A self-described slightly evil genius, Ami is owner of the copywriting business Damn Write. An advocate for small businesses using personality-driven copy, Ami shares her thoughts on branding, content and why it always pays off to embrace your archetype.
Why do you refer to yourself as a ‘slightly evil copy genius' and how does this help your brand?
That’s part of the magic to it — it’s an attention grabber! It was based on my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type, which I seem to share with a lot of fictional villains (Voldemort, Moriarty, Emperor Palpatine… such good company, right?).
In terms of my brand, I’ve leaned into the Rebel and Alchemist archetypes which have helped me attract my ideal clients. And repelled the ones who aren’t the right fit.
But it’s all very tongue in cheek, too! World domination isn’t my actual end goal. I just like the idea that getting into the heads of your customers (with customer research) and using it to persuade them sounds a little maniacal. I get to play slightly evil while helping good businesses do better.
Copy is a vital part of branding but often overlooked. It’s easy to focus on what you can see, which is why I think a lot of businesses happily invest in visual identity and leave copy as an afterthought.
But the magic happens when the two are aligned — when the visuals and the copy work together.
Personality-driven copy helps businesses connect with their audience and attract clients, or customers, who resonate with it. And it helps differentiate your business because nobody can consistently mimic your personality. They can try, but they can’t keep it up.
Most copywriters will ask you how you want your copy to sound, and maybe give you 3 or 4 options. Personality-driven copy uses archetypes (and A LOT of questions!) to create an extensive, accurate brand personality.
Use “I” if you’re the only one dealing with clients and/or shipping products. People like to support small businesses, and this can work as a selling point.
Use “we” ONLY if you have a team. If there is a legit “we” to refer to, then go ahead (but make sure you’re showcasing that team on your socials and website!)
Consumers smell fakery a mile away and it can destroy all the trust you’ve worked so hard to build. I saw someone using “we” on their socials recently and they got called on it in the comments — asked straight out “wait, do you have a team?”. Don’t be that person.
I’m prone to get too caught up in client work and I forget to market my own business, but I try to have 1 day a week to focus on my business.
Instagram has been my main focus since I started and has served me well over the years. Building relationships through DMs is SO powerful too — I’ve been able to grow my support network, connect with people I admire and get clients.
If I had my time again I’d start connecting with more copywriters from the start. The Copywriter Club group and podcast were game-changers for me. I stopped thinking small, got better at what I do and… I think world domination is the next logical step, yeah?
I paid myself from day ONE, and I think when possible, that’s important to do. I was still working part-time at the same time, which allowed me to be picky with client projects and find my feet without the pressure of a regular paycheck. But giving myself a percentage of each project helped motivate me.
It was probably a year-ish into it that I started putting a percentage aside for super. I realised that if I wanted to ditch the part-time job then I couldn’t think of that as my retirement plan.
And this one gets its own category because it’s SO good: HAMYAW (Hillary & Margo Yell At Websites). It’s the best thing on YouTube.
Personality is NOT unprofessional! Sounding like a real human will always win out over corporate or bot speak.
Who is your favourite cartoon character and why? Webby from the Duck Tales reboot (which is amazing!) - Kate Miccuci does the voice, and she’s just hilarious.
What's the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? I’m a picky eater with the most basic, unrefined palate. Probably a bite of some cabbagey Dutch dish that my Nanna made.
Any pet peeves? TOO much personality in copy… I know it sounds ridiculous, but there’s still a line. Personality is like garlic — easily overdone.
Kale or donuts? Donuts!
If you could win any award what would it be, why? Awards aren’t really my thing, but I LOVE when someone tells me how much they enjoyed reading my copy. Low-key shoutouts make my day.
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