The metaphor of The Lone Ranger is a common one for folks in my line of work–we swoop out of the prairie, help the widows and orphans keep their homes, and ride off into the sunset. There’s another similarity: just as does the Ranger, I have my own Copywriter’s Creed–rules I follow to ensure the best experience and the best outcome for my clients.
1. I learn the topic. I can’t write about something I don’t understand.
2. I start that research before the project kickoff. Clients like it when I don’t start with a blank slate.
3. I learn the vocabulary of an audience that knows more about their products, markets and messages than I do, and always will.
4. I’m patient. Just like me, my clients may not know what they don’t like until they see it.
5. I never ask a question I can find the answer to on my own.
6. I don’t veer from the client’s message even when I think of better ones. It’s probably tied in to a larger strategy that I’m unaware of.
7. I twist and turn with the project. Marketing campaigns are always full of switchbacks.
8. I’m not an artist, I’m a herald. My job is to get the message out, not to achieve the Sublime.
9. I make the process of working with me as easy for the client as I can. That’s how I get the next job.
10. I don’t argue with a client if they dismiss one of my ideas. After I tell them what I think, I gladly do what they want.