The path to Senior Copywriter can be straightforward or have some winding roads. If you wish to be a Senior Copywriter, a unique brew of creative writing, time management skills, industry knowledge, and a great portfolio need to work together to prove you can keep up with the demands of the job. Done well, it is a very rewarding challenge to collaborate with other copywriters and advertisers as well as your clients in order to fulfill project needs and see your work with the other elements in the digital arena such as graphics, images, and video.
Freelance Copywriter VS Staff Writer VS Blogger
As alluded to, there can sometimes be other routes to becoming a Senior Copywriter. These are some of the most common but keep in mind that they must be combined with number of years of experience so as to make the transition to the advertising and marketing world easier (if you weren’t already in that industry).
A freelance copywriter sets his or her own hours and can be selective about their work with advertising campaigns. You perform similar duties to that of a senior copywriter, but on your own as you work for clients you’ve secured. Freelancers are usually paid by pieces of content created instead of salary, so you must also be able to market yourself to potential clients. Providing clients with consistent high-quality copy for their project needs and advertising materials will keep existing clients and win over new ones. There are also websites these days that help clients find freelancers and use a secure platform for business deals.
Staff writers often come from journalism, either online or print. Staff writers will write content such as news reports, reviews, and features. Typically this kind of experience only takes a minimal of training to refocus the writing to be of a more persuasive and creative variety that is more often found in advertising.
Bloggers primarily create content that sound similar to what copywriters do – posts, articles, web articles, web copy, content, and other blog content – but not always for multiple clients. Again, some training can easily transition a blogger from writing for personal use or a single client to broader portfolio of clients in no time.
Upon graduating with a degree in English, advertising, journalism, or marketing, you can easily apply as a junior copywriter at an advertising agency. You will be asked to assist on existing campaigns and occasionally give input on new projects depending on the size of your team. You can imagine working on anything from print to online in advertising, television, press releases, blogs, and other places where ad copy is needed. A junior copywriter is sometimes referred to as assistant copywriter so you might be asked to proofread and edit the copywriting of senior members on your team as they perform content strategy or liaise with clients.
It can take about two years on average to be considered for the role of Senior Copywriter either by an available position, promotion, or based on experience (from the positions mentioned above). You will then be in contact with clients directly and manage new accounts. With information about your clients, their projects, and overall goals, you are expected to pitch new sales ideas after discussing it with your Creative Director or Marketing Manager. Winning new accounts is a big deal for an agency and it needs to be seen that you can be trusted to successfully fulfill expectations. It’s important to keep your portfolio up-to-date, as this will be reviewed when interviewing for the position. It’s smart to have this ready whether you were looking for a promotion or not since at a moment’s notice these opportunities can arise. Ongoing education is another secret weapon to advancing your career quickly as additional training may help you perform more effectively and keep up with new technologies.
Beyond a Senior Copywriter lies the position of Creative Director. Typically the most successful Senior Copywriters who have lead successful campaigns or have other industry awards will prove themselves capable of the demands of this position. Creative Managers oversee the entire creative department and keeps the team cohesion in check while giving final approval for projects. These jobs can take up to 15 years to have the adequate experience and are responsible for multi-million projects with tons of moving parts. The wealth of experience ensures that you’ve encountered most of these problems and are able to cope with whatever complications or expectations.
Copywriter Career Paths at Florida International University
At Florida International University, our Global Strategic Communication Creative Track, in tandem with the world-renowned Miami Ad School has all the right classes to make sure you can move up the ladder quickly and efficiently with a portfolio that shows you’re ready to take the advertising industry by storm.
Contact Grizelle De Los Reyes, Director of the FIU-MAS Creative Track Program by filling out our contact form to learn more. Start today to be on your way to an excited position in Copywriting!