Copy Warrior – Do You Need One?

What is a Copy Warrior and Do You Need One?

What image does the word “warrior” conjure up for you? Probably a mythological soldier type ready to go to war for what he – or she – believes he – or she- has to protect. Sword and shield in hand.

Well that’s pretty much what springs to mind for me. I’m the Copy Warrior – sword in hand (well pen or keyboard) – ready to take on the battle to ensure my clients benefit from clear, accurate copywriting that is going to deliver a clear message about who they are, what THEY stand for, and why they are the ones to deliver for their customers against the competition.


Is being a copy warrior really necessary?

Is “warrior” too strong a word for what I do? Well, no. When I consider how my days are mostly spent, I realise that I am CONSTANTLY doing battle – battle to protect what I have written through the various review and editing stages, ensuring that what comes out the other end still does the job.

Has it been filtered too much? Has it lost its message? Has it completely lost the plot? And the worse case scenario – is it going to do my client more harm than good now that it’s been changed?

Sometimes I go to war over a single word. Is that worth my time? Sometimes, yes, it is. If the replacement word is completely inappropriate, I simply refuse to make the change. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t. In these cases, I have to protect my clients from what they don’t know. When I stand my ground like that, the message gets across and I’ve done what I am obligated to do – protect my client’s reputation. If you hire a copywriter, let them do their job.

I just can’t let it go if the word replaced doesn’t actually mean what the client thinks it does, or it’s so archaic that it doesn’t belong. Choice of word has a lot to do with the register used. If it’s formal, the vocabulary must match. (My personal bug bear is when I hear that a suspect has been “nabbed” in a formal TV news report! He was “arrested” for Pete’s sake!)


The copy warrior protects your reputation

In some cases, I’ve had to guide clients away from words that have a damaging meaning in the context used. I’ve actually had to warn a client against a word that had a bad sexual connotation that the client just didn’t understand – the kind that would be brought out on international chat shows and ridiculed – for the world to see and laugh at. They say there’s no such as bad publicity, but I disagree. If it hurts your reputation, you don’t want that kind of publicity. This product was going to be marketed internationally and the client was well known. Disaster averted!

I don’t fight every battle though. I can make my point and move on if the substitute word has a similar meaning and it’ll do. That’s just a matter of preference, and that’s OK.

So what I do really, as the Copy Warrior, is that I protect my client’s reputation, especially when they are planning to expand into international markets. Here the scrutiny is much more intense on words and messages that seem off point. It gets noticed. Always.




A copy warrior is a must if you go international

When you want to build trust in a new market, the last thing you want is potential clients not buying from you because they question your capability simply based on how you present yourself in your marketing messages. (Remember, first impressions count.) And just because it’s right in your country, does not mean it’ll be relatable internationally. A common mistake I see is some countries using English that is too formal. Writing copy that is not conversational and relatable on an emotional level just isn’t going to sell.

It’s so easy to look at bad copy, particularly incorrect grammar or archaic language, and think, “Well, if they can’t even get THAT right, how can I trust them or their product?” Customers buy because they trust you, and trust is that much harder to win when you “read” incompetent. Often it’s not a judgement on your use of language, but the fact that you didn’t care enough to get it checked by an expert. That then leads to your leadership skills being indirectly questioned.

So as a business looking to build trust, especially internationally, you need a Copy Warrior to go to battle for you (and sometimes against you) to make sure that the copy, the message you put out, is credible, relatable to your target audience, and reflects who you are as a company.

Protect your corporate reputation – find your Copy Warrior.


Protect your corporate reputation with good accurate copywriting.



Creating an irresistible brand with one of my coaching clients

Creating an irresistible brand

I had a fruitful discussion with one of my coaching clients today about creating an irresistible brand. We discussed strategies to develop multiple revenue streams for her business off her brand. And it occured to me that the information we discussed would be useful to any business owner looking to maximise revenue and expand business beyond a brick and mortar offering. So I thought I’d share our discussion with you here.

A coach can add a fresh perspective

When you look at things from just one angle, you can get stuck. Having a coach to mull things over with and brainstorm other possibilities you hadn’t thought of is well worth considering. And this is what happened to my client.

As I spoke to her, it became clear that she could monetise her business in other ways that time doesn’t limit. You see, her main business restricted her to personalised one-on-one treatment sessions with individual clients. She was trading her time for money. AND wasn’t commanding a price that indicated her true worth to boot! Part of her strategy needed to include creating an irresistible brand that could see her charging her true worth.


Build a tribe of your ideal clients

She told me of her brilliant idea to expand her reach by creating a “tribe” – a following of ideal clients. She planned to do this by running a series of webinars where she interviewed known experts in niche services related to her business. What a fantastic idea! Not only will she bring immense value to her existing tribe, but will find extra followers from the tribe of her interviewees. Essentially she would be creating an irresistible brand by association!

But then we hit on other ways to expand this. I suggested that she compile a book of all the interviews as a further way to tap on celebrity and build credibility. When you have a book, you automatically become an authority. We also explored hosting her video interviews on her newly set-up You Tube channel, adapting the content to blogs and articles, and sharing the experience on Facebook.


Build a range of products at different price points

Then we really got into the meat of the discussion. My client needed to create a range of education product offerings at different price points. The lower-priced products such as the ebook could hook people in where she hadn’t quite built that trust, then she could add this new tribe into a paid membership site where she could feed in monthly training. Webinar courses at a much higher price point would be a great way for her to reach and help more people than providing her service one on one. Delivering these webinars live on a weekly basis, in other words giving her personal time, would allow her to charge more for the course than offering a recorded webinar alone.


By creating an irresistible brand, you can command a higher price

This led on to my client understanding that by setting up a range of educational products that positioned her as an authority in her field, she would be able to price her one-on-one services higher because she would have a higher perceived value. Why? Because she would be creating an irresistible brand. Then adding on exclusive retreats for a select small group of her clients – a mastermind experience – would command a premium price for her top-of-the-range product offering.

I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to see her put this all into practice, add greater value for her clients and maximise her revenue! And that’s how you create an irresistible brand!






Could use a coach for your business?


Sparking the entrepreneurial spirit in primary students with my marketing advice

Last week I had the opportunity to spend some time at a local primary school for girls and give them some valuable marketing advice. And honestly, it was a bit of a treat to take some time out of my hectic schedule and spend a morning with some seriously inspiring kids!

marketing advice

I was invited to visit the school to empower the girls with some solid marketing advice for their latest project: the end-of-year school bazaar. Like a much cuter and less cut-throat version of The Apprentice, the girls will be setting up their own stalls at the bazaar, selling a selection of products and competing to raise the most profit for a charitable cause.

So what did I cover?

The importance of knowing your market

OK, so school might not quite be the world’s most competitive market, but a good first rule in business is knowing how to choose the right product. There’s no point selling sweets if the other kids want chocolate, right? So I suggested the girls conduct a survey to ask the younger kids in school what kinds of products they’d like to buy, and then select their product to meet that demand.

The girls were worried about pricing their products – what if they charged too low and didn’t make a profit at all? So I also explained a simple method they could use to discover their break-even point. From there, they were able to determine a suitable pricing structure.

How to build a brand identity and marketing strategy

Standing out from the crowd is all about the brand! I explained to the girls how a strong brand would create a greater perceived product value and allow them to mark up their prices. I also taught them how they could create a buzz around their brand by sharing product teasers on social media and designing advertising posters to decorate their stalls on the day.

Marketing advice only goes so far on the day

The groundwork is important. But sales skills are crucial! To demonstrate the best way to close a deal, we talked about sales targets and tactics. I suggested each group select one person to take charge of the stall on the day itself. That person would be responsible for driving sales, drawing potential customers in and pushing the whole team to hit their targets. Every person who walks by is a missed sales opportunity. Pull them in!

And I learnt something, too!

By far my youngest audience yet, the class proved to be very receptive to my suggestions for marketing and pricing their products. I don’t know whether there were some future leading businesswomen in that room (I hope so!), but regardless, I wanted them all to realise that they are more than capable of starting their own business one day.

I discovered that children are incredibly receptive to marketing advice and can grasp the concepts really quickly. Not only was it incredibly rewarding to meet with some mini entrepreneurs in the making, but it was wonderful to see a school providing opportunities like that to 11- and 12-year-olds. I would have loved an opportunity like that when I was at school!

Do you remember the moment you discovered your entrepreneurial spirit?


Content is king of online marketing for generating more leads

I thought I’d spice things up this week with a video on online marketing. This is the first of a three-part series I’ve put out as an introduction to online marketing, and how to become a content creation machine for your business and get leads online.

Today is the golden age of marketing. We have literally never had it so good!

Yes, there’s a lot of noise out there, and you still have to market smart to get your voice heard, but compared to 20 years ago, we’ve got it easy!



Before the Internet (can you remember those days? How did we manage?), marketing was almost a one-way street. We put out an ad but didn’t really have much control over who saw it. Then we had to wait to see what impact it had. Interaction with and understanding of our target market was a hard thing to come by.

But today, we are so spoiled by comparison! Here’s why:


1. We get to interact with our audience and find out exactly what they want and then we can just give it to them!

2. We don’t share our content with everyone. Oh no. We are choosy about who we communicate to because now we can choose so precisely who we want to target – those that we know WILL buy from us.

3. We get to share what we know and set ourselves up as experts in our field – the authority on the subject matter. That builds trust with our buyers.

4. And the part I love the most – potential customers come to us not the other way around! Inbound marketing is just so much more pleasant because you are delivering what your customers want and when they value what you offer, that’s a win-win for all.

5. And get this – there are so many cool software tools out there that let us automate the entire process from planning, creating, curating and sharing content to scheduling it for publication to the right platforms. It’s so easy!

I mentioned value earlier. The content you put out should be valuable to your customer. So what makes it valuable?

It’s got to be:

  • Relevant
  • Timely
  • Educational
  • Easy to follow and implement
  • Engaging

That’s all well and good. But why do you need to get to grips with online marketing in the first place? We’ve seen how it can benefit your customers. But what do you get in return?

You’ll love this …

  1. You’ll get noticed.
  2. You’ll be seen as an authority.
  3. Your customers will trust you.
  4. Your network will grow.
  5. You’ll build your personal AND business brand.
  6. AND your business will grow.

That’s six great reasons to get good at content marketing.

Watch out for my next video where I’ll cover how to mix up your content by delivering it in different ways. As we mentioned earlier, the more places you can show up, the more you’ll get noticed and the leads will flow in.

Want to get up to speed on becoming a content machine? Click the link and scroll down to download my free report here.



the missing piece
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Marketing to Gen Z – you can forget gender


I’ve been brand writing recently for a hospitality company marketing to Gen Z. Research into the target market brought up some really interesting facts for the project, and for me personally.

Gen Z are those who are just now entering adulthood and finding their place in the world. And it so happens to be where my kids are at.

What came up in the research, beyond Gen Z’s incredible talent for filtering information, was the androgyny of this generation – their propensity to be gender neutral in everything they do, say and wear. Marketing to Gen Z requires a real shift in approach.

The more I read, the more I understood where my own kids were coming from. And quite frankly, they’ve got it right, along with cross dressing actor Eddie Izzard. Why should we be so clearly defined by gender? Obviously there are differences, but we don’t need to be defined by them. Gender roles are so mixed nowadays. We all do the same things, hold down the same jobs, take on shared roles in the household. The line has got so blurred that it’s no longer visible.

But gender neutrality is something I’ve only recently started thinking about, mostly, as I say, because of the research I’d been doing and the observations I’d been making of my children and their friends.

Then an interview shown on the UK news this evening really put it into perspective for me. Under discussion was the need for honorifics like Mr, Mrs, Ms, etc. and whether an option should be given for “Mx” for people not wanting to identify their gender on forms and legal documents. At first, I’ll be honest, I scoffed, quite loudly in fact.
“How ridiculous! That’s just taking things too far!” was my knee-jerk reaction.

But as I listened to the arguments put forward, I started to come round to the idea. Well, why not? For years I’ve used the honorific “Ms”, the female equivalent of “Mr”, as a replacement for “Mrs” because it doesn’t reveal marital status. Why should I be identified as married by an honorific when a man isn’t?

Likewise, why shouldn’t people be able to choose “Mx” when gender just doesn’t matter and we’re all supposed to be advocating equality? Then I suppose, we could argue why use an honorific at all?

Any language spoken is a language changing, and this is just one example of how our language changes as it evolves with use. And how we market evolves too as the attitudes and core beliefs of our target audiences change. Marketing to Gen Z means you’ve got to understand their beliefs and values, really get what matters to them and what doesn’t. Conventions such as honorifics really don’t.

So I’m casting aside the honorific “Ms” from today. I’ve now got a better one.

Thanks Gen Z!

Mx Ange Dove



the missing piece
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Reframe your marketing message for results!

If you’re not getting the positive reactions you hoped as you send out each marketing message, maybe you are simply not speaking your potential client’s language.

Try reframing the marketing message

You may think your marketing message is clear, but it’s really all about perspective, and perhaps your client is looking at things a different way. Perhaps you need to be reframing the conversation.

Reframing works.

Here’s what happened to me recently as an example of the POWER of this!

I’d been to see a client knowing that my marketing services could definitely help the business. And guess what? The marketing manager of the company I visited agreed! Project won, right?


You see, I didn’t have to convince him. I had to convince his boss.

So project won, right?


I couldn’t get in front of his boss because I had to rely on the marketing manager to “sell” me before I got a meeting.

What I didn’t think about hard enough was HOW I could help the marketing manager to sell me. I assumed (never assume folks!) that he would be able to do it alone.

I sent him my presentation deck as support. The portfolio alone should wow, right?


I even did a sample page writeup for him to show the boss. He paid me for that but then … silence.

So I assumed (don’t do that) that the writeup hadn’t impressed or that he hadn’t been able to convince the boss, and I left it alone.

Life and business went on.

Six months down the road, I introduced new service offerings in my marketing agency and started promoting those services.

I even wrote a book and gave it away to my clients FREE into the bargain!

Then I got an email from … guess who?

RIGHT! The marketing manager who had been unable to sell me to his boss. And he told me that this was ALL that had been holding the project back. He hadn’t been able to convince his boss to go ahead. He couldn’t sell the value of my services.

But he had GOOD NEWS. He had finally gotten through!

So what did the convincing?

Would you believe, MY BOOK! 11 Reasons Why Your Business Is Not Growing. (Still available to download here.)

It had helped the marketing manager reframe the conversation. It had helped him present 11 solid arguments as to why his boss NEEDED to act, and why I, as a marketing authority, was the person to help!

So next time you fail to get your client’s buy-in, try reframing your marketing message by reframing the conversation.






the missing piece
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Marketing to your current database is a must!

Sometimes we get so caught up with marketing to new leads and chasing conversions that we forget about the valuable resource we already have on hand – our database of contacts – or our list.

Your list is gold

There is a tendency for some small business owners to think that if they’ve marketed to their list and people haven’t bought, then there’s no chance for a sale in the future.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

There are many reasons why people in your list haven’t bought from you in the past and none of these reasons mean that they won’t do so in the future!

Here’s some of them:

  1. They were swamped with emails and didn’t even see the one you sent among the hundreds that flood their box daily
  2. They saw your email marketing message but were too busy that day and nothing registered. They didn’t even realise the email came from you.
  3. You think they remember you from that networking event you met at last year, but in reality they have no recollection of who you are and don’t associate your marketing message with anything they may need right now.
  4. They saw your email and even flagged it to look at later as it peaked their interest. But life got in the way and they forgot all about it as it disappeared from the first page of your feed.
  5. They saw it and were interested and have filed your information away for contact when they are ready. Now is just not the right time.
  6. You are marketing one offer but this guy would actually benefit from something else you sell that they don’t even know you do because you never promote it.
  7. They saw it but won’t buy for themselves because they never will use your product.

Here’s how to get the above customers to buy from you:

  1. Email an eye catching design with a strong compelling heading to grab their attention. Email more often so they become familiar with and begin to trust your brand.
  2. Up the frequency you do your email marketing campaigns so they become familiar with your brand.
  3. Personalise your emails and make reference to the meeting. Make the benefits of your offer clear to create a perceived need.
  4. You’ve got a really good chance of getting this one to buy! Email regularly and chances are the next time your email pops up, they’ll remember they forgot last time and this time they’ll take action.
  5. Keep emailing. When the time is right, they’ll contact you as you’ll already be top of mind.
  6. Ramp up your email campaigns by focussing on different offers each time or, better still, segment your list and target smaller niches with just the products you know will interest them.
  7. Think they’ll never buy? Not necessarily so! They may become your biggest advocate and recommend you to others as they trust your brand. Then there’s always seasonal gifts and promotions. Just because they don’t use your product doesn’t mean they won’t buy it as a gift for someone who will.

What’s the greatest marketing takeaway from this?

If they are on your list, you have a possibility for a sale. They haven’t removed themselves yet!

The biggest reasons people don’t respond to your emails is:

  • they don’t notice them because you don’t stand out
  • you don’t email often enough to have your brand be familiar and trusted. People buy from those they know and trust.
  • you aren’t offering them the products they will actually buy from you
  • they forgot all about you EVEN IF THEY BOUGHT FROM YOU BEFORE because you just don’t get in front of them, and they end up buying from someone more persistent.

The bottom line? You are just not getting out there often enough. Any good salesman will tell you persistence pays off – eventually.

Don’t leave opportunity on the table. Get planning your email marketing campaigns now!





the missing piece
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Copywriters should Brainstorm or Think Shower?

Should my copywriters brainstorm or think shower? Copywriters and graphic designers beware! Heard on the news today that using the word “brainstorm” is now politically incorrect because it may cause offence to those with mental health problems.


There are plenty of examples of taking things too far with being PC and this is just the latest in a long line of the sublimely ridiculous.

Why copywriters brainstorm

At Proof Perfect, we brainstorm when we start tackling each project. It’s a necessary part of the creative process for our copywriters and graphic designers to throw out ideas uncensored before we start building on the suggestions that seem to be viable.

If we thought shower, will we get the same results?

The suggested alternative phrasing to use now instead of “brainstorm” is “thought shower”. I don’t know. To me that just conjures up images of my copywriters and graphic designers, and even project managers, running round the office dressed in fairy costumes and showering us with ideas like fairy dust as they gently run past on tippy toes.

Is it us?

Back to reality. I can just imagine the incredulous expressions on the faces of my team members if I were to say tomorrow, “OK guys, let’s have a thought shower.” A what???!!@! and who’s this impostor because this ain’t Ange?!

Firstly, the new term doesn’t really define the action strongly enough. Thought shower. It’s just too gentle somehow. We need some serious stirring up of the cerebral juices to be going on, not a pathetic shower. Tell it like it is, I say. In other words, if it’s a spade, call it a spade. Don’t read meanings into it that aren’t there.

Secondly, it’s just not my personality. Sorry, “thought shower” just makes me cringe. And I’ve always been one to call a spade a spade. Though I’m sure some would suggest labelling it a garden spoon because “spade” is now suddenly offensive for some reason.

Back to common sense

Who the hell’s really going to take offence at the word “brainstorm” anyhow? Only those that have no command of the English language and those with such active imaginations as to manage to equate the coupling of the words “brain” and “storm” with mental illness! Sorry, I just don’t see a connection.

Give me a break, people!

Who’s being oversensitive here? Your thought showers are welcome!

Or get in touch with me here.


the missing piece
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How to market my business? Change your mindset around marketing

How to market my business? is a question many small business owners face. Are you marketing your small business with passion and drive? Or is it the bane of your life? I’ve been thinking recently about how I can help my clients, who are mostly small business owners struggling with marketing their businesses.

And I’ve realised that like anything else in life, it all comes down to MINDSET.

Getting in the right mindset is HUGE! It absolutely governs everything you are going to do to market your small business.

If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. Well that’s how it works with marketing too. It’s all about the mindset folks!

So how do you get into the right frame of mind around marketing your small business?

Here’s 5 crucial tips to get you thinking the right way and shifting your mindset so that you absolutely can market your business with passion and drive!


1. You MUST have a marketing plan.

It’s like anything else in life, right? You’ve got to know in what direction you are going. You need to define your target market. You need to establish where to find them and how to communicate with them. You need to make sure your core message resonates with them on a personal level. To get this done well, you need to PLAN!


2. Get content across multiple platforms.

Maybe you’re comfortable with Facebook and absolutely hate Snapchat. That’s not the issue. If your target audience hangs out on Snapchat then that’s where you need to be! But more than that, you need to be across quite a few platforms to really have a reach. One is not enough. Get yourself out there. It’s not difficult to create one piece of content and knock it out across a few platforms.


3. If you have a business, you are in the MARKETING business.

There’s no escaping it. You have a business? You need to market it. So no matter what role your name card states you do, you are a marketing executive/manager, whatever. Own it.


4. Adopt regular habits to create regular content.

Successful people adopt successful habits and perform them religiously each day. Adopt habits that will enable you to get your content out on a daily basis. And stick to them!


5. How to market my business? Remember that marketing is the key to growing your business.

Let me say that again. Marketing is the KEY to GROWING your business. If you focus on nothing else in your business this year and just make marketing your priority, you WILL see results. You WILL increase leads and convert them to regular clients.

If you still have questions around “how to market my business”, do give me a call and I’ll be glad to provide some guidance. Remember …

… Marketing your business is not optional. It’s an absolute must!

Interested to know more? Join my Facebook group Get Customers Now! or message me from my Contact Me page. I’d love to hear from you.



the missing piece
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There is always more to learn in a marketing agency

Working in a marketing agency, we are always on the go. But I got to thinking the other day about how I got to be where I am today. I’m a well-respected marketer running a successful marketing agency, and the things I do today come second nature to me.

But it didn’t always used to be that way. What many people don’t know about me is that 25 years ago I was working in a bank and had no plans to run a business much less market it.

So how did I make the transition? To be honest most of my motivation was driven by necessity. I started as a freelance copywriter offering copywriting services, working from home so that I could look after my two young kids. But then I got busy as demand for my services grew and I ended up having to rent an office and hire extra staff. Suddenly I had a business I hadn’t even planned!

Marketing agency going just fine until the recession hit!

It was the realisation that I now had the responsibility of not only ensuring my own income each month but also my staffs’ that got me researching and learning about marketing. I had to make sure I was bringing in the business to cover expenses and then some. Things were going OK but I hadn’t long set up when the 1997 crash happened. Demand for my services seemed to dry up overnight. I was back to square one. I was so disappointed with myself in letting my staff down and I swore this would never happen again.

Knowledge is power

So I set about making sure it didn’t. I devoured books, I read all I could find on the Internet, I attended seminars, I made notes on what my clients were doing and I learned all I could about marketing. I hired people who knew things I didn’t and we expanded beyond just copywriting. As a team we became a one-stop marketing solution for our clients, from conceptualisation through to publication in print and online.

I set up multiple complementary services to add additional income streams aimed at making my business recession proof. The bonus was they also added value to some of my clients.

Continuous learning to keep up with the times

But despite the learning, I wasn’t keeping up with market trends. When I one day analysed the kinds of enquiries we were getting in from new leads, I realised that the demand had shifted. From getting mostly print based marketing enquiries and the occasional digital marketing enquiry, I realised that the demand had reversed and most of our enquiries were for online content.

So it was back to the learning again! What knowledge were we lacking? How do we fill the gap? Who do we add to the team? And each time Google or online platforms make changes that affect search results or content views, we have to learn again.

None of us were born with the knowledge we have today. We learned stuff along the way and we’ll keep learning because that’s how we get to be the best at what we do.





the missing piece
of your marketing puzzle.