From graphic design to copywriting, pictures to words

Hi there, my name is Karen Zaskolny, I'm based in Adelaide and I started Copy with Cream, my freelance copywriting business back in 1997. It all happened after a number of boring jobs finally led me to undertstand that I really needed to work in a creative industry. 

I first got into TAFE thinking I wanted to be a graphic designer but it wasn’t long before the psychology of advertising called. Six months into my 2 year course, I started fixing up headlines and apostrophes and writing rationales for my entire class. Which is when not 1 but 2 lecturers in 2 weeks said “have you thought about being a copywriter?” I’d never heard of the term. (MadMen and The Gruen Transfer weren’t on TV in those days.)

Sure enough, wordsmithing was my thing

Within 6 months I’d been offered a job as the first copywriter at Adelaide’s metropolitan newspaper. Press was a fabulous learning experience, and I still have a real love for print advertising, but after a couple of years, I felt like I had a lot more to offer and a lot more to learn. I wanted to work in an ad agency.

Adelaide to Asia and back

In Adelaide, it was the recession we had to have. Agencies were closing their offices and I couldn’t get a gig. In a comedy of errors, I ended up in Singapore working for international ad agency, J Walter Thompson, with an amazing team. We won a number of international awards before I was seduced by JWT Hong Kong who threw lots of money at me to work on websites.

It was 1996, very early days for the internet

I worked for a year in Hong Kong before getting homesick for Oz and heading home. But Adelaide wasn’t ready for websites. Agencies were still stuck in TV and billboard land, so I set up my own business. And then freelanced to Adelaide’s agencies, large and small.

A passion for helping small business

I worked with ad agencies, web companies, government and larger businesses, but I wanted to help small business owners, too. Over the years, I’d been told more than once “don’t bother with small business, they don’t have any money.” But I’m stubborn. Working for myself, I could identify with small business owners. And I had some skills that I thought could help them.

From copywriting to brainstorming

I approached the BECs (Business Enterprise Centres) around Adelaide, and found ways to work with them that made me affordable to small business owners. Over the past few years I've helped hundreds of small businesses with a brainstorming or coaching session to answer all their questions and help them work out what to put on their website, in their brochure and more.

Copy with Cream today – writing and mentoring

Today, my main focus is on helping business owners get their website to Page 1 or as close to Page 1 of Google as I possibly can. I also mentor writers. So whether you’re a small business owner who wants some wordsmithing or independent advice, a designer who needs great content to match a beautiful design, an SEO dude who knows exactly what keyword phrases Google will love but can’t write to save themselves, or a young or new writer who wants to be empowered to find their best voice, please contact me. Karen. I’d love to see how we could work together.