Into Words Blog

Who is Into Words? Why, an’ what’s the reason for?*

So five years have passed since I launched Into Words. And although at the time I set up a company website, I never got around to blogging about my work as I’d planned, what I do and why I do it. So here goes…

I set up Into Words in 2017 after I was made redundant by my previous employer. I was collateral damage following various mergers and acquisitions which are too long and boring to reference here. 

Before redundancy I’d worked for several years as an investment writer at AXA Wealth. Then as redundancy approached and I considered what to do next, a number of my colleagues suggested I ‘go it alone’, as a freelance writer. Those people, hopefully, know who they are; they gave me the confidence to go for it, and I’ll always appreciate that. 

At the time, I remember having a chat with my Mum and Dad about it; Dad was dead against the idea. My wife was nervous too. Then I spoke to my Grandad, who’d lived through the Second World War in a Nazi-occupied Jersey, and then set up his own hair salon – a brand which became popular across the island. 

‘Go for it, my boy!’ Grandad enthused. So I did. 

Building resilience 

Really, ‘going it alone’ as a copywriter was a relatively low-risk strategy. Other than my laptop and a few office provisions, I didn’t have many overheads. But, still, going it alone was nerve racking. Would I get any work? Would I retain my clients? Was I a good enough writer

All those feelings of doubt were prevalent when, finally, I decided to just go for it, and I launched Into Words.

Five years on and, so far, it’s been a success. Well, I’ve been constantly busy since, so that’s a start. Thankfully I’ve been fortunate to have met some great clients along the way; I earned a regular gig with an agency when I first started out and, thankfully, the relationship is still going strong.

I’ve also worked directly for a range of companies including Financial Adviser firms, Asset Managers and other FS companies, on varying projects ranging from one-off articles, to long-term projects and ‘retainers’. I’ve written Chairman’s welcomes for annual reports, a series of investment education-themed articles, and a range of content for online and printed collateral over a two-year period, for an IFA firm. Its been varied work but all of it taps into my specialism of financial services. And crucially it allows me to focus on what I do best – writing. 

Finding the right client

There have been ups and downs along the way, of course. Winning new business has been awesome. Getting that email back saying ‘we/the client loved your article’ is the oxygen I live on. Getting the knock backs is hard to swallow, and can dent ones pride, there’s no doubt about that. 

But as my friend said to me recently, ‘it’s not just about your client finding the right writer, it’s about you finding the right client,’ and I think there’s some truth in that. 

The best clients are the ones who trust you to deliver, who trust your judgement on how to write. It’s a two-way street, but once that trust is secured, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. When I look at the clients I regularly work with, we have that relationship thing nailed down. I know how to write for them – and they like what I write. Strong relationships develop which work for both parties. It feels easy, but it’s because the ground work has been done. 

When it’s not so easy, invariably it’s not as successful a relationship. Usually when I look back at those assignments, the briefing process, talking about the brand or the nature of what the client wants, there’s something that doesn’t quite feel right, and so it comes to pass. It’s easy to think, ‘maybe I did something wrong?’ But equally, maybe I wasn’t given all the tools I needed to fulfil the job. Each of these scenarios is a learning experience – it happens, and you have to be mature enough to admit that. At times I’ve taken these experiences to heart, but I’m learning that, well, I am a good writer – sometimes it just doesn’t work out. 

So as I sit here in Into Words towers five years on from launch, I’m happy with where I am and what I’ve achieved. I’m still nervous about where the future holds, but I guess that’s half the fun too. 

I’ll be back writing more blogs in the future, so stay tuned.

*Sorry for the slightly tenuous Bob Dylan reference in the headline – but he’s a bit of an idol.