the power of networking

even if you sit behind a computer to do your work, in this digital world, we can’t forget that personal relationships still matter — a lot.

handshake

through social media we connect with, friend, and link up with hundreds — sometimes thousands — of people, some of whom we may never have even met. add the power of a face-to-face personal relationship and you can help create more effective lasting impressions.

enter: the importance of networking.

it doesn’t matter if your end-goal is to get a new job, more freelance work or to just get tips from your peers, connecting with other creatives like yourself is a must-do. it can help you get motivated to start that next project, learn a new skill, or maybe you meet your next partner or land a new gig. important opportunities you have yet to consider could be lurking at every turn.

sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there. but at The Copy Lab, we’ve got your back. that’s why we’ve planned an event that cures wallflower syndrome and makes networking more approachable, less stressful and better than ever. it’s our speed-date networking event slated for tuesday, april 16 from 7 – 9:30 pm at revel in the west village.

a few things to help you prepare for worthwhile networking:

  • make sure your linked in profile is up-to-date and reflective of your creative genius (people will be checking you out!)
  • bring copies of your stellar, error-free resume and plenty of business cards to hand out
  • follow up with your new connections via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • did i mention bring plenty of business cards?

who knows where the invaluable information you glean from other creatives going through what you are will take you.

a bit more advice? reserve your spot for some quality speed-date networking now. keep checking our site for more events; new dates are always being added.

by
meredith clinton bell

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ten alternative advertising tips

surrounded by good company and a few cocktails, we congregated in our own section of a plush, art deco lounge in the flatiron district last night. Meanwhile, R/GA senior copywriter jenna livingston led us in a two-hour alternative advertising workshop, complete with creative brief and thorough q&a session. the highlight of the night was hearing ideas from attendees themselves, who came up with some of the most ingenious and hilarious non-traditional campaigns (or should I say “antics”) that very well could be the beginnings of the next big viral ad campaign. unfortunately, that’s all i’m able to share. you really had to be there! but as a quick recap, here are ten great tips jenna shared last night: 

  1. if you want to work for a certain agency, include work in your book that would appeal to them. make ads with similar clients you would like to work on.
  2. contact creative directors whose work you admire. Creativity and AgencySpy are great places to learn about industry news and agency happenings.
  3. do side projects, like Starbucks Spelling, that can be added to your book to make you stand out.
  4. ideas that can be done inexpensively or free are a major plus for attracting agencies looking to hire creative talent.
  5. in interactive, the idea should always come first. then figure out what the technology is (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc).
  6. bounce ideas off of other people. working alone is good, but can only get you so far. you never know when something someone says could spark a whole new idea and lead to an even better direction.
  7. you should try to add new work to your book every six months.
  8. ask for help. offer to pay other ad people to help you improve your work. giving a junior designer a couple of bucks to make your work look good will make you more desirable. same goes for asking writers to help out.
  9. go on artistic dates. take time out of your week to see a movie, go to a museum, people watch, and get some inspiration.
  10. many people have great ideas but never make them happen. go for it! you have nothing to lose.

for those of you who attended last night and have other key points you’d like to share, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. and don’t forget to sign up for next month’s speed-date networking event!

by
kendria smith

talking shop with jenna livingston

we’re very excited for our october workshop led by R/GA’s stellar senior copywriter and Webby honoree jenna livingston. as she prepares to share her knowledge about the world of alternative advertising this wednesday, here’s a little background on the woman behind the words:

CLwhat do you love most about working in advertising as a copywriter?

JL: i love going on production and seeing many months of hard work come to life. casting is really fun too. i like making things from start to finish. it’s like giving birth. I think.

CL: if you weren’t a copywriter, what’s your career plan b?

JL: i’d do something with kids. their imaginations are limitless and you have to be creative with them. you always have to be thinking of different ways to make them laugh and keep them entertained.

CL: where do you get inspiration for your more unconventional campaign ideas?

JL: i look for holes in culture and try to fix problems that have yet to be solved. like with Starbucks Spelling, for example. it’s a user-generated Tumblr i created that collects horribly misspelled names on Starbucks cups. before that people were just uploading photos of their misspelled cup. i created a central place where everyone can share their cup, and laugh at other misspellings.

CL: what are some of your favorite websites? who are you following these days?

JL: i like sites where i can learn something. Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Fast Company are all good. The New York Times is great when i have some quiet time. but usually, i get my news from Twitter. i enjoy following comedians and other writers and people with a good sense of humor.

CL: do you have a favorite app?

JL: swackett is currently my favorite app. it’s an unusual, unexpected way to get the weather. and it tells you what you should wear for the day. saves me 20 minutes. i also like Dark Sky. it tells you exactly when it’s going to rain and when it will stop.

CL: what’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

JL: only put in your book what you love.

by
kendria smith

for more info and to sign up for jenna’s alternative advertising workshop, visit The Copy Lab.

6 reasons not to miss this!

Creatives: The Copy Lab has R/GA’s award-winning copywriter Jenna Livingston on deck to give the low-down on crafting amazing alternative and experiential concepts (plus R/GA creative recruiters will be there!) oct. 24, 7-9:30 @ flatiron lounge. for info & to sign up: www.thecopylabnyc.com/Events

ten challenges of a creative career

when it comes to the world of advertising, there is so much to be grateful for: Blendtec’s: “Will it Blend?,” Volkswagen’s The Force, and, of course, the Old Spice Guy. but the industry has its issues just like any other. so while many were enjoying the mingling and merriment of The Copy Lab’s launch party last week, i ventured into the crowd to get the inside scoop on what ails the average creative.

yes, call me “debbie downer,” but after surveying guests of all ages and experience levels for the majority of the evening, i was very pleased with a roundup of results that i believe honestly reflect a broad spectrum of areas in which many struggle. some had to think long and hard, while others jumped right in, venting fervently about problems they were currently facing. maybe you can also identify with these ten issues:

  1. developing a thick skin and a good sense of humor to combat negativity and criticism
  2. spending more time in meetings than you have to actually get work done
  3. getting enough work as a freelancer to support yourself in such a competitive industry
  4. trying to maintain your own voice and sense of style
  5. having your work “revised” by clients or CDs to the point where you don’t even recognize it anymore
  6. dealing successfully with the creative egos of coworkers in order to produce great work
  7. there’s less time to do great work because clients are not paying as much as they used to but still want great work even more quickly
  8. determining what to put in your book so it actually reflects your style and not just work clients force you to do
  9. trying to keep up with innovations in portfolio appearance (i.e. digital vs. keeping a physical book)
  10. women can be very catty and competitive with other women, making it difficult to find support, encouragement and guidance when trying to make career moves

do you see anything missing that should be added to this list? we’d love your feedback. stay tuned for future posts full of tips to help you overcome these challenges, which will hopefully lead to improved work, a better environment and an overall happier career.

by
kendria smith

for more information on our membership and events, visit The Copy Lab.

jenna explains it all: advice for advertising creatives

jenna livingston

jenna livingstonaward-winning senior copywriter at R/GA and purveyor of creative prowess and recreational mayhem (did you miss out on “Gosling Easter?” Google it!), took some time out on wednesday night to celebrate our official launch.

in typical fashion, jenna charmed our guests with her warmth, ease and sense of humor as she shared the story of her career and some insightful tips for creatives—check  them out below and sign up now to secure your spot in her october 24th alternative advertising workshop, where you’ll get a glimpse of her eclectic portfolio and the inner workings of an experiential campaign. sign up now and bring your burning questions: www.thecopylabnyc.com/Events

jenna’s ten tips:

  1. 10% on your 401k.
  2. try not to burn bridges. you don’t know where people will end up and your enemy could end up being your boss.
  3. the more people you know, the more chances you have of hearing about job opportunities and or even getting some freelance work.
  4. go to ad parties and make friends with reps and have them take you out. you’ll network, meet important people and maybe even find a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  5. find a mentor or two you like and respect. someone you feel comfortable showing work to and can give you advice on how to better your book.
  6. go on job interviews in other cities even if you aren’t interested. you’ll meet people and keep in touch until you are ready to move, and they move somewhere you want to work
  7. try people out – it’s ok to pay people to do work for you. from writing copy to making an app, you’ll get a feel for if you like working with someone and get something good out of it for your work.
  8. do side projects. always keep your book fresh – especially if the work you’re doing at your agency isn’t portfolio-worthy. always good to have something in your back pocket.
  9. keep in touch with people. build relationships.
  10. join The Copy Lab. network. build your book. build your skills. build your career!

by
kendria smith

for more information on our membership and events, visit The Copy Lab.

The Copy Lab launch video

thanks to all who came out to celebrate our official launch last night! it was a blast and there’s much more to come. keep your calendars clear for our first workshop: alternative advertising with jenna livingston on october 24.

for more information on our membership and events, visit The Copy Lab.