Should I employ a professional copywriter?
I’ve been designing websites for over 10 years, so I’ve definitely seen where most creatives trip up when they are preparing for a new website. Writing ‘copy’ (or text) for your website is always the hardest and often over looked aspect of creating a successful website. It is possibly one of the most important factors to the success of your brand, so you should seriously consider employing a freelance creative copywriter. Investing in this service will save you hours of frustration and you will know that it has been done right, ensuring you have your brand message included as well as your style of communication, also SEO factors will be fully considered.
I have personally been searching for a reliable creative copywriter for years now, and I finally came across Franky Shanahan who runs Love Audrey. Franky specialises in creative copywriting, mainly for the wedding industry, so she really knows her stuff and will know how to write for your target market.
Franky also co-hosts her own Podcast called Friends with Business Benefits which has some awesome content for any one who runs their own creative business or is a freelancer.
I caught up with Franky and asked her some questions about here business;
Why did you setup Love Audrey?
I’d always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t know what my career would look like.
Alongside studying at university, working part-time in retail and raising our two young children, I’d been blogging since 2009. After submitting my MA dissertation in September 2011 and getting married the following January, it all happened quite organically.
In 2012, I was offered a role at a successful wedding blog. As well as content creation, I was responsible for a lot of admin behind the scenes. Liaising with sponsors and other industry professionals helped me make good contacts that eventually led to more work.
We relocated to Bristol in September 2013 and things really started to snowball, partly because my youngest child was now in fulltime education. I wrote my first full website in 2014 and by the end of the year I was employed by a number of clients on a retainer basis.
Apart from a nasty blip in 2016 when I was seriously ill, my client base has continued to grow and evolve. I now work with a wonderful mix of creative business owners in both the wedding industry and the health and wellbeing market.
Why do you think it is so important to employ a professional copywriter?
I’m pretty biased, but I believe good copy is key if you want to attract your dream clients, and more importantly, convince them to buy from you. Many business owners fall into the trap of believing the internet is a predominantly visual medium. The truth is, 80% of what we do online is still text-based.
Every business needs words, regardless of what you do, who you serve, or what you’re selling. It’s how we communicate, it’s how we consume the majority of information online, and it’s how we understand things.
Obviously, the visual imagery associated with your business is important. It plays a key role in attracting people to your brand and getting them interested in what you have to say. But it’s copy that people connect with. It’s how they begin to understand your values, and it’s essential if you want to win their trust and build loyalty.
Who are your main target clients?
I’m passionate about showing independent, creative businesses how to harness the power of language and communication. Writing for wedding businesses is my speciality and I relish the opportunity to support the many creative people working in this field.
How important do you think it is to have a well thought out and stylised personal brand in today’s market?
I’d say it’s absolutely essential! There’s a quote I love – I’m afraid I don’t know the source – but it sums up my thoughts perfectly:
‘Marketing unearths and activates buyers. Branding makes loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists out of those who buy.’
Unfortunately, as a copywriter, I’m used to being a bit of an afterthought! When people are launching a new business or updating an existing one, they tend to think about copy and branding as separate things. More often than not, they automatically prioritise the latter.
But your copy, the language you use, and the way you communicate is as much a part of your brand as your logo and the colours on your website.
What are the 3 top tips/advice you can give creative entrepreneurs, whether they are just starting out or well established?
1. Get a mentor
One of the best things I’ve ever done for my business is finding a co-mentor. I’ve been meeting regularly with my friend and fellow freelancer, Charlie Swift, for a couple of years now.
We usually begin with a quick recap of the previous month, addressing any issues or challenges we’ve faced. We also set quarterly goals and targets together, holding each other accountable during future sessions. I’ve blogged about co-mentoring here and we also started a podcast called ‘Friends With Business Benefits’ inspired by our sessions.
2. Look after yourself
Entrepreneurship is often associated with hustling hard, but burn out is real. When you work for yourself, the success of your business rests on your ability to perform tasks to a high standard. If you fail to take care of your health and wellbeing, everything suffers.
3. Remember networking is a long game
It’s easy to feel disheartened when new contacts don’t immediately convert. There are people I met right at the beginning of my career who have only recently become clients. Keep showing up, keep doing good work, and you’ll be the person they come to when the time is right.