As copywriters, we do a lot of work on our own. After all, the actual writing of copy is a fairly solitary job. But often, we need to collaborate. With designers, yes, but also with project managers, marketing managers, and other key stakeholders within an organization.
This is true whether you work in an ad agency or on an in-house team. Even as a freelancer, you may not consider the people you work with your “colleagues” in the traditional sense, but while you’re working for a given client, their team becomes your colleagues.
Now, this may sound obvious, but it’s crucial to act professionally as a freelancer. You’d be shocked by how many freelancers, copywriters or otherwise, don’t. Those are the folks that churn through clients, never landing a repeat project and consistently wondering what they’re doing wrong. But it’s not hard to stand out and ensure you’re providing the professional service your clients expect.
That’s where Tell Me More: How to Ask the Right Questions and Get the Most Out of Your Employees by Michael Sherlock comes in.
Another book for your copywriting toolbox, Tell Me More helps you change the way you approach collboration.
Sherlock is a sales communications strategist and global sales leadership expert. In this book (the first in her Shock Your Potential series), she takes you through her “Listen, Learn, and Lead” framework.
First, you’ll learn to embrace active listening. Then, using the information gained during this active listening, you’ll learn how to unpack any issue, as well as how to follow up and follow through.
Tell Me More is unique in that, unlike other leadership books, this one is told through the eyes of a fictional character. The story makes it easier to process concepts versus reading dry “how-to” instructions that make it hard to understand how they work in action. With this book, you’re taken through a real scenario to see how it all works.
While it’s aimed at those who have direct reports, the information in the book is still applicable to copywriters in any situation:
- Developing positive relationships? Check.
- Turning negative situations into positive with honest and direct communication? Check.
- Developing leadership qualities like humility, fairness, and empathy? Check, check, check!
Developing strong partnerships with designers from the first conversation is crucial. You want to have a partnership that ensures you can work together towards a common goal versus letting small annoyances start to fester.
These skills can also improve your relationships with clients. Comprehensive Copywriting Academy students know, clients want to work with a partner. Rather than sit back and wait for clients to just hand you work, how can you help them reach their goals? What solutions do you see that would make their lives (and by extension yours) easier?
This is a must read if you have your sights set on a copy manager or lead copywriter role within an organization, or if you plan to take your business to the next level by starting an agency or outsourcing work (such as hiring a virtual assistant).
Bonus: Listen to Michael’s Podcast
If you’re a podcast fan (and we hope you are, take a listen to the Build Your Copywriting Business podcast), then you may love Michael Sherlock’s Shock Your Potential podcast. Each month has a theme and includes episodes that will help you grow both personally and professionally. Take a listen wherever you listen to your podcasts!
Your Turn! What are your tips for collaborating more effectively and building strong relationships with your colleagues and clients? Tell us in the comments below!
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
Last Updated on September 13, 2022
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