Everyone has a story to tell: that’s what I believe. My name is Annalisa Koukouves, and in the past 11 years, I’ve helped my clients connect with their audiences on a human level. They range from CEOs of software companies to individual artists, but they all have one thing in common: they want to share authentic stories using the right words. Combining my background in cultural anthropology and my thorough experience as a writer, I help them tell their stories in the most compelling way.
What’s my story?
Not every storyteller is a writer, but every writer is (or should be) a storyteller. I am both. I’ll spare you my childhood writing adventures (there are too many) and skip to my college years. Quite a few moons ago, I majored in cultural anthropology and development sociology. In my freshman year, I landed a job as a professor’s research assistant. Soon, I was introduced into the world of storytelling, writing, and editing.
A year later, I accepted my first writing assignment, which seemed like an impossible one (writing 175 short pieces in 18 days requires lots of coffee and an unbreakable spirit). When I completed the job, my head was spinning a little. But the client was happy. One assignment led to another, and when I graduated, I had a career. Fast forward to 11 years later, and here I am: 150+ happy (mostly long-term) clients and hundreds of unique stories, told in carefully chosen words that appeal to their respective audiences.
The results of my work are regularly measured and generally show constructive, sustainable growth. For example, one of my clients saw its customer base double shortly after sharing the content I’d written. It was great news, but the most important thing was, the organization had started to attract customers it actually wanted to work with: like-minded people with whom it went on to build long-term relationships.
Why do I love my job?
No two stories are the same. My clients range from Microsoft partners to individual artists; from airline companies to colleges; from consulting firms to fellow writers. I’ve worked with a painter who dedicated a series of paintings to his literary hero, a CEO who’s a frontrunner in the field of AI and robotics, and an inventor who designs groundbreaking high-tech products for A-performers – all in one week. Their backgrounds, dreams, and goals couldn’t be more different. But they all consider their jobs to be an extension of who they are, and they want to connect with their respective audiences on a human level.
What’s my philosophy?
I like to work with people I’m on the same page with. To me, collaboration is a two-way street: we need to respect each other’s expertise and foster each other’s strengths.
There are several things I don’t do. For example, I’m not the kind of copywriter who produces generic, disingenuous (product) descriptions that are veiled sales pitches. Neither do I say yes to every project that crosses my path. There are a handful of industries I don’t want to get involved with because I want to be proud – not ashamed – of what I do. My basic principle is simple: I only want to benefit from situations that don’t put others in a disadvantageous position. ‘Win-win’ is my motto. And believe it or not, there’s a wealth of opportunities out there that don’t require people to give up on their principles. I’ve stuck to mine, and yet I get to work with amazing clients every day, each of whom wants to contribute to a better world in one way or another.