So what do you do for a living?
“If you can explain to your friends and family what you do for a living, you don’t work in advertising.”
Anyone who has worked in advertising for a significant time – say, three weeks – understands that statement. “What did you do at work today?” “The art director and I went to a coffee shop and concepted.” If you think back to the last job you had before advertising – back when argot like “concepted” sounded like gibberish – you’ll realize that explanation makes no sense to anyone outside the business. Not to your boyfriend. Not to your college roommate who drops by for the weekend. Not even to your mother, who fervently wants to believe you’re succeeding in life.
Aside from the obvious absurdity of leaving the workplace to hang out in coffee shops, how can you explain “concepting,” except to say you have no idea why it isn’t “conceptualizing,” which is an actual word in the real world? “The two of us toss ideas around and when we come up with a good one, I write a headline and the art director draws a thumbnail.”
Stop now. If you want to be able to talk about your work, change careers. However, if you want to create value, keep doing what you’re doing. Because that’s what you do. You create value. Every day, you create words and pictures that intrigue and persuade. And that creates value for clients.
Just think. You get paid for that.
Blair Boone is an advertising copywriter and the founder of OneWriter™.
One writer is worth a thousand pictures.™
©Blair Boone 2018
Photo by Rick English
My favorite is when you tell people you’re a copywriter and they respond, “Oh, so you do like registered marks and stuff?”