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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Become a Better Copywriter

Mix It Up to Grow in Your Profession

new copywriter

Why limit yourself when you’re new to a profession? Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment. That’s how you learn!

Carla is a talented new copywriter who works with me on occasion. In the time she’s been writing professionally, she’s vacillated between specializing in one specific area — writing about beauty products — or taking on work in other subject areas to accelerate the growth of her writing business and increase revenue. 

Most recently, I asked Carla to write a blog post for one of my healthcare clients. She accepted the project, even though it wasn’t her usual fare, and began outlining her article. But when it came to filling in the actual content, she was stumped.

Even after researching the topic, she came up empty. The words didn’t flow naturally as they did when she was writing within her beauty area comfort zone. She wrestled with the copy for almost a full day, managed to write a few paragraphs but was still dissatisfied with the results. Not only had she not successfully completed the assignment, she was now behind on her other work, all of which seemed far easier and more appealing to her than the healthcare project. 

Carla made the decision to quit. Why continue torturing herself writing on difficult subject matter when she wasn’t enjoying it? Why should she work so hard?

Comfortable with her decision to walk away, Carla emailed me to say:

“I’m sorry. This just isn’t working out. I can’t give any more time to this assignment. I won’t send you a bill because I didn’t complete the copy.

Please accept my most sincere apology for any inconvenience I’ve caused. I learned an important lesson from this experience; in writing I’m less versatile than I thought I was. I do my best work when I write within my niche.”

I could have accepted Carla’s apology. Instead I asked her to send me the work she’d already done on the project, and I would complete the job. I read her incomplete draft and decided I had an opportunity to help Carla move past this negative experience. Here’s what I wrote:

“Carla, I 100% disagree with the lesson you think you learned from this situation. The copy you wrote was good. You were on the right track. You should have kept going. I realize you had other writing assignments waiting for you, so it was easy to justify quitting.

But you had it in you to do the work. Although writing on this unfamiliar subject didn’t come easy, you were and are fully capable. The problem was you quit too soon. You took the easy way out.

You should have hung in there and kept working at the article even though you were struggling and even though it was taking you longer than you liked. You’d have gotten to the finish line and thought to yourself, ‘Whew, that was hard. But I proved to myself I can write on difficult topics.’ And the next time, it wouldn’t have been quite so daunting or difficult!

When you’re doing something new, it’s not going to come easy. It’s going to make you feel uncomfortable, which is okay. Think of other things you may have tried and how difficult they were the first time.

In my own life, I’ve got tons of examples — running a 5K, learning to ski, writing a book, being a parent, taking a yoga class, starting a full-time freelance business in a new state where I had zero contacts, etc. I struggled, made mistakes, practiced, learned and got better. Had I quit during the uncomfortable struggle stage, I would not have found joy and ultimately success in those challenges.

Instead of looking at this experience as confirmation that you should never step out of your comfort zone — whether on copywriting or some other endeavor — you should see it as having taken the first tenuous step at trying something new and scary. Reframe the situation. And then look for opportunities to do it again. Just tell yourself that quitting is not an option.

Seriously, Carla, don’t put limits on yourself. Don’t always play it safe. Shake things up so you learn new skills and gain bigger rewards. This situation shouldn’t be the reason (aka: excuse) you don’t achieve your maximum potential!”

As a copywriter, ask yourself the following questions on a regular basis:

  • Am I learning new things?
  • Am I exploring new opportunities?
  • Am I putting in sufficient effort before I quit working in a new area?
  • What are the potential rewards for mixing things up? 
  • How can I gain confidence in this new direction?
  • What goals can I set?
  • How can I continue to grow in my profession?
  • How can I achieve my highest potential, even if that means I’m uncomfortable at times and may potentially experience failure?

The next time you see an opportunity to leave your comfort zone and write about something that “scares” you, go for it! Stretch those creative muscles. Give it a whirl. Say “yes” and put in maximum effort. Whether you fail or succeed, you’re bound to become a better copywriter from the experience.

Contact Susan Greene

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Really sends the message home – POW!

Wow! Sounds great! I’d call that a wrap. Thank you so much for bearing with me. This was well worth the effort. Really sends the message home – POW!

Corey Hooper
Creators Bounty
Lighthouse Point, Florida

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