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Copify

We talk to young entrepreneur, Martin Harrison, at Copify.

Tell us a bit about your business, Copify.

We are a self-service copywriting agency, supplying content from a network of approved UK copywriters to online businesses.

We make it easier, faster and cheaper for people to source content when compared to enlisting the services of a traditional freelance copywriter.

Where did you get the idea to start it?

I worked as a copywriter and realised that many companies struggle to find resource in this area at an affordable price.

I also realised that for freelancers, prospecting for work and chasing up payment can be a hassle.

I saw the opportunity to act as a middleman in these transactions.

To be truthful, the idea of the site wasn't a new one, I used an American site which operates in a similar way.

However, the standard of the content delivered and the whole experience of using this company was very poor.

So I realised that there was an opportunity for us to deliver to a much higher standard, and initially, focus solely on the UK market.

What were you doing before you set up Copify?

I have been writing/editing copy for about 5 years since I graduated.

Immediately before I  started working on Copify full-time I was a content project manager for a large retailer.

Have you always wanted to be your own boss?

Not necessarily.

I've had bosses that I've really enjoyed working for, but I've also been in roles where I've been hamstrung by micromanagement and office politics, which I have absolutely no time for.

I'm actually a big advocate of working for somebody else before starting a business, but I think you reach a point where you feel the need to go it alone.

What have you enjoyed most about setting up your own business?

Having the freedom to do something that I genuinely love doing every day.

What were the major challenges you had to overcome when starting up?

For the first 2 years I ran the business alongside a 9-5, so the biggest challenge has really been finding the time to get things done.

That said, I think bootstrapping is a good idea, because it forces you to focus on the things that are really important and not worry about the things that aren't.

How have you been marketing your business?

Completely online.

Our main channels are Google (SEO & PPC), Twitter, Email and inbound marketing.

Attribution is quite tricky for us, as we find that most of our customers actually have several different touchpoints with us before converting.

So it's really a case of pouring as much as we can into the funnel.

What are your plans for the future?

Expansion into foreign territories and the addition of added-value features such as syndication.

Any tips for other budding entrepreneurs out there?

First and foremost, be prepared for a lot of hard work and a few sleepless nights!

Get a robust proof of concept before quitting your day job.

Only work with people you know and trust.

Bootstrap and keep your overheads as low as possible.

Seek outside investment as an absolute last resort.