From education to killer copy with Martha Barnard-Rae

Written by Megan MacNeill

From education to killer copy with Martha Barnard-Rae
May 10, 2021

When we are fresh out of high school and choose where we go from there, it’s very common for us to mistakenly assume that we know exactly where we are going to end.

Martha Barnard-Rae shares this in common with a lot of other guests on the personal branding exposed podcast, but where she stands out is that, instead of simply divorcing her old vocation, she simply found a new way to express it.

So, in our episode together, we got to talk about how Martha dropped her job as a teacher to become a copywriter, only to find herself educating people in a completely different way.

A Trip Too Far

Born in Canada, Martha explains that her first dream job was actually to be a girl detective, but realising that she didn’t have a good eye when it came to crime-solving and that scary scenes actually made her a little uncomfortable, she went for an English degree instead.

With her degree in hand, she began to teach the seventh year in a Canadian school, reluctantly at first, but joyfully after she realised how much she actually liked children, later on moving to Australia.

While down under, Martha took a small hiatus from the classrooms to become a training and development manager for an Australian non-profit, and the owner of a tutoring center before going back to teaching. And, according to her, this is where things got hard:

“Teaching can be a really hard place to be and also, my school was seventy kilometers away from my house, and my husband is the only paramedic in a large geographic area, so it was just getting too hard to get to work and back.

And we have two pretty small kids and just trying to manage all that I just thought ‘I don’t think this is supposed to be so hard.’, so tried to look into what else I could do, and here we are!”

Can you imagine doing a 140-kilometer round trip every single day? That’s almost ten hours per week that Martha spent on the road, leaving little time for all the things she really wanted to do.

But, as I have discussed before, hardship can be inspiring too, and it inspired Martha to find the field where she shines so much today.

Getting Into Killer Copy

As she started looking into other occupations she could pick in order to make her life a little easier, the thought of becoming a copywriter came to Martha’s mind, and the opportunity would soon follow, as she recalls:

“When I started thinking about becoming a copywriter, I had this friend who has been a copywriter for 20 years, and she emailed me about a social event and I emailed her back like ‘hey can I be a copywriter?’ and she was like ‘yeah, anyone can be a copywriter’.

So I took some courses and that friend, Beck, who is now my business partner […] and we started getting together on Wednesdays, and she was so generous with her time, and would sit with me to explain what her day was like and what she was up to.”

This story is a great example of how relying on other people’s experience and expertise can take us far, not just in the development of a career but in the start of a new business as well.

Today Martha lends her words to those that seek out Word Candy in order to help them better communicate their brand to the world.

Killer Copy AND Education

Going more in-depth about how she employs her talents, Martha explains how she conciliated her extroverted personality with a field of work that is mostly home-office based, enabling her to continue engaging on her primary vocation:

“ So, when it comes to copy we write done-for-you copy for our clients, but where the teaching comes in is when I do some events where I talk about social media, or how to improve social media on your website.

Because we do more than just copywriting, like copywriting is our first love, but we offer the full sweep of digital marketing services.”

According to Martha, this coaching aspect of her job even extends to simple things like common workplace etiquette where “don’t use the eggplant emoji” is rule number one.

Social Media

With the topic of emojis in mind, we quickly started talking about social media and certain expectations people have about how we are supposed to use them.

Now, there are so many people that say you should be on every major platform, and that you should post there three times a day, every single day, which to me is not just unsustainable, but can actually harm your personal brand.

After all, who has the ability to produce high-quality, unique content on a rhythm like that? Martha also added to this saying:

“People really appreciate an explanation of what each platform is for and what you are trying to achieve, and when we think about those things we can decide on what to focus on.

So, instead of being like ‘Pinterest, LinkedIn, bla bla bla, all the things’, and then hating my life, I can plan out what I want to get out of the platforms I’m using and then do it intentionally really intentionally, and have a plan, and execute that plan.”

And Martha makes an excellent point here, I mean, social media like LinkedIn, TikTok or Pinterest are great for personal branding, but they only work if you and your audience know what they are for.


Change can be scary, but do you know what is even scarier? Stagnancy. Martha Barnard-Rae is someone that not only understood this, but went out of her way to improve herself in order to make change possible.

Too often we think that changing just means going from one state of mind to the other, which, while essential, needs to be backed up by concrete actions in order to bring about any form of real progress.

So, if you feel like your business or career could go further than where it is today, why not take up this opportunity to bring your personal branding game to the next level by applying for my program, either through this website or any of my social media.

Book a Discovery Call with me and let me help you build your brand while you sleep!

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