Tag: copywriters

4 Reasons to Consider Creative Staffing Agencies

There are many reasons to consider creative staffing agencies. (We previously covered the pros and cons in a blog post last year.) As you may know, being a temp has a bad rap. It implies you are wet behind the ears, not ready for prime-time, not worthy of a real negotiated contract between equal partners. As copywriters and business owners, we value our autonomy and ability to negotiate top pay for years of hard-won expertise and entrepreneurial can-do spirit that any employer would love to access.  Copywriters are high achievers; temping is for lazy wage slaves who can’t wait to clock out, right?

So, why do I work a temp job? Well, after having held this job a year, I have to say the experience has been positive overall, and not only because of the steady income. Here’s why:

  1. Quick pay and benefits. Being a contractor means you can negotiate a higher hourly rate, but often there is a lag time between invoicing and actually receiving the check. Depending on your clients, you can wait anywhere from 15 to 120 days (if not more). Temping gives you a weekly paycheck. And although the benefits aren’t as good as full-time employee benefits, they are reasonable especially if you have a family to support. Many temp agencies in Portland offer health, dental, vision, and long-term disability insurance; 401(k) plans; and ongoing professional development.
  2. Job bank. Most companies prefer to advertise and list open positions with temp agencies, jobs that often aren’t listed anywhere, else even though it costs them a lot. Companies find it’s worth paying for the convenience and no-strings-attached flexibility of getting a pool of vetted candidates. This flexibility goes both ways, too. If a new assignment comes along that’s better for you, you can ask your recruiter to switch.
  3. Yet another way to network. Temp jobs introduce you to companies and people you might have never known about otherwise. And they allow you to prove your skills to strangers who wouldn’t bother to read your email or return your calls.
  4. The benefits of collaboration. Although calling all the shots as your own boss can be great, it can also be a dead end creatively. I find collaborating with other writers, graphic designers, creative directors, marketing staff, and administrators to be valuable not only for inspiration and feedback, but also improve my ability to communicate ideas and work face to face with people from different backgrounds.

Freelancing while temping through a creative staffing agency can easily create more work than you’re comfortable with! You may find yourself trading the old feast-or-famine dilemma for a feast-or-feast more problem, which is not a bad problem to have. I often need to adjust, but I have found a 60-40 temp/freelance workload that gives me the best of both worlds: I have financial stability and opportunities to expand my skill set via temping, but I also have the freedom to continue building my business and pursue the projects that I want, not that I need.

How to Manage Client Feedback

Whether copywriters develop website copy or an advertisement, we use expertise, research, and client feedback to create the best content possible.

However, this can quickly turn into a nightmare if we receive vague feedback like: “Fix this paragraph” or “I want this ad to ‘pop’ more.”

Proper feedback, in my opinion, is descriptive (not prescriptive). That means clients describe what they don’t like about the copy and tell us why they feel that way in relation to their end goal. This leaves it up to us (the hired experts) to come up with a solution.

Copywriters should take responsibility for managing client feedback. After all, this might be the first time your client has ever worked with a copywriter. Taking responsibility not only gives us some dignity for our work, but it also helps our clients’ projects succeed.

Educating Clients

An easy way to educate clients is by showing them the difference between good and bad feedback. I do this by sending clients a one-page PDF called “How to Provide Effective Feedback on My Work” a day or two before I submit my work. (I originally got this idea from an article written by Paul Jarvis, a freelance web designer.)

Since I may not get everything perfectly right on the first try, it’s important for me to know what’s not working for my clients. And with feedback, it is my job (as the hired expert) to come up with appropriate solutions to fix these issues.

This is how my PDF starts:

To ensure a project’s success, here are the effective ways my clients can provide the best feedback for me to do my best work:

  • Be honest. If you don’t like something, I need to know right away. (Not three weeks down the road!)


  • Be specific. Point out what, exactly, is not working for you, and why it’s not working.


  • Ask why. If you were not sure what I was thinking, I’d love to explain my reasoning. Everything I’ve done for the project has a purpose.


  • Refer to your goals. Relate every piece of feedback and criticism back to the goals we set at the start of the project.


  • Relate to your audience. Your audience should be on the top of your mind for every critique you give. What do they need? What will they love? What won’t they like?

That’s it! All it takes is a simple e-mail asking them to read this over before reviewing your work. Feel free to use this as an example to educate your own clients.

It’s little things like these that will keep our clients happy!

How To Create a Marketing Campaign

Last week, we talked about freelance money insights from Shell Tain, a Portland-based money coach. The Conclave hosted Shell at our first event for 2015.  We already discussed the genesis of why we wanted Shell Tain to talk to freelance content creators and editors.  But what you may not know is that I started designing the marketing campaign in October 2014, and we had several challenges to overcome. how to create a marketing campaign

The Challenges

1.  The event was not centered on copywriting/editing/content advice, which has been one of CC: PDX’s major value propositions for members and prospects.

2. Shell Tain wanted to specifically talk to Portland copywriters and Conclave members.

3. Talking about money makes people nervous.

4. It was on a Thursday evening during dinnertime.

Our primary target pool was 45 people.  I also designed a complementary Twitter and blog strategy that would, if nothing else, help the Conclave’s visibility in the Portland community.  My main aim was to be visible without spamming people.

I scheduled e-mails to go out two weeks prior to the event, one week prior, and then three days prior.

The Metrics

Here’s our e-mail metrics (averaged for the entire 45-person target pool):

  • First e-mail’s open rate: 83%
  • First e-mail’s click rate: 27%
  • Second e-mail’s open rate: 73%
  • Second e-mail’s click rate: 16%
  • Third e-mail’s open rate: 59%
  • Third e-mail’s click rate: 10%

As for Twitter, I started with tweets two weeks in advance, and then slowly ratcheted them up to once-a-day tweets.

Here’s some analytics from Twitter:

  • First tweet: 355 impressions; 10 engagements
  • Second tweet: 409 impressions; 8 engagements
  • Sixth tweet: 305 impressions; 2 engagements

The Takeaway

How did all of this marketing translate to dollars?  We enjoyed a 20% sales conversion rate. Those who attended said they received a lot of value from the event (I certainly did), which will lead to more people joining the organization. We also received social media support from the venue itself (Forge Portland), and a kind shout-out from Mathys+Potestio.

Our next event, Momentum Drivers for Writers and Artists featuring Lynette Xanders, is currently scheduled for May. We’ve developed a content strategy for this event, and the Conclave in general, that will guide us through the rest of the year.

Interested in learning more about what we do?  Leave a comment below!  We love to share ideas.