Matt Flowers is a professional copywriter based in Erie, PA. He recently launched his business Ethos Copywriting, acquiring customers in Erie and New York City. Matt also plays in the band Falling Hollywood (you’ve most likely read about their features and awards in local media).
Radius: Welcome to Radius, Matt! Your band Falling Hollywood, aside from producing incredible music, is also spinning out talented creators and makers who are transforming Erie, e.g. Nick Taylor from Menajerie Studios, Brad Triana, a woodworker revitalizing a building on 19th and Chestnut, and you! So tell us about Ethos Copywriting.
Matt: I call myself a copywriter because I write with a goal in mind. I provide writing in all its forms whether that’s hard copy, email marketing, advertising, SEO, or social media.
We are writing more than ever with tweets, texts, emails, status updates, and comments. We can get in touch with anybody, anywhere, anytime. With so many messages being sent, writing is more plentiful than ever. The only caveat is you need to write the right words. Success boils down to communication.
Radius: What made you want to start Ethos Copywriting?
Matt: I love to write whether it is writing stories, music, or web content. I also like writing bold, compelling, and creative copy with a purpose. I want the words to jump off the page like a swift right hook to the jaw. But I can also make a customer feel like they need a cigarette by the end of the sentence.
No subject should seem dry or boring. If the customer wants something formal, that’s fine too, but I think there’s a way to write it without having their audience fall asleep in their chairs. One of my biggest goals is to pique the reader’s interests. I want them to take notice of all the moves people are making around them and find their place in that context.
Radius: Why start your business in Erie?
Matt: The people. The people that I’m around are positive. They’re young, ambitious, and hungry. That’s actually one of the reasons I enjoy coming to Radius. There are a lot of young people trying to accomplish something completely different. I like working next to that type of energy – it adds to my own motivation and ambition.
Erie’s potential is starting to show with an explosion of new businesses. This city is evolving into a town known for successful entrepreneurs. It’s a city full of excitement. I’m starting to feel that buzz and want to be in on the ground floor.
Another good thing about working from Erie is that I can keep my costs low. Low overhead is a key principle of starting up. I’m not paying $3K a month for office space.
Radius: How has copywriting changed?
Matt: Copy for the web is significantly different. Google has changed their search algorithm so that quality content can rank higher than volume of content. Quality content needs to have a clear message and a clear call to action. It also should entice the reader to stay on the pager longer. This will improve your ranking.
Radius: What kind of clients have you worked with?
Matt: I’ve worked with visual public relations consultants, multimedia production studios, real estate agencies, and financial service companies.
When I’m working with a client, generally, my process is to interview and meet them first. I learn their product and company inside and out. I like to know how they envision their message being received. Then I conduct a significant amount of research to learn more about their customers and competition. Once I have a good pulse on the industry and the product, I begin what I call a freestyle draft. I write what feels and sounds right. I’ll later revise the copy with a different lens to optimize the copy for marketing, advertising, and SEO.
Radius: Any tips for launching a business?
Matt: Write down everything. Use anything you can, your phone, a scrap of paper. When you’re starting a business it is easy to forget your ideas.
The content I write needs to hit hard and send a message. It needs to be bold. If I come up with a slogan I need it on some kind of page before I forget it.
I’m a little bit of a night owl too. I feel like I get this third round of motivation from 10:00 pm to midnight. I get a lot of good ideas when the day slows down and I get time to think. That’s when a lot of that content can come out. But, I may not necessarily be at my computer. If I have a napkin at the table I’m going to grab a pen and jot down that note as quickly as I can.
Radius: Thank you so much, Matt!
Matt: Thanks for the opportunity!
If anyone out there is tired of toiling in the word mines, consider reaching out to a professional copysmith.