One thing great copywriters do is this.
A way to become a better writer, professional, and human being is to get out and experience new things.
As a freelance copywriter, I’ve found the secret for creative inspiration.
That secret is traveling.
It can be traveling to a new country or the city/state next door. When you experience a new environment, your senses react and you embrace novelty.
It’s a beautiful thing and whether you’re a copywriter or other creative, get out and travel.
In my 32 years of life, I’ve been on many trips around the country and more recently around the globe, but it wasn’t until I started my career as a professional copywriter where I found how much traveling has made me a better writer.
How does traveling provide this sorcery?
I want to give you a quote from one of the most successful advertising copywriters and author of The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, Joseph Sugarman. He refers to copywriters, but I think this holds true for any creative professional.
“Great copywriters are curious about life. They love to travel, and have a thirst for knowledge and a wealth of experiences.”
The part that resonates the most with me is “a wealth of experiences.”
It’s no surprise that we see many successful freelance writers and other creatives travel the world hopping from place to place writing blogs, designing websites, coding new apps, or other skills they can do with a laptop and Wi-Fi access.
They are successful because of the “wealth of experiences” traveling provides.
They aren’t content with sitting at home in their pajamas or always finding a coffee shop near their home.
You should do more than that. Besides, the same scenery can get boring. You need to be curious about what else is out there because if you continue to be around the same people, sights, and sounds you will continue to think of the same ideas.
I recently came back from an 18-day trip through Western Europe. I visited:
(I do want to point out I’m not trying to brag here)
This was my first big trip since I became a full-time freelance copywriter five months ago and let me tell you, it was different.
For the past five months, I’ve been immersed in growing my business from the ground up.
Onboarding new clients, video calls, managing finances, writing, creating, etc. I was either working from home or going from coffee shop to coffee shop.
Being in new countries got me out of my comfort zone. I went head first into a new culture where I needed to adapt, not the other way around. I listened and observed the surrounding people in their everyday life.
As a copywriter, I paid closer attention to advertisements, how the people reacted in social settings, and what people visually responded too.
Hey, I can’t help it, I’m a marketer at the end of the day.
Besides those observations, and what I believe the most important thing traveling provides, is that I had time to step away from work, recharge, and reflect.
I asked a few other successful and talented copywriters and freelancers if traveling has made them a better professional and here are some of the answers I received:
“In my experience of growing up in multiple states and traveling, it provides empathy and insight you will not get anywhere else. You learn so much and talk to so many people that you can apply those experiences to work.” — DeOren Robinson
“It’s made me more culturally competent which is important when working with clients around the globe. Also helps me clear my mind when I’ve hit a creative block. Whether it’s local or long-distance, I get away whenever I can to get inspiration and do better work.” — Latasha James
“Exposure to new ideas. Helping you get out of your daily routine. Seeing new perspectives” — Bud Hennekes
I love how they chose their words and for anyone who has traveled it should resonate with you.
Words like “empathy,” “insight,” “culturally competent,” and “exposure.” When we experience these things, we get to see the world from other people’s perspectives, and you have a deeper appreciation for the world outside of your home.
Imagine yourself as a writer now. Your mind has been exposed to a playground of new senses. It sparks new ideas when you’re searching for a new angle on writing that call-to-action headline or coming up with new ideas for your blog.
The best copy is the words we remember and gets customers to take action. It triggers an emotion and gets the reader to think of a personal experience in their life.
You now have more capacity and experiences in the memory bank. More experiences to draw inspiration from to relate to customers pain points, desires, and emotions.
I have worked with international clients. I have written marketing copy for products and services in a variety of industries. When I first started, I wrote a lot of the same message just worded differently. Now, by getting exposure and insight to new places and new people, I have more fuel to put in the creative fire.
I have also seen my interaction with clients and other creatives be more genuine and interesting. I simply have more to say and am more patient in listening to them. Traveling to new countries and new states will test your patience and that will reflect in your work life.
I also want to bring it back to one of the most important things traveling has provided for me lately. That is that I’m very grateful.
I can’t stress how critical this is because I can easily get stuck in my routine and feel like I haven’t made as much progress as I’d like in my business or feel that I haven’t been able to accomplish what I want to.
Taking that break from work, closing my laptop, putting up my “out of office” reply to my email, putting my phone in airplane mode, it’s borderline therapeutic.
I look back and see everything that I’ve accomplished in my career, the clients I have been able to help, the relationships I’ve developed, the impact I have made, and how grateful I am to build a business and life I love and have the flexibility to travel. Not too many people are fortunate to say that.
It put it all into perspective and motivates me to keep working harder and reward myself by traveling to new places.
I want to go back to the quote I used from Joseph Sugarman. He said that “great copywriters are curious about life.”
This is what makes copywriters like myself and other creatives better at their jobs because they can explore that curiosity and apply what they learned in a way that can impact others.
If you ever feel stuck creatively and can do it, go travel. Get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, breathe in new cultures, welcome the experiences. Success in your business and life is bound to follow.