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It’s time to get to know North Star!

 

Today you’ll meet Madeline Crone, one of our amazing content writers and editors.

Madeline grew up in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. After venturing to Western Massachusetts to attend Mount Holyoke College, she returned to the midwest, where she now lives with her fiancé and their adorable dog, Pippa.

Madeline joined the North Star team as a writer in 2020. Since then, she’s taken on the additional role of one of the team’s writing mentors, helping the staff continue to grow their skills and explore the latest in marketing strategy.

 

Q: You were a psychology major, biology minor in school—neither of which necessarily screams “marketing.” How did you end up a copywriter?

Madeline: I actually spent two years as the office manager at a music school. It was a small company, we had like three employees. We had a blog on our website that we hired an outside agency to write for us. My boss wasn’t super happy with how the posts were turning out, and he asked me to start editing them. I’ve always liked writing, so I said, ‘You know, I can write them and do it even better. And then you won’t have to pay a separate person to do it.’

So I started writing the blogs and I got to learn a little bit about SEO and writing for websites and stuff like that, and found out I really liked it. It made me decide I wanted to look at doing something more like that full time.

 

Q: But you were always a writer, even before it was officially your career?

Madeline: I always knew I wanted to have a job that involved writing somehow, but it wasn’t until I started writing those blogs for the music school that I started exploring copywriting. Because I just assumed that writing can’t be my real job, you know? So I was very excited to find out copywriting was something I was good at and I actually enjoyed.

In high school and college, I found out that I really enjoyed writing academic papers, especially if it was writing something persuasive or analytical. I think that’s really helped me move into marketing and sales writing. But I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, like since I was a little kid. I want to write a book someday. I have started a couple of them, but that’s a far into the future goal.

 

Q: Are there certain kinds of projects you feel more drawn to? Some that you find more challenging?

Madeline: I didn’t expect to enjoy writing sales pages as much as I do. I think creating sales copy pulls together a lot of my strengths in persuasive writing, so I really like that. Also, I love writing case studies. I had never done any interviewing before, and I thought it would be awkward. But interviewing someone and then taking their words and turning them into a story is something I’m really enjoying.

When it comes to what I find challenging, I probably struggle the most with one-off sales emails, the kind that aren’t part of a larger campaign. Like, ‘write an email about selling this mug’ or whatever it is. I prefer projects where I can get involved in the bigger picture. I think what I’m realizing is that I’m actually a little bit better at strategically-oriented writing, like convert content. I like to be able to see the fruits of my labor.

 

Q: You’re actually taking on one of North Star’s first-ever writing mentorship roles, where you help other members of the team develop their writing skills. What are you looking forward to about that role?

Madeline: I’m super excited about it. I’m really enjoying all the stuff that we’re doing, especially because I feel like it’s just even more training for me, which is very good because I love learning. Especially right now, we’re doing role-plays with strategy calls, which are really helping me become more confident in my recommendations to clients. I really want to learn and grow with the team. And if I can eventually get to a place where I’m helping other people too, then that’s something I’m very excited about.

 

Q: You left a second copywriting job to work for North Star full time {and we’re very happy to have you!}. What drew you to commit to North Star?

Madeline: I was learning a lot more here. And I really do love learning—I’m obsessed with school and stuff. So all the trainings on strategy and writing different kinds of content, I love that. I have interesting clients who I love working with. The company culture is also great. I love the whole team, they’re super fun to work with. I literally feel like I found my dream job. I feel super, super blessed to get to write for North Star.

 

Q: Creative careers are uniquely draining, not just on our time, but on our mental and emotional energy. Combine that with the challenges of working from home, and things can get overwhelming. How do you de-stress and keep yourself going?

Madeline: I am not qualified to be giving advice to anybody on this—basically my life is a state of semi-organized chaos at all times. The biggest thing I struggle with is managing my time. I’m still in the process of figuring out my own process, really. Working from home can be distracting, especially when your attention is on a bunch of different projects. Something that I found really helpful is just trying to only focus on what I am working on at that time. I literally close Slack and put my email in a separate window so I don’t see those notifications, otherwise I get overwhelmed and anxious about all the tasks I have coming up. And I do take breaks. I try to schedule them out so I can eat dinner and watch an episode of Schitt’s Creek with my fiancé, or play the piano for 15 minutes.

I’m also trying to get support and advice from people who have been doing it longer. Asking for help when I need it is the biggest thing, honestly.

 

Get to Know Madeline: Rapid Fire Edition

Guilty pleasure TV show?

The Bachelor. I watch every version of the franchise {except for Listen To Your Heart}.

First ever job?

I worked at JC Penney for a summer.

Favorite snack?

Popcorn!

Book you think everyone should read?

I’m gonna pick two: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I don’t want to give too much away in case anyone wants to read it, but it’s fantastic. And the other is Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. It’s a memoir about living with depression especially as a young person and it’s had a huge impact on me and the way that I think about my own mental health. I still think it’s the number one book that anyone who is struggling with depression or anyone who knows anybody who is struggling with depression should read.

How did you name your dog?

Everyone thinks it’s Pippa like Pippa Middleton! But I got the name originally from a book that I loved as a teenager, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I was just going through potential names and that one came out somewhere from the depths of my brain. It’s good because it lends itself so well to nicknames. Pip-pip. Pipperoo. Pipperoni. And her full name is Philippa Frances, but I only break that out when she’s in trouble.


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