A day in the life of a...Copywriter
Name: Louise McFetridge
Bio: I studied a BA (Hons) in Journalism, before jumping into the world of magazines. After working on the editorial desks at a number of publishing houses I went freelance whilst I studied for my Postgraduate Diploma in Creative & Professional Writing. Shortly afterwards I landed a job as a Copywriter for a start-up SEO & web development agency - many journo writers find work in marketing these days. This role focused my interest, and I soon progressed to Senior Copywriter, leading a team of copywriters. An eight month acting manager role at the same company gave me the opportunity to develop a whole host of skills, working with designers, developers, as well as writers and SEO professionals. This combination of experiences led me to Greenlight earlier this year, with the intent to develop within a copywriting role amongst a bevy of talented people.
Describe your role within Greenlight and a summary of what you do.
As a copywriter, my role involves more than just the creation of content. From idea through to conception, we work with other departments (social, design, SEO) to devise client campaigns that speak volumes. My role varies day-to-day, from content planning and strategising to writing PR's, marketing collateral and creative content.
What skills do you need in your role?
Well, first and fore mostly you need to be creative. Good content starts with great ideas. Secondly, it's not just what you have to say, but the way you say it - being dynamic is key. You need to be a stickler for detail, very disciplined and a clear communicator as well as have bags of drive, resilience and inspiration. Most of all, you'll need a way with words.
Describe a typical working day...
7am: Up and out of the door, I'll be scrambling for a space on the packed carriages of my train in order for me to begin my journey to the office. Book in hand, I get lost in the pages of my current read - usually standing up for the whole duration of my commute.
9am: Arriving to the office, I'll make my way to my desk switching on my computer and make a quick trip to the kitchen for a cuppa tea and a bowl of cereal - my fuel for the morning - and return to my desk to read through my emails. Before checking my to-do for the day, I usually read through yesterday's copy with a fresh head, proofreading and tweaking. Opening a blank word doc, I prepare for the morning's task. Research is a big part of my day; it's important to create rich content.
11am: After the crucial preparation, I've got my ideas down and begin to piece together my content. Time for some coffee - a freshly brewed pot of coffee shared with the Lead Copywriter, Vic. This is usually a great time to go over any ideas that need assessing and troubleshooting. Two heads are better than one.
1pm: It's lunchtime. In need of a burst of fresh air, I head off with some colleagues to stretch my legs before picking up some lunch. Back at the office we eat (pop the soup in the microwave) and chat - feeling refreshed for a productive afternoon.
3pm: Brainstorm. Cup of tea in hand, I head to a meeting with other creatives to conjure up projects ideas for a new client campaign. A proofreading job finds itself in my inbox with a red exclamation mark telling me it's urgent. I pop my glasses on, scour the document before promptly returning it.
5pm: In the last hour or so, I'm usually working towards the end of a piece, tying up loose ends. I rarely send anything over at this point in the day, as I prefer to award it with fresh eyes the next day. Our working day ends at 5:30pm, so I may begin the prep for a new piece - ready for the next day.
6pm: It's time to call it a day and head home. The same commute challenges rear their ugly head, but I just shrug them off. The familiarity of my commute is comforting, as I pull out my book and get stuck into its pages once again. Once home, I lose myself in baking, food preparation, perhaps more reading or a bit of TV and relax (glass of wine optional).
What do you like/dislike about your job?
The variety: no two days are the same which means I always have something new to sink my teeth into. Writing about new subjects means I'm constantly learning new things. Our creative brainstorms are a great place to exercise the imagination and push those boundaries. However, it can be difficult when you're limited by practical restrictions or time - there's not enough hours in the day!
What advice would you give to a budding copywriter?
Read, anything and everything; writers that say they don't read, or just stick to what they know, are restricting themselves. The next thing to do is to write, everyday. A can-do attitude is essential, along with the ability to persevere. Be driven, be curious and be alert.