Haris: Hi Eleanor, 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.
Eleanor: Thank you for inviting me to take part in your interview series Haris, I really appreciate it.
So, how did I get into copywriting? Good question. I always loved to express myself in writing, but it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to start my own business that I decided to follow my passion and enter the world of copywriting. In the past I had dabbled in other forms of writing and even started my own online magazine before I set up Kreatív Copywriting.
My first real lucky break was being hired ‘out of the blue’ to write email newsletters (hence my love of email) for a big airline.
Haris: How did you transition to freelance copywriting from your previous job? What’s your best piece of advice to someone who is employed and wants to become a freelance copywriter?
Eleanor: I would not advise anyone to do what I did – which was to take a really big risk and give up my former career as a financial services professional without any real fall back or safe guards in place.
I would suggest testing out freelance life as a sideline first, dipping your toes in – but try not to leave it too late before you make the break. I know it’s easier said than done as we can always find good reasons not to do something. Just remember, if it doesn’t work out, you can always go back. But you will never know unless you try.
Haris: Getting clients is one of the greatest challenges for freelance copywriters. Could you tell us more about how you get clients? Being a true master at Linkedin marketing, would you recommend it for winning new clients?
I would definitely recommend LinkedIn for attracting potential clients. In fact, most of my clients nowadays come from referrals or LinkedIn!
One strategy I always stand by is attraction marketing. Get yourself out there on social media and show (not tell) people what you can do, find out your audience’s pain points and provide the solution with your content.
The key is to create good relationships, show value and be consistent. Copywriters have a distinct advantage over others in this regard in my opinion. I rarely cold email – and I don’t think I have ever cold called in my entire life – apart from a frightful one day stint at a telesales firm back in the early 90s.
There are plenty of copywriters out there, but there seem to be more unemployed copywriters than employed ones. The hard truth of the matter is that if you cannot sell yourself, then how are you going to demonstrate to a potential client that you have what it takes to sell for them?
Haris: How did you learn to write copy? Are there teachers, books or resources you can recommend?
Eleanor: I read and studied everything and anything I could get my hands on, and I still do. Just like the boy in sixth sense – I see copy everywhere! But seriously, I am always evaluating the copy I see around me, finding the story, looking for the hook.
I also love exploring persuasive language patterns. It’s fascinating once you get started. Like many copywriters, I go back to the great and the ‘ahem’ good to study their techniques. Ogilvy, Schwartz, Caples et al. Not only that but I also read widely, even genres I don’t particularly like. I love the story.
For anyone just starting out and interested in storytelling, I would recommend studying the works of Joseph Campbell.
Haris: How do you prepare for a writing session?
Eleanor: I get all the research and information together and then I just start writing. I try not to procrastinate. I just start. I don’t have a lucky mascot or anything particular in place. I find deadlines can be quite motivating. That said, if I am really stuck I take my dog out for a walk by a nearby lake or some woods.
Haris: Who’s your favorite copywriter or favorite piece of copywriting?
Eleanor: Ouch. This is a tough one. It has to be a toss-up between Ogilvy’s ‘The Man in The Hathaway Shirt’ and ‘They Laughed When I Sat Down at The Piano’ by John Caples. So many to choose from, but I found them both the most compelling. My favorite copywriter? To be honest, I don’t have one. I am happy to champion anyone in the profession who is working with words to improve the world in some way. Sounds naff – but it’s true.
Haris: In your opinion, what are the greatest advantages of being a freelance copywriter?
Eleanor: Freedom, and the ability to be able to research many subjects and wear different hats. A bit like being an actor – but in words. It is also a brilliant opportunity to connect with people from all over the world.
Haris: What one daily habit has contributed to your success more than any other?
Eleanor: Persistence. I don’t give up. I actually have 3 daily non-negotiables. I wrote about them here.
Haris: You are the creator of The Persuasive Copy Revelation Method©. Could you talk about this method and what makes it special?
The Persuasive Copy Revelation Method© is my own methodology, a 9 step process I created taking into account all I have learned about taking copy from unconvincing to utterly compelling.
Depending on where a client is in terms of their communication/copy strategy this method really dives deep into what is needed from USP to sales conversion.
Haris: Another thing that makes you special is that you have a course on email copywriting – your free course on Linkedin which is awesome by the way. What is your course on email copywriting about and who is it for?
Eleanor: Thank you I am very flattered. So glad you enjoyed my free LinkedIn course and #LITop10 Challenge to boost engagement.
The Utterly Compelling Email Copywriter course was created especially for businesses and individuals who are stuck when it comes to coming up with ideas and want to know how to write compelling copy for their email newsletters. It covers storytelling and persuasive language as well as the nuts and bolts of email marketing. Ideal for those who don’t have (or want) a budget for a copywriter. What’s more, the skills I teach in this course can be applied to other mediums such as social media, content marketing etc. More LinkedIn clients anyone?
Haris: If someone wants to hire you, what is the best way to get in touch?
I am often pretty much booked up in advance so like to get on a discovery call with potential clients first to make sure I can really help them and that we are the right fit for each other.