Meet the Member: Ciara Gigleux Editing
Member news | February 26, 2019
This week, we spoke with a new France-based member of the FACC, Ciara Gigleux, Editor and Managing Director of Ciara Gigleux Editing.
FACC: You collaborate with business on website copywriting and design and Instagram content creation. Are you bilingual in French and English? What is your background what led you to create your own business?
CG: My native language is English, and I have been speaking, reading and writing French for about 10 years now. After meeting my French husband, I decided to do some formal study in French at University and that gave me a really good grasp of grammar and comprehension, which I have continuously built on since then. This is why I feel very comfortable translating written French into English. Since we moved back to France, my speaking skills have improved a lot, too!
My background is actually in academia. I have a first degree in Archaeology, a Master’s in Forensic Anthropology and a PhD in Archaeology. After I finished my PhD, I worked as an academic editor and I really enjoyed the work, but as a creative person I always felt more of an affinity for writing and, specifically, for copywriting. I find it to be more creative, more stimulating and I really enjoy reading and learning about the psychology of marketing, why people respond to certain types of messages and how to write in a way that speaks directly to your customers.
I decided to leave my job in academic editing to set up my own copywriting business. It was a bit of a leap of faith, but I knew that I needed to be doing what I love in order to be truly happy in life. Around the same time, my husband and I decided to move back to France, and it was then that I started thinking about how my English copywriting skills combined with my French language skills could help French businesses who want to expand into the English-speaking market. I am quite used to seeing (and buying from) well-known French brands that have successfully expanded internationally. I started to do a bit more research on other, smaller, French brands providing the same services or offering the same types of products as the well-known ones, and I realised that there are so many, really fantastic, French businesses out there that deserve to be known. I asked myself: why aren’t these brands as known internationally as the others? And I realised it was because they aren’t communicating effectively (or at all) in English. So, I saw my chance to help them.
FACC: Among your current or past clients, when it comes to copywriting, what would you say is the most common mistake or misconception? What is one think you think all businesses, regardless of their size should focus on to improve?
CG: With both my non-French speaking and French-speaking clients, the most common misconception regarding copywriting is that it’s not that important and that it’s secondary. But, here’s the thing: your copy is what your business is built on. Your copy is your brand identity; it’s what you use to speak to your potential clients and customers; it’s what makes you visible; it’s what makes you unique. Words are what sell products and services. So, it’s really important to get them right!
One thing I think all businesses, regardless of their size, should focus on to improve their copywriting is to think of their clients. Too often, businesses think of their marketing copy from their own point of view; they see themselves as the main character. This is a mistake: you need to put yourself in your clients’ shoes because they are the main character. You need to tell their story and show them how you can help them with their problem.
FACC: Often, when companies are strapped for resources, the “always on” aspect of social media and the multiple platforms can seem overwhelming. You focus on Instagram content creation. Why this platform and is it adapted to the needs every business, B2B, B2C, across domains?
CG: Social media can definitely seem overwhelming! One tip I have for managing that is to make use of the great scheduling tools that are available for almost every platform nowadays. Another tip would be to think about how you can repurpose your content across all of your platforms.
I offer content creation for all social media platforms, but I do focus on Instagram. Instagram is my favourite social media platform because it can really help any business connect with their clients, whether they are a B2B or B2C. For any user, Instagram feels more personal than other platforms and because your clients need to know, like and trust you before they will want to work with you, this is a really important aspect. If the notion behind successful copywriting is the idea of speaking directly to your clients, Instagram can’t be beat. If you sell products, you can share images and captions that create desire in your customers’ minds. If you sell services, you can share content that shows your clients that you understand their problem and you have a solution to fix it. Instagram stories and IGTV are also extremely useful tools for increasing engagement with your clients and customers, especially given that 85% of consumers want to see more video content from brands (statistic from HubSpot). I know that if you’ve never used it before, or if you can’t see how your business could work on a visual platform, the idea of using Instagram for your business can seem overwhelming. That’s why I offer help with Instagram strategy, as well as content creation, to give businesses a plan of action to use Instagram to its full potential!
FACC: For companies without professional photographers, equipment or the know how to produce high quality images, do you have any alternative resources or approaches that you advise?
CG: For your website and for your social media, high-quality images are definitely important. Most businesses, especially if they are starting out, won’t have professional photographers or professional equipment (and the skills to use it!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t have high-quality images. Free stock photo websites such as Unsplash, or paid stock photo libraries like Adobe Stock, are a great resource and you can find great brand-appropriate images to share on your social media, website and any marketing material (just make sure to check the licensing). Don’t discount using your smartphone to take photos: sometimes the camera abilities on these are as good as professional photography equipment! Consider using a photo editing programme like Adobe Lightroom or VSCO to make them look as good as possible.
FACC: What motives you as an individual and what unique know-how do you bring to your clients?
CG: What motivates me as an individual is the idea of impact. For me, business is so exciting because it can change the world. Every day, people are coming up with new ideas that will impact our daily lives and the environment around us – hopefully, for the better. Copywriting plays an integral part in all of this, and I’ve made it my mission to help businesses with their copywriting so that they can get to where they need to be to make their impact.
My unique ‘know-how’ that I bring to all of my clients, whether they are French-speaking or English-speaking, is a deep understanding of communicating effectively in English and what we need to say to people to get them to listen to us. Also, I have always been a very keen observer of people and I am very empathetic in nature. These two things have combined to give me a unique ability to really put myself into others’ shoes, to see things from their perspective and to understand what sort of language and what message would resonate with them. This helps me help my clients to create copy that speaks directly to their customers and clients, irrespective of their industry or business area.
Interested in connecting with Ciara or learning more about her services? Log in to the FACC member directory now.