Article is written by David Jacobs, Principal Copywriter at Lewis-Barned. If you would like to find out more about how working with Lewis-Barned could deliver your next marketing or web project please contact email@example.com or call David on 01444 811292.
When you read ‘copywriter’ (n. a person who writes the text of advertisements or publicity material) all kinds of images may come into your head.
But if all you can imagine is a pair of bloodshot eyes belonging to a lonely figure hunched over an old Remington typewriter in a dimly lit and smoke-filled room, it might be time to think again…
Today’s copywriters are a progressive group of creatives. While many work as freelancers, few fit the profile of the ‘lonely academic’ whose idea of a fun-filled evening is thumbing through the latest edition of The Oxford Dictionary (useful though this reference tool is).
For freelance copywriters, a key skill in building a successful business in the 21st century is, in fact, building and sustaining good relationships with other professionals who have complementary skills.
As well as working on a project by project basis with ‘real teams’ of full-service marketing/advertising agencies, freelance copywriters often work with ‘virtual’ teams of fellow creatives.
These include independent designers, front-end developers, account managers, strategic marketing consultants, project managers and others who work together to make sure they can deliver exactly what clients need, when they want it, and at the right price.
Platforms such as Skype, Face Time and WhatsApp – as well as phone or email – mean that, over all the years we’ve been in business (more than 25) we have only rarely needed to work in the same office as the rest of the team.
Working as part of a virtual team means we can offer many advantages to clients looking for a new website, brochure or other marketing collateral. In some cases, we take on the leadership and project management of a team, at other times we are led by others.
One of our virtual colleagues, Dawn Cremin at Fruition Marketing sums up the advantages of this way of working: “A virtual team is made of individual specialists with complementary skills, who are able to deliver joined up solutions to clients. As members of the team are usually self-employed and typically work from a home office, clients are able to benefit from lower costs and access to highly qualified experts. Ultimately, it’s these highly specialist experts who deliver the project – it’s never handed down to less experienced colleagues to do the grafting.
“As well as great value for money, a virtual team allows a client to access a potentially wider range of skills and greater experience. As each member of the team works within many different virtual and real teams, they are used to dealing with new challenges and getting on top of the brief quickly.”
Will Piercey, another virtual co-worker, who is a specialist website designer and builder, runs Bit Storm Design from his atelier in Kent.
Will comments: “I think being self-employed can sometimes give you a greater focus on achieving your goals and making sure the client is satisfied with the result. Each of us owns a stake in the project and our desire to keep the business flowing can be greater.” He adds: “In my experience, there is also a more personalised approach to the work. Fewer internal meetings generally also makes things more productive and speeds turn around!”
A virtual team can be as large or small as your project requires, so you will have the most relevant expert dealing with each aspect. Equally, if you have a simple project, you will only need to deal with (and pay for!) the resource that you need.
Virtual teams of freelancers can offer the skills you need, years of specialist experience, flexibility, value for money, as well as endless enthusiasm and drive. We recognise that very often, in the client’s eyes, we are only really as good as our last project and word of mouth is our most powerful marketing tool, so there’s always a strong incentive to deliver high quality projects time and time again.