Michelle's blog

Do local business networking events work?

Business cardsLast month, I dipped my toe into the waters of business networking events. A couple of local networking groups had been recommended to me, so I went along in search of fellow Fleet and Farnborough traders.

Coffee and Connect

First up, was Coffee and Connect, which has recently moved to a new venue at The Elvetham, between Fleet and Hartley Wintney.

Let me tell you a story

Advertorial copywritingI hadn’t written an advertorial for a while, but following a discussion with a client we decided it was the most appropriate device for what they were looking to achieve.

See my last blog post for a case study of that project.

Advertorials combine advertisement with editorial. They allow the advertiser to use more text than perhaps they would normally employ in a conventional advert.

Case studies: the advertorial

Graduate RecruitmentFurther to my last blog post, I’ve put together the following case study of a copywriting project based on creating an advertorial for a recruitment agency.

The background

A recruitment agency specialising in jobs for graduates wanted to run an advert in a student magazine that would appeal to the young readership of the publication.

Make a persuasive case

Case studiesA well-written case study tells a story.

It takes a situation, identifies a problem, proposes an action or series of actions. Then it charts the progress of those activities until it can draw a conclusion.

A case study should show the reader that you not only understand their problem - you also have the experience to resolve it.

Case studies can be as long or short as you need them to be. The important thing is that they should be truthful and convey the facts in either a chronological order or in a logical sequence of events.

The life of a freelance copywriter

Reversing a tractorI love being a freelance (or independent) copywriter.

It’s not without stress, and it’s sometimes difficult to maintain a work/life balance. You’re very reactive to when work comes in.

The great thing about being a freelancer is that it’s never dull. Boredom comes with repetition. I can honestly say no two days are the same. Not something I could have said during my years of working 9 to 5 in an office.

Take a minute

MinutesAs Secretary of a conservation charity, I‘m used to taking the minutes at committee meetings. It’s a job many people hate as you need to type at the same time as listen. I like to contribute to the meeting as well, so it’s an exercise in multi-tasking.

When I first took on the role, I used to document every last detail, afraid of missing out something significant. (Remember Frank Pickle in The Vicar of Dibley?) What seemed trivial to me could be perceived as relevant by other committee members.

What’s your USP?

Ant NestThat’s not always an easy question to answer.

Your Unique Selling Point should differentiate you from your competitors. As a copywriter, I do what a lot of other copywriters do. However, copywriters fall into different categories, usually defined by areas of expertise.

In-house copywriters employed by large organisations have an in-depth knowledge of a particular sector. By contrast, freelance copywriters work in a variety of industries and acquire an understanding of a number of markets.

When it’s time for action

Okay, so you’ve spent all this time putting together a classy production. The design looks enticing, the words sound engaging, and clients are stopping to read further.

What is it you want them to do now?

Phone you? Complete a form and post it to you? Click a button and submit their email to you?

Arguably, the most valuable part of your marketing copy is an effective call to action. Your CTA can be used to invite people to contact you, visit you, purchase online or sign up for your service. An efficient CTA can generate immediate and profitable results.

Truth in all things including copywriting

Truth in CopywritingThe ability to communicate is one of the great things about being a writer.

Your words can raise awareness of a cause or plight, they can help charities raise funds and find volunteers, or tell the story of a project or a person. Being able to communicate a message truthfully in an accessible and appealing way is a valuable skill.

How to be your own copywriter

Copywriting on a blackboardThe carpet of my office is covered in paperwork. It’s going down to the wire again this year. The deadline for tax returns is looming.

No more. This is the last time I wrestle with receipts. New year, new approach. In future, everything will be handed over to an accountant. It's time to start outsourcing some aspects of the business.


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