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I love copywriting. For me, it’s about solving problems in a creative way. And there’s no one way to do it.
My background is in improv theatre and sketch comedy. That hardly makes me unique in advertising, but years of improvising, performing and writing for live audiences have taught me a few lessons that have translated to my copywriting career, including the following:
• There are a gazillion options
• Less is more
• The audience is smart
• Stay positive
• Mistakes are gifts—and usually lead to something more interesting
Of course, copywriting requires different skills for different projects at different stages. Here’s what I bring to the table in each:
IDEAS & PLATFORMS
• As someone who has spent the last few years pitching creative campaigns to the media, I understand how critical it is that a creative idea have a clear “hook-y” pitch. As a result, I can’t help but think of an eventual press release headline when developing platform ideas.
• I also think VOLUME is important at this stage. I believe in generating a lot of ideas up front without too much critical pruning. After all, there may be a nugget in there somewhere. I like giving creative directors LOTS of options and let them hone and focus.
• I can work independently, am happy to pair with an art-director partner or can work as part of an interdisciplinary team. After all, these days, the most inspiring idea may be sparked by a technical innovation or a media hook. I believe in the power of collaborating with a wide range of people.
• Having worked in sketch comedy for years, I also have experience working as part of a “writer’s room” and find this to be one of the most exciting and dynamic environments in which to work. This is ESPECIALLY true for comedy, in which a “funniest wins” strategy is best served by a group of writers.
• I may be a masochist, but there’s something fun about generating a couple of hundred taglines for a product. Are most of them going to be crap? Of course. But exploring multiple ways to use language helps you uncover the unexpected.
• Headlines matter. They’re the front door to your ad. Nobody’s going to walk in and spend any time with your product or brand if they can’t get past the front door. That’s an analogy, folks.
• If you’re going to have body copy, make it valuable. It’s not just about turning the client’s 30-page PowerPoint into a couple of copy lines; it’s about finding the words that are going to motivate an action and change behavior.
• I’ve written scripts for everything from six-second Vine videos to traditional TV commercials to sitcom episodes to feature-length films.
• There’s an art to selling work—selling it to your partner, selling it to your creative director, selling it to the rest of the agency team and, ultimately, selling it to the client. Probably multiple layers of clients. I have a strong track record of doing just that.
• Once a client has said yes, then the real work starts. I take pride in my ability to collaborate with the agency team, producers, directors, photographers, coders, vendors and whoever else is charged with bringing the idea to life. I care about craft, understand that the details make it special and know how to do it without being a jerk about it.
Need somebody who can provide creative direction in addition to copywriting? I can do that too.