Our TCCS special humans

Here at the Clever Copywriting Community, we have some really stand-out members.

The top of the top, the knees of the… bees. You get the idea.

People who have not only joined and made their personal businesses thrive but have turned around and poured all their experiences and juicy tips back into the community.

Each of these fantastic human beings has taken on the mantle of Ambassador and turned it into much more than just a pretty title to tack onto their email footer.

They are actively joining in on coffee chats, running occasional Masterclasses, and helping out all you lovely copybeasts within the Facebook group.  

Without further ado, meet our Ambassador group!

Angela Denly

I am a copywriter and communications consultant who helps businesses who mean what they say to say what they mean.

I love working with B2B services businesses and I have a sweet spot for writing mouth-watering copy for food and beverage businesses.

When I’m not writing copy for clients, I can be found playing taxi driver to my two daughters or lifting heavy stuff in the gym.

Matt Fenwick

I joined TCCS when my business had been puttering along for a few years. Like a mid-range moped, it was cute and comfortable, but wasn’t getting me anywhere fast.

I struggled to gain traction partly because when I started out, I didn’t have any agency experience, formal marketing training, useful contacts or business management chops. I was a good writer and pleasant with it and that was all. I also struggled because I didn’t have a tonne of confidence. I had a tonne of limiting beliefs. That success belonged to arseholes.

TCCS gave me a place to learn, and to see the whole menagerie of ways you can run and grow a content business. Within that, I found a model that suited me. And I found my people. I found the team that’s helped me grow True North to a six figure business. And a place to vent, seethe, and talk 90s indie music.

I told Kate a while ago that TCCS had made me a better person, and it’s still doing that.

You can ask me about working with government, managing large content projects, information architecture, user experience, and building teams.

Sarah Spence

After secretly stalking Kate Toon for a year, I was one of the first to do her Recipe of SEO Success course. I loved it and the minute she said she was starting a Copywriting Community, I was in.

As member #5, I’ve been around for a long time (barring a short maternity leave absence). With this community’s help, and especially because of the relationships I’ve built through it, I’ve had the confidence to grow from a fledgling copywriter into a content agency owner.

I’ve shared a lot in this group about my mental health, the mum juggle and the challenges I’ve faced as I’ve grown the business.

I’m always blown away by the support I receive every time I post and I now know that openly sharing my story, even (or perhaps especially) some of my darkest times, is beyond helpful for many of you.

I’m super excited to be a TCCS Ambassador and now you can all look forward to seeing my mug about here even more. You’re welcome – ha!

Johanna Kohler

It was in Adelaide. Mid-2015. When my world crumbled a little. After 12-months of maternity leave, I returned to work to find my ‘safe’ job was safe no more. ‘Disestablished’. (A friendlier way to say redundant?)

I had 2 x kids under 2.5, a mofo of a mortgage, and the desperate need to find part-time work to suit my skills and chaotic stage of life.

Did I panic? A little…

But not for long.

In that moment of uncertainty, the universe led me to a little thing called the ‘10-Day SEO Challenge’ run by some awesome chick with a cool last name.
After devouring every episode of Hot Copy and everything I could find about the Toon, I signed up to TCCS – before I’d had a single client.
Best. Decision. Ever.

Before I could overthink it, I registered Compelling Copy and put out my copywriter shingle.

And the rest (as they say) is history.

Fast-forward nearly 5 years and I’m a successful (ish) and confident (ish) copywriter specialising in websites and brand voice.
Like all of you, I have days where I feel like I’m flying high and slam-dunking this copywriting caper. And other days, imposter syndrome hits, and I want to crawl under the covers and hide.

But on all the days. Good and bad. I have this fabulous community to turn to.

This group has taught me more than 15 years of formal education and corporate work experience ever did. And I’ve made many real-life friends and business connections who have quite literally changed my life.

I’m honoured to be a TCCS Ambassador and look forward to sharing more with you as we travel this copybeast road together.

Lisa Cropman

Hi. I’m Lisa Cropman, a creative copywriter and non-fiction editor with a London accent and a Melbourne address. I’ve been part of this community since it began.

I started my copywriting journey after graduating with a BA Hons in English/Media. Jumping straight into the intoxicating world of advertising at J. Walter Thompson, I worked with global brands, tight deadlines, and huge personalities. It was fun, but exhausting. So, given my first love was books, I swapped the bright lights of ad land for the comforting smell of paper and ink.

Over the next few years, I added Penguin, Hodder & Stoughton, and Pan Macmillan to my resume. As the marketing manager for non-fiction titles, it was a genuine joy heading into work. I got to read, strategise, plan and deliver thousands of books to market. These days, I can still tap into different buyers’ needs in a heartbeat and spot a typo at 50 paces.

In 2009, my husband had a whim (aka a mid-life crisis) and we packed up the family and moved to Australia. My priority was settling in our two boys. So, for the sake of flexibility (and, truthfully, so I could avoid having to look for a ‘proper’ job), I set up The Word Nest. My first client, a florist, cried with joy on reading my first draft and paid me in loose change and peonies.

I took an SEO course, signed up to gazillion newsletters, and studied all the copywriting greats. Through word of mouth, I soon gathered a clutch of clients under my wing, but the learning curve was steep and also lonely. In 2014, I discovered Kate Toon, stalked her mercilessly (sound familiar?) and when she launched her community in 2015, I jumped at the chance to join it. I haven’t looked back since.

Now into my 10th year as a freelance copywriter, I know who I like to work with and the projects that turn me on. I don’t aspire to rule the world, but I do like to use my powers to build a better one, which is why I love working with businesses that support people and the planet.

I still edit non-fiction books and like to have a couple ticking along in the background while I work on things like website copy, taglines, EDMS, and product packaging. I consider myself a copy chameleon, developing a tailored-to-fit voice for any purpose, but writing conversational copy is where the magic flows free.

My clients say I’m a good listener and creative thinker with a flair for clever copy. (One calls me The GOAT which I had to look up because being likened to a screaming farm animal didn’t appear to be a compliment.)

I love helping clients sell their products and services, but like a lot of people in the group, I still loathe selling myself. When Kate asked me to be a TCCS Ambassador, I was simultaneously chuffed to bits and all of a dither.

I still have lots to learn, but I’m so happy to offer words of wisdom where I can. I love to give back to Kate and this community in the same way they’ve given to me.

Amanda Vanelderen

I didn’t know I was a copywriter until I bumbled onto the TCCS website 4 years ago.

I worked in marketing, communications, digital marketing, publishing… I had years of copywriting experience. I just didn’t know that’s what it was called. 

Second round of mat leave, I dared to think about maybe doing a little freelance writing on the side.

But how do you do that? 

*Googles freelance writing templates*

TCCS. I signed up for the templates, I stayed for the people. 

I’ve gone from my first TCCS job^ to building a thriving business. If you flinched at that, don’t worry, you’ll get the confidence to talk about your business that way, too.

It’s been a ride that’s included:

  • hard work (and sometimes phoning it in)
  • fast growth (and some burnout)
  • gobsmackingly fabulous clients and work (and a few twats)
  • small businesses, startups, big brands 
  • writing a book^^ (spoiler: it has a typo)
  • sh*t hitting the business fan after illness (how to write emails on Endone and find your way back)

TCCS has given me the most amazing connections in business – but more importantly in life. 

Looking forward to offering my 2 cents worth on anything B2B, government, annual reports, case studies… or whatever is on your copy mind. AND my husband has joined me in WorkWords Content – happy to spill the tea on how THAT is going ;-)

^$99 to write a LinkedIn profile and 2 EDMs. I was thrilled and spent it on a bottle of Moet. 

^^ Write Better: How To Cut The Crap And Say What You Mean (I have a bunch in my spare room – PM me for a freebie!)

Nerissa Bentley

Most of you know me as Nerissa Bentley, The Melbourne Health Writer.
But I wasn’t always this successful.

When I first started this freelance writing gig, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. Seriously, I was charging $180 for brochure copy AND a press release….and people paid me AFTER I had done all the work.

I had very few processes, was continually scrambling for work – anyone with a pulse and a wallet would do — my business was full of PITAs (pains in the you-know-what) and I suffered majorly from imposter syndrome. My first year in business I made just over $5,000.

But then I found TCCS. While my biz didn’t morph overnight, it started to grow. I learned so much from all the training, looked super professional using the templates, and I took my cues from the copybeasts who were already successfully making a living from this writing gig. (I didn’t even call myself a copywriter back then!)

I implemented the things I learned, attended CopyCon, asked questions, kept working, asked more questions, implemented more things and in 2018 I rebranded my business to focus purely on health and medical writing.
Now, I have 6-figure business that I once thought was impossible. And it would have been without the help and support of Kate, TCCS and the lovely beasts (past and present) who roam these hallways and hang out at the virtual water cooler from time to time.

Feel free to pick my brain about anything relating to health and medical (writing that is…I’m not going to diagnose that unusual growth on your toe). You can also ask me anything about personal and professional development because I’ve done a lot of that stuff and I subscribe to the theory that to grow your business, you need to grow yourself.
I’m honoured to be a TCCS Ambassador and I’m excited to be able to pay forward the support I received, to other copywriters on their journey to business success.

Gary Cooper

I’m a Londoner (North, natch) I’ve always been involved in business – mum and dad had a newsagents, and bicycle and toy shops, and I served and helped in the shops for as long as I can remember – so I guess commerce is in my DNA.

After stints as a despatch rider, lifeguard, barman, and operating theatre assistant (and a trip to the US to work on the California Condor project at UC Davis) I met an Inspector in casualty, on nights, who persuaded me to look at London’s Metropolitan Police.

I ended up pounding the beat in Balham, Tooting, and Brixton. Took my Sergeant’s. Hated the politics – left. Great job; eye-opener and bringer down to earth – many stories – many heartaches – life-long lessons.

Met my wife. Both hacked off with London. Sold our houses. Bought a farm. Knew nothing about farming. Got some sheep to keep the grass down, and some hens for eggs.

Ended up with an egg and fruit and veg round, delivering to customers locally.

Over the years added our lamb, (ended up with 200 sheep and 900 hens) turkeys around Christmas time, fresh strawberries from a local friend’s farm, and other stuff to our roster.

Had to do our own marketing – pre-interweb – did radio ads, local papers, leaflet drops – wrote, designed, and voiced the ads – had no clue that the “copy” was even a “thing.”

Bought a cafe. Built it up. Again, did the marketing and ads.

Went on holiday to France. Fell in love with The Lot – sold farm and cafe and moved to France.

Lived down in Albi for 15-years – did the place up – put in a pool – got bored – found Upwork – and copy – and here I am – a “word surgeon.”
Recently moved to Mayenne and bought a crazy old “chateau” as a project.

Oh – have two children – three grandchildren – and am ably assisted by my PA, Pepper.


Helen Sparks

Three people burst into tears when I read out my short story, ‘Scars’ to my creative writing group in 2015. At that moment, I realised how much writing makes my soul sing.

I wrote this note later that night on my phone. It reminds me of my ‘why’ and that life is too short to give up on your dreams:

Fast forward a few years and I am a launch Copywriter and Sales Strategist helping coaches develop a strong brand message when launching their signature course. I make sure they have a kick-ass funnel that maximises their profit.

I use my sales experience from selling commission-only packages between 5k-25k. I understand only too well the pressures and pitfalls coaches face when launching. My superpowers are lead magnets, sales pages, and email sequences.

I live in Cardiff, Wales with my husband Chris and our rescue greyhound Alfie.

My nickname is Hurricane; apparently, when I walk into a room, you know I am there. I feel that I should caveat this by pointing out that it’s not in a bad way. My other claim to fame is I once cleared a room of 250 people singing Jerry Lee Lewis’s Great Balls of Fire on Karaoke. I am still so proud.

I adore the TCCS community, it’s my favourite part of the interwebs, and it’s all down to Kate. The level of support and guidance you get here is different from any other group I’ve been in. I have met some wonderful, incredibly talented people and have laughed till I cried on many occasions.

Kate has taught me so much, but above all, she has given me the courage to say I am a copywriter and believe it. It’s changed my business and who I am forever.

Rashida Tayabali

Rashida Tayabali is a copywriter for female entrepreneurs, features writer, and indie author. She helps women in business use the power of clear and concise copy to sell their product or service, all without sounding salesy.

In her free time, you’ll find her frowning at typos and trying to catch up on the 20+ books she has yet to read on her bookshelf and Kindle. Connect with Rashida on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Estelle Fallon

I’m a tender and SEO Copywriter who’s been writing for business for over 20 years.

I have fun taking businesses through the tender process and beyond – from web-ready to tender-ready to award-ready and can’t resist the opportunity to brainstorm a clever tagline or product description.

A long time TCCS CopyBeast and an inaugural member, I’m here to help you find the Words That Fit.

Rebecca Cofrancesco (Beck_Co)

I randomly came across the Tooniverse when I was considering ditching my well-paid corporate gig and swapping it for freelance life.

Attending CopyCon was the best decision I made in my business. Within half an hour of being there, I knew I’d met my people.  Word geeks, go-getters, and business rockstars.

These were normal people with lives outside of work, making a real go of this copywriting business. Maybe I could too?

Before then, I’d been languishing in the cushy feeling of – let’s see how this goes.

Not for once taking it seriously (which meant none of my clients did either). And I was so scared of owning that title of business owner.

But that all changed after I joined the group. Not only did Kate and her groups help me take the plunge but following her advice and getting the support of other copy beasts helped me turn my little idea of a business into what it is today.

And I hopped on board the SEO train too (and let’s face it, anything Kate does) when I took the Recipe for Success course.

I now embrace my corporate background and have a steady flow of clients from LinkedIn and my financial service niche.  Confidently helping them show up in a way that’s authentic to who they are and not confusing to the people they want to help.

Rachel Amies

I’m Rachel, of Crazy Cat Copy, I help lawyers and service-based businesses create pawsome WordPress websites and write purrfect words to boost business and build connection. I’m an ex-lawyer who originally started my business as a VA but rebranded within 2 years. It was my time as a VA that led me to geek out on technology.