Q. How did you end up in this field?
A. I didn’t exactly choose to be a copywriter; I really just wanted to be a writer. Given that the profession doesn’t exactly offer much monetary reward, there are usually two good ways for writers to make money: advertising or writing textbooks. Textbooks are boring, so I went with advertising.
Q. Describe your education. Did it help you land your job?
A. I started out at York University in the professional and creative writing program. It was okay, but I realized early on that if I wanted to get ahead of my peers and land a job in my market, I’d have to start a lot earlier. So I left school to pursue a job in advertising. School didn’t really help at all, and if anything, my participation in the work force made me a better student. I really did learn more by being in the real world, than being in some classroom.
I’m back at school now, but I do my courses via correspondence online because my job is pretty demanding. There isn’t much room to attend classes and meet deadlines in advertising.
There really is no specific educational path for copywriters or writers. I mean, you can take the relevant courses in college or university, but they certainly can’t teach creativity. I’m not saying I’m a great, amazing writer, but if you’re looking for a real path into this world, I highly suggest you get in there and get your hands dirty. You’ll be doing a lot of grunt work in the beginning, but it’ll pay off.
Q. What is a typical day on the job like?
A. Meetings. Lots and lots of meetings. Client meetings, team meetings—they never end. But, they can be pretty awesome. The team I work with is very collaborative, and we’re all on the same level. We can sit in a room for a couple of hours and bang out some great ideas that get presented to clients.
A lot of people think that being a copywriter means you’re just in this room hammering out really creative taglines and body copy. But it’s really a lot of briefing, preparing and writing presentations because your skills in language aids in selling clients your business. It’s not all Mad Men.
Q. What is the best part of your job?
A.The best part of my job is getting to work with so many different brands, and helping them reach out to new and existing customers through innovative ways. Copywriting isn’t just about formulating words; it’s about creating a great brand experience.
I get to work with brands in all sorts of sectors, and having that ability to transfer your skills from industry to industry is really important. One day you could be working with a clothing giant, and the next day you might be working with a large automotive company. You learn a lot about the different industries and their place in society by being so involved in the brand.
Q. What is the most challenging part of your job?
A. I don’t know really. The whole job is challenging. That’s what makes it so great. Every day you have to face a new problem for a client, and somehow find a solution. It’s not easy at all, and it’s very demanding of you—but it’s worth it. At the end of the day, you’ve helped a company or service do something for their customers, or you’ve helped customers connect with the brand.
It’s a high-pressure industry, and it’s also a very competitive one. So staying ahead of everyone else is important, too.