FREE REPORT: "7 Mistakes to Avoid in Hiring a Copywriter"

Dealing with March Madness: Why You Should Insist on Creative Flexibility

Let’s face it – March can be an exceptionally busy month for marketers in ALL industries.

You see…”March Madness” can mean more than just the NCAA basketball tournament:

It can also mean the insanity brought on by one of the busiest months of the direct marketing year.

The “madness” of March means that carefully-crafted schedules become absolute chaos in just a matter of minutes. An adjustment here…a missed deadline there…and the next thing you know your marketing calendar needs to be adjusted all the way through the summer.

Yet in spite of this known fact – that the busier times of year bring unexpected changes – I’ve known many copywriters and other creative-types who were completely unwilling to cooperate.

In other words, they were completely unable to “go with the flow.”

Some were completely inflexible when it came to schedule…while others were outraged at the idea of making any revisions to their copy.

As a marketer who was completely dependent on those writers and designers who sometimes “freaked out” during busier times of the year, this complete inability to adapt was simply baffling to me – and incredibly frustrating.

Was it ego? Was it stubbornness? Or was it simply laziness?

The answer ultimately doesn’t matter…but what does matter is the fact that the frustration I felt back then has carried over with me to “the other side” of the desk today.

As a copywriter, I’ve worked successfully with one client who requires a one-week turnaround on a job that normally requires four to five weeks. And I’ve worked successfully with other clients who have changed the entire direction of a promotion in the middle of a project.

In one case, a client asked for a change from “greed” to “fear” just before the first draft was delivered…and the result was their most profitable promotions in over a decade for that publication.

The simple fact of the matter is that changes are inevitable in this business…and I’ve been around long enough – on both sides of the desk – to know that those changes can ALWAYS be handled. Maintaining that flexibility is something you should insist on with all of the creative professionals you employ.

While it’s true that the writer or designer you’ve contracted with is the “expert” whose advice and experience you’re counting on…

That doesn’t change the fact that YOU are the client.  And you’re the one who gets to call the shots.

Inflexibility on creative concepts – and unwillingness to turn around fast revisions – are signs that the professionals you’re working with might not be the best fit for the job.

As I’ve written previously, there are several critical questions you should ask before hiring any freelance copywriter.

These questions should help you get an idea – before your project becomes chaotic – just how well the writer will be able to adapt to changes in direction and deadline.

In fact, I’d encourage you to ask your writer a hypothetical question – where you describe a “worst-case” scenario for revisions under a tight deadline – and ask how he or she would handle that situation. That will give you something to refer to – and remind the writer about – if the reality doesn’t match up with the hypothetical.

Jody Madron is a results-oriented copywriter with more than 20 years of breakthrough marketing experience.  To learn how Jody can deliver results-boosting copy — ahead of your deadline — visit

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"7 Mistakes to Avoid in Hiring a Copywriter"