Haris Halkic: Hi Sanina, 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.
Sanina Kaur: I’m a former print and broadcast journalist and senior PR professional-turned-copywriter with more than 20 years’ writing experience.
I’ve been writing since the age of 17, when I first started out as a trainee reporter at my local newspaper. More than 20 years later, I’m still writing. Over the years, I’ve worked with a wide range of businesses, agencies and individuals across a variety of sectors to help generate widespread awareness and effectively communicate their messages.
Haris Halkic: How did you transition to freelance copywriting from your previous job? What’s your best piece of advice for someone who is employed and wants to become a freelance copywriter?
My best piece of advice for aspiring freelance copywriters would be to be as flexible as possible.
Yes, freelancing may help people achieve a greater work-life balance, but in reality, for all the planning and preparation, you cannot pre-empt when all briefs are going to come in or when a new piece of work’s going to land.
Haris Halkic: Getting clients is one of the greatest challenges for freelance copywriters. Could you tell us more about how you get clients?
Sanina Kaur: Through a combination of methods, which include through the many contacts I’ve made over the years, proactively marketing my business and networking.
Haris Halkic: How do you prepare for a writing session?
Sanina Kaur: By making sure I:
- Set enough time aside to dedicate to the piece of work at hand
- Fully understand the brief and results the content needs to achieve
- Have all of the information I need to produce copy that meets the objectives and adds real value
Putting myself in the shoes of the target audience I’m writing for and understanding their pain points and challenges and how my client can help overcome them is also key, as it enables me to produce benefit-led copy.
Haris Halkic: How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources you can recommend?
Sanina Kaur: I started off life as a journalist at 17 and, during this time, I sat my NCTJ exams. I’ve also completed the CIPR Advanced Certificate and attended CIM copywriting courses.
I’m fortunate in that all of my roles have involved writing and, as a result, I’ve been able to continuously refine my writing.
I’m always learning, whether that involves sending myself on training courses, attending webinars or reading industry-related articles.
Haris Halkic: In your opinion, what are the greatest advantages of being a freelance copywriter? What makes this lifestyle so special?
Sanina Kaur: Without a doubt, being your own boss and being able to work the hours that suit you, wherever you’d like to work them.
Haris Halkic: What one daily habit has contributed to your success more than any other?
Sanina Kaur: Being extremely organised.
Haris Halkic: If someone wants to hire you, what is the best way to get in touch?