this climate, brands that pump out their usual message as if nothing has changed risk being perceived as insensitive and out of touch with their audience.

    As a copywriter, you need to speak to people using words that reflect where they’re at right now. You need to show you understand what it’s like for them.

    That’s showing empathy.

    This ability to imagine and understand what your audience is going through, especially at a difficult time, and to express this in your copy is what makes your writing stand out. That’s why empathy is an essential soft skill for copywriters.

     

    What other soft skills do copywriter need?

    Now that we have empathy covered, what other personal qualities make a good copywriter? I asked the marvellous members of The Clever Copywriting Community for their insight.

    Here’s their list of the vital attributes every good copywriter needs:

    • Wit
    • Compassion
    • Tolerance
    • Curiosity
    • Observation
    • Mental dexterity
    • Emotional insight.

    Editor note: They need endless patience too.

    Gaining and retaining clients is as much about the soft skills as the hard ones. Successful freelance copywriters embody certain personal qualities such as:

    • Diplomacy
    • Patience
    • Negotiation skills.

    Many of us wouldn’t be here without the perseverance and determination needed to start a freelance copywriting business in the first place

    We also need to be active listeners and be able to interpret the client’s needs, which may not be clearly expressed. Often we’re helping clients identify what they really need. (Spoiler: It’s not always what they initially ask for.)

    Thanks to our soft skills, we sometimes spot gems or opportunities our clients can’t see themselves because they’re too close to the work.

     

    How can you develop soft skills for copywriting?

    If you’re keen to develop your soft skills to improve your copywriting, you could try:

    • Connecting with the people you encounter each day. Have a (socially-distanced) chat with your neighbours, the guy who scans your groceries, or other parents at school drop-off. Enjoy a heart-to-heart with a close friend. Yes, it’s a bit tricky during #isolife. But it’s arguably more important than ever to deepen our relationships by asking probing questions and offering loving support
    • Reading a good novel. It’s one of the best and most enjoyable ways to enter someone else’s experience of life
    • Creating a marketing persona. It helps you visualise who’s reading your words before you start writing
    • Imagining yourself as a member of your target audience. What information are you hungry for? What’s confusing you? What pain points are you experiencing? Respond to those needs with your writing
    • Completing a course. Look for useful soft skills such as negotiation skills or assertiveness
    • Increasing your curiosity. Pretend you’re two again and constantly ask, “Why?”
    • Keeping significant events in mind. Remember the impact of recent droughts, floods, and fires, especially when writing to rural Australians.

     

    Working out which skills you need to develop

    Look back over your recent work and ask yourself some questions.

    What soft skills can you see in your writing?

    Which ones did you use when working with that client?

    Which ones do you struggle with?

    And most importantly, which soft skills will you work on? (And how will you do it?)

     

    Over to you

    If you like this article, please share it.

     

    About Beth

    After freelancing for a few years, Beth Micklethwaite is now an in-house copywriter at Splice Marketing, a Brisbane-based agency that specialises in the health and medical sector.

     

     

    Long description :

    MORE DETAILS

    Contact details:

    Contact Name:

    Contact Phone:

    Contact Email:

    Contact Website:

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    Want to be a successful copywriter?

    We help aspiring copywriters build a thriving copywriting business, hone their writing skills, make connections and boost their confidence.

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