Kirsten’s approach as a business coach is “hugs, not handshakes”, which extends to every part of her business. Before founding MakeMeASuccess.co.uk, Kirsten Rees lived, worked and volunteered in five countries, adding bra fitter, highest earning sales rep, fashion writer and even a summer as Bugs Bunny to her CV.
Since launching her business in 2013, Kirsten has worked with many business owners who want content that resonates with their target audience, and that’s exactly what Kirsten provides. As a copywriter her services include web copy, blog posts, business profiles, ghostwriting, and other content, as well as one-to-one and group business coaching for those looking to learn from the best.
Between her copywriting work, coaching, publishing a fiction novel and working on her first business book aimed at startups (coming soon) Kirsten somehow found the time to chat to us about the life of a copywriter and the advice she would give to those looking to get into the business.
What’s the most interesting copywriting project you’ve ever worked on?
There have been quite a few, but I think the most interesting for me personally was editing a client’s book recently. I’ve been writing copy for years, and this one project made me seriously consider adjusting my career and business to include book editing as well as writing web copy. As a self-published author, I’ve always kept my two careers separate with my copywriting business as my day job and writing for myself as a way of expressing my creativity.
It was a bit of an experiment working on someone else’s book, I’m proud of how it turned out, and my client wrote a lovely acknowledgement for me in the opening pages of her book. I have another client lined up to work on a novel, so I’m excited about the next few months.
What skills do you think a copywriter needs to have?
Patience – you often need to start from scratch, do tons of research, come up with various ways of saying the same thing, and even discard some really great ideas because they won’t attract a specific market. Also, you need patience with your clients since they don’t always know what they want, some may expect you to become a project manager for the entire thing while others don’t understand what a copywriter does and try to direct you a little too much. You need to have confidence in your skills and outline the process in the early stages, so everyone is clear on their role.
Also, a creative mind. I’ve had people ask for a project to be done within 24 hours, and it may be possible, but it’s not going to allow for the full creative process to unfold, so you’re not guaranteed the best outcome. My job isn’t to ‘fluff up words’, it’s to figure out just the right content that will resonate with your target market and make them desire your products/services.
It should go without saying, you need to be able to spell and understand the intricacies of grammar. Equally, you need to be comfortable with throwing that all out the window because sometimes the end-client drops their vowels and prefers to read in 140 characters!
What advice would you give to an aspiring copywriter?
Get as much experience as you can and build a strong portfolio. Don’t be afraid to go for big clients you’d love to work with, put yourself forward for award nominations, and figure out your story and tell it to a good magazine or newspaper because good press is everything. Year one in business doesn’t have to be a trial run; it can be a year in the making of you!