This is the second part of a three-part blog article on how I became a copywriter.
Like many of the other copywriters I know, I had a number of different jobs before I turned to copywriting.
Each of these jobs and experiences shaped me into the copywriter I am today.
Two six-month work placements
Like many graduates, I finished university with no relevant work experience. This made it difficult to find a suitable job.
To give myself a better chance, I enrolled on Loughborough University’s Graduate Gateway Scheme, which set me up with two six-month work experience placements.
The first was as a Point of Sale (POS) designer for a POS display company.
The second was as a packaging design consultant for a manufacturer of industrial knitting machine parts.
Two different marketing roles
The work experience placements got me my first proper role as a marketing assistant for a large print publishing house. Here I found myself tasked with writing advertisements and editing synopses for the quarterly book brochures.
From there I went to work for a contract catering company, designing menus, posters and table displays. Thanks to my writing skills my role was expanded to include writing the company’s press releases, website, quarterly newsletter and marketing materials.
These two roles gave me the experience and copywriting portfolio that helped me land my first copywriting job.
My first copywriting role
In 2005 I took a job as a creative copywriter for a company that produced innovative workplace posters.
The job was perfect for me. It involved developing creative concepts and copy for the posters, which covered a wide range of subjects with an emphasis on health and safety.
I qualified as a copywriter
The role was niche and I decided that if I was serious about becoming a copywriter I would need to widen my skill set. In 2006 I signed up for a correspondence course from the Institute of Copywriting.
The course comprised a variety of projects including press advertising, brand naming, radio commercials, press releases, brochure copy and direct mail.
Although the course wasn’t a recognised qualification, I found it a good introduction to copywriting. It taught me a lot about the business side as well as the different techniques.
At the end of the course I was awarded a Diploma in Copywriting, with Distinction.
I learned how to write effective SEO copy
When my boss at the poster company decided he wanted us to redesign the website, we saw an opportunity to learn some new skills. My graphic designer colleague and I signed up for a fully funded local course on SEO and digital marketing.
For two years we attended weekly lectures and seminars hosted by some of our region’s best-in-the-business.
I had no knowledge of SEO before I started the course and it was invaluable.
The skills I learned on that course, and subsequent ones, eventually helped me get my own website to the first page of Google.
About the author
I’m Jenny Lucas, a UK copywriter, based in Leicester.
I became a copywriter in 2005 after six years working in design and marketing.
In 2017 I decided to give up having a day job and freelance full time.
Today I’m a generalist copywriter who specialises in conceptual copywriting and SEO copy for the web.