said what are you paying all these for if they aren’t doing anything? Why not give me all the
money and I’ll do it.” I ask if they gave her the money. Sheryl rolls her eyes and says, “no,
of course not. I took it home and came back with 250 more pieces of copy done.” She
notes, “and then it came up for awards and because it was freelance they didn’t put my
name on it.” Sheryl adds, “I don’t care about the awards. I’d rather they talk to someone
that’s worked with me.”
Respects The Mutual Coordination of a Good Strategist
Sheryl has a good attitude because she doesn’t let her ego get in the way. I found it
incredulous that she created the computer campaign, 250 pieces, in six days. The
compression of time and budget will be discussed in subsequent chapters.
What made this freelance job successful was that the client already liked and had approved
the initial concept. Sheryl intuitively understands the importance of inviting the client into the
conversation in order to create a strong strategic vision. It is this mutual coordination of
client input along with strategically aligned creative output that is required for a successful
Sheryl was quick to point out that many copywriters are working without a compass and at
an incredibly fast rate. “It is amazing. It’s unbelievable. It’s ridiculous. Here’s the other
thing. Clients today don’t care. They can’t spell. All these young people that were hooked
on phonics don’t now how to put two words together. Forget spelling. There are times
when I’m running a group and I’ll say give me something. They are writers and there are
5000 misspellings and grammar mistakes. And I’ll say what makes you think you’re a
writer? And they’ll say, ‘well I have good ideas.’ There’s a lot more to being a writer than
having good ideas. You have to know how to edit yourself in advertising where people do
not read a lot. I’m amazed and appalled at the writers today.”
Sheryl is thriving and competing in this climate and stresses, “That’s because I know the
people that are hiring me and they know what I can do. They hire the young people
because they are cheap and no one cares. Most of these people are contacts I’ve had for
years and years. I used to be the fastest writer ever. When there was a problem, they’d
hire me because I have an ability to see all the strategy and cut through the bullshit.”
Click on the link to Sheryl White’s website where you may recognize a few of the
campaigns: (http://www.yellowdogink.com/).
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