When copywriters get scared - getting on top of the anxiety monster

Suffering from anxiety issues as I do, when things go wrong, or I perceive them to have gone wrong, I turn inwards. Anxiety can take many forms, for me it’s social, a fear of walking into a room full of people, worrying about things I’ve said, fretting over the impression I’ve made on people I don’t even know that well.

Another unfortunate symptom of my anxieties is my ability to ruminate and make things seem far worse than they really are, to catastrophize a minor setback, to visualize terrible events as a result of a minor hiccup. It has been the ruin of me many times, and while 9 times out of 10 the situation has resolved itself fairly well, the toll on my mind hasn’t always been that great.

There is only so much ruminating and catastrophizing a human brain can take, only so much bouncing back before your brain caves under the strain. The many times I’ve catastrophized only to realise everything will be okay. Deep in the recess of my mind I kind of know that it may not be anywhere near as bad as I think it’ll be, and it sometimes feels like some kind of masochistic process I have to put myself through - because it’s bad luck if don’t.

It’s almost as if I enjoy it, and I must put myself through it, because if I don’t, then I’m tempting fate, and something really bad WILL happen. Soon my brain gets stuck in a groove and I can’t undo the ruminating, and suddenly it’s in a perpetually hellish state of ‘red alert.’

With this in mind, you would think I’d be the last person that should have taken the self-employment route. After all, there are several hills to climb and many ‘hiccups’ along the way to success, surely such a person as myself should have stayed in a job where employment would offer me a safe haven from worry and stress?

But I didn’t, because you know and I know that I wouldn’t be writing this if I had. I left my job back 2011 and took the hardest road of all, towards self-employment. And yes, sometimes I’ve come close to throwing the towel in, but no different from many others who become freelancers.

But the way I see it why shouldn’t I be self-employed?

Why should I not be allowed to do what I love, why should someone with an anxiety disorder not be allowed to do what they enjoy?

I do have long periods where I don’t ruminate and catastrophize at all, as long as everything goes smoothly. Now, this past few weeks have been lovely, until this week. A client goes quiet, it’s only been a couple of days, but I’m starting to worry, I’ve invoiced him, it’s a substantial amount of money (to me anyway).

While everyone else will be moving on to other jobs and trying to make the best of a potentially bad situation, I’m ruminating about what could happen sometime in the future because of it. Days of procrastination while I worry about the unknown, when I could be getting on with it.

And the awful guilt because there’s an awful lot of people out there with worse things going on their lives than me.

But, I am getting better…

And the reason why I’m getting better is because I’m using coping strategies to deal with it. I love copywriting, I love what I do. I get to write every single day, talk to the most interesting people and work my own hours.

And it’s worth fighting for.

Basically, I’ve got a kind of mish-mash of mindfulness and manifesting meditations I do. It’s like wrapping myself in a blanket, allowing myself to feel safe, that all will be well, to feel in the moment right now and to appreciate the little things, the everyday. I meditate at least once or even twice a day, depending on how stressed I am about something.

Funny thing is I used to really scoff at people meditating, I was convinced I couldn’t lie still for that long or stop my mind from wandering. Admittedly it is hard and I don’t always get to the end of a meditation, but just the ‘trying’ is a positive step.

I’m also reaching out to my online community of freelancers, mostly taking courses, getting involved, talking to people and popping my head above the parapet and that is doing me all the good.

I don’t think my anxieties are going to magically disappear as a result of my meditating or talking it out, and that in itself is a good thing. Because accepting I have a mental health issue that isn’t going to go away for good is part of the process, part of the road to feeling better, and of finding coping strategies that work.

I know through diligent googling that there are self-employed anxiety sufferers out there who fight the good fight each and every single day, but I don’t know where you are. I think that it’s good to talk about it, it’s good to be able to say, ‘these are my issues, and this is how I deal with them’ and as a result perhaps help someone else, connect, say something that resonates and introduce new strategies that will get someone else on the road to feeling good.

If you’re a copywriter, a freelance writer or a freelance, self-employed warrior with daily anxiety battles, do come forward and introduce yourself, I’d love to hear from you.

How do you deal with your issues?

Further reading

None of these are specifically for anxiety but they’ve helped me. Some of the books I haven’t read, but they may help you get a general feel for meditation.

Books n stuff to get you started

https://www.standard.co.uk/shopping/esbest/books-dvds/non-fiction/the-best-books-on-mindfulness-and-meditation-that-will-clear-your-headspace-in-2017-a3142056.html

Kelly Howell could hypnotise and relax two rabid dogs in an alleyway. My favourite healing meditation.

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Universal-Mind-Meditation/dp/1881451569/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505998461&sr=1-1&keywords=kelly+howell

My first introduction to The Law of Attraction, Lana Schlafer. For getting to a good place.

http://www.lanashlafer.com/

Homepages & Landing Pages - they both serve a different purpose

It really depends on what it is you want to achieve, and it's important you understand the difference. If you want leads for a new product or service, then learning to use both these types of page is mandatory for good inbound marketing results. However, they can both serve different purposes. A homepage can be an introduction to your whole business and a suite of different products and/or services you provide, while a landing page is most commonly used for specific campaigns launches.

Ideally, all your web pages need to have a role in the prospective customer’s journey, and you must consider the difference stages they go through before they’re ready to commit. This can start with seeing the product for the first time, then moving on to the thinking stage, shall-I-or-shan’t-I leave the site, do I-really-need-this?, and then finally the decision-making bit where they decide whether or not they’re going to make that purchase.

Let’s start with the homepage of your website

When people visit your website, the homepage is the first thing they see, it’s the hallway of your house, it’s here that they’re welcomed, they might take a quick look around briefly before deciding whether or not to take up your invitation to explore further. Whether they stick around depends largely on your homepage, and whether what you’re offering is interesting enough to hold their attention.

Therefore, first impressions count. It would seem that your visitors, when they arrive on your site, can spend as little as 10 seconds before they make that all-important decision on whether to quit. What you have on your homepage then is crucial in holding their attention. What you need is to make it so attractive they can’t pull themselves away. You need to convince them that what you have is exactly what they need, that you have the solutions to their problems, and that essentially, you’re one step ahead of your competitors.

Your homepage, must at the very least, connect with your visitors and encourage them to stick around and take a longer journey around your website.

Your homepage then is at the seeing your products for the first-time stage, and the message you have must reflect this. You need to have a homepage that delivers results and over time improves on the results you get each week, each month.

Landing-Page.jpg

The Landing Page

The major objective of your landing page is for visitors to buy a product you've just launched, or to commit to a series of emails or newsletters, with the end goal of retaining their custom.

Your landing page will live separately from your website and is designed exclusively to receive campaign traffic. So, if you have a new product or service to launch that is additional to your main business and current website, then a landing page is ideal. This separation from a homepage means that it can be focused solely on a single objective.

A landing page, unlike a homepage, will not have links to other parts of your site, any other links are a distraction from the job in hand and will potentially dilute your message, thus reducing your conversion rates.

Your landing page is a standalone page with no ties to your website, access will be via a link from an email or an advert you’ve created.

There are two types of landing page, a lead generation landing page and a click through page, this can be a conduit which leads to a shopping cart where visitors can make a purchase. The former, a lead generation landing page, will capture information from you in exchange for something else. For example, they may take your email address and in return give you access to an eBook, a series of emails, or free pdf guide or it might be a subscription to a monthly newsletter.

Match the message to your page

Whether you use an PPC advert or a sales email, always make sure the message and any images you use match the landing page. If it doesn’t, it can lead to confusion for the visitor, and online visitors are a fickle bunch, if they can’t understand why your landing page doesn’t match the advert they’ve just been attracted to enough to click on, then they’ll move on pronto. And that means your leads have gone. This means you could potentially end up with a higher bounce rate and a lower conversation rate – and that’s not good.

Banner Advert/sales email   =    Matches with Landing Page

Remember the following points when creating a landing page:

  • What are you offering?
  • What is your campaign about?
  • What is the strongest selling point, and how can you convey this without superfluous    waffle?
  • Can you leave anything out, so only the main points are included?
  • Does the message in your sales email or advert match the copy on your landing page?
  • Do the images match those on your landing page?
  • Don’t forget that all important Call to Action - don't place it too far down the page.

If you’d like me to create a superior landing page for your campaign, a page that really captures the important aspects of your product or service, highlighting the most important selling points and finishing with a superior call to action, get in touch.

I can either create the landing page AND provide the copy on your website or just supply the content. It's entirely up to you, but what you WILL get is an excellent service and hands on approach I give all my clients.

Or some website copy - I can provide smooth, beautifully engaging copy for your site that will keep visitors on the page for better conversion rates.

gillianjones@taithcopywritinguk.com or 07513642292