I’m one of those weird kind of copywriters. I don’t really read.
Well I do read a bit of non-fiction; but nothing specific, just what I happen to fancy when I’m in a bookstore or while browsing Amazon. When it comes to fiction though, I’m hopeless. The last novel I finished was probably a John Grisham in my teens.
Even watching my sister go through almost a dozen books a month when growing up didn’t rub-off on me. I’d rather sit on the rooftop of the house I grew up in listening to Tupac’s Me Against the World while admiring the surrounding greenery.
Ahhh… the simpler times.
Despite my lack of reading, I ended up in the writing business. Most copywriters are or ought to be avid readers, and I’m pretty sure it helps them to become better wordsmiths. But me, I’m different, I tend to read the world that’s in front of me as opposed to blocking my view with a book.
There are beautiful stories playing out right in front of our eyes, no matter how inconspicuous.
I constantly take in the sights, sounds, atmosphere, ambiance and nuances of my surroundings, which in its own way has helped me become a better copywriter over the years.
How you ask? Some examples, if you will:
People watching > Analyzing consumer behavior
Watching TV > Errr… competitive analysis of other ads, provided I’ve not recorded the show
Noticing a gecko on the ceiling > Aspire to greater heights / there’s always (gecko) shit to clean up
Watching the sun go down > Holy crap, there’s a deadline tomorrow!
Hearing birds chirping > Holy crap, the deadline is today!
Well, I’m just… different.
Yes, I admit it. Since the time I started this copywriting blog in 2010, I’ve never been as laid-back as this year. My posts have been too few and far in between, and I feel like a disgrace to bloggers everywhere.
But as with all things, every downside has a reason.
You see, the momentum I built in my first full year as a freelance copywriter in 2012 spilled over rather kindly to 2013. That meant more time working on projects rather than soliciting for work.
So let’s just say I took the foot off the blogging accelerator just a tiny bit and now the New Year is staring cynically at my face.
Ah yes… another reason for my lack of posts is also because I was busy preparing for my matrimonial plunge for the most part of the year. But this is hardly the space to talk about it, so I shall leave it at that.
Anyway, around this time last year I ended with a post that recapped my toils for 2012, along with a couple of videos that inspired me to do the unthinkable. But this time around, I’m looking forward by outlining a few things that I’d like to see happen among clients in 2014:
- A change in outlook to be more concerned about communicating effectively rather than calculating cost.
- Less emphasis on being catchy (whatever that means), and more effort in being able to identify a unique, compelling proposition.
- Realise that personal preference should just complement and not influence any piece of communication.
- Understand that copywriting is a craft that isn’t entirely based on preset formulas or guidelines; great work comes with time.
- Endeavour to keep things simple, concise and clear. The attention that consumers bestow is a luxury that should not be screwed with.
Amateurs get angry with clients, professionals educate them. I’ve done my bit of educating for the year; just don’t hold it against me yeah?
Here’s to a smashing New Year… cheers!
Two years ago, with no serious planning whatsoever, I decided to become a full-time freelance copywriter.
24 months, that’s a pretty long time to go without a pay cheque. And the fact that I’m still standing is a miracle of sorts… almost too good to be true.
But it was not like I didn’t have to work my butt off to get to this stage. Obviously finding clients was among my major headaches when I started. Eventually, this blog (yes, this very sorry excuse for a blog) became my number one lead generator, and still is.
Now, all my clients I work with and the projects I handle are the direct result from the enquiries I get from this website. Of course, I still had to convince these leads to become clients, which wasn’t easy nor was it always successful.
Sometimes, I get a barrage of enquiries within a space of a week, which is great. The downside to this is that I can’t work on turning all these leads into clients, without creating a backlog. And recently, I had to let go many opportunities that came my way.
This is something I hate to do. It feels like I’ve let myself down.
Being a self-employed copywriter, I tend to wear multiple hats. Often the writing itself is only a small portion of my daily routine because there are meetings to attend, clients to lunch with, brainstorming sessions to go to, materials to pick up and quotes/invoices to send.
There is only so much I can handle without compromising my quality of my copy, which is often how I’m judged on.
It’s a case of keeping existing clients happy vs. bringing in new business. I suppose I’m a loyalist rather than a capitalist.
Anyway, I would like to thank all my clients and readers for making the past year a great one. I’ve learned so much over the year that no book, classroom or even job can ever teach.
Finally, for those of you who enquired about my services, and in turn received a very polite message saying that I was very busy, please accept my sincere apologies. I truly hope our paths will cross again.