A recap of what happened at CopyCon 2022 in Australia
Let me just say this right off the bat. CopyCon 2022 by Kate Toon and her team was a smashing hit and left all other post-pandemic events drooling in its wake (IMHO). The much-anticipated conference for copywriters in Australia was held on the 14th – 15th of October 2022 at Kirribilli Club in Sydney.
The attendees included:
- copywriters and content writers who belong to The Clever Copywriting Community (or TCCS as it’s fondly called)
- digital marketing people
- SEO peeps
- newbie copywriters
- freelance writers and journalists.
In this post-event wrap up I’m going to create as much FOMO as I can for those who weren’t there. (If you were there, enjoy the recap.)
The buzz began early for attendees (Toonies and non-Toonies) who started arriving promptly at 8am to register. A coffee cart (courtesy of TCCS) stood by ready for hot and heavy caffeinated action.
TCCS founder and MC Kate Toon kicked off the conference with an Acknowledgement of Country and her signature-style humour. Kat Elizabeth, founder of Magnetic Brand Co., hosted the livestream as the Internet came alive with the sounds of copywriters signing in around the world.
Housekeeping info covered: Kate pointed out the bean bags to flop on, the free massages at lunchtime, cookies and stickers for attendees and the quiet table for anyone who wanted to recharge. With orange and blue lanyards signalling who wanted to be hugged and who didn’t, the conference got off to a flying start.
My biggest takeaways from CopyCon 2022
The CopyCon 2022 speakers were charismatic, knowledgeable and above all funny. There was a mix of speakers from various industries, as well as copywriters sharing experiences of running their businesses.
Samantha Leith: Raise the curtain on your X factor.
Samantha Leith talked about charisma and favouring clarity in communication. I was surprised to learn that charisma isn’t innate, but can be cultivated. She shared how everyone can uncover their X factor to stand out online.
Takeaway: Consistent daily habits are key to getting your X factor up and running.
Rashida Tayabali: The multicultural copywriter: A sundae, not plain vanilla
I was excited to be presenting on stage for the first time on how to be more diverse and inclusive as a copywriter.
- my personal experiences as a woman of colour
- fears that stop people from being more diverse and inclusive
- how copywriters can create a more diverse and inclusive business.
P.S. What I truly enjoyed? Getting the audience to shimmy to my favourite Kenyan pop song.
Caitlin Wright: Sink or swim: How to thrive in your first few years as a freelance copywriter
Copywriter Caitlin Wright shared her strategies on thriving as a newbie freelance writer. Swimming analogies took centre stage as she explained why her daughter learning how to swim isn’t so different to being a new copywriter.
Takeaway: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Jonathan Crossfield: Show your work: The pedantic yet essential art of fact-checking
How do you present the value of fact checking in a fun and engaging way?
Simple. Just get fact pedant Jonathan to talk about it.
With beautifully illustrated comics in his presentation, Jonathan had everyone hooked with the ‘how high is Mt Everest?’ debate that’s been going on for decades. (No-one is still quite sure.)
Takeaway: Check and re-check your facts to avoid adding to misinformation (especially when attributing quotes).
Vahe Arabian: What happens to your content once it goes live
Founder of State of Digital Publishing, and veteran SEO and content strategist for publishers, Vahe shared his tried-and-tested methods for amplifying content once it’s out on the web.
Takeaway: Amplification is so important for content ROI, and must be included as a strategy when creating content for clients.
Mariska Threadgold: 666: Use the devil’s number to have a heavenly life (and business)
SEO copywriter and content writer Mariska Threadgold began with a question that made everyone think hard: ‘What if you had 6 weeks to live? What would really matter to you?’
Takeaway: I loved Mariska’s ‘mini bucket list’ idea to help you live in the now instead of waiting for the future.
Andrew Hubbard: Creative copywriting for social media ads that convert
Andrew Hubbard, founder of Hubbard Digital, shared his strategies for writing social media ad copy for Facebook and Instagram that attract and convert your audiences. Some key points were to write controversial hooks, test it before publishing, and test and tweak after the ads go live.
Takeaway: Data is your best friend. Test, tweak, and tweak some more.
Panel: How to be a happy, healthy, brave copybeast
TCCS copybeasts Tanya Abdul Jalil, Cal Chikwendu and Nerissa Bentley took to the stage to share how they:
- run strong businesses (without fear)
- deal with difficult clients
- focus on self-care as business owners.
I enjoyed listening to their tips on how to look after yourself as a business owner.
Takeaway: Have firm client boundaries in place so you don’t burn out.
Kate Merryweather: Every cent I’ve ever earned
LinkedIn coach Kate Merryweather shared how much she’d earned as a freelance writer since she started her business. She had the audience in fits of laughter with phrases like, “She yucked on my yum”.
Kate shared some valuable insights on how to run a copywriting business, and why niching has helped her grow.
Takeaway: Create a signature offer that’s valuable, doable and repeatable for better cash flow and time management.
Christine Corcoran: Overcoming the imposter syndrome
Christine shared some physiological aspects of imposter syndrome, and how it happens to her too. She broke it down to show how it can stop you from growing.
Takeaway: I loved her strategy of turning fear into excitement and letting it propel you forward instead of running to the nearest bathroom.
Hula hooping at a conference? Yes, it happened
Just before the lunch break, a hula hooper ran on to the stage. Kate Toon earned her hula hooping title, along with a few brave souls from the audience who tried it.
(Rosie Shilo, you brought your A game.)
Takeaway: Conferences don’t have to be boring and serious.
Award winners announced (drumroll, please)
Kate Toon and Erin Huckle came on stage to announce the winners of the inaugural Clever Copywriting Awards. These awards celebrated excellence, and showed there’s an abundance of talent in the community.
PS: I was stoked to judge a category with the lovely Johanna Kohler from Compelling Copy.
The award categories, and the winner of each one, were:
- Editor of the Year – Mary McDonald Cameron
- Diversity and Inclusion Champion – Zoe Simmons
- Content Writer of the Year – Clare Hastings
- Copywriter of the Year – Caitlin Wright
- Proofreader of the Year – Tanja Gardner
- Member of the Year – Cathy Camera
- Best New Business of the Year – Nicole Sergi.
3 actions I’m committing to after CopyCon 2022
Here are some actions I’m planning to take in 2022/23:
- Write a mini-bucket list
- Create a signature offer for my business
- Buy a ticket to the Misfits Conference in 2023.
How about you? What are your top 3 actions going to be?
P.S. Thanks to all the sponsors who contributed cash prizes, vouchers and items for my goodie bag. Check out ApiWraps, TravelMoore, SunshineBelle Clothing, Hnry, Bronwen Whyatt (A Path with Art), Cal Chikwendu, and of course Kate Toon.
Over to you
Love this recap? Share with everyone you know so we can generate as much FOMO as possible.
About Rashida Tayabali
My name is Rashida Tayabali, and I’m a copywriter for female entrepreneurs, women in business and professional women. I love articulating the heart and soul of your business using the right words to connect and convert your clients. Words are my passion, and I’m passionate about using the right words to help grow your business.