Phrases Guaranteed to Send Copywriters into a Rage
The contents of this piece can induce eye-rolling, headaches, skin crawling, and a desire to never touch Slack again.
You have been warned.
“Can you make this sentence ‘stronger’?”
“Don’t you just work online?”
Yes, but I actually get paid to check our social media accounts during business meetings, Todd from Accounting.
“Hey, this 50-page document needs to go out in 10 minutes. Edit it before it goes out? You’re the best!”
*Finds one mistake in copy* “Ha, I thought you were supposed to be *good* at your job!”
Appropriate response: Internal screaming.
“We need to fit all five marketing initiatives in these 120 characters. That’s not a problem, right?”
Are you sure it’s not 120 words?
Nope, it’s 120 characters?
“Here’s an email I need to send out. Read over it. You’re the words person.”
Emojis and “per my last email” in the same sentence? Revolutionary.
“What’s that word that means ‘indicate’ but isn’t indicate? Like, you know what I’m saying?”
No, no I don’t, Janet. But this magical book might help you on your quest:
“This copy just doesn’t ‘pop’”
Sick and tired of hearing all these people talk about/
What’s the deal with this pop life and when’s it gonna fade ouuuuut?
“Oh sorry, did you want me to track changes?”
“We’re looking to turn this around next week. I’ll get you details ASAP”
The Sequel: “Hey, sorry for the delay on getting this to you! Think we can pull this together by tomorrow!”
“We need an eBook done by EOD Friday. No, no word limit in mind. Yeah, we don’t really know what it’ll look like either.”
What’s missing from this statement: “But we do know when we want it due, and that deadline was actually three days ago.”
“It’s just 250 words. That’ll take what, thirty minutes? Wait, you want *how* much for it?”
“This sounds ‘weird.’ Fix it.”
What sounds “weird”? How are you qualifying “weird”?
Should I charge you for the consulting hours on How to Talk to Copywriters 101?
“I don’t know. The copy just isn’t working. I can’t explain why.”
I don’t know. Your explanations just aren’t working.
I can explain why… but you’ll never work with me again so I’ll just swallow the fire raging inside of me.
“You’ll get great exposure!”
If I wanted great exposure, I’d buy a new camera.
“I don’t like Google Docs. Gonna have to be Word. Thanks!”
*Sweat drips* Am I supposed to edit version 4.58 or 4.6?
Wait. What happened to version 4.59?!
“Sorry, I printed it off and wrote notes on it. Hope you can read my handwriting.”
Let me pull out my handy-dandy translation guide:
“I passed my college English classes. I write good.”
“No, this meeting is just for the designers. We’re not ready for copy yet.”
OKAY FRANK THANKS FOR CALLING ME IN FOR THIS HOUR-LONG MEETING ANYWAY
“With everything optimized for SEO, we expect all of your content to go viral. That’s how it works. Duh.”
^^ Genuine summary of a conversation I had with a freelance client after they sent me a Gary Vee video.
“Neil Patel said you need one-sentence paragraphs. No one reads two sentences or more in a paragraph. Actually, don’t even bother with entire sentences. Phrases and clauses are now paragraphs.”
Ah so you want the copy
“We don’t have a direction yet, but if you could go ahead and get started, we’ll let you know when you are getting off track.”
Freelance copywriters and editors: what are the weirdest or worst conversations you endured with a client? We can laugh/cry/vent together!
About the Author: Shelby Rogers is no relation to the Avenger of the same name, but she’d love to marry him one day. When she’s not behind a computer, she’s on a roller coaster, on a treadmill, or on local puppy adoption sites. The Orlando-based twenty-something claims to know nothing at all, which she asserts is the best way to live. Tweet at @shelby_rogers or follow her Disney Annual Passholder adventures @shelbysphere on Instagram.