Spec ads are one of the most important tools copywriters have to show their abilities to potential clients. Not only do spec ads show that you can write great copy and how you strategize your work, but it also shows you are connected and can collaborate with talented designers who make your copy pop. You read that right, the number one mistake copywriters make is not working with a designer for the spec ads.
In this episode, Nicki and Kate explain the ins and outs of working with a designer for spec ads. If you’ve been wondering how to find a designer or figuring out the best way to make it a mutually beneficial relationship, you’ll want to listen to this.
Looking for closed captioning or a transcript? Check out the episode on YouTube!
A Sneak Peek at the Episode
[1:10] Kate takes you through what a spec ad actually is. Spec ads are crucial for showing clients what you can do.
[3:00] Nicki outlines the three things spec ads show potential clients: (1) you can write copy, (2) you know how to strategize, and (3) you know how to collaborate and work with a designer.
[5:10] It is so important to be able to show potential clients that you understand how to write copy but that you also know what great design looks like.
[6:10] No company would use a template from a site like Canva to create an ad, so your spec ads shouldn’t be made with a template, either!
[7:15] Nicki and Kate explain how it is important to show your potential clients that you can build your copy to fit well with what a designer provides.
[8:10] When you are working with a designer for a spec ad, you are simultaneously building your network!
[10:00] Worried about paying for a designer to help you with your spec ad? Nicki and Kate explain what to keep in mind when looking for designers to work with (so that nobody is paying anyone or working for free).
[12:20] Kate and Nicki list out a few places that you can check out when looking for beginner designers to work with. Places like design schools and even high-school programs are great places to start.
[14:55] “I want to pitch but I don’t have any spec ads ready.” What is better: Throw a copy doc in the portfolio with no design? Put poor design around the copy yourself? Or just not include anything in your portfolio at all?
[17:57] Remember: label your spec ads as spec in your portfolio! Worst case scenario, the company asks you to take it down (very unlikely!).
- The Number One Spec Ad Mistake
- Importance of Spec Ads in Your Portfolio
- What to Look for in a Spec Ad Designer
- Why Copywriters Absolutely Must Have a Network of Designers
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About the Build Your Business Podcast
Ready to turn your love of writing into a successful copywriting career?
Join professional copywriters Nicki Krawczyk and Kate Sitarz to get the tips, tools, and training to help you become a copywriter and build a thriving business of your own. Nicki and Kate have 15+ and 10+ years of experience, respectively, writing copy for multi-billion-dollar companies, solopreneurs, and every size business in between.
Whether you want to land an on-staff job, freelance full-time and work from wherever you want, or make extra money with a side hustle, the best place to start learning is right here.