Learnings from Copy Con 2019.

Bummed you didn’t get to Australia’s best conference for copywriters and freelance marketers – CopyCon 2019? I came away with a bag of tricks to implement in my marketing consultancy, after hanging out with the friendly and clever folk at Kate Toon’s CopyCon 2019. Here I share the top 5 things I’ll be doing to improve my business as a result. 

1. Practice ‘Just in Time’ learning


As a solo marketer, it’s tricky staying on top of all the latest trends, tools and tricks to help my small business clients grow. One of the traps, as Robert Gerrish puts it (Founder of Flying Solo and Author of the One Minute Commute) is falling victim to the ‘imposter syndrome’. 

Robert outlined five personality traits identified by Valerie Young in her book ‘Secret Thoughts of Successful Women’:

  • Perfectionist – high goals, can’t delegate
  • Superwoman – works late, ignores passions and hobbies
  • Natural Genius – straight A’s at school, shies away from new challenges
  • Soloist – never asks for helps, always puts client’s needs in front of theirs
  • Expert – shudders at the thought of being called an expert, constantly skilling up

I cringe if I’m called an expert. You simply can’t be an expert on everything there is to know in marketing. And as a Soloist, asking for help is a skill worth learning.

The concept of ‘just in time learning’ really appealed to me.  Spend time on the bits that matter now. Gain knowledge as I need to.


2. Claim your space


Suzanne Chadwick (Founder of The Connection Exchange) had tons of insight to share on being bold with your brand. She demonstrated her point perfectly by dancing, not walking to the stage, wearing a spectacular feathered headpiece.


Yes well, don’t we all?


Move from ‘what I do’ to ‘how I show up’. This was her key theme. And what this means when it comes to marketing me, is to think about what I’m willing to share about myself on social media, on my website, with my clients. Not just my leaning on the ‘what I do’ in my business.   


I was lucky enough to chat with Suzanne after her presentation and ask her how to add elements of ‘me’ to my socials, without it being contrite or weird. Suzanne’s advice was to think of it as ‘identifiers’ – those things that I want to be associated with or known for, unrelated to my business, that give my brand likeability, relatability, quirkiness and randomness.


Claim your space, be ‘uniquely and unapologetically you’ and allow for deeper connections. She asked ‘how deep are you digging into the emotional connection with your clients?’


For some, this seems to come so naturally. For most of us, it’s a work in progress.

3. Passion – does it really apply here?


Stop using ‘passionate’ in your messaging.


One of the funniest moments was Ryan Wallman’s (Associate Creative Director at Wellmark) talk about writing good taglines. Ryan took us through taglines that have stood the test of time (‘Just Do It’, Diamonds are Forever’).


And those that thankfully, have not. 




Ryan talked about the use of the word ‘passionate’. How often do we see business’s saying ‘we’re passionate about insurance, sofas, cheese’?  You get the idea.


Passionate is arguably one of the most over and incorrectly used adjectives.


So best to steer clear of it, unless you’re really experiencing strong feelings, or indeed have intense feelings of sexual love for the business world in which you work.


For a real treat, watch this 3 minute video that Ryan shared:


4. People on Insta vs Linkedin


Kate Toon reminded us about Linkedin. For many businesses, it’s a valid social media platform.  But it’s still largely ignored.


So what’s the difference between people on Instagram vs Linkedin?




Well, for the copywriters and marketers in the room contemplating their target markets, Linkedin is a powerful platform to include in the mix.   And for many businesses small and large, Linkedin is more than a resume posting site that never was. It’s an opportunity to speak directly to the person making the buying decision.  

5. Put marketing back into content marketing


Louder Online’s Aaron Agius reinforced the need to put marketing principles back into the content we produce. Particularly relevant to millions of blog posts that get updated daily.


And when it comes to blog posts, we’re only competing with those that have backlinks – links from other websites. Otherwise Google’s really not taking any notice of them.


The best content strategy will aim to solve the customer query and be something that other websites are willing to link to. The alternative is being part of the 90% of content on the web that doesn’t get any traffic from Google (a stat from Ahrefs).


Summary of my key takeaways 


So there you have it.  Scrap ‘passionate’ from all your marketing material lickety-split, get excited about Linkedin, don’t upskill until you need, creating link-worthy content and put yourself out there. And an even better idea? Get along to CopyCon 2021.

Need to get your marketing moving?


Print it, pin it on your wall.  Make your marketing life so much easier with this handy checklist.  Start ticking off those essential marketing to-do’s.

Marketing Essentials Checklist 1

Amy Annetts, a marketing specialist in Melbourne, has been practising marketing for 25 years.  She creates marketing strategies that give small businesses an advantage over their competition. Amy blends her corporate and traditional marketing experience with the latest digital techniques. Using a full-scale marketing toolkit, Amy’s clients have access to effective campaigns that earn them more customers.  And she loves a challenge, evidenced by her mad interest in outdoor obstacle courses, where she’s happy to climb walls, crawl under barbed wire and be covered in mud. 

But that’s another story.