Tested on audience — you can try this at home.

There is a slight chance to become a copywriter without having in mind to be an independent writer first (an author, let's say from now on). Now that I got to deal with copywriting, I wonder how the heck could anyone ever write some sort of literature without passing through copywriting first? What has one to do with the other, you may ask? Well, stay tuned to find out.

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A selection of High Contrast naming & tagline projects. Do you want to see more?

Do it for the words

Let's take it to a step-by-step timeline, as I figured it out: first comes the passion for writing. You are young, you have tons of ideas and scenarios, and you think they should be valued in books. I thought I must be a reincarnation of a great ancient poet or something because of a childish play I wrote for school in the second grade. Ok, laugh. Are you done? The thing is, I always knew I wanted to write, no matter what.

As I grew up, more and more people started to tell me about various ways to make money from writing, and I was mesmerized. I like to write. I will become rich. The truth is, once you get on this path, you barely think of money. There is always something to piss you off so bad that you act to fix it and be surrounded by the right words, and this is your valid reward. If you're not doing this for words' sake, you should consider changing your job.

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April Fools' campaign on our 404 page: agencies clichés with a twist.

Words do the sales first

In a previous article, I told you about how I got to be part of the High Contrast team. I knew I was applying for a sales job, but for some reason, I felt I needed to pour some more of my writing skills into those preliminary tasks I've been given. Here's a piece of how I turned my sales emails into fun works, hoping they will notice me:

Have you recently made an account on abouttobecomelame.helpme? If it was not you, someone certainly denounced you for not keeping up with the trend on your website. And here comes our point: we can do something about it. If any of these seems pointless to you, just have a look at our website and let our work speak for us in a better language. See you next time when we check upon the terms that can boost your business.

We bet you are doing it all right in your business, but don't you ever feel like something is missing? We can't talk about certain figures, but we can discuss some tricks to help them have a boost. If you feel needy about your website, we might have something to cheer you up. Visit us by accessing the link below and find out if any of our projects catches your attention so we can come up with something that can fit your interests.

Do you really think your website is cool and embodies the quality of your services to the fullest? Sit down. Let us show you what it means to be cool for real. We will not cut off your wings; we simply expose better ways to promote your awesome business. Don't you trust us yet? I saw that coming. Here, you can view our work to convince yourself of the professionalism we are talking about.

I was sure that my background would help build up the perfect email that would generate lots of leads—wondering how it went? We'll entertain you with this topic in another article — prepare to find out the hard work, ambition, and meticulous research behind the new business' accomplishments.

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Agency showcase at Transilvania University's opening day.
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How to get more attendees by using appealing events names. Local jokes only for this one, sorry.

What helps and what hardens your work

To be honest, studying literature has made my life harder many times at my job. Don't get me wrong; this background is a significant advantage. You only have to master the switch between your inner author and the copywriter you should be. Here is a list of tips and tricks I figured out that may help you balance your work in such situations.

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Outdoor for a hackathon organized by RINF TECH.

1. Make a clear distinction between your interests as a philologist and as a copywriter.

It is essential to set up some steps to follow as a marketer. None of the instances above should be unconsidered, even if the percentage of their domination is never equal.

Your first contact with the text should always be from the perspective of the audience.

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Fakeit.digital — a digital handbook for agency people. Read and laugh, people. Read and laugh.

Pragmatics must be your primary tool and the first to activate when you encounter a new text. If you feel something's fishy, bring your charms and crafts and see what is to be fixed. What do I understand from it? What do other people understand? What actually shall be understood? These are some simple questions that come naturally to your mind as a marketer. Or at least they should. As you seek a clear understanding of the message, your interest is that the answers to all these questions match.

Don’t turn your text into a ‘What did the author want to say?’, your message should not be debatable.

Boom, now you're halfway to your perfect text.

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Not your standard "Apply for a job" form.
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Movetobrasov.com recruiting campaign, pointing out the benefits of living almost in the mountains.

2. Don’t pick favourites, sometimes it hurts.

I know it doesn't sound very easy, but this is how it should be. You may like some of the paragraphs you wrote for that article, but they have to be rephrased. Or you really like that word you used for some particular heading version, but it says nothing about the product. The thing is: you are not allowed to pick favorites with your heart. Let me give you an example of my situation regarding the emotional baggage I put into one of my works.

When I had to write about how we deal with the home office in High Contrast, it came in my mind one of my favorite habits we used to have in the office, the BOB:

Let's make it clear once for good, so we don't have to keep wondering forever: BOB is our special treatment in case of emergencies. Emotional breakdown? BOB. Rough day with the monthly report? BOB. The devs messed up the website and had no backup? Oh, boy, definitely BOB. Now BOB means boob on boob, which is a close contact of our chests (hug, for the folks). It has a therapeutic effect, and it is incredibly beneficial in the office…

As I said, this was a special thing to me, and I wanted to write about it. For objective reasons, I had to cut off this part from my article, and I'll explain to you why. First things first, it was an inside habit that may confuse the outsiders. We don't want to make our readers feel they're not addressed to, do we? We shall avoid being too particular or personal. The second thing, even if I've been talking about hugs, the name we gave to this action might be associated with a girly one. We are not excessively feminists nor exclusive. Let's not make the audience feel otherwise.

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Positioning for Talent Reimagined, a talent acquisition company from Switzerland.

3. Trust your guts, but don’t reject feedback.

Here comes the most challenging part. I have often happened to be a bit too confident in my ideas, and that didn't bring the most favorable reactions. It is of significant importance, especially in this field, to accept others' feedback. You get your ideas altogether, meticulously structure them into the proper shape, and think you are done. But then comes the feedback, and you find out your message is not that clear. And your blood suddenly starts to boil. How is it possible?

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Touch your audience with inside jokes — Romanians will get these.

Calm down and trust your advisors. When you feel your text is easy to understand and someone tells you it's not, try to see why before fighting them.

As a marketer or copywriter, you’re doing things for your audience, not for yourself.

So don't be selfish. You may be used to some subliminal messages that others don't get that easy.

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T-shirts concept for Cartfest, a cultural festival in Romania, using wise words from kids.

4. Sometimes you should not be generous with the words.

As an author, it's in your interest to express something in as many and beautiful ways as possible. Extended metaphors and many linking words that you could survive without — just look at this never-ending article. Well, this is not the way of copywriting. There's no place for the words that won't change the meaning or add something necessary to your text. Get these out of your system and try to be on point. The key to your successful content is the shortest and most precise explanation of your product, service, brand, and so on. Try to say the same thing in other words, and challenge yourself to keep it short.

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Cutting out the metaphors with these announcing posters for Demisol — free co-working space opening.

5. In SEO we trust!

SEO is every text’s Valhalla. The better you master this SEO thing, the bigger are the chances to get visible. Unless you are willing to pay for your top positions in searches constantly. That makes another situation when you should work carefully with your words and be on point. Keywords, keyphrases. Key. Do I need to say this once again? Keywords are the key. Sorry, author, we have to put you on pause once again. You're doing great, but we keep the stories for later.

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Tea branding and flavors naming for OKIAN.
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Seaside campaign for OKIAN.

6. Choose wisely when to play the comedian.

Do you remember when I said accepting feedback is hard? Well, neither feedback nor the cultural background was so hard to me as controlling this 'comedian'. I've been told many times that I risk making fun of the things I was writing about. And most of the time, this could make a bad scenario. Anyways, I was not aware of this, as I haven't been doing it on purpose. Luckily I had people warning me about this trap, and I began to keep this little saboteur under control.

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Events concept for The marketing girl, the community. Brief: use an interjection and make it pop!
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Recruiting developers for an automotive project.

Practice tip as a bonus

All the things above may sound mostly like 'don'ts', but you can do something about it. During my Speech Theory courses at the university, I've learned a trick that proved to be very useful later in my marketing approaches. In the first place, you can go wild with your text. Write anything that goes through your mind with the exact words that you feel. Then extract the main ideas from each paragraph. The third step is to make one phrase out of each paragraph, based on the main ideas. Your content shortens more and more as you repeat these until it goes to the essence. Do it in reverse order, and you have another exercise to practice your writing skills to serve your purpose.

Bonus to the bonus: here you have a song to describe the importance of words perfectly. Enjoy!