TCA Copywriting: Notes from the Other Side of the Desk
Generally, the TCA copywriting projects I work on keep me behind the pen. Frankly, it’s where I’m in my element. Figuring out the best course of action, delving into the psyche of a client’s target market, and constructing smart, crisp copy all form part of a thrilling adventure that also happens to pay the bills.
Although fleshing out ideas in an effort to squeeze every drop of profit out of a product or service is an exciting challenge, it’s refreshing to tackle a project from a different angle. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a dynamic team of writers, providing guidance and feedback when necessary.
Creating a Cohesive Writing Team
Establishing a cohesive team isn’t rocket science, it’s management 101. If you’ve ever lead a group, you know the importance of working towards a common goal. It’s about creating an effective team that works like a well-oiled copywriting machine.
Working with freelancers sprinkled across the globe sounds more daunting than it really is. Yes, time zones do pose a dreadful problem, especially when you’re facing a deadline crisis at 3.a.m. Sometimes, you just have to take a hit for the team, grab extra caffeine, and get to work. After all, it’s not only for the good of the project, but also for the good of the group. Show you are willing to go the extra mile and it’s likely your team will follow.
Although interaction depends on the project, you should respond to any communication within a reasonable amount of time. When you’re addressing questions or concerns, share the information with everyone. It saves time and unnecessary frustration in the end. The last thing you want is several emails asking the same thing.
Be friendly and consistent because no one likes a mean boss. If you’re approachable, you’ll find there are fewer hiccups.
We’re All Just Human
Let’s face it, the sting of criticism burns, and it burns badly. You’ll be hard-pressed to find writers who enjoy having their copy ripped to shreds. However, feedback is still a valuable tool that will inevitably help your team improve the quality of their work.
Evaluate sales copy constructively while keeping in mind you have a client to please. Supply feedback in increments to help reduce a writer’s feeling of overwhelm. You’ll find your team less resistant to changes you suggest, which allows both the writing and editing processes to flow smoothly.
Compromise and Take a Risk
Every now and then, you’ll question whether a piece of copy is suitable for a client’s project. If you’re certain the style of writing simply won’t fly, then don’t let it pass your desk. However, on the rare occasion your gut instinct tells you to take a chance, pitch it to the client as an option. Both you and the client may be pleasantly surprised. If not, then you can easily fix the problem with a fresh draft of copy.
Keep in mind copywriters have instincts too, so you won’t always see eye to eye. No one ever said compromise was easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. It’s your call, but consider sharing the copy with your client, even if it’s only to gain valuable feedback.
Don’t Let the Talent Get Away
There’s no doubt you’ll face a smorgasbord of writing styles when working with a group of talented wordsmiths. Despite the fact you may need to implement some sense of uniformity with regards to style, there’s a good chance you’ll find a few gems among the mix. These writers have a pure knack for selling.
If you happen to find such a gem, then encourage the individual to see the project through to its conclusion. Depending on the nature of the project, writers will drop out or join your team at various stages. Keep as many of them on-board as possible, as long it’s not to the detriment of the final product.
Whether you’re a project manager or writer, we’re interested to hear about your challenges and triumphs working with a group. Share your team’s stories in the comment section below. We’ll also gladly answer any questions you have about TCA copywriting and our other content services.