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CopyCon 2019: incredibles, insatiables and an inflatable.

Kate Toon copywriter

Good conferences are essential fuel for a small business. Well run, they're delicious. CopyCon 2019 was a banquet.

The gifted and talented brainchild of the incredible, insatiable and immensely knowledgeable copywriting community creator, Kate Toon,  CopyCon is held annually (although in hiatus in current form in 2020). It's a weekend of talks, information, entertainment, masterclasses, fascinating conversation and networking over everything copy and content, marinated in particularly tasty 6ft6 wine.

As a web developer whose primary income doesn't come from writing, I attended the Saturday sessions but, sadly, not the Sunday masterclasses. Saturday, however, was the perfect mix of challenge and provocation, reminder and reward.

  • Flying Solo's Robert Gerrish armed me with a better understanding of imposter syndrome, its 5 leering avatars and how to disarm them with an audience participation overview of Valerie Young's 'The Secret thoughts of successful women'.
  • The befeathered brand marketing guru, Suzanne Chadwick reminded me to build business boldly in the revolution of the heart - the people centred descendant of the tech revolution - so people who want to work with me will find me.
  • Ryan Wallman showed the power in honesty and simplicity of the best taglines and in the advice that a tagline should never read like you're selling treatment for erectile dysfunction.
  • Sophia Arthur's case study for how she took her business from the corner of her lounge to a dedicated office space, charges higher and stresses far less was an inspiration, as was her 'File of Awesomeness'
  • Louder Online's Aaron Agius energised the room with SEO bingo, in which I happily scored highly, was reminded that links, links, LINKS is the key to strong SEO and that next conference I should sit next to someone called 'Rob'.
  • Kate Toon managed to both rock a sparkle dress and remind me that creating consistent revenue and delivering well to clients we love is the antidote to the race to the bottom.
    And always have resilience.
    And F*** You money.
  • Bernadette Schwerdt gave a simple formula for copy that delivers
  • Amanda Van Elderen reminded that a strong brief is the key to good work and doesn't need to be taken under exam conditions
  • Liz Green won my heart with her story of a rich and diverse life that underpins her expert copywriting
  • David Bell and Kate Toon chatted agency work and made a call for restocking the creative pantry with life, art, culture and joy.
  • Nerissa, Donna and Rachel persuaded us on the ease and efficiency of niching
  • Rob Marsh didn't persuade me with the American way of persuasion, but I think that even Barack Obama wouldn't have piqued my interest so late in the day and so gelatinous was my brain.


A conference is only as good as the action it inspires, so here are my top 3 action points:

  1. Read 'The Secret Thoughs of Successful Women'
  2. Deepen implementation of Mike Mickalowicz' 'Profit First'
  3. When the May the 4th after party calls for a costume, be bold enough to be the inflatable Jabba the Hutt.

For more information, read our blog about becoming a content writer, which lists Kate's community and resources.


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