So you have been researching around to find out How to Become a Copywriter in Malaysia in 2021, and must have been bombarded by a variety of opinions and suggestions – yet none of these pieces has satisfactorily provided the answers you’re truly looking for deep inside. I know, I have been exactly where you are today, albeit many years ago.
In this article, I wish to enlighten you on what traits or qualities does a person needs in order to pursue a career in Copywriting. No one else has provided information on this part of a Copywriter’s life on the internet, and I feel a person needs to have certain traits or qualities to carry out certain kinds of tasks in life. To become a Copywriter, a person needs to ideally have these qualities in her or him naturally which shall make this career a joy. This is based on my observation over 33 years of Copywriting & Advertising experience.
How to Become a Copywriter: 7 Traits a Person Needs, to Become a Good Copywriter
1. Calmness & Patience
Why is this trait important?
It is important because, in order to write, a person needs to be still, usually parked on the same chair for hours, every day. This is the life of a Copywriter at work. S/he will have to work on a variety of clients or accounts. There are usually one or 2 Copywriters in most Advertising Agencies, and good Copywriters are hard to find, so a few Copywriters will have to work on dozens of accounts simultaneously. So if you are a Copywriter, either working for someone or yourself, you will need to have this very important trait. If you are someone who is naturally calm and patient, who is able to sit in one spot for hours on end, every day, then a career in writing can be for you. To write, one needs patience, because good writing takes time.
2. Willing to listen and receive
The job of a Copywriter who is in it to make an income out of it, must be able to take orders from others. A Copywriter can defend her or his work up to a point, but after that, one has to remember why is one even in this business – to also make an income, because a Copywriter needs to eat and live too. So in as much as many great Copywriters in history have attempted to defend their work, many give in eventually for the salary they need to be paid. So sure, by all means, defend and fight for your work and why you came up with such a copy strategy, but eventually if the client is adamant, then just do it for the money. You will someday get a client who will see things your way. Hence, it is crucial for a Copywriter to be able to listen and receive the opinions and feedback of a client because after all, the client knows more about his or her business better than us.
3. Willing to adapt
Based on the opinion above, it is, therefore, important for a Copywriter to adapt. A Copywriter will sometimes need to forsake her or his own beliefs and sometimes even Advertising and Marketing rules, to adapt to the needs and requirements of the clients. Hey! what are you saying Joy? Are you telling me that we should just let clients kill what is right according to Advertising and Creative rules? I hear you ask. Yes, and No. As I said above, we can defend our work, but only up to a point, after that, we have to think of our own bills to pay. Most business owners realise this, but a beginner in the industry may not realise it in the early days or for as long as this person works for someone else. However, this person’s boss is surely “willing to adapt” to the way her or his clients want a particular job done.
I believe that we are all born Creative. In fact, life is a creation and from time immemorial, we, mankind, have only been creating things and images, because only mankind is given the power of imagination. It is this imagination that can be viewed as creativity. It is this imagination that lets us create things that previously did not exist, like when man created airplanes, cars, and buildings, right until today, we have not stopped creating. So it is safe to say, that Man is Creative by Nature. Therefore, it is my belief that anyone can be creative, and this creativity is required in a Copywriter. It is the Copywriter’s job to take boring and technical information and present it in the most creative manner. Hence, if you are someone who likes words, puns, wordplay, rhymes, poetry, etc, and are able to think in ways ordinary people do not think, ie. creatively, then a career in Copywriting may be suitable for you.
5. Ability to see things from various angles
This is so important for a Copywriter. It is an extension of the point above. If you are a person who is naturally calm, then you will be able to view an object from various angles. If you have such a trait to see things from the not obvious perspective, that’s where you shall find creative ideas lurking. So, if you are someone who is naturally like this, then a job in Copywriting may enhance this trait of your Ability to see things from various angles.
6. Love written expressions, reading, writing, & discussions
When I was young, I love expressions. My father was a writer who wrote more than 400 books in his lifetime, Milon Nandy. He loved words and expressions too. So this came naturally to me. If you are someone who loves the written expressions in books, articles, and movies, and also loves reading, writing, and discussions, then writing is perfect for you. To become a Copywriter, you will need to have a vast vocabulary bank, reading a lot makes sure that you never run out of words and sentences to use in writing a variety of copy. Hence, if you like reading a lot, then you should go forth and become a Copywriter.
7. Humility & Resilience
It is not easy to take rejection – for anyone. Many great Copywriters started their careers through the Fine Art of Humiliation. It was common in advertising agencies that a Copywriter shall have his copy crushed and thrown to her or his face at least once in her or his career. So, if you want to join this business, you will need to be humble, and be willing to learn. Take the humiliation, if at all, but remain resilient to want to carry on and learn more and prove them all wrong. This is how many great Copywriters became Great – YOU can become one too!
So there you have it. The 7 traits, I think anyone who is considering a career in Copywriting needs to make her or his journey more enjoyable. Do consider the above tips and suggestions as leaked information from ad agencies. These are insights into what happens in the life of a real Copywriter.
– By Joy Nandy, Founder of The School Of Digital Advertising, Malaysia
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