My key highlights of #CopyCon19

I recently attended CopyCon19, Australia’s Copywriting Conference, in Melbourne and had the most incredible time! Organised by my copy idol, Kate Toon, and her hardworking sidekick, Leanne Woff, the event aimed to both educate and connect 160 word-nerds from across the country.

Having-a-wine-pre-CopyCon19

Finally made it to the drinks!

My weekend began with a flight on Friday night, then some minor mishaps when sourcing an Uber driver. (Huge thanks to Josh Rose for being my travel buddy. I would have been an anxious mess otherwise!) But we got to the pre-event drinks unscathed…after the driver was fined for an illegal right hand turn. Whoops! After a crazy start, I quickly calmed down with a glass of wine.

Saturday featured the main conference, with a special four-hour Mastermind on Sunday for first in, best dressed. Having missed last year’s Mastermind and experiencing major FOMO, I grabbed my ticket as soon as registrations were open. The weekend ended with a delightful lunch – then a flight back home to Sydney.

After having some time to digest everything I experienced, here are some of my favourite parts. (Although, it was very hard to choose!)

Meeting my online copywriting friends face-to-face for the first time

For many industries, anyone in the same field is considered a competitor. But not in the Australian copywriting world. We’re definitely companions…or perhaps more like cousins!

While I was looking forward to the mind-blowing educational aspect, I admit I was most excited about meeting all my online The Clever Copywriting School (TCCS) friends in real life. These people I had talked to daily for the past 12 months and it was incredible to put faces to names. It felt like re-connecting like long-lost cousins at a reunion. In most instances, I didn’t have to introduce myself because many people told me ‘You actually look like your profile pic!’

Meeting-Kate-Merryweather

Kate and me

Hanging out with my CopyCon Accom gang

Part of the experience was sharing an AirBnB with four other TCCS members; Angela Pickett, Joan Martin, Karen Doane, and Lisa Kniebe. We all got along very well and the camp vibe just made the event even more fun!

Mingling with Kate and Emma

I LOVED meeting my online Copy Buddy, Kate Merryweather, and mentee, Emma Gilmour, for the first time. Since they’re both based in Melbourne and I’m in Sydney, these opportunities don’t often arise!

Kate has supported me on multiple occasions throughout the year, including calling me to discuss dilemmas or referring work. Honestly, it felt like we’d known each other forever! And Kate featured a beautiful mention of me in her CopyCon blog. Thank you!!

Meeting-Emma-Gilmour

Emma and me

I’ve watched Emma blossom over the past six months or so and have loved being part of her journey. Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading your book!

Chatting with Kate Toon

I really look up to copywriting and SEO expert, Kate Toon. She is a real go-getter and everything I want to be in 10 years’ time – or sooner! We’ve chatted online and via video on multiple occasions – so I feel like we’re

Chatting-with-Kate-Toon

Kate Toon and me!

buddies now. She really ‘gets’ me. While grabbing this selfie, Kate shared her admiration for my social media content recently and told me I was voted in the Top Four for TCCS Member of the Year! Her sweet comments really made my day!

Learning some juicy copywriting tips

Apart from the social aspect, there were gold nuggets flying everywhere from the stage. I was passionately writing notes (Ha! Inside CopyCon joke) about everything shared. After coming home, I’ve re-written all of takeaways with bold asterisks next to them.

Remembering to avoid Imposter Syndrome and build an unbeatable brand

Robert Gerrish highlighted the five key personalities who suffer from ‘the Syndrome’ – and turns out I’m an ‘expert’. The ironic thing is; this type of person, like me, never feels they ARE an expert and continually want to learn! A key tip was to avoid procrastination and offer advice to others (which I guess I do via my workshops.)

Suzanne Chadwick reminded us about building an emotional connection with our clients. I‘m now thinking of linking up with the charity, Room to Read – thanks to the advice from some fellow copywriters!

Discovering ways to writer better

Ryan Wallman, Bernadette Schwerdt, and Rob Marsh provided some key insights into writing formulas I hadn’t considered before. Do not charge by the hour for taglines! Don’t be afraid to ask clients for the key benefits to be featured in the copy. And stories can be very effective in proposals!

Finding out opportunities for growth

Although my poor results in Aaron Agius’ SEO interactive quiz got me down, it made me realise how much I don’t know about the latest search engine optimisation intel. So I’m heading back to the SEO Recipe course for a refresher! David Bell addressed what it’s like to work for agencies – something I haven’t yet tapped into. But will definitely investigate…

Hearing from fellow TCCS members on stage

It was very interesting to hear the personal copywriting journeys of fellow copywriters onstage. The whole niche thing was covered nicely in a panel of Donna Webeck, Nerissa Bentley, and Rachel Alt – and I’m once again pondering about mine! Amanda Vanelderen covered briefing, Liz Green talked about assumptions, and Sophia Arthur inspired me about showing up like a boss.

Kate Toon also had a memorable presentation about ‘dating your clients’ – and kept the euphemisms and gems of advice flowing!

Star-Wars-themed-CopyCon19-after-party

Partaay!

Partying at the After Party

Since the event was held on ‘May the fourth’, a Star Wars themed after party was inevitable. I ‘kinda’ dressed up as Princess Leia, but some people really went out with their costumes!

Experiencing Mastermind

Even though I was a tad tired, the Mastermind sessions were definitely worth it. I had the opportunity to hear from some experts in speed-presentations – then later shoot them questions. I’ve since connected with most of the experts on LinkedIn and look forward to following their key tips and advice!

Well, that’s the best summary I can do without spending a whole day on this blog. But thanks again to Kate and Leanne for a brilliant and memorable event. Bring on Camp Copy in 2020!