What is your name, age, and location?
Nichole Robertson, 37 years old, Glen Ridge, NJ.
What is your profession?
I’m a freelance copywriter. I write marketing and advertising copy for agencies and brands.
When I am not writing copy, I’m photographing Paris and sharing those photos on my blog. When we moved to Paris in 2009, I spent a lot of time noticing and shooting various colors throughout the city. There was something about the vibrant color and how it played against the backdrop of the neutral white Haussmann buildings and gray skies. It’s my favorite thing to do when we are there. We’re back in the US now, but we travel to Paris about every 8 weeks so I can get my fill. I also have a client there, so it’s a nice excuse to hop a plane.
What did you study in school and what degrees do you have?
I studied English Literature and have both a BA and MA in English.
What was your first job?
I worked for a networking site during the dotcom boom of the late nineties. Sixdegrees.com was inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation – that all people on earth are connected by no more than six steps. At the time, I was intrigued by both the idea, and the people I met through the networking site. Members interested in networking connected via message boards, chat rooms and in some cases met offline. The site met an untimely demise during the dotcom crash, which is a shame because it was ahead of its time. It preceded Twitter, Facebook, etc. by about ten years, but people weren’t ready to share their information and photos so freely.
Who or what inspired you to break into your current line of work?
As long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with words. As a young girl, I read well into the wee hours of the morning, relying on a flashlight and quilt to hide my illegal activities from my parents. It set the stage for a lifelong affair that’s grown stronger each year. I never thought I’d write commercial copy, but if I’m being honest writing a strong headline or nailing a piece of copy that’s smart and unexpected still thrills me ten years into my career.
Name/describe what has been your most rewarding project so far?
I write for Amala – a small organic skincare company from Germany. One of the challenges I faced as a copywriter was to tell an authentic organic skin care story in an industry ripe with green-washing. When we were finished with the brand book, I feel like we had done a great job of conveying their unique story and unwavering commitment to whole plant, unadulterated ingredients.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has helped your career?
To be honest, I’ve never felt that being a woman has helped my career. Perhaps I just don’t pay attention to gender politics.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has hindered your career?
I cannot think of one instance where being a woman hindered my career. I’ve felt rewarded for my achievements and am happy with where my career is at the moment.
Who is your role model or mentor (alive or dead)?
My dad. He’s the happiest, most content, positive person I know. His glass is not half full, it’s overflowing, and that’s the way I try to live my life.
If you could give one piece of advice to a woman starting out in your field, what would it be?
No job is too small when you are starting out, and never miss an opportunity to network. Most of my work comes from referrals, and without them, I wouldn’t have a business. Editors and creative directors move around, and they will take their best writers with them. And if you want to be a writer, you have to love words. Love, love, love words and read as many of them as you can.
little brown pen – Nichole’s blog
– Interview by Elena Rossini