The First Sale
– By Ricardo Moraga | Copywriter –
When I was asked to write this, I must’ve spent a couple of days thinking of what words to finally put on paper. I re-wrote about five different opening lines before finally settling with this. And I say “settle” because (I can only speak for myself here) I’m never happy with my work. I always want it to be better, stronger, tighter.
Luckily for me, I couldn’t think of a better metaphor to give you some insight of what I do than that itself. As we, the “creatives”, pour over the pages, layouts day in and day out looking for the perfect combination of words, images to make sure our product “sells”.
I’ve seen both sides of the coin, so to speak, so when I was asked to write the difference between account services and creative – I couldn’t. Each has its own pros and cons but I will tell you the story of the first time I ever presented my own work to the client. Now, as a former account person, I can tell you that I’m usually calm, cool and collected around clients, but this time was different.
I spent a couple of days (and nights) working on this project. I didn’t go to a fancy art school or a prestigious program for copywriting. All I have are my natural skills and better judgment to go on as a writer so in every project that’s handed to me, I always feel the slight need to prove myself with each one.
With everything finally approved by the higher ups I went in presenting my own writing and I can tell you that while I was confident in my work, my body portrayed something different: my heart beating out of my chest, my right leg moving so fast I probably could’ve burned a hole in the ground while reading my copy as fast as the guy from the old Micro Machine commercials. (If you don’t know, stop reading right now and look it up. I’ll wait.)
Every second waiting felt like hours as I sat there patiently waiting for feedback. A million thoughts ran through my head: “What if this isn’t good enough?”; “How can I fix this if they hate it?”; “What are my bosses going to think if it bombs?”; “Will I get another chance to write again?”.
Finally, the verdict came in – they loved it! Great news. So, you take your moment to take it all in: the validation, the hard work and brainpower you did to make it happen only to find out you have another project to work on. And that’s what happens – you work on it, it gets approved and you move on; if it doesn’t then back to square one. Never rest on your laurels, my parents taught me. It’s a cycle but you take in the victories whenever you can get them.