Welcome to my new world!
Now, I’m not comparing myself to Magellan or Columbus. For one thing, I’m not dead. For another, I’m not some old guy that sails big, creaky, wooden ships across the ocean. I’m just someone launching herself into the business world.
My name is Alecia Ramsey, and I am a copywriter. “What is a copywriter?” you ask. Well, let me try to explain. But first, let me give some slogans and ask a few questions.
Perhaps you remember some of these:
- “I’m Lovin’ It” (McDonald’s)
- “Finger-Lickin’ Good” (KFC)
- “Eat Fresh” (Subway)
- “Taste the Rainbow” (Skittles)
- “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” (Rice Krispies)
- “They’re Gr-r-r-reat!” (Frosted Flakes)
- “Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe It’s Maybelline.” (Maybelline)
- “Because You’re Worth It” (L’Oreal)
- “A Diamond Is Forever” (De Beers)
- “Just Do It” (Nike)
- “It Keeps Going, And Going, And Going…” (Energizer)
- “Don’t Leave Home Without It” (American Express)
WHAT DOES A COPYWRITER DO?
Have you ever seen an ad on Facebook? Did you ever receive a long-form sales letter in the mail, something commonly known as “junk mail”? Have you ever driven by a billboard? Listened to a speech? Read a press release? Seen an infographic? Have you ever been persuaded to buy something you might not have otherwise bought?
These are just a few examples of the many things that a copywriter does. In business, the words used to sell a product or service are called “copy,” and someone needs to write that copy. That’s where people like me step in.
You may wonder how long I’ve been a copywriter. To that, I say, “I’m still checking out the landscape around my new home.” I could also say I’m still “kicking the tires.”
In other words, I’ve only been in my new world for a very short time. But in that short time, I’ve been having such a great time checking out the landscape.
I’ve always been a good writer. The papers I did in high school and college were always very good. Back then, they were difficult to write, because I had to always follow the “rules” of writing. Never end a sentence with a preposition. Never begin a sentence with the word “But” or “And.” Always use complete sentences. Blah, blah, blah.
But guess what? As a copywriter, my main purpose is to persuade people to take an action. That could be to buy something. Get a free report. Watch a podcast. Become a subscriber. Whatever. What’s the best way to do that? The best way is to simply talk to them as a person, on their level. And do it in a conversational tone.
It’s like writing a letter to Grandma. She doesn’t want to hear “Our conveyance approaches the crimson octagonal indicator interrupting our travel.” Who the heck talks like that? Nobody!
Just say “Stop.”
In fact, writing a letter to Grandma is so much easier than how we were taught to write in school. But it’s good to know the rules before you break the rules. I wonder if this is how language changes over time? If enough people break the rules, then new rules wind up being written. Hmmm. This might be a topic for another post sometime in the future.
A SIDEWAYS ENTRY TO COPYWRITING
You might wonder what brought me to copywriting. I guess it was just a natural progression. One of the career choices I was thinking about in high school was to be a writer. But my life went in a different direction and I became a nurse. I was a good nurse, too. But again, my life went in a different direction when I met the man who was to become my husband. I left nursing to become a stay-at-home mom. You can read about that part of my journey RIGHT HERE.
Once my daughter became a teenager, I felt I could start focusing on me and my needs. I spent a little over a year and a half on a Journey of Self-Discovery. In fact, I documented that Journey in a book I self-published on Amazon under a pen name. The book is not for the faint-of-heart. It contains graphic sexual situations, content, and language, but if you want to take a look, you can find it HERE. Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t look at my book! That would just be too weird.
The writing bug really bit me then! I totally enjoyed writing about my Journey of Sexual Self-Discovery. In fact, the words just seemed to flow from my fingers. Those pages only took me a little over 3 weeks to write.
I spent a few more weeks editing it and trying to figure out how to self-publish on Amazon. Eventually, I did manage to do that. It wasn’t until I saw it in print that I picked up on a couple typos I missed despite proofreading and fixing it about a dozen times. It would have been so much easier with a publisher, but I have no idea how to find one.
MY NEXT STEP
Anyway, writing my book helped me realize how much I love to write. Once my book was published, I just HAD to find another way to use my words in a creative way. One day, I was on the internet and found an ad that would change my life.
I clicked on that link and found a whole new world. It was a site called The Barefoot Writer, and from there I found the most amazing thing. There is more to creative writing than just writing a book. A whole lot more. Go back to that list I wrote at the beginning of this post. Those are just some of the opportunities there are for writers like me.
So, I did my research. I looked at The Barefoot Writer site, then I connected with their parent site, American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). Wow! I was in heaven! There are more than 700 pieces of education there – courses, articles, webinars, videos, and more. I decided right then and there that I was going to learn how to become a copywriter.
Since then, I have also connected with several other websites and lessons about writing. For a few months now, I’ve been soaking up all the information like a sponge. I’ve also been trying to learn how to build a website. I’m getting stressed about all the back-end things I need to do. Get a PO Box. Find an accountant. Talk to a lawyer about how to set up the business. Think about learning more things. Stress about not knowing squat about how to build the website. Etc.
HERE I AM!
Eventually, I’ll have to bite the bullet and begin. I’ll have to step out into the world, no matter how scared I am. My website is almost ready, even if I’m not. That means, once I launch my site, my business will go live.
I just have to remind myself over and over that yes, I am a damn good writer. I do know how to talk to people, so I CAN and WILL be an excellent copywriter. Also, I have to keep in mind that “Failure is not an identity. It’s an event.” I just heard that quote today from Jeff Walker in an online class I’m taking. Even if I fail at this, I am not a failure.
So, I will take baby steps. One step at a time will get me moving just as well as a sprint will.
Once I put myself out there with a neon “OPEN” sign and that first client walks through my virtual door, I know I’ll do great. It’s just the unknown that is scary to me. So … * Deep Breath *
“LOOK OUT WORLD. HERE I COME!”
Come back next week and find out what happened when my website went live. Do I stumble? Do I fall flat on my face? Or do I launch and soar? I’ll let you know next week.
I would love to hear from you. If you have any comments, suggestions, or just want to say hello, CONTACT ME here.
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Thanks for visiting!