A Magnificent Seven for Comma Sense
With a shimmy, hurrah and a flourish it’s time to celebrate seven (you read it right, seven!) years in business. As is annual tradition at Comma Sense Towers, here is my review of the highs and lows of the last twelve months.
2022 was the year that Comma Sense went international, with script writing for a US charity and web copywriting for a Hong Kong recruitment company. There were also new partnerships closer to home with the brilliant team at Beech Web Services in Warrington and the TEDxWarrington crew. More on that later.
The first thing I do before I start this post is to read my post from last year. These are the four realistic goals I set out to achieve:
1. Getting back to a consistent blog-writing routine and writing about all the things I love.
This was an epic fail. I wrote 3 posts in an entire calendar year, compared to a whopping 50 blogs drafted for clients!
2. Finishing the SEO course I started in the autumn and sharing my learnings in a series of blog posts.
Tick. I did the course but never got round to writing the blog (see above).
3. Spend more time working on my business with my new coaching buddy.
4. Taking a bit more time off and hopefully having some holidays to look forward to.
Three out of four ain’t bad!
A varied copywriting portfolio
One of the best aspects of being a copywriter is I know a little about a lot of subjects. My general knowledge is pretty vast! Only last night I was explaining the role of an independent advocate to my husband (it’s the subject of a blog I’m working on). Later this week I’ll be writing about business growth and exit strategies.
Variety of content was a strong theme in 2022. In the education sector I loved creating website content for cute little village school in Lancashire and content about tutoring and school bursary awards. I’m looking forward to continuing this trend as I start work on a prospectus and web copy for an independent school later this month.
Continuing the diversity of subjects, I learnt about fire safety (anyone want to know about wet and dry risers?!), Neuro Linguistic Programming, transcription, public speaking, photography and chatbots. Health and wellbeing is another area close to my heart, and in 2022 I produced web copy on podiatry, physiotherapy, and hairdressing. I finished the year writing for a brilliant Warrington charity and learning the intricacies of metal mesh products!
When I meet the people who live and breathe these subjects, I can’t help but get caught up in their excitement and fascination.
CV writing and LinkedIn profiles
Over the last 12 months, I developed CVs and LinkedIn profiles for five clients, helping them on the road to new job opportunities. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a LinkedIn announcement confirming a client has secured a new position.
On the creative side there was plenty of variety with poster, leaflet and company brochure copy, re-naming briefs and lots of top secret projects I can’t mention!
In 2022 I really enjoyed...
Writing case studies
Case studies are such valuable content nuggets. One brief case study can connect you to several new clients simply by highlighting a problem and the solution. I researched and drafted case studies for printing, HR and coaching businesses. Some of the lovely comments shared brought tears to the eyes of my clients! Case studies are wonderful pieces of content to write. All I need is a warm introduction to your client and I’ll do the rest.
By far the biggest, most high profile and most challenging project of the year was the inaugural TEDxWarrington event. It was such a privilege to be invited by superwoman extraordinaire, Kirsty James, to be her second in command on the organising team.
It was a real blast from the past to go back to my event organising roots and be part of one of the most high profile events to come to my home town last year. Being completely honest, it made me realise why I chose not to pursue it as a career. It’s flippin’ hard work, notwithstanding the 30 degree temperatures we had to contend with on the day of the event!
The event was an immense team effort and a real highlight in the Warrington events calendar. We received more than 100 speaker applications. Tickets sold out within hours. A huge success!
The biggest challenge
When it comes to banging my head against a brick wall, my biggest bugbear (particularly in the latter part of the year) was getting paid. Large organisations were the biggest culprits. I understand we’re in an economic crisis and we’re all having to tighten our belts, but no excuses. If you can find the time and budget to commission the work, you can find the time to pay the invoice - on time!
I was sad to see two of my favourite Warrington business networking groups suffer the effects of the pandemic and close their doors early in the year. However, my 2020 Women’s Business Networking group in Altrincham has gone from strength to strength. In my role as a Committee member I worked closely with the fabulous Jeanette Watson and Becky Perry on rebranding our group and redeveloping a website fit for 2023.
Plans for this year
Sticking to my guns, I’m setting myself two realistic goals for 2023. They both relate to carving out time to work on the business.
1. Aside from adding blog posts and minor updates, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t touched my website structure, content or design since I started out in 2016. I will practise what I preach and redevelop my website into a platform that showcases exactly what I do for my clients.
2. I’m also committed to delivering more regular blog content of my own. I have a list of ideas a mile long and I will bring them all to life. And let’s face it, after seven years I have a lot of knowledge and experience to share with you.
The seven year itch? No, not feeling it.