Turning the mirror onto myself
It’s been a challenging but rewarding process getting myself a proper ‘grown-up’ brand identity and website, and it’s given me an even greater appreciation of (and more patience with) the big step many of my clients are taking when they engage my services.
It might seem odd that it’s taken me 2 and a half years as a freelance copywriter to get my own website – surely as a communications professional who writes web copy for a living it would be paramount that I have my own web platform to practice what I preach and showcase the work I’ve done? Well yes; I have felt a little sheepish at one or two networking events when handing out unbranded business cards and explaining I don’t have a website when people want to find out more about me. I did have an online portfolio with www.procopywriters.co.uk but whilst this meant I could send prospective clients somewhere, it didn’t represent me in all my glory!
The reason I hadn’t got myself a website was partly that, starting out as a freelancer, I was still finding my professional feet and making certain that this was a business I wanted to make work long-term, before investing a fair whack of money in developing a website. Alongside this were time constraints - firstly taking time out to have my second baby which didn't lend itself to hours tweaking my brand! And when I was working I often found myself with so much work coming in that I couldn’t justify taking hours out of my week to spend on copywriting for myself – given that I didn’t plan on paying myself unlike my other lovely clients.
However, a session at my Athena networking group on ‘goals for the year’ got me motivated, and I got in touch with designer Alison Joshi (www.joshiwasjanes.com) about getting the process started.
Designer appointed and ball rolling, I then faced the questions I so often posed to my own clients: what was my brand voice, how did I want to represent Coopman Creative (in language and visually), and would I be able to communicate this to my designer so that she really got me? Fortunately Alison was fantastic, really getting to grips instantly with the look and feel I was after for Coopman Creative, developing the perfect logo and palette, and creating a bespoke, intuitive, flexible website that suits my brand to a T, and showcases my work beautifully.
I spent hours crafting my copy, really having to turn the critical mirror onto myself, objectively getting ‘inside my own head’ in the same way I do for clients. Defining your own voice when you’re so close to the brand is difficult – it’s something I always push to prospective clients, that an outsider can usually communicate your message far more effectively than you can yourself.
And interestingly, it’s made me feel rather exposed putting my own voice out there rather than crafting voices for other people. It’s certainly made me appreciate the trust clients put in me when they brief me to define their brand voice or produce web content: it’s a big old scary online world out there; it’s daunting for a small (often inexperienced) business to launch out into it, and you want to get it right.
So, here’s to the launch of CoopmanCreative.co.uk – and also the start of my blogging, which I hope to use to give a bit of an insight into the brain of a copywriter, the art and science of copywriting, hints and tips on how to approach copywriting and brand voice for your business, and no doubt a few rants about awful typos and bad grammar I’ve seen out and about. To a great online journey ahead!