Name: Ed Sowerby
Job Title: Copywriter at Writing Club
My position in a nutshell… A copywriter is a writer who doesn’t write books or newspapers but basically everything else that you see. So that could be advertising you see on the TV, a leaflet that you get at the theatre or the signage that you see when you go to hospital.
My typical day… Is incredibly varied. As a copywriter, the amazing thing is that you are doing something different every day. Yes, you’re writing, but if you like writing and you like the process of putting things down in words, that’s not boring. You are learning about new things every day – I might spend the morning working on a new website for a company and in the afternoon, I might be coming up with a new name for a shoe. The next day I might be helping a client who is trying to write an email to go to everyone inside their company – sometimes a copywriter helps people in senior roles get their message across in the most effective way.
My most memorable moment… After a year or so of being a copywriter, I saw something that I had written on TV and it gave me a real sense of achievement. Also, my job is about helping people when they are stuck on how to communicate their message – that’s where I come in, it’s great to re-write something and solve their problem.
The best part of my job… Is using words creatively and coming up with a good idea for an exciting ad for YouTube or a headline that you see on a billboard when you’re driving along on the motorway.
The worst part of my job… When you get stuck writing something – just like you can get stuck with your schoolwork sometimes – it’s hard because you’ve got to get yourself out of that and it can be a challenge.
Advice / key skills needed for anyone wanting to start their own business… The first thing you need to have is a love of words. And, if you want to be an author or a journalist, that’s amazing and you should explore that, but you don’t have to be storyteller or investigative person to be a great copywriter. If you’re the type of person who notices good branding or enjoys writing letters, then copywriting could be for you.
If you are thinking about becoming a copywriter or going in to any of the creative industries, start now – start working on the school newspaper, start a blog, just start writing because when you go to get your first job, they’ll ask what you’ve already written and it will be great to have examples.
There are plenty of online courses out there and many colleges and universities offer advertising and copywriting courses, like the London College of Communication or the University of Hertfordshire which offers an MA in Advertising (one of the best in the world).
Think about who you know – friends, family, family friends – who are working in the industry that might be able to help get you some experience or give you some feedback on your writing. Most people are happy to help.
Is there anything I can do right now to get me thinking like a copywriter? Look at advertising and writing that you like – come up with 10 things – consider why you like them and discuss with a friend.
Imagine you are a copywriter and you’ve been set a brief by one of our clients, a rail company. They want to advertise on a billboard and on TV that they are selling return tickets to Leeds for £30 and you need to come up with a headline and some copy that communicates that – have a look a other campaigns for inspiration and see what you can come up with.