Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Catherine Orr.
Heather Catherine, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always had a passion for reading and writing since I was a kid. I grew up wanting to be a scientist but somehow I always knew I’d end up a writer. After receiving my B.A. in English from UCLA, I started out on the graveyard shift at the LA Times, working as an advertising proofreader. I quickly learned that although I enjoyed proofreading, I wanted to write advertising instead. I stumbled upon a search engine marketing agency that taught me how to write website copy using SEO strategies. Not long after that, I moved from Los Angeles to Seattle for five years.
While in the Northwest, I worked as a marketing copywriter in the corporate marketing department of The Seattle Times. I learned more about how to write using persuasive language to get a target market to take action. I got the chance to see my work in the largest newspaper in the region and work with the company’s local business partners such as Microsoft and Boeing.
In 2012, I returned to Los Angeles where I worked as a marketing copywriter for Kaiser Permanente and Farmers Insurance. I continued studying and reading more about the psychology and salesmanship aspects of copywriting. I began freelance copywriting on the side and launched my website at Copytrigger.com. As a freelancer, I’ve worked on copywriting projects with startups, digital marketing agencies and e-commerce businesses.
Has it been a smooth road?
I was the first person to graduate from college in my family. As the oldest of four sisters, I wanted to set a good example for my younger siblings. But there were a couple of times when I had to take a break from my classes to earn money. When I had my diploma in hand though, I felt like I had conquered the world. Little did I know that was only the beginning of facing the reality of what it would take to achieve my dreams.
After I started working as a copywriter for Kaiser and Farmers, I had to keep up with a high volume of projects and hours that didn’t allow me much time to study copywriting. I believe being the best copywriter possible requires life-long learning. Now that I’m freelancing, it’s still a juggling act to balance studying and client work with networking and spending time with my loved ones.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I worked with a local social event marketing startup to develop their website copy. I was able to help the company significantly increase online leads. It feels amazing anytime I can get hard data on how my copy is helping companies reach their marketing goals. It’s super fulfilling to have a passion for something that can improve people’s businesses.
Were there moments when you had to struggle?
There are still moments of struggle for me. When I started out as a copywriter, I assumed that the job mostly involved writing, but there’re so many other things that go into it. Sometimes, it’s difficult to actually have the time to write with meetings to attend, marketing my skills, and educating people about the value of what I do through my blog. I also continue to educate myself through courses, webinars, and conferences on copywriting and marketing in general. It’s definitely a challenge to balance my personal and professional schedule.
What’s your outlook for the industry in our city?
There’s pros and cons to anywhere starting out. Being born and bred in Southern California, I moved to Seattle for a few years to experience living somewhere else. I enjoyed the reduced living costs and the dazzling landscape, but I missed Los Angeles with all my heart. The vibrancy and diversity of this city is irreplaceable to me, and of course, the sunny weather too.
While I wouldn’t say it’s a place that’s easy on the wallet, there are opportunities in LA that those starting out might not be able to find elsewhere. So, it’s a bit of a tradeoff, it all just depends on your goals and if you’re prepared to spend a good chunk of your income on rent in order to reach them.
- Website: Copytrigger.com
- Phone: 323-252-4658
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: copytrigger
- Facebook: facebook.com/copytrigger
- Other: Twitter: @copytrigger
Business Marketing Communications Dept., Kaiser Permanente
Pacific Northwest Magazine, The Seattle Times
Keshot Social Media Photo Booths
Thank America’s Teachers, Farmers Insurance