Advice to Students Interested in Copywriting

Our Senior Copywriter, Ike Peters, shares one of the most important lessons he's learned about copywriting.

LEARN TO SHAPESHIFT

If you’re a young writer, you’ve probably figured out what you’re good at. You’ve acquired an arsenal of writing tricks and weapons that are uniquely you, and you’ve mastered those weapons so well that you fire them with finesse in all your papers and essays and short stories or whatever else you’ve been required to write and your teachers are all so impressed. That was me, too!

But then I started copywriting and found out that most people aren’t liberal arts college professors.

As a copywriter, you’re going to have to take on different voices for the brands you work on and their intended audience. So, developing that flexibility early on will help you out a lot.

You may be good at puns, but that doesn’t mean it’s always appropriate for your client or the medium you’re writing for. Or maybe you specialize in long form where you have room to develop an idea, but the job is an outdoor board that drivers will only get a glimpse of for 3 seconds. Or maybe you think you’re good at writing overly long, grammatically-reckless blog posts about copywriting, but maybe the Public Relations Account Coordinator only asked for 300 words.

See? You can’t coast on your own cleverness for very long, so it’s important to be able to adapt your writing to what the business needs are for your client. And once you set those boundaries for yourself, you’ll find there’s still plenty of room for creativity.

In conclusion, if copywriting sounds like a cool job to you, then flexibility needs to start being a major part of your creative arsenal. Become a shapeshifter.