How I Made it in: SEO and Copywriting in the Beauty Industry

I chat with Mikaela Bartlett about how she broke into SEO and Copywriting at one of the world's best known beauty brands, Charlotte Tilbury.

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If you think the fashion and beauty industry is limited to designers and models, think again. This diverse sector allows room for creativity, analysis and technical skill, meaning you don’t necessarily need a fashion degree to work at one of your favourite fashion or beauty brands. Just one area of the fashion and beauty industry which needs such analytical thinkers, is SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation. The results at the top of your Google search (other search engines available) aren’t just a lucky dip, but a carefully chosen selection which the search engine thinks best suits your needs and search terms. The job of an SEO team is to ensure that their brand is among the top results of that search, forming an integral part of the sales performance and visibility of the brand, a hugely important task for brands relying on their online presence.

I chatted to Charlotte Tilbury’s Mikaela Bartlett, currently enrolled on a long-distance Master’s Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations at Lancaster University, to get the low-down on all things SEO and copywriting.

Hannah: So tell us about your position and how long you’ve been working there?

Mikaela: I’ve been working at Charlotte Tilbury Beauty for 9 months now, having been a fangirl for about 3 years. I’m an SEO Copywriter, which means I write content that is optimised so that Google ranks it highly. It’s a nice combination of technical & creativity, which is very me!

Hannah: Can you describe an average day in your position?

Mikaela: I work full time hours, so all week I am managing our Charlotte Tilbury Blog, as well as writing product descriptions, and any other adhoc copy requirements. I work in a medium sized team, so it’s never short of work!

Hannah: How did you get your position? Did you need to use any skills which you attained from University?

Mikaela: I’ve worked in retail before in an editorial position, so that definitely helped. Transferrable skills from university are incredibly important! The ability to write in a persuasive manner, time management, using your initiative. These things don’t get enough credit for what they are worth in future positions.

Hannah: How important is work experience when applying for roles in content creation and copywriting?

Mikaela: So important, I cannot stress this enough! It doesn’t matter if it’s with your local newspaper or a big corporation. Get that experience. I spent a good chunk of my third year sleeping on sofas in London whilst studying in Cheltenham so that I could get experience. The job market is tough now; you’ve constantly got to up your game. It’s hard when funds are tight, but I worked through my summers so that I could get money to travel to work experience placements, and it definitely helped in the long run. Apart from the experience, it shows that you are determined and also able to balance workloads. It’s a no-brainer.

Hannah: What sort of person would thrive in your job role?

Mikaela: Copywriting really takes all sorts. I’ve met introverts who excel at the same time as extroverts who can use their persuasive skills to get where they want to be. I think being adaptable is a key trait. Copywriting, especially if you head down the SEO content route, is ever-changing, so you have to be able to keep up with the trends.

Hannah: Do you have any insider tips for students wishing to break into copywriting?

Mikaela: Get in contact with everyone. Email big companies (you’d be surprised how many are after interns), ask friends and family if they have any connections. It’s such an important industry to network in, so you just have to be brave and dive headfirst.