Being part of a great team makes copywriting better

Being part of a great team makes copywriting better

By Danielle Scheepers

Posted on 10th April 2019

Ernest Hemingway once said, ‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ Of course, we are so much more evolved now – we bleed in front of screens.

Dramatic? Granted, but only a little. Writing can be difficult, it takes a lot of focus, and creatives are not known for this trait! The challenges involved in being a digital marketing copywriter in particular include the need to churn out great work at a break neck pace.

 

There is one advantage that Hemingway didn’t have access to which Yellow Door has, an incredible team. Every person in the office plays a specific role in creating authentic, compelling content for our diverse clientele. What follows is insights that I have gained in my time as Yellow Door’s resident copywriter.

Strategy

Not all writers are strategists, but marketing is all about strategy. The fast pace at which the digital world moves means that copy needs to hit the bullseye every time. The only way to make sure that it does so is knowing what information and direction to give the audience and which platform to use.

 

In order to implement this, our team gets together every Tuesday to strategise about a particular client or project and how we can improve our offering. Being part of a small team, everyone has space to share their ideas, and the client benefits from the input of a host of marketing experts with varying skills. For copywriters, this is golden, because it is an opportunity to listen, learn and gain fresh perspective and insight into how to tell the brand’s unique story.

Input

Another notable benefit of such a tight knit agency is having direct access to the bosses. Dom and Em are both incredible in their respective roles and contribute greatly to my growth as a copywriter.

 

Em is our new business director, which means that her focus is always on the horizon. She shares insights and new ventures with the team constantly. Her input into brand guides and company profiles are what refine and direct the process to bring the final product together.

 

Dom, our managing director, directs the daily workflow. This is invaluable, as it keeps things on track. She makes certain that deadlines are achievable and provides encouragement and input into every project. Because, let’s face it, creatives need boundaries!

The YellowDoor Co-74

Play

As I mentioned earlier, writing can be a difficult practice. Writers are very often their own worst critics. It helps to have a team of people with which you are able to commiserate and also have fun with outside of work.

 

As a team we have danced, celebrated, gone bowling, eaten pizza, hiked and took part in activities that aren’t at all work related. Ultimately, this is almost as important as office hours because it leads to freer thinking and more inspired creativity.

Support

We all deliver the best we can, but there are times when deadlines are tight and things become too demanding to handle alone.

 

Team dynamics at Yellow Door are easy going and we have each other’s backs, pulling together to pick up slack. This gracious dynamic allows for growth and development and a better creative environment. As the resident writer, it takes the pressure off to know that we, as a team, are shoulder to shoulder in carrying the vision of the agency into the future.

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Words that work – write better copy

“So, what is it that you do?”

“I’m a copywriter.”

“Oh…. (pause) so does that mean people come to you when they have a really good idea?”

“Umm… no. You are thinking of copy right. I copy WRITE, I mean write copy. Basically, it is a fancy name for words.”

That, friends, is the conversation I have with possibly three out of four people that I meet. What most don’t realise is that copywriting permeates every aspect of modern society. Every word on a billboard, radio advert, magazine cover, and all online content is created by phantom culture shapers known as copywriters.

Our business is to subtly show you the benefits of, well, whatever company we are employed by, so, everything! But – and this is a BIG but.

Not all copy is good.

Sometimes it feels forced and salesy, or just over done. Good copy is like the smell of coffee. It wafts into your routine, subtly beckoning, reminding you of something you already enjoy without being invasive or demanding. But how to create it?

Get in their heads

People essentially envision themselves a certain way and then align with the brands that speak to the identity that they have decided on for themselves. In terms of creating copy, this is golden, as you can push heavily into the idealised values, thoughts and outlooks of your client.

What is your audience already thinking about? What are they worried about? Or in the case of Nightire, dreaming about? The aforementioned brand is aimed at women that value quality. These women want elegance above all else and will spare no expense when it comes to comfort and image, even importing nighties made of bamboo fabric “inspired by the big-city-life.”

Here is an example of copy from their home page:

“Not many people care what they wear to bed, which is a shame as you spend about a third of the day in your PJs. We’re happy to shell out for fancy suits and pencil skirts, but when it comes to our home-wear; a grubby pair of last year’s shorts and a freebie t-shirt from that 5km run we did once upon a time, will do.

But no more. Because you’ve just discovered Nightire. Good on you.”

Simple and elegant, with relevant points and a set apart air aimed at the elite. Voila.

Humour the reader

Never underestimate sharp wit and the careful placement of a good punny to get a point across. Humour is not only disarming, it also shows off the human element of a brand, which makes it more relatable.

Humour turns words into gold. No, seriously. People connect to the story of a brand almost as readily as they do to the product, which makes it possible to sell almost anything. A great example of this is the Urban Daddy newsletter which playfully advertised rubber band guns in such a way that you end up believing that no self-respecting adult should ever be without one.

Phrase so it pays

See if you can name the brands attached to these slogans. Ready?

  • Give that man a Bells
  • Just do it
  • Guess who got it all this morning?
  •  I’m loving it
  • Finger lickin’ good

Chances are that if you have been alive for more than two minutes, these slogans are deeply embedded in your psyche. Why is that? They are catchy, “clean” (not wordy) and summarise the objective and outlook of each brand brilliantly.

A good slogan can make your brand a household name. Try to give some thought to making it relatable and relevant, you want it to catch people’s eyes and make it stick in their minds.

Be authentic and become amplified

There are many ways to say something. The individual voice of the company needs to be the focus. Do the words you use portray the brand in the way you want? Does it sound as though the people writing the phrases are actual people and not just robots programmed to spit out key phrases and SEO propaganda?

Also, as human beings we are drawn to authenticity, originality and sincerity. Good copy is written from a pool of life experience, almost aimed directly at the single person reading the ad. Like a friend to another friend. Your copy should say: “Hey friend, even if no-one else does, I get you.”

People are not that complicated, make sure they feel seen, heard and appreciated. Do not try to manipulate them. Stay true to your brand and come up with phrases that grab their attention and keep it. Forever.

Or just contact us and we will do it all for you.