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7 months. 7 lessons: My internship at Refresh Marketing

As a soon-to-be graduate, I was hungry to get my hands on some real-world experience. Lucky for me, I didn’t find just ANY internship – I found THE internship.

And now that I’m officially on the team (yay me!), I’d like to share seven lessons I learnt during my first seven months at Refresh Marketing.

Lesson 1: Writer’s block? Walk it off.

When I couldn’t think of what to write in the days gone by, I’d put it down to ‘writer’s block’. So I’d either power through or give up.

But I’ve learnt that a short walk or a quick dip in the sunshine can make all the difference.

In fact, taking a break actually inspires the creative process. Walking, in particular, stimulates thinking by pumping more blood and oxygen to the brain.

And an added benefit? It also helps with the ‘office gut’ you get from sitting at a desk five days a week.

Lesson 2: You won’t despise some fresh eyes

Write. Review. Rest. Repeat.

When you stare at the same content for hours, sentences start to blur, sloppy mistakes go unnoticed – and I begin to question whether the words I’ve written even exist.

That’s why it’s so important to take a break between writing and reviewing. With fresh eyes, it’s easier to detect that grammatical error or spelling mistake – or find that perfect sentence you’ve been racking your brain for.

Lesson 3: Clients benefit from an outsider’s perspective

In university, we get the impression that clients have it all figured out. And although it can be true, it’s not always the case.

Sometimes clients need an outsider’s perspective to clarify their points of difference, brand messages and target market.

And when it comes to spotting jargon that’s unfamiliar and potentially alienating to audiences, the lens of a third person is invaluable.

Lesson 4: Words and design go hand in hand

Before my internship, if someone asked me what made a good website, I knew what to say. Captivating design and compelling content, right? Kind of.

What I didn’t realise was how critical it is for them to work together.

If the design of a website isn’t right, the content won’t be either. It’s like two pieces of a puzzle. They have to fit a particular way to reveal the bigger picture.

Lesson 5: Question everything

Sometimes things don’t start making sense until the writing process begins. A couple words in, you think ‘hang on… what does that even mean?’.

So chances are, readers are going to think the exact same thing.

That’s why it’s important to ask questions, even if you think they’re silly. I now know it’s better to ask a gazillion questions, than to have a face palm moment down the track.

Lesson 6: Honesty really is the best policy

Why do clients choose Refresh Marketing over other copywriters, even if our fees are higher?

I’ve discovered that clients really appreciate honesty, above most things. In fact, in every meeting, Vikki is upfront about everything. That includes being on the dearer end of the spectrum.

But clients still choose us in the end. Why? Because honesty builds credibility and authenticity. It gives clients confidence in the working relationship before it’s even begun.

Lesson 7: Make it personal

When I started at Refresh Marketing, I was told to unlearn everything I’ve learnt at university. (After committing four years to full-time study, it was a jaw-dropping moment.)

And a large part was banishing the distant, third-person perspective.

In this digital era, it’s best to set aside the strict, formal tone that many companies adopt. A more conversational, human voice creates a connection and helps brands appear likeable, trustworthy and authentic.

I’ve also found it helps to imagine yourself in the shoes of your readers, because it adds depth and nuance to your writing.

My final thoughts

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Refresh Marketing. I’ve met and helped many wonderful clients, and learnt from one of the best mentors you’ll ever meet.

These seven months have fuelled my passion for writing, and revealed what I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. And luckily for me, I get to pursue it right here – as a full-time Copywriter.

So before I ride off into my ‘happily ever after’, I’d like to say thanks to Vikki Maver for being the best manager and friend a girl could wish for. You’ve really made this experience #internshipgoals.