About Joseph B. Collins
I’m a passionate, self-confessed word-nerd who’s always on the lookout new challenges. I’ve been using my strong communication skills to tell stories all my life. Just over 15 years ago, I turned my skills to commercial use when I became a copywriter.
Since then, I’ve been engaging audiences for a diverse range of clients. Writing customer-focused, long and short copy, for internal, B2B, and B2C purposes, both on- and offline. Throughout my career I’ve been a strong proponent of the concept of UX copy. This has naturally led me into Content Design and my last few roles have involved content design principles to provide the best user experience.
Recent employment history
Content Designer, Leeds Beckett University
Feb ’20 – present
Leeds Beckett University is relaunching its old, clunky and cumbersome website.
- I created a single-point style guide and tone of voice document for the project
- General stakeholder and creative management and liaison
- Creating sitemaps based on user journeys, user stories, and limited user research
Lead Copywriter, Aviva
July ‘18 – Oct ‘19
This was a content design role in all but name. It involved a large digital overhaul of Aviva’s intermediary websites. I led the copy creation and content design for the new digital experience.
- Improving user experience through the introduction of UX Copy and Content Design principles
- Creating and policing digital tone of voice and style guide documentation for the entire project
- Keeping key stakeholders engaged to encourage participation throughout the review process
Lead Copywriter and Content Strategist, Lead Tech
Jan ‘17 – June ‘18
Increasing creative output by radically altering the creative team structure.
- Increasing workflow by pulling together creative teams to generate effective content strategies
- Improving commercial value of content by encouraging the company to care about UX
- Implementing an Agile, mobile first, UX-focussed, iterative culture into the digital team
Senior Copywriter, The Black Hole Agency
May ‘14 – November ‘14
Winning pitches, making films, creating ads and generally shaking up a stale creative department – I brought designers and writers together to really push creative content that was customer driven.
- Creating pitch-winning scripts and storyboards for brand films and multimedia campaigns
- Refreshing old accounts with UX copy creation for key clients within the financial sector
- Forging a small, closely-bonded team of creatives – I gave them the freedom to be great, while encouraging and supporting them closely when it was needed
December ‘05 – June ‘13
I’ve been around a bit so, rather than give a blow-by-blow account, here’s a brief summary of my earlier career. I’ve worked in digital agencies throughout Yorkshire, been client-side at companies like Aviva, ASDA and Morrisons, and was a successful freelancer for years, managing my own clients. During this time, I was creating user experiences long before it was a ‘thing’, writing customer-focused copy, scripts and storyboards, and winning pitches and tenders.
While at Brahm, I managed all content creation and delivery for the government’s Connexions Direct website, which at the time received 10,000 visitors each week. At ASDA, I created catchy names for, and told extraordinary stories about, everyday products. At Propaganda, I helped define the rich, playful tone of voice for iconic make-up brand, Illamasqua, even creating a poem that adorned the brand’s first perfume product.
In my early twenties, I founded and ran a dance company that evolved into a physical theatre company. We toured nationally and regularly took shows to the Edinburgh and Glastonbury Festivals.
Between June 2013 and June 2014, I worked on my first novel. Writing a 150,000-word book was a massive learning curve and a totally awesome experience. I wrote a second – shorter – novel throughout most of 2015 and 2016.
Between 2005 and 2015 I also worked as a Freelance Storyteller. This provided an excellent complement to my writing. My deep love of language and narrative informs every aspect of my work and acts as a powerful driver behind all the copy that I produce.
A few kind words
“Joe is one of the best copywriters I’ve had the pleasure to work with, and he can be relied on to consistently deliver truly engaging online content for clients both big and small. Joe is also a great team member and has an infectious enthusiasm which colleagues and clients alike can’t fail to respond to.” Ste Sawyer, Copy Director, Bloom Agency
“Joseph is a highly imaginative writer. He can develop a fantastic rapport with audiences and draws upon a large knowledge base to develop and play with ideas. His writing is considered and yet has flair and character.” Andrew J Brown, Creative Director, Brass Agency
“Joe manages to combine enthusiasm for the team with enthusiasm for the work. He is passionate about the work he provides and adds lots of creative ideas to any project.” Thea Mallett, Managing Director, Cloudtaggers (formerly Head of Design and Digital, Brahm)
“Joe had a difficult brief to tackle in a short time and came up with appropriate solutions that the client bought into straight away.” Sarah Woodeson, Group Account Director, twentysix Leeds
“Joe is a highly creative and talented individual who channels his abilities into his writing. He has a great ability to quickly get to grips with a brief and produce quality copy. Joe is a great character, who works well as part of any digital team – I highly recommend him.” Jim Moran, Account Director, Jaywing
“Joe was employed to work on a major film project for a high volume government youth portal website. His enthusiasm and unique ability enabled us to produce some potentially award-winning work.” Alex Heaton, Founder at LiveSmart UK
“Every office needs a Joe Collins!”Phil Dalton, Head of Regulatory, Legal Impackt (Sun Branding Solutions)