Copywriting with Martin Booth
Copywriting is second nature to Martin Booth. He learnt his trade as a journalist. Now he runs Leboo Media in Kingston, south west London.
A Career in Sports Journalism
Martin’s background is in journalism. Particularly, sports journalism. He spent more than 20 years on the staff of various national newspaper titles on the sports pages. He worked for the Daily Express, Sunday Mirror and News of the World (when it closed down in 2011). After that, Martin moved into the betting industry both in business and consumer markets. After his contract with that industry expired he just knew he should be doing words.
The Go-to Copywriter
When someone around him in his various job postings wanted something doing with copywriting or words (LinkedIn profile, a strategy for horse-racing, etc) Martin was the person they turned to. He realised this was his sweet-spot.
18 months ago, he started networking around his home in Kingston, SW London, and picked up several contracts. He went from there.
What sort of material does he write?
You name it, Martin will write it.
“I keep hearing I’m supposed to find a niche and specialise.”
- case studies
- white papers
- annual reports
- big documents
- audio scripts
- video scripts
- plus a lot of proof reading!
Who are his copywriting clients?
Nor does he work for any particular sector of clients. Recently, he has written for:
- carpet cleaners
- bike makers
- garden suppliers
- data security specialists
- someone who makes mayonnaise
- property experts
- mortgage providers
At this stage in his businesses development, he is happy to say, “come one, come all”.
His niche is words.
What has mayonnaise got in common with journalism?
- LISTEN – your initial briefing
- Who is your audience?
- Who are you trying to get this over to?
One icebreaker Martin deploys is shorthand…
Listen to the story and re-produce it faithfully (hence shorthand) for the client in a commercial context.
LeBoo Media – it’s French isn’t it?
When a client says their audience is ‘anyone really’, who must delve deeper to help them.
- is it people in a particular area?
- age group?
Then you can write for the audience. So the message is phrased and targeted to the right people.
It is always better to absorb feedback from customers’ clients. Speak to happy customers and adopt that as part of the copy.
- I needed this
- The company provided that
- Therefore I’d recommend them
The Manchester United Transfer Story – promote the headline grabbing story that will attract readers.
Martin wrote a book last week
10,000 words, loads of illustration, for the centenary of a design company.
He loved it. The research. Listening to people who have worked there.
He enjoys getting the tone of voice. So Martin is a ghostwriter in waiting.
The designer in question designed Welwyn Garden City? [a cemetery with light?]
Copywriting versus Journalism
So much comes down to clients. It’s about establishing trust. Client: leverage their satisfaction.
What fails has Martin observed?
- how often do you go on a website and YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY DO and the benefit they bring to you.
- absolutely critical
- we are, we do – rare do they use YOU
- heres how we are positioned to solve your problem
- Martin would love it if everybody used the word YOU.
LeBoo – Getting the Message Across
The first word on his website is You’ve…
Focus on benefits
All his networking group sell ‘peace of mind’. Mortgage, IT support, copywriting = peace of mind. Ease that burden. The service I provide will help you.
99% of businesses ignore these ideas (You, etc)
Who is it you are looking to talk to?
The audience of one – agreed.
Attracting people to his business
Martin joined the Kingston Chamber of Commerce. He is now a director there. Very good for support and networking. There are 8,000 businesses around him in the Kingston area. As long as you can have a conversation, it doesn’t matter where they are.
How does he reach out? Mostly through direct networking?
He’d like to do a newsletter. A typical entrepreneur, impatient and wants it now.
Client feedback is gold-dust. I did this. Here’s how happy they are.
Customer satisfaction will drive larger volumes of customers.
- when you write something, read it back
- if you have to read it twice, redraft it.
- if it flows and is almost musical, then its working
- spelling and grammar, get them better, people really do notice spelling
- know your audience
- ADD a call to action. Ask them to do something…
or give Martin a call.
Any transferable skills…
- his old journalist skills
- product management
- you don’t realise – the ability to produce under DEADLINES
- journalist get good at stuff UNDER PRESSURE
NOTE: 10,000 word book, 3 days research and 4 days of writing.
Martin’s TOP TIP
- it is all about getting a message across.
- to see everything from a customer’s point of view
Contact Martin Booth at LeBoo Media
Also contact Martin Booth on LinkedIn: Martin Booth