Keen Company: Shanny from Wild Spark Copy
Keeping keen company with Shanny
from Wild Spark Copy
Welcome to Chapter 3 of Keen Company...
Your go-to blog series for getting to know the people, inspirations and stories behind some amazing brands! Up this week is the Shanny Matterson... if any of you know Shanny you will know she is pretty hard to introduce! First and foremost, her work is amazing... this is obvious from one look at the copy on her own website, the glowing testimonials from very happy clients, and of course her quirky Instagram quotes and captions that are extremely popular with her audience. She also boasts a genuine and unwavering love for her clients, which you will get a glimpse of through the interview.
But the thing I admire the most about Shanny, is that she is unapologetically herself! Everything from her opinions on being a new mum, her fond use of naughty words, truth bombs of running a small business and her general straight up no BS nature. If you are not already following her on Instagram I will assume once you finish this interview, you will be heading straight over for a stalk! She has meshed her personal brand with her business branding and created something truly special.... so without any further babbles or fangirling... over to Shanny!
PS - I included a total of four exclamation marks in the intro, JUST for your Shan ;) hehe
THE HUSTLE QUESTIONS:
Q: When people ask who are you and what you do… what do you tell them? Essentially… what is your elevator pitch?
A: I’m Shanny Matterson. Chief Word Nerd + Wine Enthusiast at Wild Spark Copy. I use rad words to make cool sh*t happen for awesome brands.
Well, that’s what my business card says…
Q: Often a massive struggle for new businesses… how the heck did you come up with your business name?
A: Wild Spark Copy comes from my love of travelling the world, writing, scuba diving, making questionable life choices and living a wildly-adventurous and unconventional life. It's that spark that ignites within us all then we choose to do shit we love most, whether that’s travelling the world, running a business or raising a family. And it's all about damn good writing.
Q: Though I am sure there will be many, what would you class as your biggest career/business highlight to date?
A: The simple fact that I started back at my biz full-time in February when my son was 4 months old and I haven’t stopped since. I’ve been gratefully (mind-blowingly) booked out for the past six months and I continue to grow every month. Not bad for a sleep-deprived, hormone-riddled, first-time mama still going through travel-junkie withdrawals.
Q: What is your absolute favourite part about what you do for living?
A: I know I’m meant to say that it’s being able to hang out with my little 9-month old dude, Reef, every day, like a good mama would - and don’t get me wrong, that shit is cool and waaaay more affordable than daycare. But I don’t like to say that because I know there’s a shitload of hard-working mamas out there who don’t have this choice. I’m not into making women feel any more guilty for their circumstances because #mumguilt is REAL.
So, honestly? It’s working with rad AF people who have the guts to go out and start a business and do things their way. I love helping people share their f*cking awesome ideas and products with the world. I have so much respect for my clients because they all backed themselves and their dreams enough to create a life that aligns with their values and purpose.
I’m especially in awe of the women out there who run their business while raising children. I’m telling you, that shit is hard, dude. I really stoke on helping fellow women to find their voice when they’re too f*cking exhausted from building their empire, running a household, and raising kids to focus on their copy. It’s about lifting each other up, valuing community over competition, and helping a fellow sister out once in awhile.
Oh, and being able to shag my sexy AF baby daddy on his mid-week days off is also a delightful perk…
Q: Everyone has to learn things the hard way sometimes, what has been your biggest lesson learnt in your career/business?
A: My time is just as f*cking valuable and precious as anyone else’s. And while it’s okay to go that extra mile and have an above-and-beyond work ethic for my clients, it’s also okay to charge them accordingly. It’s just good business.
Q: What is your best piece of advice you like to give other entrepreneurs?
A: Systemise your shit as much as possible, as early as possible.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but don’t be a dick about it. As wanky as this sounds, see your mistakes as opportunities to improve your service and offerings instead of failures.
Give back to your community more than they give to you.
Refer on work you can’t take yourself or work that you know would be better suited to other professionals in your field (otherwise known as ‘rivals’).
And whatever you choose to do - whether it’s copywriting, designing, flower arranging, making f*cking balloon animals at kids’ parties, or selling crack - do it with integrity.
Q: Cash flow is normally extremely tight when you start a new business, but what would be your non negotiable to skimp out on dollar wise when you first start out?
A: Value your clients and the investment they’re making in you and your skills. Show them how much they mean to you every chance you get, even if it means spending the money you earn on them.
I send every single client - no matter how much they ‘spend’ on my services - a beautiful, hardcover coffee table book on a topic or subject that relates to their business/art/interest/zone of genius as a thank you gift when they launch their product/website/offering into the world. I also send a handwritten thank you card on my custom branded stationery, all wrapped and posted to them directly. All up, it may cost me $100+ per gift, but it’s worth every goddamn cent. I also send books, Hey Tiger chocolate bars, and gourmet champagne-flavoured jelly beans to people who refer work on to me or fellow creatives who inspire me. It may cost me a few dollars, but it’s worth it to know that I’m making people feel valued and appreciated.
And branding. Invest in a f*cking awesome, local graphic designer (none of that Fiverr bullshit) to design a logo + style guide for your brand. Get some brand collateral and invest in yourself.
Q: Who are your mentors and/or biggest sources of inspiration?
A: I don’t really have any. I’m mostly inspired by the fellow creatives I have connected with on da Gram: @OMFSocials, @RoarPublishing, @oladigital.com, @youroneandonly_au, @slightlyshirtee, @gather.social, @abrandisnotalogo, @lauraluckcopywriter, @meandmygiel, @hello.cloud.co, @the.digital.artisan and your gorgeous self (@thekeencollective), to name a few. All of these women show up each and every day and vulnerably share their talents with the world. They are not afraid to be unapologetically authentic and they are the best online cheerleaders a foul-mouthed wordsmith like myself could ever want.
I also happen to have a #girlbosscrush on Shannon from @shannonskitchen - she wrote the cookbook that I WISH I could have written (if I could’ve been f*cked to write one) and is the epitome of a woman standing in her power, owning her unique tone of voice + branding, and not giving a flying f*ck what others think about it. Buy her book. Make the Sweet ’n’ Spicy Salmon Bowl. Thank me later.
Q: Your biggest goal for the next five years?
A: Besides surviving parenthood without drinking problem? Publishing a book on how to survive parenthood without sustaining a drinking problem.
Oh, and to raise my kid not to be an asshole. *fingers crossed*
SOMETHING A LITTLE LIGHTER:
Coffee or tea? Espresso with a big f*cking sugar (because clearly, I’m not sweet enough)
Favourite singer/band? I don’t really have one; I just have favourite songs. ‘Young Blood’ by The Naked + Famous. ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe + The Magnetic Zeros. ‘Mystery of Love’ of Sufjan Stevens. ‘Dirty Paws’ by Of Monsters and Men. ‘Shoop’ by Salt-N-Pepa (which I can totally rap from start to finish).
Night owl or early bird? Night owl. Blame it on my years of late-night studying at university, travelling the world, sleeping in airports, staying up late to meet writing deadlines as a freelancer, partying like a f*cking baller, and waaaaaay too much caffeine.
Favourite city to visit? This is possibly the WORST question to ask me because it’s like asking a mum to pick her favourite triplet. I’ve travelled to 24 countries, lived in 3, visited 70+ cities, and have left a piece in my heart in all of them, no shit. I’ll give you my top 5:
- New York City
- Alofi (but it’s not a city, just the capital of the little Polynesian tropical island called Niue where my partner and I lived for two years and just returned from last year).
Most loved food? Mexican. Sushi. Pizza (but, like, authentic, legit Italian-style pizza, not the crap they serve at Dominos)
Most hated food? I ate bat in Niue. That was pretty fucking gross. Oh, and cottage cheese. UGH.
Collect anything? Passport stamps and tattoos. I also used to collect men until I met my sexy scuba instructor partner back in 2013. He’s pretty f*cking rad. I think I’ll keep him.
Perfume of choice? Does baby vom count? *scratches head* I’ve pretty much spent the last five years either backpacking, living in remote places abroad, or scuba diving in the ocean, so I don’t think to wear the stuff, let alone buy it. But thanks for reminding me…*starts Googling perfumes*
Favourite movie? Midnight in Paris.
Favourite book? Eat Pray Love. Not to sound like a cliché or anything, but that shit got me through my divorce in 2011 without killing myself. Whenever I feel like I’m losing sight of the bigger picture, I re-read it and shit just makes sense again.
Wild Spark Copy
Need some help with your copy? Shanny is your girl! You can find her on Instagram @wildsparkcopy (highly recommend, it is very entertaining) or head to www.wildsparkcopy.com