By Analee Gale, Chief Word Nerd at All Smiles Creative & OH! Magazine
Looking back, I’ve been a word nerd my entire life.
I completed Bachelor of Arts in Recreation, specialising in marketing and management, and completed a Gym Instructor’s Certificate at TAFE and a Diploma in Travel Writing and Photography. So it was quite a natural progression for me to blend the fitness with the phonetics to become a writer/editor, specialising in health and fitness.
In the year 2000, I packed my meagre belongings and relocated from Melbourne to Sydney. I found employment with a company called Australian Fitness Network, as their Website Coordinator and Journalist. Back then, websites were a relatively brand new invention, so being charged with the responsibility to produce Network’s first serious incarnation was a pretty big deal.
Over the 17 years that followed, I moved through the ranks – from Education Coordinator to Editor, to Operations Manager to Special Projects Manager, to external Consultant. I remember accepting the role of Editor was a massive deal at the time, because I’d never actually had a role like that before, and I wasn’t convinced I had the skillset required to pull it off. But, Nigel Champion had faith in my abilities – which he’s continued to do for almost 20 years now – and so I accepted the position that would end up defining the course of my career.
Because I am notorious for holding down multiple jobs at any given time, somewhere along the way, I set up “All Smiles Creative”, which enabled me to pursue freelance writing opportunities out of the standard business hours. My dream job was very specific. I knew for a long time that I wanted to work with words and pictures, from home – overlooking the ocean. And that’s what I ended up doing, when I became the editor of the Fitness First magazine, which I ended up producing from my lounge room, for seven years.
Getting to where I am today really has been a natural fusion between my skills, interests and passions. I do believe that you create and attract what you put out to the universe, and so that’s what I did; and I’ve been living my dream job for almost 20 years, as a result.
These days, I’m a solo operator. I’m a little bit of a unicorn in what I do because I work remotely with a long-time friend and the best designer I’ve ever worked with, to create publications and resources for businesses of all sizes and types. I’m a bit of a copywriting and editing machine, because I produce and publish entire publications, and more than one at a time. So, normally a magazine editor will focus on just one title, but I get to produce and help produce lots of different titles at once – I currently own OH! Magazine and its customised versions for health clubs; I am the editor of the Gym Click Media newsroom; plus I edit DIYODE Magazine – a monthly publication for electronics enthusiasts and makers; then there’s the YMCA Healthy Lifestyle Magazine, which is produced through a nutrition-focused business called n4foodandhealth; and I also contribute articles to The Big Smoke, which is an online site that sees 1.5 million visitors a month; AND, on top of all that, I have an extensive portfolio of clients whom I regularly write copy for.
Every day I feel fortunate that I get to work with lots of different types of businesses – many of whom are leaders in their industry.
I typically write copy for websites, scripts, brochures, media releases, blogs, social media posts, anything that requires a written word I think I’ve probably produced! And my copy has been used by sole traders, franchises, individuals, and all the way through to the biggest guns of all, like YouTube, Google and Optus.
I really applaud those smart business operators who realise that outsourcing their copywriting to someone with the right skills and knowledge, is an investment NOT an expense!
When it comes to copywriting, there are common problems that I consistently come across, regardless of the industry that I’m writing for. This is because, using the right words will be the difference between making the sale and not. If you get the words wrong, by including silly typos or poorly written copy, then you will lose the lead.
Using the right words will save you time, it will decrease your costs, it WILL make you more money, and best of all it will reduce your stress, worry, anxiety and frustrations, so that you can create the business, and the life you want.
I cannot stress enough, how important it is to use the right words.
Now, what’s unique about my copywriting services is that I can take a brief and turn it into useable copy, very fast. What I find is that many businesses discover they need or want copy, virtually after the deadline has passed! So I specialise in generating copy and refining it based on feedback, extremely quickly. The benefit of this is that not only do you get the copy you need or want quickly – but I also saves you time and money because I’m not charging you to spend days upon days of writing and editing.
So, to ensure you use the right words, here are four things that every business should do:
- Avoid waffling. No one has time to read a tonne of words these days, so clearly state your key message, and do it fast.
- Spellcheck and proofread everything. Before you hit the SEND button, read it and then reread it again. If you can, have someone else to read it over too. You need to make sure your message is clear, concise, and that there are no typos or spelling mistakes.
- Don’t be scared to communicate with your database. People want useful, practical information that will help them live a happier and more successful life. So become their go-to source of information by delivering cutting-edge, useful information that they can apply and use in their own life. When you do this, you’ll position yourself as the authority in your industry, which will ultimately equate to more sales.
- Outsource the skills you are not good at. If you have a business challenge, then find someone who can help you develop a solution, and work with them to smash it. In 2016, sales guru and industry icon Steve Jensen, helped me develop a campaign to promote OH! Magazine to health clubs at FILEX. Thanks to his expertise, the campaign resulted in me conducting 50 meetings over 3 days, which led me to publishing more than 160 magazines throughout the 12 months that followed. Don’t waste your time trying to do things you don’t excel in – invest in people who do it well, and you’ll always get a return.
To find out more about how to get the right words for your business, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org