My story

Jo Johnson The Content CoachIt’s much easier to teach others how to write their own stories than it is to write my story …..Funny that.

But here it is anyway.

Words were always my thing.

From the heady days of primary school spelling bees, to English Literature prize winner at high school, to whiling away many hours reading and debating in dusty libraries and second-hand bookshops, I’ve always been besotted with stories. I got lost in Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree, learnt about puberty through Judy Blume’s Are You There God It’s Me Margaret and satisfied my teenage angst about love through Nan Witcomb’s The Thoughts of Nanushka. My backpacking years were filled with nightly diary updates and postcards written in tiny text to relay as much as possible. I even had a foray into travel writing for London magazine TNT.  I poured my young adult angst and elation out onto pages wherever I laid my stinky hiking boots.

Then I replaced my pen with a keyboard. 

After three and a half years of travel, I hit the Melbourne corporate scene hard and traded my boots for Blahniks. I worked in recruitment, IT, advertising, and magazines, and advertised jobs, people, websites, products, technology – whatever I could get my head around. I then wrote articles, whitepapers, product specs, proposals and employee evaluations. I found myself in the heady days of the early dot-coms where work was fast, life was fast, people were fast. But despite the speed, as a stickler for grammar, I was driven crazy by people who just banged up whatever content they felt was ‘cool’ and ‘techy’, thinking it didn’t matter because it was just the ‘web’.

There’s no excuse for slapdash content, online or off.

So whilst correcting someone’s grammar during conversations won’t win you any dinner party invites, I couldn’t help but be fastidious about it when writing for my employers; my grade 5 English teacher’s voice rang in my ears constantly.  A shift to Sydney and another baby later, I gave up the corporate gig to follow my passion (and also my head, after being made redundant from my favourite employer!) and started my own copywriting business.  I loved it and pretty quickly I found my other skills were required by clients too – noone ever seems to JUST want  copywriting. So I became a project manager, business developer, marketing strategist, team leader and confidante to a number of CEOs. Pretty great really. And all whilst hanging out with my two little monkies, Lucy and Ollie.

And then something changed; my neck ached and my heart yearned.

After a few years of doing the writing gig I started to get twitchy. I’m not great at doing any one thing for a long time – I need variety in pretty much everything I do. My old backpacking neck injury started playing up too which meant I was sitting waaaaay too long in front of a computer – a sure sign something had to change. At about the same time, I found myself continuously being asked by people if I could teach them to do what I do; they wanted to be able to get on and write their own stuff for their business without having to rely on me or any other copywriter.  AND they wanted to know how to effectively use content to grow their business. Fair enough too. The rolling tide of content creation was within them but they needed to know how to execute swiftly and purposefully.

And so it was that on a retreat in Adelaide with my business coach I said “I’m just not feeling it anymore. Something has to change.” And so we talked about what I really wanted to do and then mapped out how, and just like that (well, in about 15 minutes) my business changed direction.  And that’s how my coaching business was born. I beamed. It felt so right. I’ve never been one to shy away from change and this particular one I embraced wholeheartedly. It felt so good to be able to combine my love of words with my passion to teach and grow businesses; I also get to relive some of the theatrical Jo from the old days by being on ‘stages’. The bonus was that whilst I could still do this work from anywhere, I would stop trading my time for money; my expertise had suddenly become far more leverageable.

And so that’s what I do.

Jo writing beach bw

I help business owners who struggle to say what they mean. Those who can’t get down on the paper or screen the words that really reflect what they’re on about. Everyone who runs a business has value to offer and something they stand for – otherwise you’d just go and work for the man, right? Well, it’s the highly motivated ones, who want to be more in control of their message and truly grow their business through meaningful connections with their desired audience that I LOVE to work with. Uncovering their unique story, then finding a way to tell it in their own true voice across multiple marketing channels, is my goal.
BUT if you don’t want to do it yourself, and can’t see a way to learn how, I also offers content creation, copywriting and editing services: websites, ad writing, blogs, case studies etc. I’m pretty good at getting the stuff out of people’s heads and onto the page in a way that makes sense, so don’t worry about waffling. I can build content marketing strategies to show you how and where you should be advertising, conversing, targeting, and converting on the web.
My business is the fuel for my brain. It is my creative outlet, it makes me feel useful and it’s a source of income that allows me to do all the other cool stuff I love to do such as….
  • swim at the beach
  • volunteer at my kids’ school
  • hang out with my cat
  • go out dancing
  • go shopping for vintage wares
  • have lunch with girlfriends
  • drink great wine
  • travel the world with my husband
  • read books and magazines and not feel guilty
  • go to the gym and feel strong
  • cook delicious and nutritious food
  • write …

And it’s a big part of who I am right now. It doesn’t define me but it is me. I love working, feeling useful, effecting change, generating laughter and lightness, creating wealth, connecting with people, expressing myself through words and demonstrating to my kids that you can be a mum and a business owner.  It feels good to help people get closer to their dreams too. My dream of sitting with my laptop on a mountain top in France is getting closer every day….

The certificates that hang on the wall

  • B.Arts (Hons. English),
  • Graduate Certificate Editing/Proofreading,
  • Masters Virtual Communication

PLUS a bazillion sales and marketing short courses

You can Buy My Book to read about some of the ways I can help you, or you can subscribe to my blog (at the top of this page) and get regular snippets of business and writing goodness. You might like to also schedule a virtual coffee chat with me. It’s free with no strings attached, and is a great way for us to get to know each other. You never know where these conversations may lead! Book a time here.