Copywriters are the backbone of any digital marketing company. They provide the bedrock on which companies build their campaigns, be it email marketing, social media marketing or good old-fashioned advertising. The success in attracting audiences depends on the quality of copywriters and their skills. Like every set of employees, copywriters have specific needs and management styles that managers should be aware of when defining their employees.
Management Styles for Engagement
This post discusses how you can engage copywriters on your team via management styles, be they remote employees or in-house writers.
Freedom To Think Creatively
Copywriters need the freedom to think creatively and come up with out of the box ideas. The management style that you adopt should involve trust on your copywriters along with a general scope of accountability. You will unnecessarily stifle the creativity of your copywriters if you micromanage their activities or ask them for frequent updates on their progress.
The best approach is to give them a target with a firm deadline and evaluate them on the basis of their submitted output, be it a social media post, writing an HR resume, blog post or long-form content.
Make Them Feel Part Of The Team
Even though copywriters might seem like they prefer solitude, it is important to make them feel part of the team. As a manager, you must regularly express your appreciation of their work and acknowledgment of their contribution. Public praise is the best motivator for copywriters as it assures them that their work makes a difference to the organization they work for.
You can also make an effort to remember the good pieces produced by individual copywriters and refer to them in your conversations. It will go a long way in motivating them to repeat their success and produce high-quality content.
Invest In Their Development
It is worth remembering that copywriters produce their best work and exhibit a high employee retention rate when they feel personally invested in their own development. Nothing is more important to a copywriter than the belief that they’ve got what it takes to produce a knockout piece of writing. The moment they feel that they have to produce monotonous pieces day in and day out is when they lose interest in their work. This becomes all too apparent in the declining quality of their content.
As a manager, you can avoid this problem by identifying the core strength of your copywriters and routinely giving them work that allows them to stretch their skills in that area. For instance, a copywriter might have a special gift for coming up with catchy slogans or writing HR job descriptions. You can assign them more of such tasks to help them push their boundaries and build new skills.
Involve Them In Decision Making
Copywriters also need to be given a say in how to execute a given project. Instead of treating copywriters as simply hacks who are paid wages for producing content on an assembly line, they should be given greater ownership in their work, beginning from the strategic level discussions. If the client requires a certain style of writing to be used, the copywriter should have an opportunity to raise concerns and question the approach being taken by the account manager or content marketer.
Often, copywriters have a keen sense of what would best resonate with the target audience, and managers should try to benefit from their knowledge instead of keeping them out of the boardroom.
Express Criticism Tactfully
Sharing criticism is a tricky area when managing a team of copywriters. Like most creative people, copywriters define themselves through their skill of writing. Any kind of criticism is almost certain to be taken personally as any negative comment on their writing, no matter how tactful, is likely to be seen as a criticism of them as a person. This does not mean, however, that a manager should never critique or point out any weakness in the writing. In fact, this might be vital to helping the writer grow professionally.
The recommended approach is one that reminds the copywriter that you are committed to their growth and that they are not evaluated on the basis of their latest work. Performance in any creative endeavor has its peaks and troughs and as a manager, you should express an understanding of this fact. Your copywriters will then become more motivated to maintain a consistent level of quality in their work.
Use Fair And Consistent Evaluation Criteria
When deciding on a reward mechanism for your copywriters, it is essential to be perceived as fair to everybody. While it is important for writers to understand that volume of output, variety and meeting deadlines are an important part of the copywriting profession, it is on the part of managers to set reasonable expectations on the evaluation criteria on which copywriters’ performance is to be measured, to prevent micromanagement.
Conclusion: Inclusive Management Styles for Writers
At the same time, managers must reward and appreciate exceptional output such as meeting a challenging deadline or writing a variety of content during the year. If writers are paid by word or piece, their rates should be market-competitive so that they feel secure in their jobs and see a career for themselves at the company.