This page (and this work) is a labour of love and a never-ending work-in-progress.
Here, I’ll share my journey, decisions and learnings as I grapple with the ethical quandary of how to make sure my work has meaning, substance and alignment with my values.
To be transparent about the choices I make in my business. And to help other introverted, values-driven business owners sell with intention, intelligence and integrity.
Because we need honesty, transparency and humanity in the way we create relationships and sell to people now more than ever.
This is never-ending work and I will inevitably make mistakes. I’m not perfect and I don’t pretend to be. But I’d be honoured to share this journey with you.
Of course there isn’t only one way to navigate this terrain and work toward goals of equity and sustainability, but this is the path that makes the most sense to me.
I hope we can learn together.
Note: If you have ideas for how I can improve my work, processes or business, or you see me contradicting my values, please contact me so I can learn and remedy my mistakes. I’m always willing to grow.
The ethical framework that guides my life and business
I’ve spent a lot of time developing an ethical framework for my business, what I want my copywriting business to stand for, and how I can back up my values with tangible business practices and action. These are the values that inform my work.
To check out my brand values in detail, you’re welcome to read my Brand Voice Map.
Earn (and keep) trust
✅ Trust is sacrosanct.
✅ Clarity strengthens trust.
✅ Sustain trust with integrity.
✅ Surprise with thoughtful gestures.
Earn (and keep) respect
✅ Create and honour boundaries.
✅ Balance generosity with self-respect.
✅ Listen with empathy and reflect with mindful presence.
✅ Build comprehension and shared meaning together.
Lead mutually respectful sales conversations.
✅ Treat a sales conversation as a collaborative discussion to distill a problem.
❌ Never treat a prospect as an adversary to be ‘won over’, persuaded or compelled to act.
❌ Don’t withold meaningful information that will help them make an informed and empowered decision.
✅ Offer flexibility with interest-free payment plans to make the investment in my services easier. Don’t penalise people for needing to access financial support.
Honour conscious, self-determined decision-making.
✅ Respect their self-determination. Make a no as safe as a yes.
✅ Help the prospect make the right decision that will genuinely help them — even if that means not investing with me.
❌ Don’t diminish or invalidate prospects’ needs, hesitations or concerns.
✅ When a project isn’t the right fit, connect the person with a high-integrity copywriter who I respect and trust to do a spectacular job for them.
✅ Listen attentively with curiosity and without judgement. Give the interviewee my undivided attention.
✅ Clarify and help the interviewee verbal process their own experience. Seek to understand the interviewee’s perceptual world and frame of reference as they see and experience it.
✅ Be patient, gracious and accommodating. Hold space for people to unravel and explore their thoughts at their own pace.
✅ Create a comfortable, emotionally safe environment for interviewees where they feel validated and safe to share.
❌ Be cautious of leading, loaded or suggestive questions that can lead to blindspots in the data.
❌ Avoid ambiguous questions, ‘double-barrelled’ questions (two or more questions in one), and questions containing double negatives.
❌ Don’t impose my own views or judgements. Avoid the temptation to respond from my own frame of reference, especially when that risks perpetuating stereotypes, destructive social constructs and unjust profiting from poverty.
✅ Honour the client’s brand voice by providing clarity on their unique way of showing up, rather than imposing my own style.
✅ Illuminate what’s genuinely working well and provide actionable advice to amplify these strengths.
✅ Help the client get the most out of their brand voice guide investment.
✅ Critique, don’t tear down. Critique weaknesses with kindness and point out ways to improve.
✅ Edit brand voice with consideration for the prospect’s goals and values.
✅ Encourage brands to demonstrate their brand values through clear and consistent action.
❌ Avoid vague abstractions. Be clear, specific, tangible and action-focused.
Quizzes & list-building
✅ Trust is sacrosanct. Be very transparent in my sign-up box that ticking the box means they agree to receive emails from me.
✅ Fully dislose the quiz’s purpose and what the email list will be used for: to trade ideas for attention so I can build relationships with people and secure new clients (this insight I credit to Kelly Diels).
❌ Don’t frame the lead magnet as a ‘free gift’. Subvert the norm of abusing Cialdini’s Reciprocity Principle.
✅ Honour choice without scrimping on value. Give the option to receive the quiz result without needing to sign up to my email list.
✅ Use a double opt-in for better engagement and open rates, lower unsubscribe rates and better deliverability.
✅ Segment my email list so I can write thoughtful, relevant and personalised love letters that are genuinely helpful to my audience.
✅ Renew consent once every three months.
✅ Give prior warning about upcoming promotions and the opportunity to opt out.
✅ Make unsubscribing easy.
✅ Cultivate sustainable financial freedom so I can help lift up other women and help them prosper (idea credited to Rachel Rodgers).
✅ Proactively support and partner with businesses focused on making the world more equitable for all, especially those owned by underrepresented people and BIPOC women who are doing the work to fight systematic oppression.
✅ Treat my business as a self-development journey to become a better human.
✅ Always refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle within my business.
✅ Treat everyone I encounter with the respect. Be kind and respectful toward humans of all races, religions, gender expressions (she, he, they, and all the wonderful in-betweens), sexualities, abilities, socio-economic statuses, body types, physical appearances and neuro(a)typicalities.
✅ Pay the people I hire professional rates that honour their expertise.
✅ Grow my resilience against harmful social norms. Continue to ask questions and analyse the hows and whys of the inequitable system we live in.
✅ Reject artifice (except when it’s for play and fun). Take genuine interest in people and give sincere compliments.
As a brand voice and quiz strategist, one of my greatest business expenses is software and apps. This is why I’ve committed to (wherever possible) dedicating my tech budget to supporting ethically minded apps and software.
This website is powered by Kinsta’s renewable energy.
For website analytics, I use the GDPR-compliant platform Matomo, a Google Analytics alternative that protects users’ data and privacy while illuminating insights that help me improve my website.
Quizzes and email
For quiz creation and analytics, I use Interact.
For email hosting, I use Gmail because it’s GDPR-compliant and carbon-neutral / powered by 100% green electricity.
For email marketing, I use ActiveCampaign, an email marketing service for creative entrepreneurs that prioritises simplicity and transparency.
To transcribe interviews for audience research and quiz projects, I use Otter.ai.
For editing, I tap into my professional network of editors and proofreaders.
I also work with sensitivity readers to fact-check details and make sure my work does not perpetuate stereotypes.
Note: If you’re looking for ethical alternatives for digital apps and software, I highly recommend the Ethical.net Resources library.
I’m very aware that the apps I work with are far from perfect (sometimes I must balance different considerations such as ease of use for my clients), so if you have any recommendations for ethical software that would be useful in my business, I’d love to hear from you.
pledges & memberships
This badge represents my pledge to the Ethical Move in service of a new marketing standard based on transparency, trust, and honesty.
I put the person before the sale.
I respect you and your privacy. I will help you make the best choice for your needs, not mine.
I communicate inclusively, truthfully, and clearly.
I will not confuse you or hide information from you. I will help all audiences feel welcome.
I take responsibility for my part in changing the marketplace.
I recognise the need to break the cycle of consumerism. I will continuously review my sales and marketing to ensure they benefit the common good.
Please connect with me if you see me not honouring my pledge.
I believe in citing the ideas and influences that find their way into my work, and thanking the original authors of those ideas.
Why? I want to build a thoughtful body of knowledge, share my knowledge generously, and show respect to the countless, wonderfully insightful people whose ideas nourish me as I grow and develop my work.
It’s an honour to share with you the teachers whose ideas and philosophies have enriched my work. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that these teachers endorse my work, but they have definitely inspired me to think differently.
Maria Popova — Brain Pickings
An incredibly insightful writer across art, science, philosophy, history and the human condition, Maria’s body of work can be found online at Brain Pickings.
Her brilliance, clarity of thought and wisdom grounds me and reminds me to be conscious of my impact.
Alice Karolina — The Ethical Move
Alice Karolina created the Ethical Move, a movement setting out to empower conscious consumers and business owners by creating a new marketing standard based on transparency, trust, and honesty. After admiring her work from afar, I pledged my commitment to the Ethical Move.
Mentors who have generously shared their knowledge
Thank you to my inspiring mentors whose insights and guidance have strengthened my work and processes:
Bree’s Sustainable Sales Accelerator transformed the way I view sales conversations and creating relationships. I borrow her framework for critical decision-making in my business to encourage prospects to make decisions that honour their self-determination.
Prerna and Mayank Malik
Prerna and Mayank’s kindness and insights have helped me grow as a service provider and human being.
This duo inspire me with their wisdom, generosity and strategic smarts.
Rachel inspired me to build a business devoted to helping women and other marginalised identities succeed in business. I believe we need to strive for sustainable wealth so we can help uplift our communities and make change for the next generation.
Many of the ideas I’m evolving within my business started as seeds germinated by the powerful work of Kelly Diels, creator of the Feminist Copywriting Certification program.
The quiz queen herself tutored me in empathy-led quiz creation, optimisation and sustainable lead generation.
Kirsty’s Brain Camp taught me how to sensitively and consciously use psychology to write conversion copy that honours the individual’s self-efficacy.