What’s your writing focus or specialty?I’m really a generalist writer. I do a fair amount of writing for architectural and construction firms simply because I spent a number of years working in PR and communications for one of the UK’s leading construction groups; but my freelance copywriting clients range from personal development specialists to helicopter charter companies, from management consultants to software houses.
Writers often take winding career paths. What led you here?Aaah. Well, I went to university to study drama (acting and writing being my two main loves at school), but had to leave because of financial difficulties. I spent a few years working in IT recruitment for my parents’ company, doing a spot of freelance writing on the side, before landing a role at Kier Group, the UK construction and services company, working in the PR and communications department. That was always a stepping stone in my mind, while I continued to build up a decent freelance client base. I struck out on my own full-time a little over two years ago.
Tell us a little about your creative process.The first step is of course to get under the skin of the client. Get to grips with their service offering or products; what distinguishes them from their competitors; what their ethos is and who they really are as people.
Then move on to who they want to talk to, attract and engage with. At this point, unless the client has already been hugely organised, I’m in a much better position to establish a detailed brief for the job.
After that there’ll be a spot of research, including their rivals, their industry as a whole, and SEO keyword analysis if appropriate.
Then it’s pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and see which words fall out of my head! A single round of revisions is usually enough to achieve a finished piece.