Sometimes it’s easy to miss an opportunity, even when it stares you in the face. Now I come to think of it, it seems the more obvious the opportunity, the more likely we are to overlook it, discounting them as not even being opportunities in the first place.
It’s as if we refuse to believe anything that seems too good to be true
For over two decades, I’ve worked in IT, digital, and software development for the web, both as an employed professional and as a self-employed copywriter. I’ve worked with small agencies, startups and software development houses, right up to being part of one of the largest, most ambitious IT programmes in the world (NHS Connecting for Health a.k.a NHS Digital).
Yet I’ve never actively specialised in copywriting for IT, as an IT sector specialist copywriter, if you will. Even though I’ve designed and built software and networked systems from the ground up, giving me a grassroots appreciation of how the IT industry works.
Perhaps because it’s always been a part of my life – staring me right in the face, I’ve taken it completely for granted.
Now, looking back on almost a decade of self-employment as a freelance copywriter, I see an obvious pattern developing amongst my clients, ranging from tech startups, IT consultancies to Leeds-based IT businesses. I really should make the most of this niche I’ve unwittingly carved for myself – because it already seems to be self-sustaining without any deliberate planning.
Imagine what I could achieve with focus and intent…
Everything fits together neatly now I look at it
Not just from an experience and qualifications perspective either. For a start there’s aptitude. IT develops rapidly – there’s always something new to grasp. This suits a curious, analytical mind that loves to learn. I’m lucky to have one of these, but I also studied hard for my solid grasp of the timeless principles which underpin the IT sector.
Moreover IT is highly technical and rife with complex abstract ideas. These need elucidating and explaining in simpler terms, usually to the people who stand to benefit most.
As luck would also have it, that’s my MO as a freelance copywriter – simplifying the complex, distilling a product or service down to its purest, most appealing form.
There’s also one very simple reason to pursue this niche
I enjoy it. IT is the essence of human/tool problem-solving. It’s a pure transformation of clever ideas into real-world functionality – building things that make life easier. That’s why I enjoyed programming so much in the early part of my IT career.
By this point, you may well be asking “so why did you leave hands-on IT behind?”.
Put simply, I followed the default route upwards into middle-management and away from the exciting coal-face. That’s just what people do. Sliding down a few rungs into freelancing was my attempt to regain that connection with producing things and solving problems.
IT has never lost its appeal though – in my spare time I still like nothing better than tinkering with Linux, or experimenting with my Raspberry Pi(s). And every coworking experience so far has fortunately surrounded me with likeminded people who build websites, cloud computing and tech.
Like I say – IT’s always been there
When it comes to specificity in sales and marketing (and I always tell my clients to be brave about this) – the more specific and bold you are in intent towards who you want to connect with, the better your copywriting, and the stronger sounding your offer. This also applies to freelance copywriters in Leeds who need to reposition themselves, not just Leeds IT businesses.
So in due course, that’ll be how I transform my business – a horizontal repositioning towards being an IT copywriter, creating sales and marking collateral for IT companies in Leeds, whether in digital or print.
Like I’ve already mentioned, my IT portfolio is already here. Everything just needs tweaking and targeting to make my offer clearer – that I know IT fundamentals inside out, and writing about it is what I do, and always have done.
Seems obvious now you think about it.
In the meantime…
If you’re an IT consultancy, tech startup, digital platform or software house in need of a freelance copywriter in Leeds. You know what to do.