Hi, I’m JoAnne Burek

How I got here

I used to work for a top international computer company, pricing multi-million dollar deals and helping my sales colleagues negotiate with clients. I loved the job for its fast and demanding pace, the rewards and recognition, and the travel perks.

More than anything, I loved learning about our clients’ businesses, getting to know them as people, and helping them move toward their goals. But after 35 years in the corporate world, I was ready to move on.

Of course, I wasn’t just going to retire and do nothing. I was going to write indexes for the back of books on a freelance basis. How I loved telling my co-workers that I was going to get paid to read books!

Then on the eve of my retirement, a friend asked me if I would project-manage the development of his website. I didn’t have any indexing clients yet, so I said sure!

Well, it turned out that what he really needed was content for his web pages. In other words, sales copy. Lots of it. I thought I knew about selling, but that was to accounts that came to us. What I didn’t know was how to write sales copy to total strangers.

So, I started studying copywriting. I took courses and workshops from some of the best copywriters in the business. I discovered that in order to write good copy, you need to know how to connect with audiences that never heard of you, how to get their attention, and how get them to like and trust you.

In reality, nobody knows exactly how to do that, because if they did, every advertisement would be an instant hit all the time. But when you learn the principles of persuasion and research techniques, and you get feedback from pro copywriters, you know where to start and how to zero in on what works.

We launched my friend’s website and it was a success. Then we went on to create marketing campaigns and a blog.

copywriter

How I do it

In copywriting, there are always new approaches to try and new media platforms to write for. But the standard of quality for good copy never changes.

To be persuasive, the copy must connect with what’s already in the reader’s head…which is why researching your target market is the first thing I do.

The ideas in the content must be laid out in a sequence that keeps the reader engaged so you can carry them all the way to your call to action.

The language of the copy must be clear, precise, and intentional. Every word carries weight, either emotionally or by its deliberate lack of emotion.

If poor English and punctuation mistakes drive you up the wall, you’ll appreciate my service. But don’t assume I’m a stickler about grammar—between you and me, I’m happy to break rules when it serves a purpose.

If this sounds like what you want in a copywriter, let’s talk.

A little about ME

I have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and an MBA. My formal copywriting training is from American Writers and Artists Inc (AWAI). I’m also a member of the Copy Chief community, the place where copywriting pros share their knowledge and critique your copy when asked.

I’m also a proofreader and I write indexes for the back of books, like computer books at No Starch Press and business books for Wonderwell Press (I was especially proud to index Fluevog by John Fluevog and Remarkable Retail by Steven Dennis).

In my spare time, I’m playing in the kitchen or I’m hiking. I take photos and blog for my hiking club waskahegantrail.ca and my personal food and travel blog foodforkandfootpaths.com.