Being a copywriter is no longer about straplines, pomade and plaid flannel suits.
Today, a good freelance copywriter has to be more flexible than Mr Motivator’s leotard.
Writing experience is rarely enough. It requires commercial awareness. It calls for the ability to write web copy through to engaging editorial content.
Whatever you want to communicate, I’ll get you doing it concisely and in your own, unique way.
I work with companies and agencies – from FTSE 100 firms through to start-ups, financial services companies to charities.
As for the pomade? I’m told cedarwood beard oil’s the next thing.
Less words. More impact. Whatever you need your web copy to say, I’ll find a succinct way of saying it.
As a Features Editor I know what makes a good article. Or advertorial. Or press release for that matter.
Your company is different. So I’ll let your clients know using tone of voice and storytelling techniques.
I hope you’re not the shy sort. Because we’ll soon be knocking up engaging content that draws heaps of attention.
Screen shot 2014-06-06 at 12.18.19 Next is serious about employing the right people. They had recently undergone a huge change in their HR process, which meant employing for personality, not just experience. But both their existing careers website and their jobs ads were awash with bureaucratic HR talk and in need of a little pepping up. So the task was to make this huge FTSE 100 retailer sound a little more 2014 while making sure that they still attracted employees of all ages with the right qualities.
We set a standard of optimism for new staff by using an upbeat, down to earth tone. After all, potential employees were looking to work at an innovative fashion retailer, not in public services circa 1972.
Screen shot 2014-03-24 at 10.02.24In the job ads we found opportunity to add some quirk by expressing the key attributes we sought in fresh ways that would evoke working at Next. In short, we made it less about ‘seeking enthusiastic candidates looking to make an impact’ and more about ‘finding glass-half-full, happy-to-help people’. At the same time, we wanted to put off those that we’re after a quick buck – these just weren’t Next’s type of people.
Across the new career website copy we dialled up the interesting notch. We wanted to make the company sound like the sort of place people would want to work. We wanted the right people, to get in touch.
“As a business we were very happy. The job ads and the website certainly attracted the right people. Anecdotal feedback to date is that it is doing the trick.” Anna Roberts, Online Sales and Content Manager, Next plc
“We are really pleased with the copy.”
Sally Tickell, HR Manager, Next plc
Notes: Written while at Barnaby Benson Copywriting Limited
It’s January. People are dreaming about their holidays, but they still have the financial hangover of Christmas. Exodus needed a travel copywriter to spice up their January mailer – sent to around 100,000 clients. The industry average click-through rate to trip notes is around 3%. We needed more.
Exodus Value emailsTo achieve an above average click-through rate, we needed copywriting that stood out from similar competitor communications. So, using evocative, fresh language and an inspiring tone of voice, we wanted to energise clients to keep reading on. The emails achieved an average click-through rate of over 8%, with the wildlife and cycling copy hitting 10% and 11% respectively. Because of its success, it was decided that the individual destination copy should also be rolled out to more targeted mailing groups, like family and cycling marketing lists.
“Best Value page had so much love last week, not just with emails but over 300 clicks from social too!” Natasha Preston, Social Media Manager
“Keith has written several articles for Exodus, all of which
impressed us. His fresh and lively tone was engaging and inspiring – he
quickly understood our brand with very little introduction. In practical
terms he was a pleasure to work with, and delivered well before the due
dates we’d agreed upon. I would not hesitate to recommend him.” Georgina Lawrence, Marketing Executive
Screen shot 2015-04-01 at 15.40.20Thames Water were keen to reassert their position as a market leader in property searches and they needed a good web copywriter to help them. As the only competitive part of the utility company’s enterprise, they recognised that they needed to sing for their lunch. To do this they wanted web copy that would make it easy for lawyers and property developers alike to enjoy doing business with them. The wireframes were already there. So, from headers and calls to action through to a succinct user guide, it turns out I had around 10’000 words of copy to write. They wanted it pronto – yesterday. We agreed a week.
We spruced up the tone of voice. We came up with something less old-fashioned utility provider and more your keen and approachable market innovators. Naturally, the name carries heaps of credibility – so playing on this, using a fresh, confident everyday tone created a much warmer user experience. Plus, the new all singing, all dancing website had heaps of functionaility – so we we had to talk benefits too.
We went from:
“Working with customers, lenders and a wide range of industry stakeholders to understand how we can improve our services and the products we offer to maximise customer satisfaction.”
“Getting discounted search packs direct from one trusted provider.”
See their new website here.
It’s been a real pleasure working with Keith. He is creative and able to put himself in the customer’s shoes. He treated the project as if it was his own. We had great communications throughout and the quality of his work was excellent. I highly recommend working with him if you have the chance.
– Jason Garcia, Project Manager at Jabberwokie
There’s a first time for everything. And that includes embarking on a P&O cruise. But once clients have taken their maiden voyage, how do we persuade them to come back? That was the challenge facing P&O. For the first time they had decided to run a personalised marketing campaign to ramp up their ‘rebooking rates’. So, a series of communications were needed to entice these first-timers back.
We all love to travel. But there’s an endless list of ways we do it these days. So, using evocative language that would get under their skin, client’s had to hear, see and smell the experience of their next cruise. After all, they didn’t know until now, they were going! The communication had to sell. And we wanted to highlight the unique elements of the journey such as its diversity: “From sunbathing to lunar landscapes it will be hard to climb back down to earth after a cruise to the Canaries.”
While the rebooking results won’t be available until late 2014 the client was delighted with the work. It resulted in further campaigns.
“We are all so happy with it and the campaign to date has been hugely well received.”Abi Winfield, CRM Executive
Notes: Written as a Freelancer through an agency (Barnaby Benson Copywriting Limited)
A large financial regulation company wanted to differentiate themselves from their ‘Big Four’ competition. A new tone of voice had been established by the branding agency, yet it didn’t have total buy-in and needed some work. Plus, there was a ‘way of doing things’ that had to be addressed. They needed a financial services copywriter to deliver tone of voice workshops to over fifty employees. We had to empower and enthuse them – so they’d make the new tone of voice part of their everyday.
Huntswood had big personality. But it wasn’t coming across. Verbose sentences and lack of warmth were recognised as their two biggest issues. First, we had to workshop with the board and tweak the new tone of voice developed by the brand agency – we needed buy-in from the head honchos before we could move on anything. Then, rolling out the new tone of voice was not about policing. It was about empowering staff in key content producing roles to change the way they work – and to have the confidence to write more concisely. It was about providing feedback, working on examples and not simply editing materials. The interactive workshops went well and we are now working on stage two of embedding this new tone.
“Working with Keith on our tone of voice training was fantastic. He created a workshop that was able to engage everyone in our business, from the board to the frontline. Keith is a pleasure to work with, and we’ve had great feedback on the sessions.” – Nicola Carter, Head of Marketing
moneycorp (yep, small m) is a large foreign exchange specialist. You’ll no doubt have seen them at all the airports and key tourist spots. Plus, you’ll find them in the national newspapers. Which is where I come in.
They needed a financial services copywriter with an eye for editorial to write advertorials for national newspapers. From the Guardian and the Telegraph to City AM and the FT, from double page property spreads to targeted reader email campaigns, they needed a consistent message with fresh, engaging copy. And all the while, using an appropriate tone of voice for each audience.
“Keith is a brilliant copywriter. He’s bright, affable and easy to work with. Our business needs to react quickly to changing market conditions and it’s vital that our copy carries relevance and authority. Keith thoroughly researches each piece and is able to articulate complex market information in a way that is interesting and accessible. His writing has had a positive impact on our sales and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.”
– John McBroom, National Account Manager
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