Interview With a Pro:
Stuart J. and How He Got His Copywriting Job at Nightingale-Conant

TGTO: How did you get your job at Nightingale-Conant?

SJ: After getting some training with AWAI, I decided to try to become a copywriter full time. Nightingale-Conant was located near my home and I was on its mailing list, so I decided to go there. I walked in the door and filled out an application. Then I called the director of human resources every week until I got a response. After about six weeks, I heard back from the VP of marketing. He said he would test me on a couple of projects and then determine from there whether he would hire me. Fortunately, he liked my work and I was hired.

TGTO: Why did you decide to work as an in-house copywriter instead of going freelance?

SJ: At the time, I had almost no experience. That, combined with the fact that I didn't enjoy my current job, made it an easy choice. Guaranteed paycheck, guaranteed work, great learning opportunity.

TGTO: Which AWAI secret would you say has helped you the most in your career?

SJ: I would say the Categorical Imperative/Indirection, combined with the Four-Legged Stool (Benefits, Ideas, Credibility, Track Record). People respond when they want to learn more but they resist when it's obvious you're selling them something. But even that doesn't matter if you can't close the deal once you've gotten their interest.

[Categorical Imperative - Interview With a Pro: Stuart J. and How He Got His Copywriting Job at Nightingale-Conanthe human brain has a tendency to categorize information so that it can dispose of it and move on to more important decisions. The best way to defy the brain's categorical imperative is to use indirection. Approach your reader in a way he doesn't expect and don't let your copy fall into one of the brain's familiar "boxes" - Lori]

TGTO: What do you like most about being a copywriter?

SJ: The freedom, the ability to be creative, and the apparent lack of an income ceiling.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: January 14, 2002

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