I have a confession to make…
Early in my career, I had a knack for coming up with good ideas (no, this isn’t the confession. Keep reading for the real dirt).
I was an idea machine.
I gave solid suggestions during copy review. I came up with countless ad angles. And whenever we had a company offsite at the Four Season — which always included a multi-hour “idea pitch session” — I had lots of gold to give away.
There was just one BIG problem…
I wasn’t skilled enough to actually execute my best ideas.
And as a result, my early years as a copywriter were filled with high hopes and disappointing results.
Luckily, I knew that with enough practice, my writing would catch up with my creativity. And after 8+ years of performing the craft, I’m finally good enough to accomplish most (but not all) of my ambitious ideas.
There’s something I realized though…
Many copywriters, struggle with the opposite problem:
They’re good writers but lack the instincts and intuition to develop a big idea.
On their own, they write solid copy. But the “home runs” seemingly evade them.
But pair them with a mentor who can rapid-fire winning ideas?
Now you’ve got a dangerous combo on your hands.
And that’s why it’s so important to build a diverse copy team (or work in one).
You need idea people.
You need executioners.
And you need some who can do both — especially in the Copy Chief position.
Now, you may be wondering (at least I was)…
“Is one skill more important than the other?”
And the answer is: kinda.
Because while both roles are critical, you need MORE executioners than idea generators for a simple reason: scalability.
Just think about it…
One idea machine can feed — in my experience — at least 3 or 4 copywriters with high-quality campaigns at a time.
In other words:
They have leverage.
But if the opposite happens, you have a profit-killing bottleneck.
Even A-list writers can only work (well) on a single idea at once. Writing is a linear process.
So if your team is loaded with great ideas but lacks creatives who can execute, then you’ll find your business eking out promotions while your backlog of brilliance rots on the vine, waiting to be picked.
And that’s a recipe for lots of salaries and little sales.
Avoid it if you can.
Your pen pal,