Each month we’re singling out one of our members for extra love! The lucky member this month is Kat Rodrigues
Kat Rodrigues | Bio
Kat Rodrigues is a copywriter and marketing strategist who co-founded boutique marketing agency, Revenge Creative in 2015.
Previously a professional actor/singer (actually, she still does some of that!) – she worked in everything from musical theatre to real estate, gyms to coffee shops before finally calling herself a copywriter. In her spare time she also writes for her blog, “Sure, Why Not?” and in as an ambassador for One Girl.
Tell us about life before you became a copywriter, what did you do?
Too much to actually mention, but the highlights – and lowlights – were professional acting (in musical theatre), real estate sales and marketing, retail, voice over work, some personal training and makeup artistry.
I can happily say that just about every job I’ve ever had has helped me be a better copywriter (or at least gave me the ability to win some great projects!)
Why did you decide that copywriting was the right career for you?
Because for once, it actually fell into place without much forcing.
I’d always loved writing and between the real estate experience I had and the work I did to produce and market a cabaret show I wrote, I saw that I had a natural flair for marketing.
Once I realised there was an actual job title that allowed me to combine the two AND quit the brief contract I had at an advertising agency I was in.
The freedom and flexibility that came with working for myself definitely sealed the deal.
What challenges have you faced since becoming a copywriter?
I’ve worked longer and harder than ever before – and I have a lot of trouble switching off.
I’m addicted to the thrill of chasing jobs but then get resentful and anxious if ever I get a negative email… it’s a vicious cycle!
I tried to cut back to part time while travelling to Italy for 10 weeks earlier this year and failed miserably. Got freaked out after taking a week off for new year and ended up booking myself out for the rest of the trip.
I’m still trying to relax and trust that the work (and money) will come, even if I pull back occasionally. I think it’s a classic rookie fear.
Tell us about your favourite client so far?
They’re just lovely and totally get me.
The job started out as a one-off but soon led to ongoing work and they’re now on retainer basically trusting me to “do my thing” and give minimal input because we’re on the same wavelength.
It helps that I love what they’re selling, so everything I write is authentic – plus they’ve always connected with my natural tone of voice so it’s a good fit all round.
Tell us about your worst client experience so far and the lessons you learned?
I’m certain it shaved a few years off my life.
It was my first big name brand through a reputable agency and it was a nightmare from the first call. I asked them for a brief and they insisted that I didn’t require one and should just start writing based on their existing website copy… except they didn’t like the copy and they didn’t specify what needed changing.
Long story short, I ended up having to re-write the entire thing (a 30 page website) in the final 3 days before handover. They had to pay another 50% on top of the original fee, so it was the highest paid 3 weeks of my life… but also the most stressful.
I’m now VERY strict with my briefing process, no matter who I’m talking to!
How has becoming a copywriter changed your day to day life?
For one, I’m finally not that person saying “I can’t afford it”!
Between earning more money than I was used to and being forced to put on my big girl pants and start living on a real life budget (you know, the kind where you live within your means, sans the credit cards?) I’m in the early stages of enjoying financial freedom.
I also have the flexibility to pursue my acting career again (something I tried unsuccessfully to give up) and since I’m no longer desperate for the work, I’m doing better than ever.
I also love that my week is so full of variety and getting to speak to some really interesting people…
I feel like a grown-up except that I think I’m having a lot more fun than most of them!
What one tip would you pass on to someone looking to make the move into copywriting?
Don’t wait ’til you feel ready because you never will. Start now.
HOWEVER – I would seriously recommend checking out the TCCS templates to help your workflow and admin, plus joining the group so you’re surrounded by supportive peeps who don’t believe in stupid questions (well, we do – but we all ask them, so it’s okay!)
Aside from my own blood, sweat and tears, I credit the rest of my success to the amazing community Kate Toon set up. It has changed my life and career for good!
Over to you
Have you had any similar experiences to Kat? Please share in the comments below.