Time for another interview (I am trying to get through the upper echelon of copywriting talent before I hang up my creative boots ha), and this time it’s the turn of Laura Glover.
Now embracing a refreshingly modern approach to business, Laura first spent many years working in advertising agencies and dabbling in multiple areas of the industry (as you will read below). After honing her skills in the creative trenches, Laura chose to set up her own shop – Town Mouse Country Mouse, or simply TMCM. The agency itself is strictly a remote operation, with Laura’s team not expected to drag themselves out of bed and roll into an office every morning in desperate search of coffee. Both Laura and her employees go where the business is – a great attitude towards copywriting, if you ask me.
The TMCM creative bow is made up of some pretty impressive strings, including the likes of Microsoft, Thomson, T Mobile, Natwest, Virgin Atlantic, Sony and Eurostar.
I found her story really interesting and so, naturally, I asked her if she’d mind answering a few questions. I am really glad she was willing to share her thoughts on her copywriting career so far, so without further ado, please check out Laura’s responses below.
McParland Copywriting: What was your path into copywriting?
Laura Glover: A considered stumble.
Bubbling along doing a degree in Creative Advertising I was fortunate to be headhunted by an amazing London agency just before the end of my final year. I hadn’t planned on heading to London but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
My first five years in advertising I worked as a ‘creative’ – I was trained as an art director and copywriter so did everything.
When I decided to quit my last permanent job I stumbled into the life of a freelancer. But I had to decide on a job title. What was I going to sell myself as? What could I do anywhere? At any age? What did I get more satisfaction from?
MC: Do you run your company from an office or do you work from home? Which do you think is best?
LG: Both. I work from an office located at my home. I’ve found in the past working from home can be distracting. ‘I’ll just empty the dishwasher or read the catalogue that’s just been popped through the door’.
Where, having my own office means I have my own work sanctuary. No interruptions. No distractions. Just the simple sound of me tapping away on my laptop.
If I need a change of scenery I pop out. The beauty of remote working is that you can do it anywhere as long as you can’t see the dirty dishes by the sink.
MC: Where have most of your new clients come from? Word of mouth? Social media?
LG: Word of mouth mostly. One happy client can turn into 20 happy clients. I was fortunate enough to be listed in The Drum’s top 50 freelancers a few years ago and I still get a lot of traffic from that.
MC: I think a lot of copywriters (myself included) will have dry spells with not a lot of work. Can you relate to this and do you think it’s just a case of keep going?
LG: Dry spells happen in all jobs. Yes, you may not worry about it when you’re in a perm job and just think ‘yay, I can surf the web’. It’s no different when you’re freelance (as long as you’re sensible with money).
I’ve always got so many blog post ideas I want to write, potential new clients I want to kick, tweaks to make to my website and I never have the time. So, when I get a dry spell I write things I want to write. After all, a new blog post could be the answer to a new person clicking through to your website and becoming a potential new client. Hooray!
MC: When you first became freelance, did it take you a while to get your rates right?
LG: Ages. I’m still never sure of my rate. I decided on what I felt was a good rate and now stick to it. Some people are shocked at how much I am, others are shocked by how ‘cheap’ I am. It’s about going with what you think you’re worth and not lowering it for someone who has the cheek to ask.
MC: Three tips for somebody looking to get into copywriting?
LG: They’re not very original but they’re tried and tested by plenty of copywriters.
- Get a portfolio together that you keep editing/adding to
- Make contacts within agencies/companies that you like
- Show your portfolio to every one of those contacts. Don’t take no for an answer.
MC: Three tips for someone already in copywriting?
- Read lots. You can never read enough as a copywriter. Absorb.
- Write for your own personal amusement. You too have a tone of voice that people will love to read.
- Never allow anyone to doubt your ability. Everyone thinks they can write copy so it’s so easy to rip someone else’s writing apart, but it takes genuine skill to pull some kick-ass copy together.