Background: The Highlights
John Huckle is a multi-award-winning brand architect with years of experience in developing and executing business strategies that drive sales revenue and exceed performance in competitive markets. He’s a motivating and empowering leader who builds high-performing marketing teams and agencies.
He’s also an effective relationship-builder who collaborates with senior executives and key decision-makers to develop strategic marketing plans that align with customized performance goals.
nDash’s Discussion with John Huckle
Jenn: Thank you for your interest in participating in this writer spotlight! Can you tell our readers about your background and what led you to become a freelance writer?
John: In a way, becoming a freelance writer and content creator is coming full circle for me. My career began writing for a large multinational agency. Once properly indoctrinated, I moved to a more intimate series of marketing writing roles in smaller agencies, national retailers, and, ultimately, for my own creative boutique agency.
Jenn: How did you transition from your background in marketing and brand architecture to becoming a freelance writer? What inspired this career shift?
John: When my largest client moved their account in-house, I decided to return to my roots – writing copy. In a way, it was quite liberating, given I no longer had to wear multiple hats in the role of agency leader. Additionally, the digital wave was just cresting over marketing, an area I had little experience in at the time. It seemed to make sense to re-focus on what I did best.
Jenn: As a freelance writer, how do you leverage your extensive marketing and project management experience to create compelling and effective content for your clients?
John: I think my core strength is ideation. I’m very adept at breaking down a brief and developing a creative approach to communicating its core messaging. Over the years, I’ve never lost sight of who I’m creating for – the target market, if you will. That means the campaigns resonate with the audience and succeed in creating brand preference.
Jenn: Freelancing often requires self-motivation and time management. How do you balance your responsibilities as a freelance writer with other commitments and maintain a consistent level of productivity?
John: In a word, experience. I’m not fast for speed’s sake, but my years of experience give me an edge in understanding a brief, conducting research, drafting an outline, and delivering the final product – on time and on budget.
Jenn: How did nDash become part of your journey as a freelance writer?
John: I was looking for ways to be more productive and increase my workload with companies that genuinely wanted strong work. The nDash concept and network of companies seemed like a perfect fit.
The Rest of nDash’s Conversation with John
John’s specialties include creative ideation, business acumen, marketing/project management, retail marketing strategy, digital marketing, and building and leading internal marketing teams. He is also Google Certified in Search and Display and an expert in Adobe Creative Suite.
Jenn: Collaboration with clients is essential in freelance writing. How do you approach understanding their needs, vision, and desired outcomes to deliver content that aligns perfectly with their expectations?
John: Having served in leadership roles on both sides of marketing, I have an understanding of what’s needed on the client and corporate side, if you will. This insight allows me to provide written content that meets a diverse set of parameters.
Jenn: In content marketing, SEO and online visibility are crucial. How do you integrate your Google Certified skills in Search & Display to optimize the content you produce for search engines and target audiences?
John: I’ve spent a lot of time in the back end of WordPress sites, where I learned how to manage and create content with strong SEO fundamentals. Expanding from that, I’ve also used tools like Yoast to further develop my skills in this area. Writing online requires ruthless editing. Sometimes, every character counts, so it helps that I can be very brief and precise with my writing when it’s called for.
Jenn: Adobe Creative Suite expertise is not often associated with writing. Can you explain how this skill has enriched your freelance writing projects and set you apart in a competitive field?
John: Great question. I’m visually driven. I like to see my words beyond a Word doc or shared Google doc. In the past, Art Directors would send my rough draft layouts to write against so that the length and look of the final product worked harmoniously.
As my experience with CC grew, I learned how to create my own layouts to best showcase my writing. It really helps clients see what a final product could look like. That being said, I’m NOT a designer. I let the professionals add their skills to anything I work up in advance.
Jenn: Building relationships is important in any career. How do you establish and maintain strong relationships with clients as a freelance writer, ensuring repeat business and positive referrals?
John: As agency leader and client-side marketing director, you must learn how to present and sell concepts to a wide variety of stakeholders. My style seems to resonate with clients, who respect my opinion when I feel strongly about something but also respect that I can see what the larger objective might entail.
Jenn: What advice would you give to aspiring freelance writers who come from diverse professional backgrounds and are looking to establish themselves in the field?
John: Write with an eye on the omni-channel world. Be brief when necessary and elaborate when appropriate. Learn when to recognize when each approach is the best route to an approved project.
Work With John Huckle on nDash Today!
Do you have a project that aligns with John’s background? Check out his writing portfolio today to learn more about how his expertise can level up your content strategy: John Huckle.