12 Years In Business (Or “Why Being Made Redundant Was The One Of The Best Terrible Events In My Life”)

Posted on June 1, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

>>> 12 years in business! <<<

(Or “Why Being Made Redundant Was The One Of The Best Terrible Events In My Life”)


nicola joyce 12 years copywriting business

In 1999, I left Uni after hanging about for an extra year doing a Masters (partly because I wasn’t ready to leave).

I worked in admin for a holiday company in my University’s city (mostly because I wasn’t ready to leave 😉 ) and then made my way to…where else… London.

I lived in a houseshare in Archway with Uni mates. I shared a house in the wilds of South Woodford with one Uni mate, our very old landlord, and his disgusting German Shepherd dog. I lived in a beautiful house with my new London friends (and – randomly – a friend from secondary school) in Tulse Hill. We said we lived in Dulwich.

I worked in “conference production”, which these days would probably be called Content Development & Offline Marketing For Corporate Events (or something). My company was owned by a huge publishing brand. My job involved interviewing very high-level execs, extracting research information from them, and writing it up into various formats (including the titles, topics, and structure of the conference, as well as the copy for the conference brochure, promotional web copy, and letters). This was before email was widely used in marketing. And long before social media was big enough to be a marketing tool.

The in-house training I got at that job – going in at the very lowest level, and eventually being a Lead Producer in two different conference departments – was market leading at the time. It set the blueprint for various conference companies which followed it its footsteps.

** It taught me to think VERY quickly and commercially.

** To come up with themes, topics, and titles against tight deadlines, and to write them in the most compelling way. Our events lived and died by delegate bookings. Not enough sales? Your event would be cancelled, and you lost money (for the firm, and for yourself).

** The job made me fearless about picking up the phone and asking strangers to give me their thoughts about industry trends.

** It showed me how to write for the web, for email, for direct mail, for marketing and sales, for post-sales.

** It nurtured my curious mind and taught me how to learn just enough about a lot of topics in a very short amount of time.

Then I was made redundant.

But it was OK. Around that time, I’d met the guy who would be my husband (then my ex-husband), and I was training to swim the English Channel. I was growing, and I’d outgrown the conference world. Truth be told, my mind was already out of there.

You might think that’s when I set up at “the fit writer” and went freelance.

You’d be wrong. I had one more lesson to learn…

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