Marketing confessions of a shy, retiring copywriter

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 25th, 2011 at 8:54 AM

When I saw Jupiter Jasper Marketing’s blogging competition,, I thought I’d give it a go and enter. For one it gives me a topic for a blog post – not always easy to find when you’re busy. And it’s a chance to share some of the things I’ve learnt in business. The topic for the competition is ‘My biggest lesson in marketing so far’, so here’s mine: consistency.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, since I started up my business seven years ago, it’s the need to be consistent and relentless in marketing myself. I learned that the hard way by making a big mistake in my second year and really paid for it in my third.

I worked for a large corporate before starting out on my own as a copywriter, and had never heard of networking. However, I realised it was something I needed to do and went along to lots of different events from BNI to Chamber of Commerce, and several women’s networking groups.

I’m pretty shy so it was a huge effort to put myself into a room full of people I didn’t know, and I have to say, I didn’t really enjoy it.

I had a very good first year, mainly due to a three-month contract and ongoing work from the same company after the contract ended. So I stupidly convinced myself that I didn’t really need to do any more networking. And guess what? Yep. No pipeline and lots of panicking.

I got myself back out there and now networking is my biggest networking tool, and it’s how I get most of my business. I’ve learned to pick and choose the events that work for me and to make sure I do at least three a month, no matter how busy I am.

My newsletter was another lesson in consistency. As someone who claims to write engaging content for clients’ marketing materials, a newsletter is the perfect vehicle to back that up.  I was determined to send it out every other month, particularly when I started to get good feedback and leads. However, sadly, during really busy periods it fell by the wayside.

But last year I started again with new determination. I also hired Rona Wheeldon of The Organised PA to proofread the content for me for two reasons.

First of all, as a copywriter, I can’t afford to send anything out with mistakes in it and that’s easier said than done when you’re close to something. (So please forgive me if this post has errors – Rona hasn’t proofread it!)  Secondly, paying someone to help me get the newsletter out made me accountable.

Again I got good feedback and work off the back of it too.

Blogging is yet another example. Up until recently, my blog has relied on my newsletter for posts. That meant posts only appeared every other month. Not nearly enough according to Fiona Humberstone of Flourish Studios who I heard speak recently at The Kingston and Richmond Women’s Network!

Fiona advises blogging at least three times a week. For the moment I’m pleased to be posting at least once a week – it’s a big improvement. The blog is linked to Twitter and LinkedIn so every time I post something, the link appears on both sites. And hey presto! Traffic to my website has increased by an impressive amount.

The really important thing to remember though, is that one or two of these marketing tools aren’t enough on their own. They have to be used as part of a mix – and of course with consistency.

But to go back to networking for a second, it’s not just about consistency of getting out and about. When you tell people what you do, either one-to-one or in your 60 seconds, your message needs to be consistent too.

At the British Library’s Business Boot-camp the other week, we delegates were tasked by Kerrie Dorman of The UK’s Affordable Mentors to rewrite ours. This is what I came up with: I write clear, succinct, engaging marketing materials for businesses that get their messages across to their audiences.

What do you think? I’d love your feedback if you have time!








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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. And speaking of useful - scroll down and take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries tool.

Click here to find out a bit more about me.

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