Copywriting business need a boost? Find a copy buddy!
This post was written by TCCS member, Laura Mattiucci
A copy buddy is more than just someone who writes copy for a living. They’re the (often) remote colleague who shares the joys and pains of your daily working routine. The one you celebrate your wins with, and your despair when you run out of clients or motivation.
You can always count on your copy buddy, just as they can always count on you.
Here are the benefits of having a copy buddy, based on my personal and (so far) very positive experience.
Why every copywriter should have a copy buddy
- Develop discipline. Who hasn’t struggled with this? Even experienced copywriters have a hard time trying to work regular hours, stay focused, and keep themselves motivated. Since teaming up with a copy buddy I’m far more disciplined and focused. A 10-minute weekly call is enough to boost my motivation for the rest of the week. Sharing my objectives with my buddy helps me to commit. I can live with disappointing myself, but I would never do it to my copy buddy.
- Reconsider your goals. Too ambitious? Too easy? Sharing your goals is a good way to find out whether you’re being realistic. Maybe you need to regain a little self-confidence or get out of the spiral of unproductive procrastination.
- Become (even) more productive. Having a copy buddy is a great way to overcome the loneliness of working from home. But it’s about more than just socialising. This is why every copywriter should have a copy buddy — even confirmed loners. It’s a great opportunity to become more efficient and improve both your own revenue and that of your copy buddy. And if you’re an introvert, you’ll appreciate them.
- Get (and give!) the best advice. Loved ones offering opinions that are aren’t very constructive? Struggling to come up with a quote for a challenging project? Need to stop spending hours choosing the font for your rebranded logo? Ask your buddy for their advice and tick another box on your to-do list. But remember: having a copy buddy is about giving as well as receiving. If you think helping is a waste of time (I hope you don’t), I suggest you read the book Give and take: why helping others drives your success.
- Multiply your opportunities. Don’t have the time or the competence to handle a client request? Why not pass it on to your copy buddy? They will be grateful for the opportunity, and won’t hesitate to do the same for you.
How to get a copy buddy
- Great news, especially for introverts: most of what I’m about to tell you can be done online. Hurray! Not surprisingly, using social media is the easiest way to find the perfect copy buddy. Pick your favourite platform, or try more than one. Chances are you’ll find a great copy buddy hiding there somewhere.
- Join a Facebook community. I realise this may sound like a paid endorsement, but I promise you I’m just being honest. I’ve tried various communities—free and paid, French and Italian. And in the end, I found my copy buddy on The Clever Copywriting Community. Coincidence? I don’t think so. But the only way you’ll find the community that works best for you is to try.
- Twitter is also a great place to find a potential copy buddy. Start by looking among the followers of your ‘gurus’. That way you know you’ll have at least one thing in common.
- Co-working spaces and offline events (for example conferences, meetups, training and networking events) are also places to find a potential copy buddy. I know socialising can be stressful, but real-life connections often carry a huge payoff: proximity. Chances are the people you meet at events live in your area, which means you can catch up with each other anytime you want. Even the most introverted copywriter might enjoy the idea of sipping a cup of coffee with his/her new copy buddy once in a while.
The dos and don’ts of having a copy buddy
Once you’ve found your copy buddy, here’s how to manage the new relationship and make sure it brings value to you both.
- Beware of time wasters (and avoid being one).
- Follow your gut. If, after a couple of exchanges you don’t think the new exchange is helping (for whatever reason), there’s no point forcing it. Cut your losses and move on.
- Choose wisely. Affinity is important, and everyone has their own criteria. The time zone and country you live in might be more important than sharing the same nationality or being the same age.
- Value diversity. It’s always good to have something in common with your copy buddy. But having a few differences (for example areas of interest, years of experience) can be good as well. Different points of view can bring value to the conversation and help you both improve. Accept diversity and treasure it. But remember: copy buddying is not mentoring. Strive to keep a balance.
- Be regular. Once you’ve found the perfect copy buddy, suggest having regular calls. But keep them short. A weekly 15–20-minute call should be enough to share your business goals and main happenings.
- Give back. Volunteer to be a second pair of eyes on something they wrote, or offer to teach (or help them with) a skill you have and they don’t.
- Accept help. If your buddy volunteers to help you with something and you agree it might be useful, don’t feel like you’re stealing. Just say “Yes”.
- When you help each other, always be open to feedback (never take it personally) and give them constructive comments in return.
Having a copy buddy also comes with a set of don’ts to make sure you live the experience in the right way. It has to be a benefit and make your life easier, after all.
- Don’t spam. Don’t send the same desperate message to 100 random copywriters and hope someone will answer. Start ‘listening’ on forums and social media, and then target people who seem to have more in common with you.
- Don’t stalk. Send a request and the other copywriter didn’t answer? Feel free to send a second message using the social media channel they’re most active on to make sure your message is read. But don’t keep asking. We’re all in a hurry nowadays, and they may have simply forgotten to respond. And if they still don’t answer? Maybe it’s a sign it’s not meant to be. Try someone else. The copywriting universe is full of nice people.
- Don’t give up. While doing the “Recipe for SEO Success” online course, I was assigned, two copy buddies. But while they were both lovely and smart, we weren’t in sync (we were all taking the course at our own pace) and didn’t help each other at all. I finished the course and ended up finding a copy buddy a few months later without much effort. Sometimes it’s just a question of finding the right person at the right time.
- Don’t take it personally. Your copy buddy missed a call? They’re not as regular as you’d like them to be? Be respectful and patient. Some days might be tougher than others.
- Don’t be stingy. Share your knowledge, resources, and tips. What you get in return is often much more valuable than what you give.
Finding a copy buddy (and being one) can be an opportunity to be more efficient, learn from another professional, and grow your business. Even though you might find it challenging, it’s definitely worth trying. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Looking forward to finding the perfect copy buddy for you? Go online or attend an offline event, find a potential copy buddy you might have some affinity with, and suggest having a weekly chat.
Do you know of other ways to find a copy buddy? Do you know of a different reason for having one? Got a success story you’d like to share? Tell us about it in the comments below.
About Laura Mattiucci
Trilingual copy buddy based in Paris.
She can write thousands of relevant words on artificial intelligence in English, French, and Italian. But don’t ask her to write a paragraph about eyeshadow. (She’d confuse it with blusher.)
She’s also a homemade pasta gold medal winner (according to her daughters).
If you’re curious about her accent and would like to hear it, click here.