Using downtime to polish your writing skills

Businesses around the globe have experienced losses with the downturn in the economy. As they’ve tightened spending, it has reduced the volume of work for many marketers. As a new copywriter, I’ve prioritized using my spare time to grow my skills. Thankfully I work for a company and creative group dedicated to providing support as we find ourselves with lighter workloads.

So, how do you stay sharp when there aren’t writing projects every day? Our copywriters shared a few ways to continue improving writing skills during the pandemic.

Initiate internal exercises and collaboration

Dive into your company’s document sharing folders to learn more about clients and projects. The more familiar you become with them, the easier it is to follow best practices, prepare creatively for upcoming projects and enhance strategic thinking.

Another way to expand your skill set and refine your abilities is to create challenges with other copywriters – within your own company and in your professional network. One of the best ways to learn from other copywriters is by doing a writing exercise with them. For example, take an advertisement you already completed and rewrite it with a new perspective. Or, work on the ad together and see how your colleague’s perspective transforms your original copy. If you can’t work together, do the ad separately and come together to share your thought process, goal and final product. Learning by doing is the best way to become a better writer.

Complete online writing courses and webinars

Find an online class or webinar relevant to your daily job – or for a skill you’ve wanted to pick up. There are a number of opportunities now for free learning. Your company may even pay for online classes or webinars to encourage employee growth. Reach out to your supervisor to see what options are available.

Two great options with reasonable prices are General Assembly and Udemy. The companies offer a collection of courses for growing your writing skills. If you take a class, be sure to share what you learn with your colleagues. It’s always good to be a team player.

Copywriting websites

Open yourself up to learning new creative writing styles by using a variety of online resources. For example, I stumbled upon two great copywriting resources while searching for new ways to grow my skills.

The first website I found was Deck of Brilliance. The website demonstrates unique approaches to advertising copywriting. Recently, I took a few previous client campaigns and implemented a couple of the approaches offered by Deck of Brilliance. I was pleasantly surprised by how different my finished product was from the original copy.

The second resource I found is Modern Copywriter. Modern Copywriter showcases current advertising and copywriting trends. I’m able to see what other copywriters are doing and brands they’re helping. Keeping up with current trends and what other writers are accomplishing helps us grow our own skills and stay inspired by the work around us.

Create content for your company

This is a great time to connect with the community through thoughtful content. When you humanize your approach, you’ll showcase your company’s compassionate and understanding side. It also reminds clients and potential clients you are a group of humans instead of just a business logo – and you’re here to help.  

One way to contribute and keep yourself writing is to create a blog on how your company is handling the pandemic. Share the steps you are taking to help your clients – and yourselves – come out of the shutdown or transition to a more remote style of working. Check out another one of Brown Bag Marketing’s blogs to learn more about how businesses are emerging from the pandemic.

I also recommend creating content about the current job landscape, marketing trends or your personal experience during the pandemic. People need to hear how others are feeling when nothing seems ‘normal’- it keeps us grounded.

Stay positive and keep moving forward

Whether you are looking to sharpen your skills or expand them, now is a great time to do it.  Don’t let the isolation of working at home or lack of work bring you down. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

You can invest in your writing skills today and be better prepared for your client’s work tomorrow. At Brown Bag, we are always seeking to grow and learn to be the best we can be for our clients, ourselves and each other. Are you honing new skills while you’re at home? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments below!