With football season closing in, you can expect all eyes to be on the quarterbacks. The quarterback of any team has to learn the offense, lead the team and put his players in the best position to win.
As a copywriter, you’re doing the same. You’re learning the client’s offense, or playbook, with the end zone in mind. Calling the right plays will move the chains. Whether it’s a blog post that gets the client a first down or a retention email that takes them inside the 20-yard line, your job is to have the messaging score.
It starts with the basics. Here are five ways you as a copywriter can take command of the huddle, call the right play, and march your team, or message, down the field.
1) Get coached up – Coaching can come from your clients or colleagues. Asking the customer questions and getting feedback from coworkers helps. In doing so, you’re accumulating knowledge to call better plays. Tom Brady still gets advice from Bill Belichick, so you’re never too old or accomplished to stop learning.
2) Study the playbook – Your playbook is the creative brief. There’s a wealth of information the client has developed just for you. Read it, highlight the key parts, and revisit the brief while you’re writing. In my fourteen months as a copywriter, the creative brief has become a close friend. To write well you have to read often. Study up!
3) Lead the creative team – Interceptions, or setbacks, will happen but it’s up to you to keep everyone on track. It’s like a quarterback taking charge with two minutes left to go and getting the offense to believe they can win. You’re a copywriter, but you’re also a creative coach. An unexpected deadline might cause you to lose a workday, but you can make it up by motivating your team to complete it quickly.
4) Take some risks–In addition to providing ‘safe’ options, why not push the creative envelope and go for long ball? You and your team were hired to think outside the box, so show them the wacky way your mind thinks. My previous AMA blog, talks about this a little more. Approach the work with the client’s culture in mind. Understand their comfort zone and threshold to go beyond it.
5) Review performance – Players will review films after the games and the coaches will praise what worked and correct what didn’t. Use tools like Google Analytics, social media insights and others to review your team’s performance. Your due diligence will make you a better copywriter, a better co-worker and will put you in a better position to lead your team to victory. If you like what you read, there’s a whole team of copywriters and marketing professionals at your fingertips at AMA. Join the team today and become a member.
Josh Womack is a copywriter at Progressive Insurance and is also head writer at Laugh Staff, where he writes hilarious wedding toasts.