I write many websites, from 100+ page ones for blue chips, down to small business sites, as well as other digital copy. I also create advertisements, including press, posters and commercials. Printed pieces too, like sales letters, brochures, case studies and newsletters. And plenty of editing, especially for clients whose first language isn't English and who need a British copywriter.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I started out as a copywriter in mainstream advertising agencies. Then I did a lot of direct marketing. Next it was digital. Lots of shiny awards along the way.
I've had my own business (and website) for over 20 years and today I tend to do all kinds of projects. But more digital than anything else. And a lot of property copywriting, financial copywriting, employee engagement projects, and legal copywriting, plus numerous consumer and B2B projects.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Three things in particular. Persistence - sometimes you just need to keep on keeping on. Imagination - at least when it comes to marketing themselves. And organisation - vital for any successful freelancer.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Every day is different. In the last month I've written copy for someone from Azerbaijan opening up a cafe in London, a Swedish media storage company, a Saudi Arabian digital agency, a multi-national property company and a UK financial organisation.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My style adapts to the needs of the client and project. I've acted as ghostwriter for a very high-profile celebrity chef, written manuals for sex chatline operators, crafted up with recruitment ads for nurses for Broadmoor hospital for the criminally insane, and come up with the agency Christmas card for four different agencies. Along the way I've written for audiences from children to senior citizens, and from CEOs to the unemployed. You have to be something of a chameleon in this business.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I do much less conceptual work than I used to - I would love to do more of those kinds of projects.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Brexit - I'm working with other people in the industry on a project to try and put the kibosh on it.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
They would sort out any IT issues...bliss!
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
What originally attracted me to advertising all those years ago was the creativity, the fun, the long boozy lunches and the good pay. It's nearly all still achievable, but I wish I'd known that you have to work a lot harder for it and in ways unimaginable when I started. A boozy lunch is a very rare beast nowadays and I don't really miss it - especially as I'm the one paying for it.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
Anyone talking about anything that would help me do my job better. Or become a cannier fisherman.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I'm open to requests. Many people ask me to write or improve their websites, and lots of long copy or editing suits me fine, but I have plenty of conceptual experience too. And I love working with overseas clients - I'm up to 30 different countries now. Perhaps you could be my 31st?
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I have many clients I've worked with for over five years, several for around ten, and a couple I have worked with on and off for over twenty years. All have a story to tell, and I've learned so much in this business. If you have a good product or service, I'll do my utmost to make it great - and hopefully we can develop a long-term working relationship.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
I usually work by the project, but sometimes by the day. I'm certainly not cheap, but I'm not the most expensive either. I usually quote by the word for editing jobs, with discounts for regular work. You can also pay in euros or US dollars.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
With a phone call (+44 07767 687 524) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Although you can turn up on my doorstep and sing your request should you be so inclined.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Curiosity. Couldn't turn it off if I tried.
This member profile was originally published in November 2017.