I hadn’t done any copywriting for a while when I got the call, completely out of the blue, from Nick. “Have you got a job, Tim?” I did, but what he was potentially offering sounded quite good. Copywriting, part time, money OK. I didn’t have a portfolio as the companies I had previously worked for no longer existed (obviously I have the Midas touch). But after a passing a short copy test I was in for a trial. I pleaded ‘competent’ and now I’m a Junior Copywriter at Jupiter.
The first couple of days, I could feel I wasn’t quite allowing my style to flow. Sense seemed an elusive quantity and sentences seemed stilted and awkward like a Tinder date in the 18th Century. Perhaps I was trying too hard to make a good first impression. Perhaps I’d overdone it with the coffee. Either way, I felt like I couldn’t find my voice.
And therein lay the problem. It’s not my voice that clients want to hear. It’s their voice, or that of their brand. The skill is in being able to adopt that voice almost like an actor getting into character. Not a Jason Statham type, but a really good actor, like Robert De Niro. Someone able to play a wide range of characters and adopt diverse brand voices to deliver written content that is both engaging and on brief. Just like Robert De Niro would.
Whilst we’re on the subject, briefing is another subject that came up a lot in my first week and I’ve quickly learned the value of good quality and thorough briefing. If briefing isn’t up to scratch, not only does it make steam come from the ears of the Creative Director but it makes the job very difficult. Imagine if you asked Joe Pesci to be in your film but you hadn’t really decided who he would be playing and you hadn’t written him any lines. He’d put you in a hole in the desert.
It’s the same with briefing. If the Copywriter doesn’t have any guidance on the kind of content that’s required and the way its meant to be written then it makes their job very difficult. But as long as we work together, liaising with the client for more information when necessary then, with a bit of luck, nobody has to end up in the desert.
Other than those two main issues, the rest of my first week went swimmingly and everything seems nice. However, I can’t find the tartan paint anywhere...