10 Key Learnings from CopyCon18

May 9, 2018

Star Struck! Me with Kate Toon and fellow local copywriter, Rashida Tayabali

On Saturday 5 May 2018, I experienced a very exhilarating (and exhausting!) day at the second annual CopyCon 2018 event.

What is CopyCon? 

Great question! It’s a conference organised by SEO expert, copywriter, and founder of The Clever Copywriting School, Kate Toon, and is aimed for copywriters like me. The event provided the opportunity to mingle with around 140 like-minded people from around Australia at the beautiful harbourside Kirribilli Club.

Imagine – a room full of freelance writers who experience the same doubts, issues, wins, highs and lows as me. Such a fantastic opportunity!

I wanted to share with you my Top 10 Key Takeaways from CopyCon18. And, I’m telling you, it was very hard to select just 10!

1. Be confident

Publish your prices on your website and set up processes to remove any emotion in the decision process. Your clients are buying your leadership, so ease them into things and guide them through the process.

2. Be brutal with your editing

If you have any ‘darling’ sentences that you love but are redundant, remove them from the piece and post on social media! Also, remove any uncertain language, such as ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, and ‘sometimes’ because these words make you sound unsure. (Okay, note to self….) Check for any passive voice in your writing e.g. say ‘The dog bit the man’ vs ‘The man was bitten by the dog’.

3. There are some amazing copy-related tools out there!

The CopyCon18 team of organisers, volunteers and presenters

4. In the ‘Selfie’ generation, people are hungry to see themselves

If you want your writing to convert to sales, then your words need to be all about the reader! Look up review sites, such as books on Amazon.com, and search for relevant topics to see what people are saying. What were they looking for and did the book meet their requirements? Collate your research and prepare the copy: Lead with the problem, then agitate it, and then provide your solution.

5. Small business owners have no idea what a ‘copywriter’ is and what they do

While copywriting is not just for corporates – this is what many small business owners think! You need to acknowledge their problems and give them case studies to provide assurance that you know what you’re doing. You need to prepare different tiers of pricing packages for your website and address their problems within each one.

6. Be the bouncer for your own business – and don’t let in the riff-raff!

Think about who you actually want to work with. Be upfront about your processes, let them know your expectations, keep on top of your administration, and review everything at the end of each quarter. If you managed to let any riff-raff in, reassess your processes.

7. You need to hang out on social media to connect with journalists these days

Follow a list of 20 journalists and bloggers on Twitter and LinkedIn. Remember – they are usually young, out to prove themselves, and need their egos stroked!

8. You don’t get rewarded by uploading snappy and short content on Facebook anymore

You need to upload a mixture of short and long posts to be seen. Uploading two short paragraphs in a post once or twice a week is great for the Facebook algorithm. Share stories and interact with those who engage with you. Keep the one-liners for promotional stuff. Across Facebook, 50% of people are viewing Stories and 50% are in the Newsfeed – so make sure you are posting within both!

9. Don’t undervalue yourself!

Most clients have no idea how long good copywriting takes, so make sure you allow at least a week to prepare your copy. And make sure you charge what you’re worth!

10. There are some seriously awesome copywriters out there – but we’re all in this together!

Prior to joining The Clever Copywriting School, I admit that I saw every other copywriter out there as my competitor. But I’ve found that everyone I’ve met, either online or in person at the conference, specialises in a different demographic and/or a different niche. And, as Kate Toon says, ‘There is enough work for everyone!’ Everyone I met was absolutely lovely – and I only had the chance to meet a fraction of the crowd.

Bring on CopyCon in 2019, I say! Only three hundred and sixty something days away…

Until next time,


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