After 15 years of Sarah Ainslie Marketing, it’s now time for Smiles

Turning Page

Written by Sarah Miles

7 April 2022

Copywriting | Freelance | Freelance Copywriting | Freelance Marketing Wakefield | Marketing Wakefield | Sarah Ainslie Marketing | Smiles

A new name and a new(ish) focus

I started my freelance journey in April 2007, looking for a better work/life balance, the freedom to choose the kind of work I wanted to do, and to be my own boss. It delivered all that and more. It’s also delivered periods of feast and famine, of steep learning curves, and figuring out the kind of work I really like to do and the kind that I don’t (telemarketing is really not for me!). And I wouldn’t change any of it.

The landscape of marketing has changed too. Where once I might have been working on lots of direct mail, press advertising, and printed literature, now it’s much more focused on digital, and the importance of great content has exploded in recent years. And hurrah for that!

Content makes me happy!

The growth in the demand for great content has been perfect for me because I love to write. While I have always been a general marketer, I have never outsourced copy writing, always choosing to create my own for whatever project I’ve been working on. Back in my university days, while studying graphic design, my tutor took me to one side and suggested (not subtly) that I may be better suited to the Art History degree “because your writing is great, but your design really isn’t”. While I can’t deny that it smarted a bit at the time, she was probably right (FYI, I belligerently completed the graphics HND and then transferred to Art History).

And then, along came blogging…

In 2009 I took some time off when I had my daughter, and when I returned to work there had been a very definite shift in marketing practice. Social media was here. And with it came blogging. I had always liked writing press releases; finding the angle, selling the story etc but never really found the enthusiasm for schmoozing the media, and therefore mostly outsourced PR to specialists who did a much better job. But blogging: writing posts on topical subjects, finding interesting and different ways to write around products and services, crafting an engaging voice, hitting an appropriate tone, creating written content that was there to add value rather than overtly sell (though, of course, we know that it does) – I was here for that every day of the week! Maybe I’m really a frustrated journalist? I had found my niche.

So, why Smiles?

Having been through some changes in my personal life, I decided to reclaim my ‘authentic self’ and revert to my maiden name of Miles, because frankly, who wouldn’t want to be S. Miles? After 15 years of Sarah Ainslie Marketing, I decided the business was due for an evolution too.

The nature of the work that I was doing had naturally shifted over the years so this was not only a change of name and brand but an opportunity to be more explicit about my specialisms. So, the big decision; do I go all in and focus exclusively on copy and content? It’s certainly what I enjoy doing the most and where I feel I add the most value. However, when I searched my heart, I knew that there were still plenty of areas of marketing that I still felt very connected with: planning campaigns; putting programmes together for developing customer loyalty, or feedback, or engagement; managing products on ecommerce sites; designing and planning email marketing campaigns (in your face, Ruth from Cardiff Uni!) etc. What I feel I offer is enriched by both my writing skills and my marketing knowledge and experience, so I held back from naming the business Smiles Copy & Content though very much wanted to be explicit about my focus on content within a context of 25 years of marketing experience. I call it Content+ but it’s really just great copy writing, backed up by a heck of a lot of marketing expertise.

What can you expect from Smiles Marketing?

Well, if you have been working with me in recent years, probably just more of the same really! Most of what I do has content at its heart but I’m open to a range of marketing projects and I very much enjoy working with clients on an ongoing, retained basis so that often encompasses a range of elements, as required. I’m very flexible. Just don’t ask me to do telemarketing! Oh, and I also promise to post more blogs on my own site instead of just doing them for clients – you know, lead by example…

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