Haris Halkic: Hi Stuart, 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.
Stuart Walton: I was an English teacher from 1987 onwards, the days of the dying mullet and I’d always wanted to be a writer from the age of four when I corrected Mrs Holiday’s spelling on my first day at school. That set me up nicely for a lifetime of being a grammar and spelling policeman. After graduating in English, I took a job in teaching until I escaped five years ago to become a writer and, more recently, expanded into web design at Get Pro Copy. Seemed a natural step for me.
Haris Halkic: What’s your best advice for someone who is employed and wants to become a freelance copywriter?
You must keep outgoings low and have alternative income. I mark GCSE and A level English exams and have done for years and this supplements me during lean times. Other advice I’d offer is to focus on a particular niche – mine is property content marketing and most clients are in the property industry.
Haris Halkic: Getting clients is one of the greatest challenges for freelance copywriters. Could you tell us more about how you get clients?
I have a responsive website, Get Pro Copy Ltd, which is fed with blog materials. I’m active on all social media platforms and have a healthy following on each one.
My biggest source of freelance income comes from LinkedIn and I’m hyperactive on there. I don’t overtly sell, I entertain (I hope) and challenge. No one likes a beige, safe personality.
Haris Halkic: How do you prepare for a writing session?
I work best in the morning after coffee and breakfast and then early evening. I research a topic, make notes in my Moleskine books with my fountain pen (strange rituals I know) and then begin a draft in my home office. I send this to clients and make changes based on feedback.
Haris Halkic: How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources you can recommend?
I’m a graduate of English and spent 27 years teaching the art of writing to students. I did little myself though apart from modelling narrative and persuasive pieces, until I set up my freelance writing business in 2015.
Haris Halkic: Who’s your favorite copywriter or piece of copywriting?
Neil Patel is the king of copy. Superb writer, great helper. I also like James Altucher.
Haris Halkic: In your opinion, what are the greatest advantages of being a freelance copywriter? What makes this lifestyle so special?
No bosses, no commuting, no meetings. I have total freedom with which projects I take on and which I reject; whether to work or walk Cassie, my rescue border collie.
Freelance gives you freedom. I won’t ever be employed again.
Haris Halkic: Is there a daily habit that has contributed to your success more than any other?
I read and write every day. I don’t mean classic novels, necessarily, I read voraciously online and write daily for my own business and for clients.
Haris Halkic: If someone wants to hire you, what is the best way to get in touch?
They can email me: email@example.com or be more direct by calling me on 07462923476.