I’m Taking a Break

Hi there,

For various reasons, I’ve decided to take a break from Freelance Copywriter’s Blog for now. Please feel free to delve through the archives as there’s loads of great content there covering just about everything in the copywriting and marketing world.

I haven’t stopped writing completely; you can find loads of new stuff on my other blog at Briar Copywriting Ltd (just click on the image below).

Thanks for supporting me over the years and hopefully I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, I’ll see you over at Briar Copywriting.

Best wishes.


Briar Copywriting



Should You Be Using Periscope?

marketing with Periscope


Just when you think you’ve sussed all the social media platforms and latest marketing gadgets and gizmos, something else comes along.

Today I want to take a look at Periscope.

According to their website, Periscope was inspired because they “…wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation.”

That’s big.

But in real terms, Periscope offers you a way of exploring the real world through someone else’s eyes. It is an app that lets you share and watch live video broadcasts from your mobile phone.

OK, that’s pretty cool, but is it something you can use within your marketing strategy?

Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.

Peek behind the scenes

Because the shared video is live, it brings with it unpredictability and spontaneity.

As such, it’s a great way to show the personality behind your brand, helping your audience build an emotional connection to your business.

Live training

Forget recorded webinars and the such like, how about using Periscope for live training sessions and demos?

Customer support

How many times has a customer turned to you for advice?

You spend ages crafting a lengthy email trying to instruct them in how to carry out a procedure.

Wouldn’t it be easy to live stream your explanation instead?


Competitions and giveaways are always a great way to boost audience engagement. The live nature of Periscope will help create a real buzz, but don’t over do it. Once in a while is enough.

Share events quickly

Twitter has already made the spreading of news and world events spontaneous, now Periscope can take it to a new level. Live video of events around the world will definitely set you apart from the competition.

Admittedly, Periscope isn’t going to for every business, but if you can see some value in live video streaming why not give it a try?

If you’re already using it, how’s it going down with your customers?

How have you used it to engage with them?

Share your ideas and experiences by leaving a comment below.


The Marketing Trigger That Will Boost Your Sales

This blog first appeared on our parent blog, Briar Copywriting Ltd, but we also wanted to share it with you here. 


how many people are you writing to?


Marketing – you can’t run a business without it.

Whether you’re a social media fanatic, blogging hero, content writer extraordinaire, or a wizard at email marketing there’s one thing you must do in order to get your customers to buy.

Finding out what interests your customers is vital if you want them to take notice of the constant stream of messages you’re putting out.

So what is it?

What is the mystery thing that all your customers want to know about?

What is it that really interests them?

The answer is simple; the answer is they’re interested in themselves.

That’s right – they don’t care about your business, where your premises are, whether you’re the market leader (everyone says that), or a great innovator (yawn), all they want to know is how you are going to help them.

How selfish!

You’ve spent years building up your business. You’ve weathered economic downturns, fluctuations in your market place and umpteen rows at home because of the number of hours you spend at the office and your customers don’t care.

But then again, why should they?

None of that’s going to help them, is it?

The only way they’re going to spend their hard earned cash with you is if you can convince them that their lives will be greatly improved by your product or service.

It’s the exact same reason why you buy things and yet it’s easy to forget that when you’re putting your own marketing materials together.

Forget about your business

When crafting your message, put yourself and your business to the back of your mind.

Every thought you have must centre on your customer.

  • Who are they?
  • What problem do they have?
  • How can you help them?
  • What can you offer them that will solve their problem?

There’s no room for a tempting “we’re the best at what we do” spiel.

The cold hard fact about marketing is that there’s no room for your ego. The only thing that matters is what you can do for your customer. Keep everything you write focused on them and you’ll see your sales increase.

Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

What Your Copywriter Does

Yes, your copywriter writes – no prizes for saying that, but she also does a whole lot more.

Once you found the perfect writer for you and agreed to their quote (yes, it will be quite expenses – of you pay peanuts you get rubbish) the hard work begins.

Sally Ormond, one of the UK’s leading copywriters, explains the process.


Have you ever wondered what a copywriter actually does?

Obviously she writes, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

1. The interview

Before any words can be written the copywriter must meet with the client. Face to face is ideal, but geography can sometimes throw a spanner in the works there, so telephone, Skype or email is the next best thing.

Although she will have plenty of questions to ask, the main thing that will happen at this stage is listening.

One of the most important qualities your copywriter will have is to be a good listener. Not only will she be listening out for details about your business, produces/services, customers and aims, but she’ll also be listening to how you speak. This will give valuable clues as to what the right tone of voice will be (how the writing sounds when it’s read) right for the project.

2. Back at the office

Unless further meetings are needed for progress updates (which can usually be done over the phone, email or Skype), the rest of the project is completed back at her office.

After the meeting your copywriter now has a stack of notes to review.

The next stage is to think.

Not only will she be thinking about what you discussed, she’ll be thinking about your audience and what they want to know and how to convey that to them in the most engaging and powerful way.

Thinking also helps her plan her strategy. After all, if you try to write without planning it out first you’ll just end up with a rather limp and wishy-washy result.

This thinking will also flag up any areas that need further research, so that will be the next stage of the process.

Research can be either on the internet (competitor analysis, topic research etc.) or with good old-fashioned books. It could even be taking a trip to a shopping mall or something like that (where your product is sold) to see how customers react to it.

Once that’s done it’s back to thinking and planning.

Now comes the bit you’ve been waiting for. She starts to write.

Following her plan, she’ll begin to create a first draft. That won’t be the one you get to see; this one is more like a brain dump that will be constantly altered and refined to make it as powerful as possible.

This can take several days, in fact it’s best that it does because it means she can go away, leave it for a day or so and then come back to it with fresh eyes to further refine it.

3. First draft

Finally, the initial draft is ready for you to see.

Sometimes this will be emailed to you for your feedback, other times a further meeting will be held so you can go through it together.

It’s really important at this stage that you look at it thoroughly and think about what it’s saying. Remember though, the copy has been written for your reader and will therefore be telling them what they need to know. It won’t be about you and your business.

There is no room for your ego in your marketing materials (or your copywriter’s for that matter). Every word has to resonate with the reader – it should be all about them.

Once you’ve gone through it it’s time to let your copywriter have your feedback. Suggest changes by all means, but remember you hired your copywriter because she’s an expert in her field, so she knows what she’s talking about.

4. Refine

Once your feedback has been given your copywriter goes back to the thinking, planning and writing stage again.

She’ll amend the document as you have both agreed and re-submit it to your for your approval.

As you can see, there are a lot of stages to copywriting, but not only that it’s also a very collaborative process. You have to be willing to give lots of information and time to the project, but you also have to be willing to listen to advice and take it.

A copywriter should never bully you, but they will offer advice. They will leave their ego at the door and write with a voice that’s suited to your company and the audience the content is to address. Above all, your copywriter will bring a wealth of experience and guide you to a successful outcome.


How to Create a Tone of Voice Guide

Tone of voice


The tone of voice you use in your marking communications is important.

It gives your reader a sense of what your company is like, how you operate, your approachability, in fact it is something that will help your reader make up there mind as to whether you are a company they want to do business with.

So how do you find the right voice for you?

That is a question answered by Sally Ormond of Briar Copywriting Ltd – this is what she had to say:


You’ve read it numerous times. Every marketer on the planet is telling you that your company needs a tone of voice guide. You get it, but convincing your management to fork out for one is proving tricky.

How to get your management team on board

If you’re going to do this properly you need your whole team to be on board, including those in their corner offices with the to-die-for city views.

How do you do that?

Simple, just talk brand consistency.

Your company wants to deliver the best experience possible to its customers to build loyalty. Part of that comes from consistency across all forms of interaction – website, email communications, YouTube, social media, brochures, in-store and mobile.

If you have multiple writers producing your content (rather than using a well-trained copywriter, ahem) you won’t get that unified voice without a tone of voice guide. Your brand becomes confused, your customers can’t connect with it and it slides from their memory faster than a fast thing.

The guide will present a set of rules for what can and can’t be said and the language that should be used. It will clearly define a:

  • Voice – described in adjectives (i.e. friendly, lively, professional, approachable etc.)
  • Tone – adaptations of the voice to suit different audiences and content type

How to find your voice

Now the hard work begins.

Finding your voice requires input from your management team, so ask them if the brand was a person what kind of personality would it have?

Then you have to tighten it further, for example, if the response was “upbeat” find out exactly what that means – vibrant, modern, colloquial?

Also ask what it’s not – this is often easier to answer.

Finally, think about your relationships with your customers, what would that be like – friend, guide, confidante?

Slowly a picture should start to emerge.

What about your tone?

I mentioned earlier about how your voice would have to be adapted to suit different content types and audiences.

So your writing will differ from blogs to social media, website content to white papers because they are addressing different audiences.

Think about:

  • The type of content you’re writing
  • Who will be reading it
  • How they are feeling/why they are reading it
  • Tone that should be used (i.e. professional, empathetic, friendly, authoritative etc.)

It’s also a good idea to then offer an example to show the tone and type of vocabulary that would be suitable in that situation.

You did it!

Creating a tone of voice guide isn’t a quick process and can, at times, be rather frustrating, but hang in there.

Once it’s in place, the consistency of your marketing approach will create a coherent and memorable brand.