I remember how excited I was in high school when I found out what a copywriter was. People would actually pay me to write? Sign me up!
I didn’t lose steam in college, either. I was so excited to work on my first marketing project and was so proud of the campaign we created. Then there was my copywriting class taught by my favorite professor and another class taught by 2 interim professors that worked at a local, well-known agency (I may have been a little starstruck). When I took a tour of a different agency that worked with a lot of national brands, I couldn’t wait to graduate and start working.
Then the Great Recession happened. When I graduated in 2009, there were little to no jobs for recent college graduates who studied marketing, especially copywriting.
To say I was devastated may not be a far stretch.
Instead of sulking, I took a job as an administrative assistant (also because I like to eat and have hot water). What should have been a mundane job turned into a chance to build my portfolio. After seeing the “newsletters” teachers sent, I asked the director if I could create something better. Thankfully, he agreed and I made a great newsletter that the parents loved.
Another job I had was an office manager for a warehouse (I had more administrative jobs than I’d like to admit). I had so much free time, I spent a lot of it on social media. And since I was still looking for my dream job, LinkedIn was a big part of that. I noticed our business wasn’t great at marketing (truly non-existent) so I asked the owner if I could create a LinkedIn page for the business. He agreed and I was able to build my skills in social media.
Had it not been for these two people allowing me to do these creative tasks, I may have lost some of my creative spark before I truly had a chance to use it.
Now owning my own business, I want to change that.
April is Internship Awareness Month to encourage businesses to support and create opportunities for college students and young professionals. On April 10th it’s Encourage a Young Writer Day. It was created to encourage young children who love to read and write.
I love that both of these happen in the same month and are part of some big goals I have for my business. I don’t want to hire employees, I want to hire college students pursuing a career in copywriting as interns and those who’ve graduated as contractors. I want to give them the real-world experience their portfolios and resumes need while I learn from them as well.
So how can you encourage a young copywriter?
If they are in college:
Giving college students the chance to try their hand at writing all kinds of marketing will also help them know what they enjoy and do best.
If they’re going to graduate or already have:
Beyond these ideas, the best thing you can do for the copywriter in your life, still in college or graduated, is be supportive. Not many people truly know what a copywriter is, so having someone in their corner helps family meals, holiday gatherings, and other events be a little less stressful and awkward. Trust me, they’ll be grateful to you for it.