Your copywriting partner
WHAT I DO
I write sharp, confident, persuasive copy that gets results.
I particularly enjoy projects where the challenge is to take something complex and make it accessible and actionable. ‘Complex’ might be your next-gen technology or mammoth product range, but it could just as easily be your value proposition.
So, if you want people to understand what you do, and care, and act, let’s talk.
WHAT I DON’T do
Clickbait crap. And I’m not a big fan of emojis 😝
- Full site content
- Value propositions
- About pages
- Video scripts
- Blogs posts / features
- Sales copy
- Product copy
- Email templates
- Presentations (including design)
- Strategy documents
- Business plans
- White papers
- Investment pitches
- 1-to-1 copywriting training
- Team copywriting training
WHAT I’VE DONE
If you think I could be a fit for your business or project, let’s have a chat.
The Mental Cyclist
2020 – present
AUTHOR & FOUNDER
Helping recreational cyclists of every age, ability and ambition get more from their bikes.
Cycling is my passion. But I know it can go from awesome to awful with a twist in the wind. Why? Because your mind tells you stories, and they’re not always true.
I wrote The Mental Cyclist to explore the psychological blocks and barriers that can so often hold cyclists back from enjoying our sport to the max. The book is wholly accessible, 100% practical, and includes 30 journal exercises to help readers develop deep self-expertise. Background story here.
2015 – present (now freelance)
Full-service creative agency, specialising in strategy, internal communications, copywriting, design and video.
I joined Mantra as Strategy and Innovation Director, tasked with helping the agency embrace new opportunities for growth, especially internationally.
I led the development of new business with L’Oréal’s international teams, where projects included developing employee value propositions for the Professional Products and Luxe divisions, designing and running a global awards program for 20,000 employees, and developing training materials to help newcomers navigate L’Oréal’s culture.
In 2017, I took the role of Managing Partner to help the business owner restructure the business. In 2019, I stepped away to focus on a personal project, The Mental Cyclist. Today I freelance as a consultant on occasional strategic projects.
2013 – 2015
High-level training and development for the creative sector in Scotland.
I joined TRC Media to run the annual transformational Cross Creative training program. Over the course of 9 months, I led groups of top creative professionals and business owners on a journey of personal and professional development, designed to help Scotland’s creative sector compete with the best in the world.
Each program included a field trip to Silicon Valley, where I organised visits to the tech giants like Facebook and Google, world-leading creative companies like Pixar, and the most innovative start-ups.
I also led the development and rollout of Special Edition, a direct spin-out from Cross Creative but open only to women. Special Edition was intended to help address the under- representation of women in the boardroom in Scotland. The outcomes were remarkable.
2011 – 2017
Digital publisher of original crime fiction
Blasted Heath was a partnership with self-publishing pioneer, Allan Guthrie. In 2011, Allan had just proven the potential to reach audiences directly with his own titles, and together we spotted an opportunity to disrupt the traditional publishing model with an ebook-only approach.
Specialising in hardboiled crime fiction, Blasted Heath published excellent authors who were otherwise struggling to find, or unwilling to sign up to, traditional publishing deals. With our low overheads, agile processes and direct marketing strategies, we took authors to market quickly and effectively, and built something of a cult following.
2008 – 2013
Social media marketing and communications agency
Blether Media, a dedicated social media marketing agency, was born of my experience with Scoopt, where I’d demonstrated that a one-person unfunded Scottish start-up could build the biggest brand in its space with nothing more than a good story.
Through client services and training, I helped hundreds of businesses get to grips with the strange, exciting new world of social media. I helping them create a level playing field for customer attention regardless of the competition, using great content and storytelling to trump marketing spend.
2007 – 2008
DIRECTOR OF CITIZEN MEDIA
World’s largest stock photo and multimedia agency
As part of the acquisition deal, I was employed by Getty Images on a one-year contract to lead Scoopt through the transitional period.
2005 – 2007
World’s first citizen journalism photo and video agency
In 2004, cameras were becoming commonplace in mobile phones. I realised that every breaking news event would soon be captured first by a member of the public, not a professional. I created a market for what became known as ‘citizen journalism’ by bridging the gap between people who found themselves in the right place at the right time, and the global media.
Scoopt was a truly disruptive business. Highlights included striking a deal with Sony Ericsson to embed Scoopt in 10m cameraphones worldwide, steering a challenging path between legitimate photo opportunities and invasive amateur paparazzi opportunitists, and engaging with every major media agency in M&A talks.
In 2007, just 18 months after launch, I sold Scoopt to Getty Images.
1997 – 2005
Hardback manuals on consumer technology
Haynes Publishing was renowned for its car and motorcycle manuals. However, the market for these books was decreasing as vehicles became more computerised and less amenable to amateur tinkering. Haynes needed to try something new.
I was engaged by Haynes to write an experimental book on consumer technology, The Computer Manual. This was an immediate hit and led to a long series of technology manuals. I wrote / co-wrote around 12 hardback titles, plus annual updates.
1997 – 2005
Freelance journalist, reviewer and features writer for the mainstream media
Despite working in the fashion business for over 10 years, my real passion was writing. I blagged my way into journalism with a couple of speculative pitches, and developed a specialism in making complex technology accessible for everyone.
This led to a long and successful career as a freelance journalist, where I wrote extensively for the Mirror newspaper (often ghost-writing for Carol Vorderman, which I found amusing), ComputerActive magazine, and a wide range of consumer media.
Boden, Blooming Marvellous, Charlatan
1985 – 1996
Clothing design and manufacture
Having graduated with a degree in Philosophy, I naturally became a fashion designer. I expanded quickly to run a clothing factory, which was fun until it burned down and I went bust.
I then embarked on a career in the rag trade where I became the Production Director for two mail order companies, Blooming Marvellous and, laterally, Boden. In 1996, it was time for a complete change.
University of Glasgow
1981 – 1985
MA Joint Hons – English Literature & Philosophy
Having no clue what to do with my life, but loving literature, an Eng Lit degree was the obvious choice. I discovered Philosophy in my first year and was instantly smitten, so I decided to do a joint degree. I use my Philosophy training daily, in various weird ways.