Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Jig on the Gig

I just finished a series of assignments for agencies/bosses/clients that get it.

And by that I mean they got the most for their advertising dollar by letting me operate at my most efficient.

Others have not navigated the turbulent waters of the gig economy as well. And so, more as a public service to those folks -- and clearly not in any kind of self serving way to myself -- I thought I'd provide some helpful tips to those who engage the skills of a freelance copywriter (preferably me.)

Do your Homework -- I now have a small list of clients, little start ups and renegades that I do direct work for. We've bypassed the big holding company model, the endless meetings, the trapezoid shaped planning documents, and gone straight to "I need an outdoor board." or "I need a mobile site." And then, we give them just that.

I constantly remind these small firms hoping to become bigger firms to watch their money. And to do that, they must do their homework. Know their product. Know who wants their product. Know what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. Because, and this is where the rubber meets the road, I am not inexpensive. And my meter starts the minute I am engaged. So preparation is everything. I can sit around and jabber with the best of them. But it really is to the client's benefit, and in the long run, mine, if everybody comes to the table prepared. See? I'm already helping your business.

R E S P E C T -- I don't want to come off immodest or holier than thou, but a little respect goes a long way. And this is especially directed at the big ad agencies. Please don't bring me in and tell me I'll be reporting to some junior ACD named Jade or K-Pack or Quincy, who is not only 15 years away from being 44 like me, but who has never done a TV spot or created a campaign from scratch. And furthermore wants to SnapChat his or her way into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Or, even worse, put me in the hands of someone who is way more contemporary, as well as way less accomplished. Because guess what, then you're not getting the best of what I have to offer. You're getting Mr. or Ms. Hacky's version of what they think is my best to offer. And it won't be. What it will be is a colossal, expensive, endlessly-revised pdf of horseshit -- a literal deck of dreck. You will never want to hire me again. And chances are, I'll be completely fine with that.

Take the gun away from my head -- If I've said this once, I've said it a thousand times. At least since 2006 when nonsense like Five by 5 (Five Ideas by 5 o'clock) was born. Creativity cannot be rushed. Brands cannot be turned around in a day. Big, bold, iconic ideas are not the byproduct of daily check-ins, committee groupthink and a ticking clock.

This point is best illustrated by example.

Last week, my wife found the ideal brisket. It had a big juicy cap of fat on one side. And was perfectly marbled throughout. We carefully hand rubbed the meat and placed it on the Traeger Smoker which was filled with cherry and apple wood pellets. That brisket cooked overnight. Low and slow. It was basted faithfully. I got up at 4 in the morning to give a mid-stall coating of cider/beef broth/and pale ale beer. It sat on that smoker longer than a Nancy Pelosi filibuster. That first bark-encrusted slice was carnivore nirvana. Fatty, juicy, buttery brisket heaven. It was Austin Texas worthy. In other words, it was everything an InstaPot could never be.

That's all I have to say on this matter.

For today.


Carrie Talick said...

Great post. Should be mandatory reading for every client, account director, and snapchat-obsessed millenial who will win a Cannes for a tweet. Nothing replaces wisdom, talent and experience. But you can't get your brilliance off the ground if no one comes prepared. Love it.

HouseOSpeed - said...

Bravo, Rich. Brisket is on me if you ever get to Austin. I know the perfect place. And it isn't called The Salt Lick.

Anonymous said...

How much do you charge?