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

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

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    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

    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.

     

     

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    How to conquer comparisonitis

    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

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Is comparison crippling your copywriting success?

    This post was written by TCCS member, Erin Huckle


     

    A friend of mine has a print on her wall that states, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.

    The first time I saw it I literally stopped in my tracks. It was one of those “Aha!” moments that have stayed with me ever since.

    And in the six months since starting my own copywriting business, I’ve had to remind myself of its truth – over and over and over again.

    Despite working in copywriting and communications for 15 years, I still find myself second-guessing my skills and value while looking on in awe at other freelance copywriters who seem to have their stuff together.

    After spending time researching and writing this blog post I still don’t know whether comparisonitis is a real word.

    But mention it to most freelancers, business owners, and humans in general, and you get a knowing nod in response.

    It’s a thing. A very real thing.

     

    Block out the noise

    Sydney copywriter Angela Denly wisely reminded me that most of what we see on social media is smoke and mirrors.

    “People don’t talk about the clients they don’t wow on their socials,” she said. “You never see the full picture. Stay in your lane, and focus on what you do well and who you do it for. Everything else is just noise.” – Angela Denly

    And she’s right. It really is just noise.

    But imposter syndrome, comparisonitis, or “the compulsion to compare one’s accomplishments to another’s” is still a real struggle for most freelancers and small business owners.

    The thing is, a little competition is healthy.

    Sometimes it’s just what we need to give ourselves a much-needed kick up the butt.

    The problem comes when we’re so busy looking at what everyone else is doing that we forget to focus on our own success.

    So how can we overcome crippling imposter syndrome, and perhaps even use it to our advantage?

     

    Remember where you are in your journey

    Yes, I’ve used the word ‘journey’. But stay with me, because there’s nothing to gain from comparing the start of your journey with someone else’s middle or end.

    If you’re just starting out as a copywriter (or on any kind of career path) you won’t have a portfolio of client work, pages of glowing testimonials to scroll through, or a chock-a-block pipeline of work.

    But you’ll probably have a hunger to succeed and a fresh approach, along with a willingness to learn and adapt.

    Or maybe you’ve been a copywriter for a long time but new to the world of self-employment and riding the feast-and-famine tides of freelancing (like me).

    Copywriter Caitlin Wright had been a successful journalist for many years before transitioning to copywriting. But she says she still deals with comparisonitis all the time.

    “I wonder whether I’m pricing right, whether I know enough, and whether I’m a good enough writer. But I have a different experience and am in a different stage to every other copywriter out there. No-one is the same, so I shouldn’t be in a race with anyone else.” – Caitlin Wright

     

    Don’t let comparison be your excuse

    After reading about another person’s big client win, glowing customer review, or blog about their busy work calendar, it’s easy to feel deflated and have a sense of “Why even bother?”

    But don’t let comparison be your excuse to stop trying.

    Just like procrastination, comparison can be an easy way to self-sabotage your own business success and let the productivity wheels fall off your business.

    Productivity queen Faye Hollands from Busy Business Women, says no-one is immune to comparisonitis. It’s just part and parcel of being your own boss.

    “You can’t use comparisonitis as an excuse not to step up, take action and do your thing,” she says. “If you’re serious about running your own show then being productive is a critical element to success. And that won’t happen when you’re wasting time worrying about what other people are doing.

     

    “So put the blinkers on and forget about everyone else. Just focus on what you do brilliantly and find the clients who love you for you, because there’s genuinely a space for you in business if you do great work.” – Faye Hollands

     

    Make it your secret power

    Break out the red cape and put your undies on over your pants. It’s time to turn that comparisonitis into your superpower.

    If you’re focusing on certain people or competitors, in particular, use this as an opportunity to learn.

    Perhaps it’s someone from a Facebook group you admire, or a business you’ve been a fan of for a while. Try reaching out to them for advice. But keep it specific.

    You might ask them how they decided on a niche, their top tip for finding new clients, or how they keep motivated.

    Most people are happy to answer these kinds of questions. And you’ll be building your own network in the process.

    Legal writer, a former lawyer, and SEO copywriter Kate Crocker says connecting with experienced copywriters is an opportunity to improve.

    “Focus on the learning, not the comparison,” she says. “There are plenty of people in the Clever Copywriting Community who are more experienced than me. But when they talk about their experiences, I learn something.”

     

    “I also occasionally touch base with the more experienced group members to ask for advice. And every single time their advice and the background to their advice (for example, what they’re experiencing in their own lives) has provided context and stopped all those negative feelings that maybe I’m not good enough, working hard enough or smart enough.” – Kate Crocker

    By being brave and reaching out to those you admire, you might find they too have struggles they’ve overcome and daily doubts to deal with. We’re all only human after all.

     

    Give yourself permission to fail

    It’s pretty well accepted that the road to success is usually littered with a few failures along the way.

    No-one leads a business life walking paths paved with gold and lit by five-star reviews all the way.

    But the comparison trap can mean we forget it’s okay to fail and learn from those experiences. 

    Rather than focusing on everyone else’s (apparent) success, take a moment to wonder at their failures.

    If you do hit a rocky patch on your business road, ask yourself what you could do differently next time, or be brave and share your mistakes with people you trust.

     

    Define your own success

    What does success mean to you?

    When comparisonitis is getting you down, it’s a good question to ask yourself.

    Are you hoping for 100,000 Instagram followers and your name up in lights?
    Is success a monetary thing?
    Or is it more about living the life you choose on your own terms?

    Our glorious Clever Copywriting School leader Kate Toon recently pondered the definition of success on an episode of her Kate Toon Podcast with guest Stevie Dillon from Stevie Says Social. Both agreed that it can be pretty intangible and that getting the things you thought you wanted doesn’t always make you feel like a success.

    Barossa-based copywriter Angela Pickett says following the mantra ‘define your own success’ has helped give her perspective when it comes to the slippery slope of comparison.

    “Not only in the Clever Copywriting Community, but also when I see colleagues in my previous life (I was a diplomat) getting great postings, or friends enjoying luxury holidays because they’ve succeeded in their corporate career. I know I’m really lucky to be creating something on my own terms that suit my family and fits with my other goals, even though it can be easy to lose sight of that.” – Angela Pickett

    Sometimes it’s hard to have confidence in our own accomplishments. In the world of freelancing and small business, you’re probably never going to feel like you’re there yet – wherever ‘there’ is.

    Marketing copywriter Rashida Tayabali says she dealt with imposter syndrome by not looking at what others are doing.

    “I focused on honing my craft and running my business how I felt it should be run. I also stopped comparing their successes to mine, and basically stopped looking over my shoulder. When things get me down I tell myself I will get to things when I get to them, and that there’s enough work to go around.” – Rashida Tayabali

    This message of ‘There’s enough work to go around’ is a good one.

    Sometimes it’s easy to think there are too many copywriters and not enough clients.

    But rather than being disheartened by the full client books of your competitors, take heart in the fact they found the right networks and niches to build a successful business, and that there will always be room for good copywriters and savvy business operators.

    Copywriter Claudia Bouma made the mistake of looking at other copywriters’ websites and felt like an imposter when she first started out, even though she’d been a widely published travel writer at that point.

    She uses it as a motivation to upskill and improve.

    “The one thing I lacked was SEO knowledge and experience,” she says. “I jumped into problem-solving mode, signed up to Kate’s Recipe for SEO Success course and got stuck into writing Google-friendly copy. Today I struggle on and off with comparisonitis, but then I look back and realise how far I’ve come. I read my testimonials and remember these wise words: ‘Just be yourself – everybody else is taken’.” – Claudia Bouma

    Imposter syndrome

     

    Comparisonitis is everywhere

    Of course, comparisonitis isn’t unique to the copywriting profession.

    Clinical Psychologist Dr. Olga Lavalle says comparisonitis comes from the theory of Social Comparison, and she comes across it with her clients on a daily basis.

    “With comparisonitis, people are making assumptions about other people, and believing those assumptions to be true,” she says. “As a result, it can lead to negative self-talk and seeing yourself as a failure.

     

    “My advice? Stop comparing yourself to something you believe is true and wasting time focusing on someone else’s life. Focus on yourself and remember your own talents, and celebrate your own achievements no matter how big or small.” – Dr. Olga Lavalle

    So take a moment to think about the things you’re proud of.

    Celebrate the little victories, and don’t dwell on the failures.

    Riding this rollercoaster of self-employment is unpredictable, and we’re all in it together.

    Don’t let comparison steal your joy.

     

    Over to you

    If you liked this article, please share:

     

    About Erin

    Erin Huckle is a copywriter and PR consultant who helps creative, ethical, and innovative businesses find the right words.

    When not tapping away at her laptop, you’ll find her wrangling three small humans on the beaches of Wollongong, or trail-running in the wilderness for some much-needed ‘me’ time.

     

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    An interview with Copywriter Bec Djapovic

    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

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Bec Djapovic from Bec Djapovic Communications


     

    Who are you Bec Djapovic?

    I’m a curious, friendly, and creative brand copywriter and voice-over artist who gives bold business bosses professional, high-quality, and customer-focused work that turns casual browsers into loyal clients.

     

    What did you do before you became a copywriter?

    I was an actor and musical theatre performer, and part-time performing arts teacher.

     

    How long have you been copywriting?

    Almost four years professionally.

     

    What has been your biggest copywriting win?

    Landing a big course creation contract with MYOB. Fun team, fresh TOV, and great money.

     

    What was your worst copywriting fail?

    Not doing a plagiarism check for some work and sending it without making sure I’d re-written the content well enough.

     

    What is your number one fave copywriting tool?

    Grammarly

     

    How do you deal with self-doubt?

    Come to the group and talk it through. Get up to the desk and do the work anyway.

     

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

    Keep boundaries between the end of the work time clear. I don’t work at nights as it’s unnecessary for me and disrupts my sleep.

    Sleep is most important, so I prioritise health and manage clients’ expectations accordingly.

     

    What tip would you pass onto any newbie copywriters?

    Get your hands dirty and your feet wet. Start small, always charge something for your work, and ask for testimonials and feedback as you go.

     

     

    What’s next for you?

    Keeping consistent with time and effort and continuing to do good work.

     

    Why do you love TCCS?

    The community is very responsive and super supportive. Kate has made the space a fun, real, and engaging place to hang out on the web.

     

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    Meet our TCCS Member of the Year

    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

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    What even is the TCCS Member of the Year?

    This post was written by TCCS member, Diana Iappolo


     

    “Aren’t other copywriters your… competitors?”

    This was the logical question from my husband when I told him I‘d just joined an online copywriting membership –The Clever Copywriting School (TCCS).

    And yes, from the outside looking in he had a point. Why would a newbie like me want to hang out with so many accomplished copywriters who were technically my competitors?

    But I soon discovered how wrong this perspective was.

    Because I realised I hadn’t just joined an online membership. I’d joined a community.

    A ‘school’ that’s part education, part motivation, and a whole lot of fun for people who love words.

    It’s a place where people can bring their genuine selves to the table, share a wobble, and get some rock-solid advice from some seriously smart humans.

    And of course, every good community needs a leader.

    Head Copy Beast and TCCS founder Kate Toon show leadership as unique as this corner of the internet.
    She is always present, full of golden nuggets of advice, and genuinely cares about her members no matter where they are along their copywriting journey.
    And she does it in a way that shows she’s also one of us, freely sharing her ups and downs.

    And to top it off, every year Kate graciously lends her figurative crown to one person by anointing them “Member of the Year” (or MOTY, because who doesn’t love a good acronym?)

    The MOTY award is Kate’s way of recognising the value of their contributions.

    It also gives members a chance to thank their fellow Copy Beasts and highlight the one-of-a-kind magic you find in TCCS.

     

    What makes a TCCS MOTY?

    I asked the community what makes the perfect MOTY, and they agreed it’s someone who:

    • Inspires other copywriters by sharing their highs, their lows, and all the bits in between
    • Provides advice that is both useful and motivating
    • Shares their knowledge to help others
    • Makes the copywriting journey feel a little less lonely.

    When we were asked to vote, I couldn’t think of anyone in the community who didn’t fit this description.

    But of course, there are some standout members who consistently show leadership, step in, and lift people up.

    Before I reveal this year’s winner, let’s look back at where it all began.

     

    A founding member sets the scene

    Angela Denly was awarded the first-ever MOTY in 2018.

    A founding member of TCCS, Angela joined when she was juggling part-time employment with part-time freelance copywriting, and still deciding which way to go.

    Six months after joining the group she said ‘goodbye’ to her job, and within a year she’d exceeded her income expectations.

    “TCCS was a great place to grow,” she says. “It was a safe place to ask questions and share information, and it proved to be a great reminder that I actually knew my stuff. It made me realise I had everything within me to run my own copywriting business and gave me the confidence I needed to get on with it.”

    Angela has since built a business that allows her to explore her passion for food (do you know anyone else who owns 150 food books?) and enjoy a work-life balance on her terms.

     

    Niching for the win

    In 2019 we had teenage climate activists, (almost) presidential impeachments, and Daenerys Targaryen turning into the Mad Queen. It was a time when Corona was still a cold beer, and isolating was something we did by choice.

    It was also the year Nerissa Bentley, otherwise known as the Melbourne Health Writer, took the crown.

    When Nerissa joined she was a few years into her copywriter journey. She knew she could write, but she also knew she could probably do better at the business side of things.

    “The things I learned in my first year at TCCS blew my mind,” she says. “It helped me refine my processes, which helped me work smarter and more efficiently, and become more confident. I wanted to learn how to better run my business and be surrounded by like-minded people.”

    Nerissa has since become a specialist medical copywriter, has quadrupled her income, and is working with leading health bodies and brands.

    “I was given so much help and advice when I first joined. So I wanted to pay that forward to others when I could.”

     

    And this year’s winners are…

    No iso or virus was going to stop the 2020 MOTY awards. The in-person ceremony was replaced by a Zoom call. And while the tiara will have to wait, the win meant no less to joint winners Estelle Fallon and Anna Rogan.

    Estelle is known for her red lips, her witty one-liners, and her killer tender and proposal writing skills.

    After a break from the working world to raise her sons, Estelle began entertaining the idea of working for herself when they started school. She crossed paths with TCCS member Amanda VanElderen, and was drawn into the TCCS world with a niching class at Copycon. Soon after her business, Words That Fit, was born.

    “Starting your business is one of the scariest things you’ll ever do,” she says. “TCCS was such an important part of me finding my feet and getting the confidence to get into networking, talk about my skills, and do all those things you need to do to build a business.”

    Aside from a love of writing, Estelle also loves strategy, big ideas, and helping businesses grow.

    She has big plans and loves giving back to the community that helped get her to where she is today.

    “TCCS has such a fabulous culture. I had people who were there supporting me from the beginning. And if being MOTY means my contributions are making a difference, then I absolutely love being a part of that.”

     

    Anna is known for her heartfelt insights, fighting the good conversational copy fight, and her idyllic life on a gorgeous olive farm.

    Editor note: And for her amazingly cute jumpsuits.

    Anna joined TCCS when she was working full-time in a government communications role. She’d just discovered that copywriting was a thing, and came across TCCS online.

    From the start, Anna found the input from so many different voices, perspectives, and experiences invaluable.

    She absorbed all the learnings from the group, started taking action, and formed strong relationships – all of which helped grow her business to one with a long waitlist of ideal clients wanting to work with her.

    Of the MOTY win, Anna feels both humbled and encouraged.

    “Being a part of TCCS has really just been so pivotal to my business,” she says. “The community has given so much to me over the years, and it’s encouraging to know my contribution is helping others. If I can give back even a shred of what I’ve been given, that would be awesome.”

     

    That’s a wrap.

    Personally, I couldn’t believe there was this online world that was genuinely about collaboration over competition. A world where people shared freely, gave valuable advice, and wanted to help each other succeed

    Whether you’re stuck for a headline, having a tech issue, or paralysed by comparisonitis, the members at TCCS will always have your back.

    Congratulations to our 2020 winners.
    And thanks again for your generosity, leadership, and kindness.

     

    About Diana

    Diana Ioppolo is a copywriter who works with service-based business owners who are great at what they do but need help letting the world know.
    She loves writing, marketing and the internet, and in her spare time wrangles two little people while attempting to become a morning exercise person again.

     

     

     

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    Serious about success? Then it’s time to get serious about sales.

    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

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    This post was written by TCCS member, Diana Ioppolo

     

    So you’re a copywriter. You love writing and helping businesses grow, and get a kick out of hearing great results from your clients. But when it comes to selling yourself and your business, you feel a different kind of kick.

    Do any of these sound familiar?

    • You’ll happily write sales copy for your clients, but suffer a mental blank/break out in sweat/eat all the chocolate whenever you try to write your own.
    • The thought of getting into proper clothes, going to an event and talking to actual people is the stuff of nightmares.
    • You’re a writer, not a salesperson. You don’t want to have to put yourself out there and convince someone of your worth.

    I know the feeling. As people who love to write, we’re generally comfortable with our inner world (and often prefer it). The way we communicate with words is a thousand times more polished than how we sound in real life. It’s our strength and one of the reasons we write for a living in the first place.

    But the reality is we aren’t ‘just’ writers. We’re also small business owners. And as part of that ‘other’ job we need to embrace sales and do what’s needed to grow our business.

     

    The difference between marketing and sales

    We often talk about the need to market ourselves and work ‘in’ our business to keep attracting quality leads. But what exactly is ‘marketing yourself’, and how is it different from sales activity? And do you need to do both?

    “Marketing and sales definitely go hand-in-hand,” says Sales Coach Jenny White from True Potential Sales. “Marketing is a great way to build brands, awareness, and trust, but you also need to consider algorithms, SEO and your competition.

    “When it comes to sales, there are no variables other than yourself. Making that personal connection can be that one extra step that puts you ahead of your competitors.”

    So yes, you need to do both.

    Here’s how to differentiate between the two:

     

     

    Marketing your business is activity that:

     

    • creates awareness
    • builds interest
    • attracts people to your business
    Examples include:
    • writing a blog post
    • updating your website copy
    • posting on social media

    Sales activity for your business is about:

     

    • building relationships
    • providing solutions to specific problems
    • convincing someone to choose you and your business.
    Examples include:
    • making a new connection on LinkedIn
    • going to a networking event
    • sending a client some useful information

    When they work together, marketing helps bring people in and sales help turn them into clients. And who doesn’t want a healthy list of their ideal clients wanting to work with them?

     

    Embrace sales by shifting your mindset

    So now you know the difference between sales and marketing. And you know that sales activity brings in leads, which in turn brings in money. But that doesn’t take away the fear of putting yourself out there.

    The first step to overcoming this fear of sales is to get into a different mindset. Challenging unhelpful thoughts and beliefs around sales can help you shift your mindset and leave you feeling more comfortable about approaching people.

    Old belief

    New you

    I don’t want to come across as pushy.

    You won’t be pushy if you’re helping someone solve a problem. If you find out what they need, and help them come up with an answer, you’re actually giving someone what they want. Approach the sale from the position of a helper.

    But what if they say “No”?

    Would getting a “No” be such a bad thing? What would the consequences be? Chances are there wouldn’t be any. If anything, you can use the opportunity to find out why they said “No”, and use that information to help address any of their objections

     

    I’m not sure why they’d choose my services over someone else’s.

    I think this one comes down to the infamous Imposter Syndrome.


    Ask yourself, Why wouldn’t they choose me? People have chosen you in the past. You know how to do the work. You’ve done the work. Have a look at some of your own client testimonials or your past work and remind yourself that you can do this.Would getting a “No” be such a bad thing? What would the consequences be? Chances are there wouldn’t be any. If anything, you can use the opportunity to find out why they said “No”, and use that information to help address any of their objections

     

    I don’t need to sell myself. Why can’t my work speak for itself?

    People who don’t ask for things are often overlooked for the people who do. You can do great work and hope people notice, or do great work and tell people about it (and build your sales pipeline at the same time).

    Easing your way into sales

    Now that you see sales a little differently, you might be ready to dip your toe in the water. Here are a few things you can do to ease into the practise and start flexing your sales muscle.

    Do your sales activity when you’re feeling most upbeat and positive.
    We all have times when we feel our best. It could be in the morning when we’re bright and alert, after we’ve gone for a run and are full of endorphins, or when we’ve just received some particularly good feedback. Capitalise on these feel-good moments, as they will create the perfect frame of mind for you to tackle the ‘scary’ thing.

    Have a plan.
    Having specific objectives and targets can take the thinking out of what you’re doing, and let you approach things one at a time. You plan could be to:

    • get ten new LinkedIn connections a week
    • attend a networking event and get three new contacts
    • identify five current clients you could upsell to.

    Focus on warm leads.
    If you aren’t ready to cold approach anyone yet, focus on warm leads. These could be people who know you and your brand, follow you on social media, or previously expressed interest. You can write them an email, arrange a coffee catch-up or send them a link to a recent (and relevant) blog post you wrote.

    Listen, listen, and listen some more.
    When getting in touch with people, try not to think about the sale. Let your client or prospect do most of the talking and take note of their challenges. Show your listening by rephrasing what you’ve heard back to them, and think about how your services can help them.

     

     

     

    Boost your sales by scheduling these activities into your week.

    If you want to get serious about sales for your business, it’s time to start scheduling sales activity into your weekly plans. Here are some copywriter sales tips to help you get started. 

    • Re-connect with people. They could be old colleagues, someone you met at a networking event, or friends of friends.
    • Add value to existing relationships. For example, send periodic emails with interesting information or a tip they might find useful for their business.
    • Upsell. Could you sell any additional services to your current clients?
    • Follow up. Do you have any enquiries or proposals you could follow up?
    • Take a close look at your email list. Are there any potential clients that could benefit from a bespoke outreach email?
    • If you haven’t done so already, do the TCCS LinkedIn Booster Course.
    • Pick up the phone. Making phone calls to current customers is the most effective prospecting tactic. Develop a plan and structure around any sales calls you might make. Much like public speaking, being prepared can make a big difference in how you feel and how confident you sound.
    • Meet with people in person. People choose to work with people, not brands, and building a connection in person can really strengthen relationships.

     

    Over to you

    How do you feel about sales? Do you make time for regular sales activities for your business? If you’ve got more leads than you can handle, what would be your number one sales tip for copywriters who could do with more leads?

     

    Bio

     

     

    Diana is a copywriter and digital marketer who helps service-based businesses with effective and practical marketing solutions. She loves writing, marketing, and the internet, and in her spare time wrangles two little people while attempting to become a morning exercise person again.

     

     

    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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