Who is Mattias, that Swedish copywriter at Please copy me?

Hi! I’m Mattias Akerberg. I’m a copywriter and UX writer from Sweden. I’ve been writing advertising for 15 years now. This my story — and my future plan.

So tired of school

I went to ad school in my hometown Gothenburg, but I was so tired of school that I almost quit after two weeks. My oblivious mentor Peter Viksten, one of the only two people I knew in the Swedish ad industry, told me NOT to give up but skip every boring class and spend every waking hour on becoming an excellent copywriter.

So I did. I was a blank piece of paper when it came to copywriting. I know nothing and no one.

The Swedish copywriting blog Please copy me back in 2011.

Gathered stuff instead

So I started a blog. A niche blog indeed. For quite some time, it had only five daily readers. Those were my classmates, who were copywriter-gonnabees just like me. I gathered stuff I learned about writing copy, things that otherwise would have been lost and forgotten in some desk drawer or notebook. I spent less than 3 minutes coming up with a name for my blog: Please copy me.

Let’s burn the maps for Mini Coop. Copywriter: Ari Merkin.

Studied the copywriting masters

I studied the masters of copywriting, both Swedish copywriters and international copywriters, such as Neil French (brilliant ads for Chivas Regal), James Sinclair(Double Life for Sony Playstation), and Ari Merkin (Let’s burn the maps for Mini Cooper). All men? Yes, almost, and no. One great female expectation is Paula Green (We try harder for Avis).

Wrote off every word

I read those classic ads, and I wrote them off, word by word. I did it to immerse, to inject the words, the rhythm, the way to reason right into my bloodstream. I took them apart and put them together again. I saw they were all easy-to-get, yet memorable and distinctive. Much later, I realized there was a word for that: copyworking.

Mattias Akerberg meets Filip Nilsson, creative director and copywriter at Forsman & Bodenfors for 25 years. Photo: Christer Hedberg.

Learned from the best

One year later, this blog had hundreds of daily readers, which was sort of a shock to me. I mean, I wrote (passionately, though, but in Swedish) about a topic that very few people know, understand or mind. I wanted to learn from the best, so I read books from Andy Maslen, Robert Sawyer, and Luke Sullivan (and more). I interviewed some of the best copywriters in Sweden; I absorbed their words and their wisdom.

Mattias Akerberg interviews Jesper Kouthoofd, founder of ACNE and Teenage Enginering.

Landed my first (and last) ad agency job

Passion always shows. And it led to me getting my first job as a copywriter at a well-known ad agency in Sweden. I was on the inside! I had over 100 colleagues at the office downtown Gothenburg. I spend 5 years doing campaigns for companies big enough to make most people jealous. I was lucky. I worked hard. I worked late. I struggled to prove myself every time, but I often fell short. I had a lot of fun and a lot of frustration. Those were the days.

Of a rare breed

10 years again, I decided to go solo. I decided to quit on the first day after the summer holidays. I have never regret that step. I never will. I’m a free bird, “a rare breed,” I’ve been told. I’m a freelance — a free lance.

The Copy Book by Mattias Akerberg is scheduled to be released in English in 2022.

Wrote a book for writers

To write about writing to people who write is a scary thing. With that in mind, I still can’t believe I (and Christer Wiklander) wrote a book about copywriting back in 2011, which was my first year as a freelance. The book Sälj det med ord (Swedish for Sell it with words) has meant a whole lot to many being and aspiring copywriters, and the book has now sold out forever. Now, I’m happily busy writing my next book on copywriting — The Copy Book (Copyboken). It will launch in Swedish in late 2021, and in English during 2022. Have a read!

No better job in life

Today, I’ve been a freelance copywriter for 10 years. That makes me some kind of senior copywriter. I’ve helped 120 clients to find the words and messages that make readers into buyers. From my brain to my fingers, I make money out of words. I can’t think of a better job. Words are outstanding companions through life. I wanna write until I die.

The office of Please copy me (and Rulla vagn) in Lidkoping, Sweden. In the picture: Mattias’ wife Evelina. ❤️

Always massive action

I never call myself a freelance. Instead, I would say that Please copy me is a company of one. Paul Jarvis coined that expression in his book called Company of One. I do more than just writing projects for clients. I write books. I blog. I publish insight and bits of writing advice on social media. I educate through lectures, courses, and training programs. Since 2010 I’ve taught more than 25 000 people how to become better at copywriting and UX writing (which equals microcopy).

Also, I am to launch a podcast on copywriting, and I’ve gathered all Swedish copywriters in The Copy Club (founded in early 2021). I never do one thing, always MANY, all at the same time. Some call it massive action, which is big and focused action steps that bring you big returns.

Mattias Akerberg gives a talk on UX writing in November 2019.

I help clients sell more

I see copywriting as selling in print. Or closing in print, if you ask Dan Lok. To become an excellent copywriter, you better grasp how to sell. Most copywriters don’t. Many, many writers want to write but rather not sell. I’m a copywriter who sells. I help my clients sell more (that’s why they hire me).

Mattias Akerberg teaches UX writing to an exclusive (and super-happy!) class for 10 weeks in Spring 2020.

Selling changed my life (and will forever)

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve dug deep into the world of selling. To me, selling is helping people to make a decision. We sell, and we buy. That’s human. To get WHY we buy and HOW to sell is a whole lot of fun. Dan Lok, Patrick Dang, Ray Edwards, and Phil M Jones have taught me tons about selling. Their tactics and ideas have helped me triple my revenue during the last five years, which has given my family and me a life we wouldn’t have otherwise.

I call the shots

Life to me is good right now. I see nothing but a bright future coming. I’m in control. I call the shots. What’s possible is up to me.

Dan Lok.

At a cross-road right now

I’m turning 39 this summer. I’m a nine-ender. That’s an age for big decisions. Like WHERE you want to go, and WHAT you want to do. These are things I want:

Be better, learn new, and build a team

1) I want to be the best copywriter I can ever be. I want to keep evolving, and deeper understand the psychology that makes words work. I want to put it all into action, and find clients who are open to dare.

2) I will always make sure to learn new things. “The more you learn, the more you earn,” to quote Dan Lok once more. Anything related to copywriting will interest me. For years now, I’ve invested my own time and money into learning from champs like Dan Lok, Nick Usborne, Joanna Wiebe (Copyhackers), Brian Clark, and Sonia Simone (Copyblogger). Money well invested.

3) I want to build a team. I want to surround myself with people who can and want to help my “company of one” reach the next level, and the next, and the next … I won’t stop at anything. And to do that, I need those who can do the things I can’t (or do not have the time to do). I need a team.

I’ll challenge myself

I aim to go global and talk to you in English (even though it’s not my first language). I will put myself out there. I’ll push my boundaries. Why?

1) Because I will not live forever. But the works and words from me might live longer. Words stay on earth. I want to leave behind knowledge, courage, and copywriting that inspires people that are not yet born. Big thinking? Yes.

2) Because I want to give my family the best life I can ever give them. When I work wise, and make myself invaluable to my clients, then I can spend more time with them, do more, travel more, chill more.

3) Because standing still is boring, and life too short to be bored. I want to focus and make time for the things at work that makes me go WOW.

Elis and Ilse are playing horses in the woods behind their school at the Island of Kalland.

Wanna know more about me?

You’re must be crazy.

Well, I live with my family (my wife Evelina and our kids Elis, age 6, and Ilse, age 3) in a house at Kållandsö, the Island of Kalland, outside the city of Lidkoping by Vanern, the biggest lake in Sweden. We moved here during the summer of 2020 because we wanted our kids (and us) to live near nature (woods are all around), close to school (150 meters!), and at a not-so-stressy place on earth. I enjoy taking walks in the trollish woods, listening to a podcast, or learning something new. I often see deers and mooses, and the other night the fox lurked around our hedge. In the summer, pizza with local caviar topping is just 5 minutes away. Life is good. And that’s pretty much it about me.

👉 Clap or comment if you enjoyed the read.

You can also make me happy if you connect with me on Linkedin and sign up for my newsletter about copywriting (in Swedish still) or about UX writing (in English forever).

Take care,
Mattias

PS. I believe that Guy Ligertwood, Anton Sten, Andrea Drugay, Anjana Menon, Ryan Cordell, Grant Shaddick, Linnéa Strid, Paul Martinsson, and Jacob Sempler might find this worth reading? Am I right?

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