When at a party or function and the age-old question ‘what do you do for a living’ comes up, my response is often met with more questions or a polite excuse to leave my company.

Saying I’m a copywriter gives people the impression I’m either a reclusive, angry, money man like Don Draper from Mad Men or that I’m a lawyer working in copyrights.

Neither is true of course.

Last week, the Atlantic published an article titled What People Don’t Get About My Job, so I thought I’d write a little entry here about what makes copywriters tick.

We know about words and grammar

We just choose to ignore the rules at times.

Copywriters can do this because we already understand the rules. We know enough about syntax and structure to know when a dangling participle is going to help an audience understand a message.

And we also know that it’s actually okay to use a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence because that’s how people speak.

You’ll find that, unless rushed or incompetent, most copywriters have taken a lot of time and care with the words they use.

We like long-term relationships

Most of my clients have spent their careers in their industry sector. Many have been with their company from the start, or for years.

When working with a new client for the first time, we copywriters are faced with a mountain of new information, needing to learn everything there is to know about a field that we have little experience in, such as chemical engineering or shoe manufacturing.

I like this part of my job – getting to know all I can about new subjects – but, it also means that I need a little help from the experts.

This is why we copywriters ask for lots of detail when getting a brief. It’s because we need to understand enough about the subject to get to a point where we feel comfortable writing about it.

We like long-term relationships with our clients because we have conquered the mountain and can carry on writing like an expert without having to learn (much) new information about the brand, the company, the sector or the product.

We like new information

Having just said we like long-term relationships, it is possible that without anything new coming in, a copywriter can become uninspired.

This never happens to me, of course! But, it’s possible…

That’s why we like to know what’s going on with your company, what plans you have in store for a product, what you’re planning in 6 months’ time. It’s why we ask a lot of questions. We need little bits and bites of new information to feed into our creative fires.

Even knowing you put new carpets down at the office is enough for us, so please think of your copywriter as a part of your team and share with them often and fully.

If you’d like to get to know a copywriter a little better, please call one today on 01803 865 025.

We’re a friendly bunch!

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