A while back Alex, one of my fellow copywriters, did a piece about what he learned while working at an inbound marketing agency.
Just like Alex, when I was in college pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in English/Professional Writing, I had never even heard of inbound marketing. What I did know was that I was sick and tired of getting spam in my inbox and invasive calls from telemarketers while I was busy trying to study at home.
On graduating, I applied for a job at Bluleadz based on the recommendation of one of my classmates who interned here at the company, and it was then that I discovered inbound marketing. It wasn’t long before I was hooked on the concept of guiding people to services and products that they were actually looking for rather than bugging them about things they don’t need or want.
Over the last two years working as a copywriter for Bluleadz, I’ve learned quite a bit, and not just about inbound marketing. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned since becoming a copywriter for Bluleadz:
Lesson 1: You REALLY Need to Get to Know Your Client’s Business Well if You’re Going to Be Writing as them
I write a ton of blog posts for clients in a variety of industries. I’ve written blog posts about Social Security, disability benefits, metal working, health and fitness, finance, business planning, data security, green technology, and many more topics.
The thing is, the clients I was writing for were all real subject matter experts in their fields, and I was just an English major fresh from college. I hadn’t studied metallurgy, the tax code, or any of the dozens of other subjects that I was now required to write about. I was clueless.
Trying to write for a client when I had no idea how they operated and why they did things in a particular way would only result in sub-par content.
What I needed to do was sit down and really get to know each client’s business, their challenges, their point of view, and what made them unique in their industry. While Google can be helpful in learning a bit about some subjects, there really is no substitute for spending time with a client talking about their business.
After getting to know my clients for a bit, I found that it became much easier to write for them and provide quality content for their blogs. I knew their businesses better, and could write from their perspective.
Lesson 2: Working from Home Doesn’t Usually Work
Technically speaking, I could do my job from almost anywhere as long as I have a steady supply of power for my computer and an internet connection to upload my work to the World Wide Web.
However, I still come into the office on a daily basis. Why?
Well, I simply tend to work more efficiently from here.
There are a few reasons for this:
- There are a million distractions at home. Between family, pets, TV, and chores, there are countless little distractions at home that can detract from your ability to focus on tasks such as writing.
- It’s harder to collaborate with coworkers. When I’m at the office, if I need a status update from a coworker (or vice versa), it’s a simple matter of looking over and asking. When I’m at home, I can’t do that so easily, I have to make a call and hope that the line isn’t busy.
- Work has snacks. Sometimes, you just need something to pick up your energy and keep you focused. Here at Bluleadz, the boss keeps us supplied with coffee, soda, energy bars, trail mix, chips, and other snacks to keep our energy up so we can focus on the task at hand.
Working from home once in a while is nice, but there’s no substitute for being in the office and focused on what you need to do.
However, there are some days where you really shouldn’t come into the office…
Lesson 3: Don’t Bring the Plague to Work
I can be a stubborn worker. In the past, I’ve shown up to work in a state where my coworkers briefly thought that I’d just come in off the set of a zombie flick. I feel that it’s my responsibility to show up and to do the best job that I can, even if I have a case of the sniffles.
However, there is a case to be made for actually using your sick days when you’re running a 102-degree Fahrenheit fever and can’t breathe for two seconds straight without devolving into hacking fits.
While sharing is nice, you really shouldn’t share a severe head cold with your coworkers. I ended up getting half the office sick once, and nobody was happy. The lesson I learned that day: don’t be a Typhoid Mary and bring the plague to work.
Lesson 4: It Feels Great to Write a Good Piece of Content that Gets Results
Even though my name doesn’t get attached to most of the stuff I write, and the readers of these content pieces will never know who it is that really wrote that blog piece or eBook that they enjoyed, I still love it when something I wrote for a client really takes off and gets a ton of views, shares, or downloads.
There’s nothing like knowing that the time and effort you poured into a project really resonated with your client’s target audience and earned a ton of visits and new contacts. This is why I try hard to make sure that everything I write for my clients is, in a word, awesome.
I want everything I write to be top-notch, and for my clients to love the results. For me, writing a piece of content isn’t just business, it’s a matter of personal pride.