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How to Create Winning
Concepts and Copy Every Time...
Even When Faced With a Terrifying Job!
copywriter and copywriter's coach,
matter how new you are to copywriting, or how old...the fact is, there will
be times when you'd feel more confident with the brains, talent, and
experience of a writing partner.
Perhaps you're writing for a new client who's in an industry you know
nothing about. Perhaps you've been asked to come up with some very high
level concepts. Or maybe you're getting paid partly based on response rate,
and you simply want to make sure your package is as good as it possibly can
The answer to these and many other copywriting situations is to call in
another copywriter. Share the fee and make sure you hand in perfect work.
Not only will you find tremendous relief in "buddying up," but you'll get
the work done faster and the results will be better, making for a happy
client who comes back.
This is not an unusual arrangement in an advertising agency. Typically a
junior writer will do the hard work, a copy chief will go over the work, and
finally a creative director will put the stamp of approval on the work after
possibly adding their 2 cents.
And when it comes to concepting, a copywriter is often paired with an art
director, or a group of copywriters and designers may be assigned to come up
In the freelance world, many copywriter "gurus" achieve guru status because
#1 - they don't take jobs they don't think they can win, and #2 - they hire
as many as 5 copy chiefs to go over their work.
Some months ago I found myself in a "copywriters bake-off," as the client
called it. I would be up against 3 other writers in the concepting phase for
a plum job for Intuit, one of the world's leading software companies.
Was I intimidated? After writing copy for 19 years, and more than 30
packages for software, I can say that...YES, I was!
But before I put my creative hat on I thought about whom I could bring in. I
decided on Carol Worthington-Levy, a well-known graphic designer with many
direct marketing awards for results.
My strategy was twofold: not only would I submit concepts from two heads
rather than one, but I would submit them in an actual design format which
would come across much more impressive than the text format I anticipated my
competition would use.
The strategy worked, the client loved the concepts, and I won the job.
(Although I then found myself competing against 3 other teams in the copy
More recently one of my coaching students had a new client and wanted
validation of the copy she'd written. She sent it to me, and while it was an
excellent piece, it did need a stronger headline. Working together we came
up with a headline that would have been difficult to improve upon.
The next day my coaching student sent an email that her client was
positively thrilled with her work, and had made only minor edits.
So whenever you feel your chest tighten up with that old (unnecessary)
feeling of anxiety, call on a colleague who has proven success with whatever
type of project you're tackling. Just the thought of bringing in a partner
should make you feel more relaxed.
Recently I called on Richard Rosen, my old employer and internationally
recognized direct marketing guru. He's used to paying me for copywriting;
but in this case I needed his help on crafting a strategy. Knowing ahead of
time that I'd want to call him for help with a particularly complicated
product launch, I worked an extra fee into the budget to pay for his
So open up your thinking: whom do you know who has knowledge and experience
you can leverage? If you don't know of anyone whose ability you're sure of,
ask around for a referral, or go to the Web site of a pro you don't know
personally, but whose work you respect. If they can't team up with you,
they'll know who can.
Copywriters are an anxious bunch, often fretting over imagined insecurities.
Buddying up with a copy chief (or other expert) eliminates the jitters and
allows you to learn from a pro. If you think about whom you can bring in to
a difficult project, you'll find that you can eliminate one of the
copywriter's biggest self-defeating obstacles - that of insecurity.
* * * * *
Read award-winning copywriter Chris Marlow's great new book:
GUIDE TO PRICING FOR COPYWRITING SERVICES" If you are a copywriter
or purchase copywriting services, this is valuable information.
Click here to
PO Box 1134, Palm Desert, CA, 92261
© Chris Marlow, all rights reserved
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