Copywriter profiles, Freelance life, This much I know...

Peter Michaels – Rock and Roll Copy

This Much I Know…

A series of interviews with copywriters

"The ideal client is constantly coming up with new ideas. And compelled to hire only copywriters with beards in N19."
“The ideal client is constantly coming up with new ideas. And compelled to hire only copywriters with beards in N19.”

You can recognise great copy because it …
…makes you read on. It should tell you something unexpected – or something you really want to hear.

Bad copy does neither, and loses readers/customers fast.

I know I’ve done a good job when…
…clients re-hire me! Or at an earlier stage: if they have one or two minor objections about the finished draft. That’s always a good sign. Otherwise you’ve done it exactly as they would – and they’re not paying themselves to write copy.

The ideal client is …
…constantly coming up with new ideas. And compelled to hire only copywriters with beards in N19.

My favourite type of work is …

…when my client has a problem I can fix, preferably with measurable results.

People like my copy because …
…I combine proven Direct Response copy tactics with a conversational style that engages people. Plus I try to be easy to work with. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Working relationships are about learning from each other.

Too many people think copywriting is …
…all about committees of Draper-esque suits in shiny agency buildings. There’s a thriving freelance industry out there with copywriters to suit everyone’s budget.

That said, I will happily argue with anyone who says Mad Men isn’t the greatest TV drama ever (over a long lunch if possible, Roger’s paying).

To me, copywriting is all about …
…finding out what the customer’s problem is, then explaining how and where to solve it in the clearest way possible.

The thing that drives me mad is …
…expensive-looking ‘badvertising’.

I saw two TV ads last night that dropped my jaw in horror – First Direct’s ‘kooky platypus’ (what the hell is the message?) and another that went on for an age with zombies in…

I think it was for a phone company but its product reveal was done so badly I can’t recall it. It must have cost a fortune and I imagined a horrified David Ogilvy hurling a scotch at the TV (if I hadn’t worked so hard to buy my TV I’d have hurled my tea at it too).

If I wasn’t a copywriter, I’d be a …
…terrible guest on this blog.

When I was growing up my parents always told me …
“…one day son, you’ll make a terrible guest on Andy Maslen’s blog.”

No, they were very supportive of me, particularly with writing. I loved to write as a kid, and how much trouble can a boy get into, sitting writing in a pad? Smart parents.

I relax by …
…reading, playing music, and record shopping. My flat’s full of records and cds, I’m a huge music fan. Every week I discover something new; somebody inspiring or at least interesting.

Movies too. Lately I’m on a bit of a 70’s classics binge: All The President’s Men, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon etc. Brown-looking movies with something to say!

My guilty pleasure is …
…erm… EastEnders. My other half and I find its cyclical misery frequently hilarious.

About Peter

Peter Michaels is a London-based copywriter helping start-ups, entrepreneurs, marketers & business-owners communicate & convince.

He specialises in sales pages, website and email copy to engage and convert customers.

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