Six months into the job, I already find marketing agency life much more satisfying than journalism. If you’re Ronan Farrow, journalism is a great path for you as a writer. If you’re going to be covering house fires and state fairs for broadcasting? Not so much.
In 2021, I pivoted from producing local newscasts to writing social media posts for an agency. I’m now six months into agency life and I have three reflections to share. If you’re a writer, I make my case here for taking your career in the direction of marketing.
1. Marketing is Marketing
I worked in broadcasting for 20+ years. Trust me, no one cares. But I did take the lessons learned from running B2C radio social media accounts into enterprise B2B.
My first lesson in marketing was only three words: know your audience.-Every marketer. Ever.
Anytime I have trouble finding the right words to write, I think of my audience and the ideas begin to flow again. Whether I’m targeting women 18-34 who are scrolling Facebook while stuck in the school drop-off line, or if I’m writing about DevOps for someone worried about an agile transformation—the mission is the same. I need to know the target audience. I have to write for them and what they care about.
As a writer, you’ll write for many audiences. I’ve done news for a country music radio station, morning shows for hip-hop stations, a ton of general SEO content, and now B2B for tech clients. In every case, I need to understand the person who will be receiving the words I write for a brand. It takes an analytical and creative mind to do this. Who has those attributes? Writers!
2. Friends Are Becoming Curious About the Marketing Life
The remote work life isn’t exactly a tough sell. But for some reason, working remotely in marketing has been so far. Don’t you know marketers are the new rock stars? (Or was that influencers and YouTubers? I kid…or do I?) One friend finally asked me, “Ok, I want to do what you do, how do I go about it?”
I tearfully batted my eyelashes, clutched the pearls, and replied, “I thought you’d never ask!”
Now I’m teaching them to do ALL the things I did to get out of a dead-end career and into something new and challenging each day. I can’t wait to see what job they land in marketing!
I think marketing is the best career there is for writers today. We get to work among other brilliant, creative minds who are bent towards strategy. We get to help businesses grow and that means a lot in this economy.
Oh, I tried one of the other “careers for writers.” It was journalism.
Spoiler alert: with that one, you don’t get to make a difference, you’ll work too many hours, and you’ll eat a lot of bad meals.
If you want to get started on your career pivot to marketing, I wrote this blog post to help you get started with available free courses.
3. There’s a Different Kind of Energy in Marketing Writing
I love marketing writing. I don’t feel as depleted as I did in news writing. I think it also helps that my genius work gets out there and isn’t wasted by a house fire or anything with lights and sirens that happens at 8:30 p.m.
I get to work with a team that’s dedicated to sharpening one another’s skills as writers. I love that kind of culture. I’m feeling more creative than ever and producing more of my own great writing off the clock.
For the first time, I completed the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge! I wrote 50K words in 30 days and I love what I wrote. I was never able to do that before—not in all my years of broadcasting.
I feel like I have more freedom in my writing career now. Besides, I think I’d hit a rut before. I could write a broadcast news crime story in my sleep and make it exactly 20-30 seconds. I now realize that’s not the flex I used to think it was.
If you’re a lost writer reading this, I hope I’ve sold you on a career in writing for a marketing agency. You only have to do it until you sell your amazing novel, right? Or until you make tons of great marketing connections, write some amazing stuff for social, and have a blast learning to write about DevOps like me.
There’s never been a more exciting time to put words on the Internet for money… But I may save that for my next blog post!