Monthly Archives: June 2013

A plan after Growing Gloucestershire 2013… then it changes

I had a plan and it was a good one. After attending the impressive Growing Gloucestershire 2013 conference I’d sit down and write a load of blogs that had come to me during the presentations. Each would be brief but powerful and I’d have them all done within 24 hours. Then real life intervened.

Loads of new clients

A new client (there seem to have been quite a few of you recently – thank you!) urgently needed conventional and online press release writing for their client. How could I resist, it was for the architectural sector and I love writing for building design and construction related services. Then Mrs H took us off for a couple of days in Wales (only just though) – strictly no work allowed. Then long-standing client Energist needed a load of emails and postcard copy, plus a reworked website page on the run in to new Part L Building Regulations. And in the middle of all this I lost a couple of days through post-concussion syndrome. Copywriter: 6-feet tall; low office ceiling beam: 5-foot nine inches. Moment’s attention lapse. Ouch!

Catching up after Growing Gloucestershire 2013

So here I am nearly two weeks later, having just caught up with my post-Growing Gloucestershire LinkedIn contacts, celebrating the completion of a stunning 26-page aerospace-defence brochure, recovering from a sore head and I’m still buzzing with the excitement of the conference at The University of Gloucestershire’s Park campus.

For this Cheltenham copywriter, the two high points were Dame Fiona Reynolds’ comment about how the National Trust (NT) handled rebranding and brand language on her watch. I asked whether brand language work had gone alongside the visual branding work. She assured me that it had, and told me how she had banned the use of jargon, insisted on the use of we and us and emphasised the use of ‘our’ when talking with members and prospective members of the charity. What about the use of ‘You’ – after all, this is one of the biggest differences one can make when talking with readers in print. But no, and for a very good reason.

Brand language at the National Trust – ‘we, us and our’

The whole NT rebranding was about a shared brand experience (have you noticed how National Trust restorations are now much more open to visitors?). In order to get that openness across in their brand language, this particular communication challenge used ‘we, us and our’ to emphasise that the new charity was a shared resource.  I get that in this particular case, but there’s still a hugely important role for more-you-than-we in most business communication –as I showed my recent client to his delight in the aforementioned aerospace brochure copywriting. More on that in a future post.

The importance of grammar, spelling and proofreading

My second highpoint at Growing Gloucestershire was a point made by the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Fiona Spencer in a presentation on 10 Top Marketing Tips. Given that a lot of her content was high-level marketing stuff, I was thrilled to discover that Tip 10 was the importance of proofreading and Fiona’s assertion that spelling and grammar still matter. That’s a big +1 to that. As I am forever telling anyone who will listen, you’ve got to be aware of the dangers of the hidden assassins (the gunshot that kills before you hear its sound) in your copywriting. Particularly online where the subtlest annoyance can send a visitor off to another part of the InterWeb before you know it. That’s where a skilled copyeditor and proofreader can transform your draft writing.

Bye, bye sore head…

So there you have it. A few thoughts inspired by Growing Gloucestershire and only two weeks late – for very good reasons. Watch this space for more… And, by the way, my head’s a lot better thank you. Which is why I can write this instead of curling grumpily in a corner while the room spins uncontrollably and bad elves hammer 6-inch nails into my skull as they seemed to be doing last Friday.

Good job too. There’s a load more copywriting on its way in the shape of client case studies and website/SEO copy, Write on Al!

is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical and PR copywriting.

Inspiration the Carie Lyndene way – a review

Even busy Cheltenham copywriters need to get out sometimes. That’s just one of the reasons I attended Success Coach Carie Lyndene’s popular Stop Losing Money to Competitors – Start Earning Your Worth courses yesterday. Having now heard Carie speak, I’d recommend her brand of success training to anyone. I defy you not to learn something useful.

A pinch-yourself-to-see-if-it’s-real gem

The two-hour course was at Cheltenham Film Studios (where my long-time copywriting client MA Design is based). It would have been a bargain if I’d paid for it. But as a freebie, it was a pinch-yourself-to-see-if-it’s-real gem that I’d recommend to anyone looking to take their business to that elusive ‘next level’.

I’d only met Carie briefly before yesterday. To be honest, I was prepared for just another get-rich-quick course. But our two hours together was packed with valuable takeaways and quickly changed my preconceptions.

You’ll need to move fast if you want to hear Carie for free, because she’s only planning one more free course before there’s a fee. Go anyway, it’ll still be a steal if she charges for the sessions. Learn more about inspiring Carie and book your place on her Eventbrite bookings page.

Different reasons for attending

Before getting down to business, we attendees swapped notes on our reasons for coming along: these were varied to say the least, ranging from inspiration to grow small businesses to affirmation that an existing approach is correct, support for Carie, and business networking. My fellow attendees were an equally diverse crowd, ranging from graphic designers to a presentation specialist, a virtual PA and a chiropractor. (Yes, it was a good networking opportunity for a Gloucestershire copywriter.)

By the end of the morning, and after Carie had generously spent a load of time talking with us individually,  we went back to work inspired and impressed.

Referencing many of the world’s self improvement masters

A detailed review would be too much of a spoiler for the treat that awaits you when you attend. Suffice to say that Carie’s presentation ranged across the ideas of Bob Burg (the Go Giver), Jim Rohn, Robert Kiyosaki, Michael E. Gerber ( the E-myth) and many other respected thinkers. Most valuable of all was how Carie drew on her 30+ years of business experience to weave these ideas together with her own. Every word was thought provoking and I’m sure no-one in that room didn’t come away with at least one inspiring idea for their business.

As well as getting confirmation that my own professional-lifestyle copywriting approach was right for me,  I was particularly impressed with how Carie happily fielded questions from us during her presentation – and still managed to keep on schedule. That’s a clever trick when you consider how easily some presenters are distracted and led off-topic by side-discussions. Not Carie, which helped because it would have been hard to bottle up all the ideas she’d provoked until the end of the session.

Listen to Carie yourself

Whether you’re a freelance copywriter like me, a graphic designer, a would-be online entrepreneur or anyone else growing an enterprise, you really should listen to what success coach Carie has to say.

Who have you found particularly inspiring while developing your business?

is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical and PR copywriting.

MyBizCard woes – anyone else had the same experience?

Have you been asked to complete a MyBizCard.co review for someone? Were you tempted to register yourself and give MyBizCard access through LinkedIn?

Despite being super-cautious about who I sign up with – and up to my ears in work as a very busy Cheltenham copywriter – I was tempted when a trusted contact asked me to do a review. It looked like a good idea so I registered. And then I gave MyBizCArd access to LinkedIn. And yes, then I thought it would be a good idea to contact some of my LinkedIn connections to ask for a review.

And then, like opening Pandora’s box, things started to go awry. First, the site ignored my selected list of contacts and approached ALL my LinkedIn contacts for a review. That was embarrassing because I haven’t done copywriting work for many of them… To add insult to injury, some of the approach emails showed other connections copied in. If that was you, please accept my sincere apologies. It wasn’t my intention.

The penultimate annoyance  came when I discovered that MyBizCard doesn’t show more than three recommendations– and my copywriting clients have been good enough to respond in their droves .

And now, after I and many of my contacts have gone to the trouble to contact each other and respond, the last straw. MyBizCo won’t let me or anyone else see any but the most recent three ratings unless I sign up for their upgrade at $99!

All very dubious indeed. I could say something stronger…

Have you had the same experience? Please tell me what happened to you when you engaged with MyBizCard.co.

is an experienced Gloucestershire based copywriter specialising in Marketing, Web/SEO, technical and PR copywriting.