Haris Halkic: Hi Kate, thanks a lot for agreeing to share your best tips on copywriting and your background. Let’s start with how you got started in copywriting. Please, tell us more about your story.
Kate Greenwood: It’s a pleasure, thanks for inviting me to share my story.
Like a lot of copywriters, I fell into copywriting by chance. I’ve always had an eye for detail and did a degree in English and History. After finishing uni, I often found myself proofreading things for my family and friends. This led on to paid writing and editing work for business people they knew. When I first started out, I didn’t know what a copywriter was, but as soon as I realised I enjoyed writing for businesses, I decided to give it a proper go, set up my website and started promoting my services.
Haris Halkic: You mentioned that you have a full-time job. How do you manage writing copy as freelancer on the side. What’s your best piece of advice for someone who wants to start building his copywriting career part-time?
Kate Greenwood: I work full-time as an in-house marketing copywriter as well as doing freelance copywriting and proofreading. I’m not going to lie, it’s quite tiring, but I like being busy and running my own business is something I want to do. By doing both jobs, I’m learning loads and gaining lots of different skills.
For those wanting to build a copywriting career part-time, I’d say start small and don’t try to do everything at once.
Be realistic about how much time you can devote to your freelance work without burning out. After all, there are only so many hours in a day.
Haris Halkic: Getting clients is one of the greatest challenges for freelance copywriters. What ways do you use to get clients?
Kate Greenwood: As much as having a website and blogging regularly is great, I’ve found that old school face-to-face networking and word-of-mouth referrals are the best way of getting the word out about my business and gaining new clients.
Haris Halkic: How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources you can recommend?
Kate Greenwood: I think my English degree was a good starting point as it involved a lot of writing, but I learnt how to write copy as I went along.
Reading marketing blogs and listening to podcasts is useful. The Hot Copy Podcast by Kate Toon and Belinda Weaver is a fun way to learn about copywriting techniques and running a freelance business. I also recommend reading Write to Sell by Andy Maslen.
Haris Halkic: How do you prepare for a writing session?
Kate Greenwood: First, I remove all distractions and make myself a cup of tea. Then I make sure I fully understand the brief and research the company I’m writing for. When faced with a blank page, I list all the key points I want to mention in the copy and then just start writing.
Haris Halkic: Who’s your favourite copywriter or piece of copywriting?
Kate Greenwood: I’m not sure I have a favourite copywriter but I like the copy by Innocent Smoothies, Old Mout Cider and First Direct.
Haris Halkic: In your opinion, what are the greatest advantages of being a freelance copywriter? What makes this lifestyle so special?
I love the variety of freelance copywriting work. One day, I could be writing about wooden flooring; the next, about psychology.
The freedom of being able to take on whatever work you want, when you want, is also pretty special.
Haris Halkic: What one daily habit has contributed to your success more than any other?
Kate Greenwood: I try to do something to grow my freelance business daily. Even if it’s something small like scheduling a post on social media, I feel like I’m moving my business forward every day.
Haris Halkic: Are there areas you specialize on as a copywriter and if someone wants to hire you, what is the best way to get in touch?
Kate Greenwood: I enjoy writing for websites and blogs and currently write a lot about health and fitness. But I’ve also written copy about things like artificial grass, packaging and interior design.