Since becoming a freelance copywriter, I’ve learnt a lot about self-employment. From imposter syndrome and being ghosted, to knowing your audience and being your own boss.
If you’re a fellow freelance copywriter, you probably have your own experiences and a fair few stories to tell. And if you’re anything like me, there are probably certain songs that get you through the tough times, the happy times, and all the times in between. Because music can be so powerful.
Just like a well-written blog or social media post, a good song evokes emotion. And that’s all down to the lyrics.
I’ve grown up listening to a huge variety of music genres, and music often inspires my writing. That’s why I’ve put together a list of my favourite tunes that totally resonate with me as a freelance copywriter.
So join me as I do my best Bruno Brookes impression (yes, I'm that old) and count down 10 classic songs for freelance copywriters – hopefully there’s something for everyone.
#10 Oxford Comma, Vampire Weekend
As a fan of the Oxford comma, I had to include this one on the list.
It's a big no-no for some traditional linguists, but an Oxford comma can help avoid any misinterpretation in written content.
For example: I love my friends, Claudia Winkleman, and Thierry Henry.
The Oxford comma is the punctuation mark before the 'and'. Without it, you might think that I love my friends, who are Claudia Winkleman and Thierry Henry - if only!
#9 Freedom, Pharrell Williams
At first, it was weirdly unnerving to be my own boss and not have to beg for approval to be able to go to my daughter’s sports day or nativity. But now I love the feeling of freedom I get from being self-employed. I can get a last-minute appointment at the hairdressers at 10am on a Thursday. Because I can.
And, as well as being a massive earworm, this song captures the feeling of being freelance perfectly.
#8 Trouble, Taylor Swift
“I knew you were trouble when you walked in.”
This song could’ve been written for me! So many times I’ve had bad vibes and sensed the red flags from potential clients, but have continued to work with them because I didn’t want to look bad.
I’m trying to be more Tay-Tay and learning to say “no” when I sense something’s not quite right with a potential new client.
#7 When You Say Nothing At All, Ronan Keating
Ah, being ghosted. It’s become a regular thing since I started my freelance career.
I’m not sure why people feel they can’t respond to me. I like to think I’m pretty friendly and not particularly threatening?!
Although it can feel super-frustrating, I’ve learnt to accept that if someone is channelling this classic from Ronan, they’re not the kind of person I want to work with anyway!
#6 You’re Not Alone, Olive
Even though I’m self-employed, I’ve learnt I’m definitely not alone. My LinkedIn network of fellow freelancers is so supportive. They keep me sane.
If I’m having a wobble or just want a bit of reassurance, there are a number of people I know I can rely on to give me some top advice and the little boost of confidence I need.
#5 Unwritten, Natasha Beddingfield
This song takes me back to my teens – I remember singing it into my hairbrush in my bedroom.
I reckon most copywriters can resonate with the line “Staring at the blank page before you”. I certainly can!
It goes deeper than that, though. Listening to this song inspires me to live life to the fullest and reminds me that it’s ok not to have a plan. Every day is a blank page and it’s up to me to fill it, especially now I'm freelance.
#4 Survivor, Destiny’s Child
It’s not a playlist without a bit of Destiny’s Child!
Despite only becoming self-employed last year, there have been a few times when the dreaded imposter syndrome has kicked in and I’ve not felt good enough or strong enough to carry on.
But I’m no quitter. Even when my LinkedIn post bombed and I had no clients, I cranked up this tune and sang at the top of my voice…
“I'm a survivor, I'm not gon' give up, I'm not gon' stop, I'm gon' work harder.”
#3 Human, Rag n Bone Man
Being a wordsmith and having a good eye for detail, people often think I know all the words and everything I create is word-perfect.
Spoiler alert: I make mistakes too.
As a self-confessed perfectionist, I’m my own harshest critic. But this song helps me remember: I’m only human, after all.
Plus, (pointless trivia fact incoming) Rag ‘n’ Bone Man is from the town where I live. Although I’ve never seen him in Tesco?!
#2 More Than Words, Extreme
Any good copywriter knows that when you’re writing content, it’s not just about putting words on a page. It’s so much more than that.
It’s about sparking a reaction in the reader, so getting inside the reader's head, nailing the tone of voice and stirring up the right emotions are key to getting them to take action.
#1 All About You, McFly
When you’re a copywriter, it’s all about your target audience. But I’m not sure that would’ve made quite such a catchy and popular hit for the McFly boys.
When I’m writing, I always try to put myself in the shoes of the intended reader. What do they want to know? Why should they read this? What’s in it for them?
It was tough to whittle it down to just 10 songs. Which ones have I missed? I’d love to know your favourite tune you can totally relate to.