I can’t believe we’re halfway through the Meet the Megs interviews already, but here we are. And standing here cheering us on is Meg Hapgood! More on her in a mo.
First things first, let’s make sure you’re all caught up.
But let’s get back to today’s guest.
I first ‘met’ Meg Hapgood on Twitter. We’re both copywriters, so every now and then we get messages meant for each other. It’s confusing, you know, there being two Megs in a chat. We like to think we’re different people, but perhaps we’re more alike than we think. I definitely have a few more grey hairs, that’s for sure. Anyway, there’s no way I could feature other Megs on my blog and not include this one!
Meg writes content and gets businesses on board with content marketing. Her business, Straightforword, was created after she noticed how many business owners weren’t understanding what content marketing was really about and the value it could add. Helping businesses realise the potential in a genuine brand personality and some high-quality, interesting content is what she now does for a living.
A favourite of mine to start with. Are you a night owl or an early bird?
There’s the first way people can tell us apart then! I’m definitely not an early bird… Anyway back to you. Do you have a favourite fictional Meg?
Meg from Hercules because she ain’t taking anyone’s shit.
Which emoji do you use most?
It’s the two beers clinking according to my phone…this says a lot about me.
Haha! Easing you into these questions gently still… what did you have for breakfast this morning?
A slice of toast with Marmite.
Yum. I love Marmite. If you could take your Marmite and work from anywhere, where would you choose?
A small, cosy apartment, under a blanket, beer beside me…maybe with a view of some nice mountains out the window. Queenstown in New Zealand is my favourite place on earth so probably there!
Sounds idyllic! OK let’s get serious(ish). Tell us about your work?
I’m a freelance writer, mostly writing blog posts for businesses in the travel and food industries. I’m also a marketer, so I do some of that consulting stuff too.
I really believe that marketing is subjective and that something that works for one business is likely not to work in the same way for another. So, I don’t talk about anything businesses have to do or even ‘should’ do. I’d love businesses to be more creative and use content marketing to do more of what they enjoy while getting a more personable image across to potential customers. Marketing could be an exciting chance for a new project and to get yourself out there but we seem to have made it into such a chore.
I couldn’t agree more! We both work in a world which can quickly swing between projects which are brilliantly creative to ones that are mind-numbingly mundane. Have you been given any great business advice along the way?
I read a blog post recently that essentially said: “stop fucking around and get on with it”.
I’m that person that plans everything and wants everything to be perfect before I start working on something and it does hold me back. That blog post probably wasn’t the first one I’ve read like that but, for whatever reason, it made me think. Since then, I’ve been simplifying everything and just getting on with writing and enjoying what I do without all the meticulous planning and worrying. I feel so, so much happier.
And hearing you say that makes me happy! Honestly. So while we’re talking about simplifying, is there a superpower which would make your work easier?
Not only would I be able to find out what clients are really thinking and get more of an idea of what they want from my work, but it might put my mind at ease. I’m an overthinker, and I’ll usually think my work is crap until someone tells me otherwise and, even then, I’ll often assume they’re just being nice. Finding out what they really think about my work would (hopefully) make me feel good about what I do and give me some proper, constructive criticism.
I’d love to be able to read clients’ minds too, it’d save so much time! What would you say is the most important thing you use for your work, other than your computer or phone?
When my mind is betraying me and not doing what I need it to, I just write and write and write. I end up with loads of new ideas in my notebook to use whenever I feel a bit ‘meh’. I also handwrite a lot of my work before I get typing – I find I edit less as I go and more of my creativity actually makes it into the first draft.
Nice to hear it’s not all about the tech! Getting that balance between working on screen and on paper is really important. If I told you to delete all but three apps on your phone, which would you keep?
Twitter, Google Maps, Apple Podcasts.
Twitter: it’s my fave social media and provides the most entertainment when I’m bored.
Google Maps: it’s probably my most used app and I would, quite literally, be lost without it.
Apple Podcasts: I love love love podcasts and listen to them every day. In the gym, on the bus, in the car, when I’m bored, when I need some motivation, on a walk…they make everyday activities that little bit more enjoyable and I learn stuff in the process.
Guess what! I’m feeling generous so I’m giving you a time machine (disclaimer: I’m not). You have to use it to help research or plan your work. Where are you going to go?
I’d go maybe 5 or 10 years into the future. I’d wanna know what will be important, if we’re doing anything now that won’t be important in the future, which of these ‘trends’ will last, and, honestly, what’s going to be most important to me. So, I guess I’d have a chat with my future self! Hopefully I’ll be a little wiser then.
And last but not least, which three people would you want on your team in a zombie apocalypse?
The guy who played The Mountain in Game of Thrones – we’ll need someone who’ll help us fight our way out if needs be.
My Dad – he’s logical, would assess the situation, and make rational decisions…and I don’t think he’d do anything shady like sacrifice me to save himself.
Donald Trump – we’ll need someone to use as bait to distract the zombies while we make our escape, right?
You should always end on a positive, so I think that’s the perfect note to end on!
Thanks to Meg Hapgood for taking the time to join in with this. Next week… graphic designer and brand stylist, Meg Harrop (I know, it’s confusing) on silversmithing, cavemen and coffee.