Introducing The Pen Portrait


“You can’t write for any audience until you know who they are”. So said the relentlessly helpful copywriter, John Espirian. Of course it’s impossible to keep the characteristics of the entire target audience in mind when producing your content. However, one of the tried and tested copywriting techniques is to develop a profile or “pen portrait” of your ideal target customer. I’ve been having a good think about the type of marketing agency owner who would be most likely to have a need for my professional copywriting services.

Without further ado, I introduce you to Alex Rowcastle, Owner of the Lincoln-based Redfish marketing company. I’ll be keeping Alex in mind as I write the promotional pages and blogs for Writespot over the coming months. Before publishing each piece I’ll be stopping to have a good think about whether it would really appeal and be of interest to Alex. This should help in the creation of focused and engaging content (of course you’ll have to make your own minds up).

Alex Rowcastle

Position: Founder and Director of Redfish Marketing

Age: 38

Home location: Alex lives on a modern housing estate on the outskirts of Lincoln.

Business location: Alex has opened the Redfish Marketing studio in Lincoln’s Terrace office complex.

Childhood: Alex was the second son of Sue and Peter Rowcastle. He had a happy and well-supported childhood, knowing that his parents were always there for him. However, Alex had a pretty intense rivalry with his older brother Tom. The two boys would vie for their parent’s attention, with Alex being closer to Sue and Tom to Peter. Alex was happy when Tom went off to University and they have had a distant relationship since then.


Academic achievements: Alex was a good student and did well in subjects such as Maths and Science at college. He made the decision to study for a degree in Business Accounting and Finance at Durham University. Alex enjoyed the social side of University, playing in a band and the University cricket team. However, he kept the focus on his studies and achieved a high 2:1.

Previous employment: Alex landed his first job as a Graduate Trainee Accountant with the Opal group soon after the completion of his degree.  He impressed the senior management and worked across a variety of high-profile client accounts. Alex proved himself a good team player and made a number of contacts within the financial industry. However, he decided that it was time for a change after seven years of work for the Opal Group.

Current work role: Alex felt that the experience gained while working for the Opal Group would stand him in good stead for the development of his own marketing agency. He would be able to draw upon the skills of graphic designers, web design specialists, and other marketing experts within his professional network. Alex was also confident that he would be able to secure projects with previous clients.

Redfish Marketing has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and Alex has recently partnered with Josh, an experienced digital marketing expert.

Business problems: Alex has been really happy with the development of Redfish Marketing. He has enjoyed considerable success in the marketing of client businesses. He has formed a strong partnership with Josh and Redfish has become the go-to agency for local businesses wanting a digital boost. However, Alex has found it hard to manage the agency workload. He has become increasingly stressed and found it difficult to switch off from work. Alex has realised the need to expand the Redfish Marketing team and draw upon the expertise of a professional copywriter.


Relationship status: Alex is married to Sarah, who he met on an internet dating website. They have a loving relationship and Alex wishes that he could spend more time with her.

Number of children: Alex and Sarah have two children. Tegan, aged 6 is a sweet little girl who seems to be taking after her Mum. Toby, aged 7, is a confident boy who is good at sports and is doing well at school.

Pet’s Name: Alex and Sarah have a cat called Meg. She often brings gifts home, to Sarah’s horror.

Preferred mode of transport: Alex bought one of the new-model Renault Clio’s a couple of years ago. He is confident that it gives the right impression travelling to meetings. He and Sarah also have a Seat Leon hatchback, which is ideal for family and shopping trips.

Favourite colour: Dark blue

Favourite film: Alex’s favourite film is the Shawshank Redemption. He also likes to watch romance films with Sarah. They pay for a monthly family ticket to the local cinema and often go out to see films with the children at weekends.

Favourite song: Alex played the bass guitar in a rock band called The Waves when he was at university, but he hasn’t found much time for music over the last few years. His favourite song is When You Were Young by The Killers.

Favourite business publications: Alex continues to show great dedication, focusing on his professional development within the business marketing world. He sets aside regular time for reading new business books, and has found Richard Shotton’s The Choice Factory, and Allen Gannet’s The Creative Curve pretty interesting. Alex is also a whizz when it comes to the use of social media networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Favourite book: Alex rarely feels like reading fiction books after long days in the office; although his favourite book is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

Favourite sports team: Alex enjoys watching the football and supports Lincoln City. He is really happy about their recent promotion and is hopeful that they can achieve a mid-table finish in League One next year.

Introvert or extrovert: Alex is an extrovert and exudes a sense of confidence.

Favourite food: Alex keeps to a healthy diet and really enjoys Sarah’s home cooking. He looks forward to family meals at the weekends.

Ideal holiday destination: Alex enjoyed his travels to countries such as Germany and Thailand when he was young, free, and single. Last year he took the family to Centre Parks and he is planning on surprising Sarah and the kids with holiday tickets to Spain in the next month.

Attitude to risk: Alex is quite prepared to take calculated and measured risks for the benefit of his business. However, he wouldn’t do anything that would put his business or the family finances in serious jeopardy.