Behind the Scenes as a Copywriter at a Top Creative Ad Agency
It all started with a button. More specifically, it all started with an “Apply” button on LinkedIn for a Marketing Copywriter role. The position was listed as an on-site role in Scottsdale, Arizona — a state I’d never even stepped foot in before in my life.
I was at a crossroads and looking for a new full-time opportunity, having finished my graduate degree nearly two years earlier and still feeling unsettled in the murkiness that is the world of freelance writing. As a freelancer, people sometimes project this glamorous image of being your own boss, setting your own deadlines, and choosing your projects. But the reality is more like having multiple bosses, who are often setting conflicting deadlines and are continuously adding and removing projects from your plate with little to no regard for your overall workload. You must take on every role in your own independent business to succeed, from accounting to customer service to sales. I was ready to instead take my writing abilities to a full-service digital marketing agency, where the administrative and client-handling aspects of business would be handled by professionals who can do that best, so I could just focus on the words — what I do best. Plus, I was still thawing out from completing my master’s degree in Minnesota, and 300-plus days of sunshine sounded like my ideal climate. With little to tie me down or to lose, I took a chance and applied to work for the top digital marketing agency in the Phoenix metropolitan area: FabCom.
I was soon immersed in the interview process for a copywriter role with a top Scottsdale marketing agency. I knew FabCom would be a truly full-service marketing agency from the very first assignment — a blog post/article on marketing color theory and the importance of maintaining a core color palette for brand identity purposes. While the “test” article was initially intended as just one of the steps of FabCom’s interview process to allow the team to assess my writing ability, secondary research skills, and creative capabilities, it now lives on as a helpful guide for clients of our strategic marketing agency on our integrated agency blog. Most importantly, it was the article that helped me secure my position as a Creative Copywriter for the agency!
After settling into my new position, the next standalone piece I wrote for FabCom’s Brainfood was an overview of the changing digital privacy landscape that impacts consumers and integrated marketing agencies alike. This was an exhilarating article to write, as it stemmed from research our firm was working on in order to develop a comprehensive strategy for a client. The FabCom approach to strategizing is an all-encompassing one which includes a full view of the target audience, including a breakdown of their demographic, psychographic, sociographic, and behavioral considerations that impact marketing ROI. It’s all laid out in Neuromarketology, so I had some familiarity with these concepts. But this was my opportunity to explore and apply the standards needed to develop hyper-relevant marketing solutions firsthand.
By working at a top marketing agency in Phoenix, I get to experience the best of both worlds, almost like a perfect fusion of my favorite parts of freelancing and all the new skills I’ve had to take on working in-house as a dedicated copywriter. I get to concentrate solely on writing, while also having the good fortune to be able to switch from project to project and client to client, in order to keep my concentration sharp. If you work as a copywriter for just one brand or company, it can grow to be monotonous as you’re working on similar projects day to day, and these are usually in the same tone, style, and voice as you work tirelessly to maintain a core brand identity. As a copywriter for a creative advertising agency, you must be able to switch genres and styles of writing from hour to hour with the ability to match multiple clients’ preferred tone and style guidelines for superior content development. You also need to keep your skills sharp and insights current across a wide breadth of industries, as the next new client could be just around the corner — and you’ll need to be ready to create content around whatever they need, too.
What’s more, FabCom as a top Scottsdale digital marketing agency is equipped to handle an exceptionally wide range of types of client accounts. From broad categories like education to healthcare to technology to workforce management, all the way to more niche topics like social justice or sexual wellness, the FabCom portfolio is packed full of assorted and surprising varieties of client work.
Whether a client needs a short and sweet creative headline, a strategic positioning statement, or a thoroughly researched white paper, I’m the writer to do it — so working for FabCom has definitely kept me on my toes and ensured I keep my skills current! In addition to writing, I’ve had to maintain and strengthen my ability to compile research, synthesize complex information, develop strategic tactics, and even interview key individuals to get fresh information — a skill I was able to carry over from my journalism background.
For our clients, I’m frequently tasked with interviewing people from a wide range of backgrounds in order to obtain quotes or write articles that are not only informative and enticing to their customers, but also capture the human essence of the narrative. For example, an article might be about a student’s innovative project to demonstrate the practical experience prospective attendees of the client’s university can anticipate if they enroll. Or a feature could detail the research and educational achievements of a healthcare professional, meant to inspire others in the field to use our client’s services.
Such intensive writing projects are usually suggested during the strategy review phase of the FabCom-client relationship. As a top Arizona integrated marketing agency, our strategic and tactical recommendations are what set us apart and infuse our clients with confidence in the FabCom methodology. It’s truly the kind of thing you need to experience firsthand to fathom how much work goes into developing massive binders of background information, research, tactics, media placement suggestions, and so much more in order to get our clients the ROI they deserve — and nothing compares to the excitement of wowing our clients with our hard work!
One of the most exciting parts of working as FabCom’s primary copywriter is the chance to continually develop writing skills in completely new areas. For example, I’ve occasionally been tasked with writing copy for HReality (FabCom’s sister company), which is continuously developing and refining its namesake, hybrid reality environment. This is a virtual platform which allows users to generate a personalized avatar via a photo or face scan which renders an accurate simulated representation of the person. The applications of this fascinating technology are limitless, though it was originally intended as a virtual classroom or conference environment for some of FabCom’s clients. In HReality, users aren’t limited by location. They can connect with others face-to-face, in a sense, wherever they are. While I’ve written about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) many times in my career, this was my first chance to write copy that would be used directly within the user interface of such a project.
Working as a copywriter for a leading Phoenix-area digital marketing agency has challenged me in unanticipated ways, while also opening up new avenues of creativity to explore. I’m invigorated by the opportunity to expand my writing skills to meet the needs of a diverse range of clients and can’t wait to see what the future holds for FabCom — and for my writing portfolio.