Spotlight - For The Love Of Language - Arrowmaker Communications - The ROOM - Networking Bedford

A love of language that built a copywriting business

Simon FletcherEvery Tuesday morning, I stand on my hind legs and boom out to The Room: “Good morning! I am Simon Fletcher from Arrowmaker Communications and we are marketing copywriters!”

We do that copywriting for accountants, HR consultants, printers, large software corporations and small IT companies, sheet metal fabricators, telecoms providers, marketing agencies, door and window companies – anybody, in fact, who needs their marketing words to work harder!

So how did all this wordsmithery begin?

My Great Uncle Bob’s hymnbook

There were some early indicators that I had some sort of ‘feel’ for words and language.

My Great Uncle Bob – himself a former Bletchley linguist, I discovered later – would reputedly put a hymnbook in front of me as a baby, upside down, and then chuckle as I repeatedly turned it the right way up.

And then there were the TV programmes; where I lived as a child in Lancashire, we could receive a lot of the Welsh-language and Asian-language programming, and as a two-year old who had barely mastered English I would sit and watch them, understanding nothing, but absolutely spellbound by the words.

And so it progressed. My parents bought me a Remington portable typewriter one Christmas, and I hammered out short story after short story (much as my nine year-old son does now on his laptop!)

My English creative writing homework was often ten or fifteen pages long. I took instantly to French, German and (particularly) Latin, and went on to three different universities to study languages, media and communication, where I also learnt Italian for two years.

So, the die was cast. Whatever I was going to end up doing, it was going to be something with a wordy bent!

Marketing: for wordsmiths who want to earn money

Perhaps inevitably, then, I ended up in marketing (or the bit of marketing that most people call marketing, which is actually more to do with promotions) and then in PR (which is where good writers who are also good talkers end up!)

Over time, my brief grew very wide. I was not only writing copy and content, but proofing and checking what was written for me by colleagues and agencies, as well as doing public speaking engagements, managing journalists and PRs in English, French and German, planning advertising campaigns, giving live demos at trade shows, delivering internal company briefings, and a cartload of other communications-related stuff.

And that’s when I stood back and said to myself: you know what? If you can do all of that for your boss, you can choose the best bits to do for a business of your own.

And lo, Arrowmaker Communications, copywriters in north Bedfordshire and beyond, was born!

How we help you with your words

Words have never been mightier – or more critical – than they are today. Words are no longer just components of the permanent and semi-permanent environment of print, they are the ingredients of communications that are instant, urgent, visible to millions, and jealously tracked by powerful search engines.

Words, in short, are at the height of their game. But the cruel paradox is that making them work for your business is also exacting, time-consuming, and labour-intensive. And that’s what we’ve built the entire business on – getting the words and all the associated briefing and admin and review off your desk and onto ours.

However, having managed many outsourced suppliers and agencies, including copywriters, I wanted to get it right where they often get it wrong, so I formulated a few ground rules – which we called Arrowmaker’s Copywriting Laws – to make your life easier and our services more effective:

  • Briefings are by phone or face-to-face wherever possible. Forget complex briefing sheets – we want to hear you get excited about your business’s differentiators and unique selling points, and capture them while they’re still warm and beating!
  • We don’t copy copy. Ever ever. You’re paying us good money. For that, you get original copy, written from scratch, to capture your business’s voice, authority and personality and not get you penalised by Google for duplication. If we use a quote or reference we’ll clearly flag it.
  • We’re not precious. We’re writing for your audience, not for you. We’ll break every grammar rule and convention in the book, if we have to, to get through to your readers.
  • We communicate directly. You haven’t got time to act as a go-between, so we ask your customers, partners, colleagues and anybody else who is a stakeholder in the writing to contact us with any questions directly.
  • You get free edits. Sometimes, you and your stakeholders will want to make a few edits. That’s always allowed and it’s always in the price, and we’ll even give a similar round of edits to your customer or partner, if their signoff is needed, too.

Copywriting should be a clear skill you see the value in paying for, not a dark art to extract money from you, so our philosophy has always been to keep everything transparent from the start and throughout. We give you our word.

(Geddit?)

Different words for different worlds

Of course, no two clients are the same, and some have very specific requirements around language, so my skill (obsession?) with vocabulary has proven a very handy resource in some situations!

For an accountant, for example, who is an avid 4 x 4 off-roading fan when she’s not crunching numbers and arguing the toss with HMRC, we wrote her website to echo the 4 x 4 and motoring theme and get her out of the ‘grey-suited accountant zone’ where she didn’t want to be.

For a printer who provides over 20 different services, we gave each service a distinct introduction and explanation of its relevance to the reader, enabling each deliverable to stand on its own merits (as well as contribute to search engine visibility!)

And for a door and window company who wanted people to know it delivers a full service, not just repairs, we wrote bespoke, original content to push the full service message and talk up the company’s unique technical expertise and experience.

All the time I’m spending time obsessing about exactly the right words to choose and those to avoid is time you’re not spending on it.

How much is that worth to you?

What our customers say about us

So, the words will out – and, thankfully, so will the praise! These are just a few examples of what our customers have said about our services:

“…exceptional writers…able to grasp and understand the concept inside out and at speed…deliver high-quality content on time, sometimes ahead of time and with true professionalism.” – Tom Perry, Sherpa Marketing  Ltd. 

“…the kind of service provider you would always work with: expert, trustworthy, creative, on time and proactive…continues to deliver great results even in a fast-evolving scenario.” – Marco Pappalardo, Oracle

“Professional and highly talented. I have no hesitation in recommending Arrowmaker Communications.” – Sue Wilson, Bedford Health

“I would highly recommend Arrowmaker Communications to write copy for brochures, sales pages, and videos.” – Jayden Halliday, Leading Edge Only

“Arrowmaker’s written and verbal communication skills have made them an excellent ambassador for our brand.” – Tony Dimech, Layer 8 Ltd.

Not only did I manage to turn my love of language into a business, it seems – I turned it into a business that others love too!

(I believe the correct word for that is “Result!”)

Arrowmaker Communications

Find out more about how Simon & Arrowmaker Communications can help you….. click here