One of the best things about getting older is getting to know yourself better.
What you like. What you don’t. Where you’re strong and where you suck.
Your values. Your boundaries. What you truly want from work and life.
I’ve taken 10 years, several career diversions and some brutal self-reflection to find that clarity. But now I’ve found it, I feel a calm and confidence I never had before.
And I’m enjoying my work more than ever.
Because I know now that, while I am creative and think strategically, I’m not a creative strategist.
I can give an informed opinion about a media plan, but I’m not a media planner.
I can analyse campaigns, but I’m not a campaign analyst.
And I can manage people and projects, but I absolutely positively am not a people or project manager.
What I am is a copywriter.
What I love and do best is write copy.
And I can get all the work and fulfilment I’ll ever need from doing just that.
Why waste my time and energy on anything else? Why pretend to be a bunch of things I’m not?
Because I’m self-employed and my son’s LEGO addiction is expensive. Basically.
Clients increasingly want one person to do everything: develop the strategy, create the plan, write the copy and do the analytics. And if you’re a writer who offers all those things – happy pay day!
But who really benefits from that approach?
As the client, chances are you’ll get a rushed strategy, a generic plan, passable copy and superficial analysis.
(Not to mention a burnt-out and overstretched freelancer.)
Whereas if you hire specialists for each task – and let’s be real: each of those tasks is a specialist skill – you’re more likely to get great work across the board.
These days I’m not afraid to say no to those all-in-one jobs. If I know the client’s not going to get the best of me, I’ll tell them.
Sometimes I lose the work. Other times the client reconsiders their approach and hires me on much better terms.
Either way, the honesty is always appreciated. And for every project that’s not meant to be, I know there’ll be 10 more with my name on.
Do one thing. Do it really well. Get paid. Repeat.
It works for me. Could it work for you?