About Proper Copy

Hello there, I’m Terry Downie. I set up Proper Copy Ltd in 2019 to provide copywriting services specifically for businesses within the finance sector. And on this page you’ll find out all you need to know and more about myself, Proper Copy, the company values and the Proper Copy Promise.

If you’re not that interested in me though, I won’t be overly disappointed. In fact, I’ve even positioned a button right here so you can see what’s more important – what I can do for you:

Black and white photo of Terry Downie, owner of Proper Copy

My Background

I’ve always had a battle within me between my creative nature and my rational mind. That’s why I chose mathematics for my degree but added business management and took all marketing modules, much to the confusion of my course director. I remember promising her I’d get a first just to appease her. I still to this day credit my success in fulfilling that promise to my stubborn nature and nothing more

After leaving University, I joined a graduate management scheme and ultimately settled into a job in a large UK finance house. During this time I was responsible for all in-house copy for my location, including staff newsletters, as well as a number of external marketing campaigns via a range of different methods. I also passed my IFA certification with The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF).

Alongside this, I had been writing content in one form or another for years. I wrote blogs, book and movie reviews, short stories and anything else that I could think to write. But this was always a hobby, something I loved for the pure fun of creative expression. I even designed a few marketing campaigns for big brands to show my friends in marketing.

Proper Copy Ltd: The Start of a Dream

In 2019, I completed a certification in copywriting from the College of Media and Publishing (CMP), and decided to leave my job to create Proper Copy. This to me was the perfect way to combine my love for words and creative flair with my rational mind and experience within the finance sector, a dream some decade in the making.

Even though I have excellent research skills, have wrote internal and external copy for 5 years and online content for longer, I don’t have as much experience as some copywriters who’ve been in the business for 25 years. But I’d argue that’s a good thing, and hear me out.

Copywriting has changed a lot since the 90s. Ads used to be quite gimmicky, and print copy was very formal and cold. The internet changed everything however, and now we find ourselves in a time where some of the skills a lot of trade copywriters have relied upon for years don’t serve them as well. I entered straight to the digital market and as such my skills have been forged there. Conversational copy, much like what you’re reading, comes to me as naturally as breathing. After a run, even more so.

My unique journey positions me exceptionally well to provide copy and content specifically targeted towards businesses and organisations within the finance sector. But don’t just take my word for it, check out the work I’ve done so far here:

Proper Copy: Vision, Mission and Values

Setting up a business is like many things in life: without purpose it lacks direction. I also believe that a business should be like a life well-lived. It should do the best it can to be its own thing in a world that will pull it in every direction, it should avoid mimicry and charlatanism like the plague, and it should seek to improve the world in some small and humble way.

As such, when I made the decision to create Proper Copy, I began with a vision in mind: great businesses providing excellent value to happy customers.

To realise this vision, I established the Proper Copy Mission: To improve the relationships between businesses and their customers.

And finally, this lead to the defining of Proper Copy’s core values:

  • We are honest & transparent
  • We are always intentional
  • We pay attention to details
  • We always do the right thing
  • We take your success personally

Coming back to the quote above, it is the true purpose of Proper Copy to create and keep happy customers for my customers. If we can’t maintain these core values and achieve this purpose, then we’re building on uneven ground and eventually we’ll fall.

Additionally, to always put us ahead of the curve on making a positive impact, we devised the Proper Copy Promise.

The Proper Copy Promise

The Proper Copy Promise is this: to make sure the world is a better place because this business exists. And while that sounds great, here’s what we do to make sure it happens.

10% of total profits go to one of the following three charities:

  • Cancer Research UK
  • Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital
  • St John’s Ambulance

And, what’s even better, you get to choose when you place your order which charity you’d like your share to go toward. This way you have control over the positive difference you’ll have made. And we’ll send you a report at the end of each financial year that details how much your contribution has generated.

On top of this – Proper Copy plants a number of trees to ensure we are not only carbon neutral but carbon positive. The counter below shows the number of trees planted and tonnes of CO2 since the company began. For more information, check out our profile with offset.earth here.

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Trees Planted
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Tonnes of CO2 Removed

Why 'Proper Copy'

As I decided to set up a copywriting business and not just freelance under my own name, I knew I had to come up with something catchy. After all, I offer microcopy and branding services – if I couldn’t think of a clever and original company name for myself then what right do I have to charge for it?

After much deliberation, I came to the realisation that Proper Copy is absolutely perfect for my business. First, ‘proper’ literally means suitable, appropriate and fit for purpose – the ideal way to describe perfect copywriting. It’s also catchy due to the use of consonance (yes, I’m a word geek). And, while ‘proper’ is a word used in high English (think ‘proper English’), it’s also a common slag word from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, my home city and where I’m based.

Did I mention I can help you write business and product brand names? I’ll just leave this button here:

Some more semi-interesting things about me

  • I own cryptocurrencies and believe they will have a huge place in the future financial world, but are still going through teething problems
  • I’m a tech geek and spend more than I should of my spare time learning about AI
  • I spend whatever spare time I have left lifting weights, hiking and failing desperately to do ‘simple’ yoga poses
If you’re still reading, bravo. At this point you know me better than most of my friends. So since we’re so close, why don’t you get in touch?