An interview with Copywriter Rashida Tayabali

    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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    Rashida Tayabali from Rashida Tayabali Copywriter

     

    Who are you Rashida Tayabali?

    Rashida Tayabali is a passionate word geek. Words often swirl around in her brain, and she weaves these words into content that hits your audience right where their heart is. She loves creating clever copy for clients through storytelling that inspires their audiences to act.

     

    What did you do before you became a copywriter?

    I’ve worked in various roles — from project coordinator for a Perth university to marketing coordinator for an industrial gas company and nutritional supplements company. I loved working in these roles because they gave me the opportunity to write content for various channels. It gave me a real buzz.

     

    How long have you been copywriting?

    I’ve been copywriting for more than five years, and also grew two human babies in that time. Don’t ask me how I did both — I don’t remember.

     

    What has been your biggest copywriting career win?

    Being approached for a storytelling project by a company I really admire. I got to interview some inspiring migrants and share their stories with Australia. My work was displayed at the opening of the International Towers in Barangaroo, Sydney and in a special exhibition organised by the company. I was also part of an interview panel hosted by Jan Fran from SBS. Now I just wanted to bask in the glow forever.

     

    What was your worst copywriting career failure?

    I’ve had some minor fails, but nothing that made me question my career choice. But I would have had more fails had I not been part of Kate’s Clever Copywriting Community. Because of the wealth of knowledge and generosity in the community, it’s hard to make major mistakes. There’s always someone, including Kate, willing to give you great advice.

     

    What is your number one fave copywriting tool?

    Google Docs. It goes wherever I go. And my trusty SONY transcriber — handy for capturing client briefings.

     

    How do you deal with self-doubt?

    I look back at all my projects, published articles and client testimonials. I also remind myself how far I’ve come in terms of personal growth — much further than I would have as an employee.

     

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

    As a mum of two, I often suffer from comparisonitis. So I keep my goals small and don’t put too much pressure on myself to achieve anything major just yet. My children need me more right now, and that means I can’t do all the things quickly. But I can choose to do a few things well.

    I also make time for self-care including lots of downtimes, which could mean watching Netflix or reading books. I also eat well and exercise so I can sleep well. It all helps me maintain my happiness and feel content with myself and my business.

     

     

    What tip would you pass onto newbie copywriters?

    Be confident and own your copywriting label/title. Your skills and knowledge will improve with time, and you’ll learn as you go. Each experience will take you further along your journey.

     

    What’s next for you?

    I want to develop my content storytelling skills further and work with organisations who value my skills and knowledge in helping them tell better stories to engage with their audiences.

     

    Why do you love TCCS?

    It’s the coolest and most generous bunch of people — online and offline. They have the amazing ability to form strong bonds with each other despite not meeting very often (and sometimes not at all). I’ve always been in awe of Kate Toon, and I’m so proud to be called a Copy Beast.

     

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    Copy Shop







    Why 94% of copywriters refuse to work with startups

    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:

    Startups are different from other clients

    This post was written by TCCS member, Jody Carey

     

    Around the copywriting watercooler, startup clients are often the complaint of the day. They’re the PITA clients who are the source of much venting and angst. Many copywriters say “No” to starting a relationship with startups.

    And it’s a firm “No”.

    I put myself into this group. Of the dozen times I’ve worked with micro startups, only once was a professionally gratifying experience.

    But lately, I’ve been wondering if I (and the 94% of copywriters who also say “No”) are missing something. Are we being too defiant? And what do the other 6% of copywriters know that we don’t know? By closing the door to thousands of new companies, are we making a massive business mistake?

    Startups can be seductive. The allure of a new canvas, new opportunities and the hope we might be working for the next Uber is like a drug. We want it bad. But what should we know before jumping into bed with them?

     

     

     

    What is a startup?

    How you define a startup is an important step in determining whether you want to work with them. Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward definition. Someone who wants to turn their passion for flowers or photography into profit is considered a startup. But so is an experienced business owner with funders to back their new idea.

    Australia was recently voted one of the best countries to start a new business in. Thousands of businesses are created every year, and all of them need words. They need a website, brand messages, social media, marketing collateral. and the list goes on. That’s a big market to ignore.

     

    Many copywriters jump at the chance to work with a startup. So what do they know that the rest of us don’t?

    To find out, I connected with other copywriters to get their take on working with startups.

    In a recent poll in The Clever Copywriting Community, 25% of the copywriters said they don’t work with startups full stop. Another 25% said they loved working with startups. And the remaining half said they’d consider working with startups if certain conditions were met.

     

     

     

    Why some copywriters give startups the cold shoulder

    Startups take a lot of time and patience. An underlying problem is their lack of business experience and marketing knowledge. These clients may not fully understand the role a copywriter plays, and believe a catchy tagline or fancy website is the first step in starting a business.

    Moving the project in the right direction can be a painful experience. And the delays, indecisiveness and excessive changes are draining.

    True story: A client needed a simple five-page website. They were a new business, but they knew their target market and product offering. The estimate for completing the project was two months.

    At the six-month mark, they decided to rebrand and change their name. Almost a year later, they’ve made little progress and take months to respond to emails. To date, the website outline still hasn’t been approved.

    Savvy copywriters team up and subcontract with business coaches to refer clients who need help defining who they are. If a startup client comes to you too early, you can introduce them to someone who can help. Startups don’t always know where to turn for help, and may not fully understand what a copywriter does. It’s our job to educate them.

     

     

     

    Why do some copywriters love working with startups?

    The copywriters who enjoy working with startups are those who aren’t afraid of the challenges that lie ahead. They understand what it’s like to start with a million ideas swirling around and limited resources. They enjoy guiding the startup owner, educating them, and holding their hand.

    “Yes, they take more time. But when it’s done right they usually become your biggest fans and a great referral source in the end.” — Estelle Fallon.

    The enthusiasm of startup owners can be refreshing. And the ability to start with a clean slate to shape a brand is professionally rewarding for many. If we accept that working with a startup will follow a different timeline and workflow to that of an experienced client, we’ll enjoy the relationship more.

    “You get to shape their brand, their tone of voice and content strategy. You’re more than a copywriter. You’re a business coach, a shoulder to cry on, and a brainstorm partner.” — Kate Toon

    For those copywriters who jump at the chance to work with a startup, what’s their trick? Here is a list of questions experienced copywriters ask before they work with any startup.

     

    What should you consider before working with a startup?

    1. Have they owned a business before?
    2. What experience do they have in their industry?
    3. Do they have a written business, marketing or strategic plan?
    4. What is their budget?
    5. Have they worked with contractors before?
    6. Do they understand the role of a copywriter?
    7. Are they ready to listen?
    8. Are they prepared to trust someone to help guide their business?

     

    Have you changed your mind?

    If you’re someone like me who has always refused to work startup businesses, what would happen if we changed our approach? What if we gave these clients a little extra attention and guidance to help prepare them for their new adventure? It might give us the opportunity to shape our ideal client. A little groundwork and investigating at the beginning of the project, combined with disciplined communication and timeframes, could turn whingeing into success stories.

    What stories do you have working with startups?

     

    About Jody Carey

     

     

    Jody Carey is a Port Macquarie-based copywriter who writes what customers want to hear by focusing on their experience. She’s the mother of two sport-addicted kids and “loves” the sound of basketballs rolling around in the boot.

     

     

     

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    Copy Shop







    How to find (and be) a great copy buddy

    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:

    Copywriting business need a boost? Find a copy buddy!

    This post was written by TCCS member, Laura Mattiucci`

     

    A copy buddy is more than just someone who writes copy for a living. They’re the (often) remote colleague who shares the joys and pains of your daily working routine. The one you celebrate your wins with, and your despair when you run out of clients or motivation.

    You can always count on your copy buddy, just as they can always count on you.

    Here are the benefits of having a copy buddy, based on my personal and (so far) very positive experience.

     

    Why every copywriter should have a copy buddy

     

    • Develop discipline. Who hasn’t struggled with this? Even experienced copywriters have a hard time trying to work regular hours, stay focused, and keep themselves motivated.Since teaming up with a copy buddy I’m far more disciplined and focused. A 10-minute weekly call is enough to boost my motivation for the rest of the week. Sharing my objectives with my buddy helps me to commit. I can live with disappointing myself, but I would never do it to my copy buddy.
    • Reconsider your goals. Too ambitious? Too easy? Sharing your goals is a good way to find out whether you’re being realistic. Maybe you need to regain a little self-confidence, or get out from the spiral of unproductive procrastination.
    • Become (even) more productive. Having a copy buddy is a great way to overcome loneliness of working from home. But it’s about more than just socialising.This is why every copywriter should have a copy buddy — even confirmed loners. It’s a great opportunity to become more efficient and improve both your own revenue and that of your copy buddy. And if you’re an introvert, you’ll appreciate them.
    • Get (and give!) the best advice. Loved ones offering opinions that are aren’t very constructive? Struggling to come up with a quote for a challenging project? Need to stop spending hours choosing the font for your rebranded logo? Ask your buddy for their advice and tick another box on your to-do list.But remember: having a copy buddy is about giving as well as receiving. If you think helping is a waste of time (I hope you don’t), I suggest you read the book Give and take: why helping others drives your success.
    • Multiply your opportunities. Don’t have the time or the competence to handle a client request? Why not pass it on to your copy buddy? They will be grateful for the opportunity, and won’t hesitate to do the same for you.

     

    How to get a copy buddy

    • Great news, especially for introverts: most of what I’m about to tell you can be done online. Hurray! Not surprisingly, using social media is the easiest way to find the perfect copy buddy. Pick your favourite platform, or try more than one. Chances are you’ll find a great copy buddy hiding there somewhere.
    • Join a Facebook community. I realise this may sound like a paid endorsement, but I promise you I’m just being honest. I’ve tried various communities—free and paid, French and Italian. And in the end, I found my copy buddy on The Clever Copywriting Community. Coincidence? I don’t think so. But the only way you’ll find the community that works best for you is to try.
    • Twitter is also a great place to find a potential copy buddy. Start by looking among the followers of your ‘gurus’. That way you know you’ll have at least one thing in common.
    • Co-working spaces and offline events (for example conferences, meetups, training and networking events) are also places to find a potential copy buddy. I know socialising can be stressful, but real-life connections often carry a huge payoff: proximity. Chances are the people you meet at events live in your area, which means you can catch up with each other anytime you want. Even the most introverted copywriter might enjoy the idea of sipping a cup of coffee with his/her new copy buddy once in a while.

     

    The dos and don’ts of having a copy buddy

    Once you’ve found your copy buddy, here’s how to manage the new relationship and make sure it brings value to you both.

    • Beware of time wasters (and avoid being one).
    • Follow your gut. If, after a couple of exchanges you don’t think the new exchange is helping (for whatever reason), there’s no point forcing it. Cut your losses and move on.
    • Choose wisely. Affinity is important, and everyone has their own criteria. The time zone and country you live in might be more important than sharing the same nationality or being the same age.
    • Value diversity. It’s always good to have something in common with your copy buddy. But having a few differences (for example areas of interest, years of experience) can be good as well. Different points of view can bring value to the conversation and help you both improve. Accept diversity and treasure it. But remember: copy buddying is not mentoring. Strive to keep a balance.
    • Be regular. Once you’ve found the perfect copy buddy, suggest having regular calls. But keep them short. A weekly 15–20-minute call should be enough to share your business goals and main happenings.
    • Give back. Volunteer to be a second pair of eyes on something they wrote, or offer to teach (or help them with) a skill you have and they don’t.
    • Accept help. If your buddy volunteers to help you with something and you agree it might be useful, don’t feel like you’re stealing. Just say “Yes”.
    • When you help each other, always be open to feedback (never take it personally) and give them constructive comments in return.

    Having a copy buddy also comes with a set of don’ts to make sure you live the experience in the right way. It has to be a benefit and make your life easier, after all.

    • Don’t spam. Don’t send the same desperate message to 100 random copywriters and hope someone will answer. Start ‘listening’ on forums and social media, and then target people who seem to have more in common with you.
    • Don’t stalk. Send a request and the other copywriter didn’t answer? Feel free to send a second message using the social media channel they’re most active on to make sure your message is read. But don’t keep asking. We’re all in a hurry nowadays, and they may have simply forgotten to respond. And if they still don’t answer? Maybe it’s a sign it’s not meant to be. Try someone else. The copywriting universe is full of nice people.
    • Don’t give up. While doing the “Recipe for SEO Success” online course, I was assigned, two copy buddies. But while they were both lovely and smart, we weren’t in sync (we were all taking the course at our own pace) and didn’t help each other at all. I finished the course and ended up finding a copy buddy a few months later without much effort. Sometimes it’s just a question of finding the right person at the right time.
    • Don’t take it personally. Your copy buddy missed a call? They’re not as regular as you’d like them to be? Be respectful and patient. Some days might be tougher than others.
    • Don’t be stingy. Share your knowledge, resources, and tips. What you get in return is often much more valuable than what you give.

     

    Conclusion

    Finding a copy buddy (and being one) can be an opportunity to be more efficient, learn from another professional and grow your business. Even though you might find it challenging, it’s definitely worth trying. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

    Looking forward to finding the perfect copy buddy for you? Go online or attend an offline event, find a potential copy buddy you might have some affinity with, and suggest having a weekly chat.

    Do you know of other ways to find a copy buddy? Do you know of a different reason for having one? Got a success story you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below.

     

    About Laura Mattiucci

     

    Trilingual copy buddy based in Paris.

    She can write thousands of relevant words on artificial intelligence in English, French and Italian. But don’t ask her to write a paragraph about eyeshadow. (She’d confuse it with blusher.)

    She’s also a homemade pasta gold medal winner (according to her daughters).

    If you’re curious about her accent and would like to hear it, click here.

     

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    Copy Shop







    5 lessons from 5 years as a regional copywriter

    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:

    From Rockhampton to Sydney, Melbourne and beyond

    This post was written by TCCS member, Sarah Joy Pierce

     

    This year, Joyful Communications will celebrate five years in business. I didn’t have any particular goals when I started (other than to keep myself gainfully employed/amused), but in those five years I’ve been surprised at every turn with the lessons I’ve learned and the opportunities I’ve discovered.

    Being based in Rockhampton (a medium-sized regional town, smack bang in the middle of Queensland’s coastline) hasn’t limited the scope of my work. I’ve worked with Australia-wide businesses and even the odd international client. In this day and age there are no limits to what you can do and who you can work with (providing you have a decent internet connection).

    So with New Year optimism I want to share five lessons I’ve learned, and how you can put them to work for your copywriting business in 2020.

     

    1. There’s more than enough work for everyone.

    This lesson is first for a reason—it’s easily the most valuable. Even in a regional town with only two or three other marketing agencies, I can promise you won’t run out of clients. If you’re in a bigger city, you have even more clients to pick from.

    It’s always worth forming excellent working relationships with the people you might see as your ‘competitors’. Because unless you’re directly competing for a particular client or niche, chances are your paths won’t cross all that often. And when they do, it’s much nicer to smile at each other than be snarky.

    What can you do? Take a fellow copywriter (or graphic designer or marketing agency owner) out for coffee this month. Talk about ways you might be able to work together or refer work to each other.

     

    2. Just put your lipstick on and go to networking events.

    Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t take this advice literally if you’re not female. But for me, putting on lipstick is when I mean business. I can face the world fearlessly with a decent red lip.

    I can’t emphasise the value of good old face-to-face networking enough. Even if you’re an introvert, find your ‘red lip’ armour and show your face to your target audience. If you work with small businesses, head along to a Chamber of Commerce or a BNI event. If you work primarily with women, try a local women’s networking group. If you love working with startups, find the local startup club.

    And if I can find all of these in little old Rockhampton, you can’t be too far away from one either.

    Take your business cards and get ready to smile for an hour of your month/quarter/year. It really is the best value marketing you’ll get. Think about it this way: if you charge out your time at $90/hour, how many other leads could you get for a $90 spend? I’ve never gone to a networking event and come away without at least one decent connection.

    What can you do? Check your business cards (make sure they’re looking good), find a networking group (and maybe a new red lipstick), and make a date in your diary. Who knows? You might even enjoy it.

     

    3. Analyse what you do well and position yourself as the local expert.

    This is similar advice to ‘find a niche’, but perhaps from a different perspective. Maybe I’m coming at it with a ‘big fish in a small pond’ mindset, but it’s easier for people to remember you if they have a reason to remember you. Back up your reputation with excellent attention to detail and genuine passion for what you do to help your clients, and you’ve got a winning formula.

    After a while, you’ll start getting word-of-mouth recommendations. And this kind of marketing is incredibly powerful because you’re being recommended by someone they trust. This is why I haven’t spent much on marketing. I let my work (and my reputation) speak for itself.

    What can you do? How much of your work comes from repeat clients or referrals? Take a minute to work it out, and then perhaps send a ‘thank you’ or a social media shout out to your best or most loyal client.

     

    4. Always be generous.

    This ties in with all of my earlier advice. If your clients remember you tracking every single minute and painstakingly invoicing them down to the last cent, will they come back for more? If you refused to chat with a client who only needed you to listen for five minutes, will they send a business buddy to you for more work?

    While this may a bit of a ‘fast and loose’ approach to business, it’s certainly worked for me. I’m not saying it’s okay to let clients walk all over you, because it’s not. But when you have the right clients (and you’ve honed both your ‘freeloader’ radar and your boundaries), investing in relationships and erring on the side of generosity is always the best policy. I don’t mind giving out some of my best advice for free because the client will always remember me being generous.

    What can you do? I don’t think you can really plan generosity. But if an opportunity to show it presents itself this week, grab it with both hands.

     

    5. Don’t be afraid to use your local advantage.

    Rather than thinking of a regional location (or your small business) as a disadvantage, you should think of it as one of the biggest advantages you have. I’ve won work with huge clients by emphasising how I can weave local flavour in into their copy rather than having a big, out-of-town firm get it wrong.

    Being local means I know the town’s major players, the unspoken rivalries, and where the best coffee is. Being small means I’m nimble, responsive and often more cost-effective (even at my highest charge-out rates).

    And being local is awesome when it comes to writing local landing pages or making sure your client has the best local SEO possible.

    What can you do? If you’re a regional copywriter, why not make sure you have a local landing page that talks about all the things you love in your town? I haven’t done this yet, but it’s high on my to-do list for 2020.

     

    Think big, not small.

    Red lipsticks held high, let’s tackle 2020 together.

    If you only remember one thing, let it be this: you’re not limited by your size or location. If I can mostly wing it through five years of business and make it out the other side, there’s no reason why you can’t as well.

     

    About Sarah-Joy Pierce

     

     

    Sarah-Joy Pierce is the owner of Joyful Communications in Central Queensland. She writes copy for industry, mining and service-based businesses, and drinks plenty of coffee while doing it.

     

     

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    How to research like a pro

    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:

    And build your credibility as a copywriter

    This post was written by TCCS member, Nerissa Bentley

     

    Research is essential for good copywriting.

    Without it, you won’t know enough about your subject matter, your client’s objectives or your target audience to write effectively.

    But knowing how to research as a copywriter, where to find your facts and how much to include in your writing can be tricky.

    So here’s a guide on research and referencing that will help you research like a pro and help build your credibility as a copywriter.

     

    What is research?

    Research is simply asking questions and gathering information which, if you’re a copywriter, you do plenty of already.

    Taking a client brief? That’s research.

    Looking for SEO keywords? Research.

    Trawling the internet for ‘dinners I can cook in 90 seconds’? Research.

    (For the record, there’s not much you can cook in 90 seconds unless you’re interested in heating up a frozen meal.)

    But sometimes you need to do more in-depth research.

     

    The importance of research

    Research is often needed to learn about an industry you’re not familiar with. It can help add authority to your message and client brand, and is definitely needed if you don’t want to look like a goofball!

    The two main reasons to conduct research are:

    • to better understand your subject matter so you can write about it with authority
    • to find useful statistics or facts you can include in your content to add to the overall piece.

    Generally, research isn’t required when you’re:

    • writing opinion pieces (although you could add a statistic or two depending up the article)
    • writing from your own experience
    • the ‘expert’ on what you’re writing about.

    But in some situations research is essential, such as when you’re writing about:

    • health or medical topics
    • legal issues
    • commercial and financial trends
    • scientific breakthroughs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    How to research

     

    Limit your time

    Work out how far down the rabbit hole you need to go. If you like the challenge of finding obscure statistics, or a golden nugget of information that isn’t widely known, you can easily lose track of time and get lost in the Google vortex.

    Factor some research time into your quote, and then stick to the time you gave yourself so you don’t blow out the time you’ve allocated for your project. The amount of time you’ll need will depend on the complexity of the piece, but 45–60 minutes is usually sufficient for most copywriting jobs.

     

    Use credible sources

    Make sure you use credible sources of information. (I’ll talk more about this later.)

     

    Create a separate research document

    Dump your research into a separate document rather than adding it to your working document. Keeping your research in one place means you’ll have to refer to only one source of information while you’re writing instead of 47 browser tabs.

    Tip: Your ‘research document’ is where you dump information you have copied from somewhere else. Make sure you re-write this information in your own words, or you run the risk of plagiarism. (Another reason why you shouldn’t put it in your working document).

     

    Make notes about your research

    Before you paste your information into your research document, make a few notes about the information. This may be:

    • why it’s relevant to your article
    • the section you’ll use it in
    • how it supports your argument.

    Always record the source of your information (the name of the website/organisation, the title of page/section, the URL of where it came from, etc.) This makes it easy to refer to the original source and will help when it comes to referencing.

     

    Where to source your information

    Knowing where to source your information is critical. Not all information on the internet is accurate. And using the wrong source can leave you with egg on your face (and possibly a legal issue).

    Use:

    • Official industry organisations
    • Industry peak bodies
    • Accredited government agencies
    • Credible research studies
    • Annual reports
    • Official press releases (but double-check the facts)

    Don’t use:

    • Wikipedia (see caveat below)
    • Other people’s blogs (even if they’re ‘experts’ in their field)
    • Newspaper articles or other media sources (unless you’re referring to something that happened in the media)
    • Published material that doesn’t include its own set of credible references

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    About research studies

    Including a reference to a research study can add significant weight to your content, as well as help build your client’s authority. But there are credible studies, and then there are – well, not so credible.

    Look for studies that:

    • were conducted by credible institutions or researchers
    • are published in credible, peer-reviewed scientific journals
    • include an abstract
    • include the purpose of the study and the methodology used
    • based their findings on a large and diverse sample size
    • support and build on other research findings
    • weren’t funded by an organisation that’s biased towards a
    • particular outcome
    • are no more than five years old.

    Google scholar is the perfect search engine to begin looking for research studies.

    Tip: Don’t overload your piece with references to scholarly research unless your client specifically asks for it. Too much information can make it look like you’re trying too hard. And only reference studies that are relevant to your piece. Don’t write your content to fit around a study.

     

    About Wikipedia

    Wikipedia is not a credible source of information as it can be edited by anyone. So never use it in your list of references. However, it can be a useful starting point when trying to understand a topic. There are often lots of links and references below the article as well, which can point you to more credible information sources.

     

    How much research should you include?

    How much research to include will depend on your client’s brief. So make sure you ask your client how much (if any) research they want you to reference in their project. Some clients (especially those in the health and medical fields) like a lot.

    Remember, part of the reason for doing research as a copywriter is to learn about your subject matter. Just because you’ve done the research doesn’t you don’t need to stuff it all into your content. Use it only if it’s useful.

    Tip: Avoid using research to make yourself look smart.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    How to reference?

    There are a couple of ways to reference. And the ‘right’ way may be determined by your client’s style guide.

     

    In-text referencing

    In-text referencing is a way to refer to a source you used to garner information. If you use this method, make sure you quote the original source of the information rather than make a general statement. This is particularly important if you’re reporting facts or figures that could be disputed.

    For example, writing ‘According to the Heart Foundation, more than 43,000 Australians died from cardiovascular disease in 2017’ is preferable to ‘More than 43,000 Australians died from cardiovascular disease in 2017’.

    When referencing a research study, avoid writing ‘A study found a, b, and c’. Instead, quote the source of the original study (and link to it as well) and say, ‘A 2017 study by Harvard University, published in (name of journal), found a, b, and c’.

    With this method of referencing can also include either:

    • hyperlinks to the original source of the information (e.g. ‘Over 43,000 Australians died from cardiovascular disease in 2017’)
    • an endnote with your source of information contained in a list of references at the end of your content (e.g. ‘More than 43,000 Australians died from cardiovascular disease in 20171’).

    Once again, check whether your client has a preferred method for referencing.

     

    Listing your references

    If you’ve used research in your content, it’s important to include a list of references and send it to your client. They may want to publish it with your piece, or they may just want to keep it on file in case someone questions where they gleaned their facts from.

    How to present your references often comes down to your client’s style guide. Some clients will be happy with URL links to your information sources, while others may follow a specific referencing style. Always ask your clients whether they have a specific referencing style you should follow. If they don’t, then Harvard is a good choice, as most universities use it as their preferred reference guide. Here is an excellent guide on how to reference sources using Harvard Referencing.

     

    Final tips on referencing

    • List in-text references at the bottom of your piece in the order they’re used. This is especially important for endnotes.
    • Any references you used but didn’t refer to in your content can be listed after your in-text references under the heading ‘Other sources’. List them alphabetically either by source (e.g. Australian Bureau of Statistics) or author (e.g. Smith, John)
    • Always include a URL for your source
    • It may be appropriate to include the date the research was published or last updated and the date you accessed it. Check with your client about this.

    Remember, research should be something you do to write better content. Don’t use it to show off or make yourself look smart.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Over to you

    If you liked this article or found it helpful, please share it.

     

    About Nerissa Bentley

     

    Nerissa Bentley is The Melbourne Health Writer. She uses credible, up-to-date research to help national organisations and global corporations create high-quality health and medical content that connects with patients and the wider community.

     

     

     

    Long description :

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    Contact Name:

    Contact Phone:

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    How to fire a client without falling into a heap

    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:

    Are all copywriting clients made of sugar and all things nice?

    No. In fact, you have a higher chance of working for a toxic client than your dream client.

     

    This post was written by TCCS member, Rashida Tayabali

     

    Do you have a client whose phone calls and emails send shivers down your spine? A client who demands you answer their emails at once, and follows up with a phone call if there’s a few minutes delay. And who always seems to be unhappy with your work but can’t tell you why?

    If you do, should you stick it out hoping they will turn into a prince?

    No.

    You should fire them.

    In this post, I’ll be sharing how I fired a client for the first time, and how you can do it too—confidently and coherently.

     

    Signs of a problem client

    In my copywriting business, I’ve had a dream run for five years, with appreciative clients and great projects. But last year I finally met my first P.I.T.A (Pain In The Ass) client.

    On paper, he sounded ideal. He wanted to lift his profile in his industry and needed someone to create content for his new website. After an introductory call, I sent in my proposal and briefing form.

    The warning signs were clear almost immediately. The client:

    • Sent me two-word answers for some questions, and started calling me frequently to tell me about his plans
    • Told me about the bad runs he’d had with service providers in the past who took him for a ride because they didn’t deliver. (At this point, I was upfront with him about my experience and assured him I could deliver what he wanted)
    • Haggled me on price. I stood firm and told him my rates were not negotiable
    • Liked lengthy chats on the phone, and needed constant reassurance and handholding
    • Said he’d need to borrow money from family to pay me (clang, clang clang!)

    Despite the alarm bells going off in my head, I was keen to do the work because it was an interesting project. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and submitted the first draft on time.

     

    Lack of proper feedback

    I waited for feedback, but instead, I got… crickets.

    After following up numerous times, I finally got an email saying he’d read the copy but it wasn’t what he wanted.

    I scheduled a call to go through the changes. The client had provided some feedback (and a lot of waffle) via email that I addressed in the second draft. With the first version falling flat, I agreed to rewrite the copy from scratch (against my better judgment).

    Still, I wanted to salvage the relationship and deliver on my promise of providing good service and content.

    I sent in the second version.

    I waited for client feedback, but nothing concrete came in. By this time I was losing money and time on this job.

    One thing was clear: he didn’t like the new version either, but couldn’t say why.

     

    Breaking up with the client

    The client raised the point that I didn’t do a good enough job because I was bilingual. (He was bilingual too.) Apparently, people who have mastered more than one language are poor writers.

    On another unscheduled call, he heard my baby cry in the background and suggested I was distracted and unable to devote enough time to his work.

    My self-confidence was starting to take a hit because of the client’s comments. And really, who needs this kind of negativity in their working life?

    So I made the decision to end the business relationship with the client—not by email but over the phone.

    I explained clearly that despite writing website copy in two different ways it hadn’t met his requirements, and so it was better for me to refund the deposit.

    I even suggested it was better for him to write his own content after he admitted, “There was nothing really wrong with the copy. I just don’t like it”.

     

    How to know when to let a client go

    If the process feels hard, and the client is always unhappy with your work and starting to show the P.I.T.A warning signs or becoming personal, it’s time to let them go. Fire them on the phone or email, but don’t burn your bridges. Offer to find them another copywriter who might be a better fit (but warn the writer in advance). Stay firm on the firing and don’t take them back.

    Honestly, I shouldn’t have accepted the client when he didn’t fill out a proper brief.

    I shouldn’t have gone ahead and written the second version, or ignored the warning signs.

    You live and learn. Now I pay attention to warning signs and don’t take on a client if alarm bells start going off.

     

    Over to you

    Are you working for a similar client who’s causing you grief?

    When did you last fire a client?

    If your answer is “Never”, it might be time to start.

    If you liked this article, please share on your favourite social media platform.

     

    Bio

     

    Rashida Tayabali is a copywriter and features writer. She loves creating clever copy for clients that inspires their audience and leads to the right action through storytelling.

     

     

    Long description :

    MORE DETAILS

    Contact details:

    Contact Name:

    Contact Phone:

    Contact Email:

    Contact Website:

    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.

    Copy Shop