10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Parts 1-10

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Parts 1-10

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Cause-Related Marketing, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Facebook, Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter
If you've been reading this blog for the last few months, you know I've been writing a series of posts on copywriting. Similar to the approach I took with my series on social media, I've looked at copywriting from a 30,000-foot level, focusing on the principles you need to be mindful of if you want to succeed in this profession. As I wrote about my own career in the very first post in this series... I may have worked for a number of different companies, developed new skills and taken on new responsibilities – such as creative direction, public speaking and social media – along the way, but I’ve also stayed true to my roots as a copywriter. And after all of these years writing headlines and subject lines, direct mail packages and email blasts, blog posts…
Read More

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part 10

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media
10. Use social media. A copywriter's job is to use the written word to promote something or someone using a variety of media, anything from radio to TV, direct mail to email, websites to billboards, print ads to assorted signage, sky writing, you name it. And today, included among all that tried-and-true, traditional media are blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other popular Internet-based, self-publishing vehicles. The fact is, anyone working in the marketing, advertising, sales and PR fields who knows how to use social media tools and technologies will likely be much more successful amidst this new communications era. And those who earn a living writing copy have an obvious competitive advantage. After all, the better you write, the better chance you have of stringing together the right messages for the right occasions and making yourself heard loud and clear…
Read More

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Nine

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Public Relations, Social Media
9. Sweat the small stuff. It's one thing to be a creative genius, to be that extra special someone in the room who can come up with surprisingly brilliant ideas practically on demand, time and time again. That's the glamour and glory of the business. But the consummate copywriter is actually a stickler for details, someone who's as strong on the left side of the brain as the right, who's as analytical and obsessive as conceptual and extemporaneous, who's as aware of the importance of being an accurate, fact-based  tactician as much as an original, award-winning craftsperson. That part of the job is not as exciting as it is necessary. Yes, it's not good enough to be just a great wordsmith and marketer. If you want to earn a living as a copywriter, you also have to be…
Read More

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Eight

Advertising, Blogging, Branding, Cause-Related Marketing, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media
8. Be a team player. Most copywriters are accustomed to working alone, sequestered away from the rest of the team, doors closed, blinds drawn, working feverishly against time. It's what we do out of necessity, when there's no room for distractions and we just need to put our heads down to get the job done as soon as possible. Yet while it's certainly not unusual for a copywriter to do his or her thing in isolation, battling loneliness as well as the clock, it really shouldn't be the norm. Sure, to succeed as a copywriter, you need to be a self-starter, capable of working independently for long stretches of time. But you also need to be a team player, someone who works well with others – especially designers, creative directors and…
Read More

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Seven

Advertising, Branding, Copywriting, Direct Marketing, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media
7. Meet your deadlines. If you’ve been around the block once or twice as a copywriter, you know better than to think anyone's going to just give you enough time to do your very best work. You have to make the time. Yup. Over the course of my career, I’ve rarely seen a schedule that permits a copywriter the luxury of putting in the time he or she would really like to dedicate to a project. Every assignment is a rush. Everything is due yesterday. That's the nature of advertising and marketing, the bane of a copywriter’s existence. That’s the one thing you have to understand if you want to succeed in this business. Incredibly tight deadlines come with the territory. And those deadlines had better be met. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask for an extension if you don’t have enough…
Read More

10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media, Part Ten

Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube
10. Don't take yourself too seriously. Your success in social media may be dependent in large measure on what you have to share with others, but how you come across – your online persona – is also very important.     Whether you're on Facebook or YouTube, tweeting or blogging, you need to be as affable as you are knowledgeable, as charismatic as you are smart. You need to lighten up. Sure, many of the most effective social media practitioners are opinionated and authoritative, natural born leaders at the top of their fields. But if you take a closer look, you’ll find that they’re also easygoing and deferential, not afraid to share some of their personal lives with their professional peers. They’re approachable and responsive, people who are comfortable having impromptu, informal conversations with a diverse range…
Read More

10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media, Part Nine

Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube
9. Measure the results of your activities. If you’re serious about using social media, not just in it for fun, then you need to measure the results of your online activities so you know where you stand. If you publish a blog, you can use such tools as Technorati to see how it compares to others in your industry or Google Analytics to find out which posts people are reading, where they’re coming from and how long they’re staying on your site. But that’s not all you want to analyze. You also want to look at how many readers are subscribing to your blog, how many comments you’re receiving, how many other blogs are linking back to yours and how often it’s turning up in search engine results. And that’s just…
Read More

Blog Post on Video: The Importance of Content in Social Media

Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube
This “blog post on video” was recorded on March 20, 2010 in my own back yard in Sudbury, MA. It’s the video version of a post I wrote and published on January 27, 2010 called “10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media, Part Three,” which you can read in its entirety here. If you can’t see the video on this page, you can check it out on my YouTube channel by clicking here. Bob Cargill is a copywriter, creative director and social media marketer who helps brands to strategize, develop and implement successful new marketing programs. He is always interested in new speaking, consulting and freelancing opportunities. To contact Bob, click here.
Read More

10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media, Part Eight

Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter, YouTube
8. Educate others more than you promote yourself. A big mistake many organizations make is to use social media the way they use traditional marketing vehicles such as direct mail, email, print and broadcast. Instead of listening to their constituents, they’re tooting their own horns and focusing on ROI. They’re doing everything they can to force one-way, top-down, interruptive marketing messages into channels that were built for permission-based dialogue that doesn’t necessarily conform to a preconceived agenda. What they're doing is like trying to place a square peg into a round hole. Their efforts are futile. But that’s not to say you can’t generate leads and sales in social media. In fact, if you conduct yourself appropriately in these spaces and places, chances are your efforts will result in a multitude of new business…
Read More