A young professional, communication student, copywriter, fight fan and a world traveler – I am Ville Vaajanen, and for three years I have been making my dreams of being a content strategist come true abroad. At the moment, I am not sure where I am. What I do know is that I am on a plane. Above some place between Winnipeg and Toronto, I’d imagine. However, my journey started three and a half years ago in my hometown Nokia, Finland.
I started as a copywriter in 2015 when I was on my conscription in the Finnish Defence Command of the Finnish Defence Forces. During my service, I had the opportunity to be a part of national media and communications projects. The cyber training package concepted and produced by our team of four won the Cyber Act of the Year 2016 Audience Award alongside a larger cyber project of the organization.
After my service I moved to Ireland to become a hotel manager, but that journey ended after a month. I realized that my interests had changed during my military service. I wanted to be a writer, a communicator, and most of all, a word smith.
Once I moved back to Finland I had no Plan B. Hence I wanted to capitalize on the experience I gained during my service and start as a freelance copywriter.
During the first two weeks as a freelancer I sent emails to hundreds of ad agencies and marketing agencies located in Finland. This is how I got my first clients and started to gain proactive experience.
During the first two years I have mostly been subcontracted to produce text content for websites of small and medium-sized enterprises.
I have never wanted to be just a writer. I have never wanted to be just a word smith, content producer or to be hired by someone to write blogs for them. My motivation is to constantly challenge myself and create and build content marketing strategies. That is why I moved to Arnhem to study communication at Arnhem Business School. I chose the field of communication to bring my writing skills to the world of marketing communications, PR and branding.
Arnhem Business School Yearbook
I have kept copywriting during my studies, but I haven’t been doing that in Arnhem locally. My customer base and target group are in Finland, and thus I do copywriting in Finnish remotely from the Netherlands.
In the last two years, I have learned to utilize my social media channels and my website in building my brand. Early this year, I posted on my LinkedIn profile about joining the Copywriter Collective. Soon after I received a message from the CEO of Matter Agency, a content marketing agency based in Helsinki, Finland. That is how my most successful customer relationship started. Eventually we signed a permanent partnership deal, and so I became an official freelancer to their content production and planning.
During our partnership I have had the honor to write different kinds of content for the clients of Matter Agency, such as Remax, Alexandria and Rajala Pro Shop.
My experience is not limited to just freelancing, however, because in spring of 2018 I was the project manager in a team of four during our Project Digital Magazine course. We produced a digital magazine for our client Eurail. Our task was to produce a magazine that would change the perceptions of Americans about train travel in Europe. The production of the magazine included a brief, debriefing, project plan, brand concept, and brand report, which all followed Eurail’s guidelines. At the end of the project we presented our digital magazine to our client in form of a pitch.
Winning Digital Magazine
Six other teams from our class produced a different digital magazine for the same client about the same topic. What makes this project the most successful one in my career is that our team’s magazine was declared the winning product. The best part about this winning magazine was that I had the change to really show my skills in strategic communications as a writer and as a leader.
I have gotten this far in my career because of my ambition, big dreams and perseverance. Most of all, I have gotten this far because of my passion. However, my experience as a writer should not be ignored, whether it was commercial, academic, business writing or creative writing. At a young age I have written everything from literature essays to debate speeches and blog posts. The list of things I have written will get longer because I am just getting started.
Now I know where I am. I am above the skies of the province of Ontario. In a few moments my flight will land on the Toronto Pearson International Airport, after which my journey continues on my way to New York. This weekend I keep making my dreams come true. I cannot wait for UFC 230 fight card featuring the reigning UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier defending his heavyweight championship in the cage at Madison Square Garden.