Laurence Blume is the Owner of UK-based copywriting practice freelancecopywriter.co.uk. In addition to working as a copywriter, he consults on strategic and creative marketing issues, working with clients around the world. Laurence has been a professional copywriter since 1981, working for 18 years in leading London advertising agencies before establishing freelancecopywriter.co.uk.
Please tell us about yourself, where you work and your role at your company.
I’m an independent Copywriter and Marketing Consultant in London, UK. I am CEO of my company Big Lessons Ltd but work mainly via my freelancecopywriter.co.uk brand.
What were your initial thoughts and planning before starting your own company?
I’m very clear about that. I had just been made redundant from a big ad agency, where I’d been for 5 years and was a Board Director. I was made redundant, along with others, by one idiot and two extremely weak guys in thrall to the idiot. I took a year’s pay off and decided then and there that from now on my fate was going to be in my own hands, rather than at the whim of incompetent people.
Was it hard for you to score your first round of funding?
I never sought funding and never have. It’d be a pretty exercise for a small consulting business. Overhead in this kind of business is very low. I had a 12 month pay off from my last employer. That was more than enough to cashflow me through the startup period. The business has been cash positive every day it has existed.
How did you get introduced to digital marketing, more specifically SEO?
I’ve been looking at digital marketing for as long as there has been an internet, and at SEO for as long as there have been search engines.
How do you think SEO has changed over the last 10 years? And, how do you think year 2019 will shape up for SEO industry?
A decade ago, we were still in an era in which a few relatively simple onsite content ‘fixes’ could – still make a huge difference. Today, it appears far more complex, yet in some ways, it’s never been simpler!
What are the services you provide to your clients and what do you think makes your business stand out among your competitors?
I plan and write content, and advise in a broad way on SEO. I tell every client that if they need someone to obsess over their site on a tech SEO basis, that is not me.
What was that one campaign that did wonders for your brand? In other words what helped you kick start your revenue growth?
I was relatively early into PPC advertising. I started using it to drive the business in 2004. In 2004 in the UK, I’m not exaggerating when I say that there were virtually no proper, professional marketing copywriters online with decent websites, let alone running PPC campaigns. The day I began advertising I picked up 3 projects. Another one the next day. Never really looked back from there.
Everybody knows what you have achieved, I would like to talk about your failure stories and how they impacted your professional life.
(As we know Rome was not built in a day)
I ended my 18-year ad agency career in 1999. I got the formula for freelancecopywriter.co.uk right in 2002. The 3 years between are the part you just have to work through.
Are there any processes you’d love to see automated in SEO?
No! People think the point of SEO is to try to outsmart Google. Good luck with that. The point is of course really to outthink your competitor. You can’t automate that. (Yet.)