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    An interview with Copywriter Phyllis Stylianou

    How to apply

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

    Job application rules and guidelines

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

         

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

      Suggested format for emails:

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

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

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

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

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Job posted: 15/09/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    Phyllis Stylianou from Write Stuff Media


     

    Who are you Phyllis Stylianou?

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

     

    What did you do before you became a copywriter?

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

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

     

    How long have you been copywriting?

    Five years full time.

     

    What has been your copywriting career win?

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

     

    What was your worst copywriting fail?

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

     

    What are your number one fave copywriting tools?

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

     

    How do you deal with self-doubt?

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

    What tip would you pass onto any newbie copywriters?

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

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

     

     

    What’s next for you?

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

     

    Why do you love TCCS?

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

     

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

    How to apply

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

    Job application rules and guidelines

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

         

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

      Suggested format for emails:

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

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

      Phone:

      Thanks
      Your name

       

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

    JOB DETAILS

    Job status: Open

    Job posted: 27/05/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

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

    This post was written by TCCS member, Beth Micklethwaite


     

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

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

    My answer had nothing to do with wielding words effectively.

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

     

    What are soft skills?

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

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

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

    The same is true in copywriting.

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

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

    Copywriters also need various soft skills to succeed.

     

    What’s empathy and why do copywriters need it?

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

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

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

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

    It lets us imagine someone else’s life.

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Why empathy matters to Australian audience right now

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

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

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

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

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

    That’s showing empathy.

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

     

    What other soft skills do copywriter need?

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

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

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

    Editor note: They need endless patience too.

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

    • Diplomacy
    • Patience
    • Negotiation skills.

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

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

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

     

    How can you develop soft skills for copywriting?

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

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

     

    Working out which skills you need to develop

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

    What soft skills can you see in your writing?

    Which ones did you use when working with that client?

    Which ones do you struggle with?

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

     

    Over to you

    If you like this article, please share it.

     

    About Beth

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

     

     

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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

    Job posted: 21/05/20

    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.

     

    Long description :

    MORE DETAILS

    Contact details:

    Contact Name:

    Contact Phone:

    Contact Email:

    Contact Website:

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

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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

    Job posted: 29/04/20

    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.

     

     

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    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

    Job posted: 25/03/20

    Industry:

    Type:

    Deadline:

    Budget:

    Location:

    Brief:

    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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    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

    Job posted: 17/03/20

    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. S

    o 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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