One Month In and I'm No Don Draper

One month ago I was offered a job writing copy. For those of you who know me, you're probably thinking, "I didn't know Jared went to school for marketing," or, "Wow, I had no idea he was pursuing a marketing career." Well, I didn't and I wasn't. Yet here I am, in the world of marketing, trying to reach deep into my knowledge base of Mad Men.  

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What have I learned so far? 

I'm no Don Draper.  
 

What I do

New job. New roles. Tons of new things.

Almost a month ago (I just finished up my fourth week) I was offered a job at a software startup, hired as a Junior Copy Editor. At first I thought, "This is going to be awesome. I'm going to edit what everyone writes: blogsemails and support articles, making sure everything has the same voice...it's going to be a super rad job."

Little did I know editing would be the tiniest portion of my job. Writing would be the focus. Actually, it’s virtually everything. 

Three blog posts a week. One ebook or worksheet – premium content – a week. Support articles. Press releases. Sales collateral. Marketing emails. Website content. All the writing, produced by moi. 

The three blog posts is what got me. Here's why.
 

The struggs

Kindful – the company I work for – is a software startup that was founded in 2011. The software is a CRM for nonprofits: a way for nonprofits to fundraise, track donors, and integrate all transaction and contact data with other services (like MailChimp and Shopify) to create one central hub to track their donor information. There are a variety of other software companies making similar solutions, but most out there try to do all-in-one platforms, where you have to use their email automation, forms, event planning, etc. Kindful focuses on providing a powerful database that integrates with tools that do the other things (email, events, volunteer tracking) better, so they can focus on the core. There aren't really many nonprofit database platforms out there trying (or succeeding) to accomplish that.

The company is killer. No denying that. They're innovating in a space that is antiquated and needs the innovation. The hard part is the customers. I don't know anything about nonprofits.

Granted, I've worked for churches almost my entire life. But they're a little different than most nonprofit organizations. Since churches have the whole tithe thing, they don't really fit into the charitable donation sector. So while I have ample background in church culture, the nonprofit world is different.

Because of this difference, I've had a major learning curve. To write even one blog at a time, I've had to read over tons of competitors' and industry blogs, articles, and research to get my head in the game. It's basically like writing thousand-word research papers with a goal to drive sales. Three times a week! 
 

The success

With all that said, it's been a blast. The change of pace has been phenomenal. Consistent and normal work hours have been the greatest thing of all time. I've been able to plan more activities, work out regularly, and feel more rested, even with less sleep overall. Consistently waking up at the same time has been a game changer. 

Even with the uphill battle of learning about the nonprofit world, it's been an awesome challenge to learn the ins and outs and gain understanding of the sector. Even learning how to write new mediums (like marketing blogs, press releases, and worksheets) has been so fun. I'm loving this job. It's a new kind of engaging and challenging for my brain, and I go home every day satisfied with the day's work, but not overloaded with people and emotions. It's been a blast.
 

The latest

The latest thing I've been learning is the genius of marketers. I've been given tons of tasks, and after many of the tasks, my managers rework a lot of the copy to have a different focus or point. I usually just put my head down and hammer out what I think they have asked me to write, but I haven't quite figured out that bigger picture thing. The Don Draper moment. When he takes a step back and reworks the whole vision of the ad to fit what the customer is thinking. What they want to be thinking before they ever think it. 

My goal is to get on that level. I'm far from it. But Ali and I have thought about watching through Mad Men again, so maybe I'll figure it out by the end.