Copywriting has a long and storied history in advertising, and it's fair to say that advertising could not exist without the conceptual vision of a copywriter.
Long before beloved Mad Men character Peggy Olson demystified the life of a copywriter to the general public, there has been a lure associated with how advertising is made. Today, the same sexiness associated with advertising factors mightily into the competitive nature of the industry.
In the 1960's golden age of advertising, landing your first copywriting gig sometimes started with a "book" (aka copywriter portfolio), or simply being the nephew of a well-connected uncle. Nowadays, the process by which someone lands their dream job as a copywriter is a bit more complex. And it all starts with precisely how and where you improve your copywriting skills.
Getting your foot in the door starts with enrolling in the right copywriting program.
Networking is everything, and it's certainly no exception in the world of copywriting. Advertising agencies and Fortune 500 companies are less likely to roll the dice when it comes to hiring the person in charge of crafting their brand's voice. The connections you make at copywriting school will help legitimize the name on your resume and set the stage for your career moving forward. Here is a list you should consider when looking to sign up for a top copywriting program.
1) Find Out Who is Teaching Your Copywriting Courses
A copywriting program's value is directly tied to the very people who teach it. The best copywriting programs not only have experienced advertising vets on staff, but typically hire teachers who are professionally active in the industry. Whether your teacher still works in the business can make a world of difference as it is critical to stay current on industry trends and fast-evolving media platforms. Before enrolling in a copywriting class, always request a quick rundown of your teacher's background.
2) Know the Size of Each Class
A lot of copywriting programs talk a big game about their dedication to each student. But talk is cheap if your copywriting class has over twenty people. The best copywriting programs will have favorable teacher to student ratios so each student gets the maximum attention they deserve. Copywriting courses should feel like creative workshops: small, friendly and personalized. Your teacher and classmates should know your name. Copywriters grow in many cases by the value of the feedback they receive on assignments. Make sure you choose a copywriting program that values critical feedback over grades.
3) Consider the Cost of the Copywriting Courses
Whether you are pursuing a complete copywriting portfolio or just want to take a couple copywriting courses, choose the institution that gives you the best bang for your buck. There are very few prestigious copywriting programs in the world, and the majority charge an arm and a leg to get in the door. But there are a handful of reputable copywriting schools that offer prospective students more reasonable tuition rates. Each course you enroll in should be about value: how can my copywriting career be advanced? If the expensive programs seem to offer the same things as the programs that have more reasonable tuition rates, you should consider saving the extra money. After all, advertising school isn't like law school in that you'll be able to recoup your educational investment so quickly. In many agencies, starting salaries for a junior copywriter are $50,000 -- or sometimes even lower if you work at a startup or in-house.
4) explore online learning
Copywriting schools have evolved. A few copywriting programs offer high-caliber online classes where you'll meet with your instructors regularly via live video conference for feedback and critique. Before you sign up for an online copywriting class, make sure that you will be working with an experienced writer and not exclusively learning from pre-recorded content. If you're selective, online classes can free up your schedule and give you the opportunity to spend time focusing on your goals or working to keep your educational costs in check.
5) Check Out the Work (and the awards)
Usually, the best copywriting programs will display the work created by their students. Be sure to analyze the work of recent students. What does the work say about the copywriting program? Do you find it impressive? Are the assignments diverse? Does the work win awards? If you don't like the work of the copywriting school, then you aren't likely to create great work. Copywriter portfolios are vital calling cards for all copywriting students, and if you can't sell yourself on your own work then you surely won't sell a Creative Director on it.
About Portfolio Studio
No matter if you're in the market to complete a copywriting portfolio or looking for professional development to advance in your career, Portfolio Studio offers something for every copywriter.
Learn copywriting and ideation in areas like print, outdoor, guerilla, digital, and social with experienced teachers who hail from respected ad agencies like McCann, BBDO. and Vitro. Enroll in copywriting courses for as low as $850 and be on your way to crafting an all-star caliber book. Benefit from an award-winning copywriting school that prides itself on a hands-on approach, with online classes that average 6 students per teacher. Work on real briefs and conceive fresh, original ideas made to solve real-world strategic problems. Check out our unique copywriting courses and fast-track your copywriting career with Portfolio Studio.