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Tips for Your Career

Interviewing tips, internships, salaries, advertising schools and so much more. A new tip every week helps you with your advertising or public relations career.

Freelancers Get Sick Too
If you’re a freelancer, you will work whenever you can, knowing that dry spells can come. What do you do about sickness, though? Freelancers are not immune to illness. Far from it, they work the kind of hours and endure the kind of stress that makes them more susceptible to bouts of sickness. So, what do you do? Here are some tips to ensure that you take care of your personal health whilst also taking care of your financial health.

Do Things You Don’t Want To Do
I get asked, sometimes daily, how people should get promoted. This is not just creative people asking the question, but account managers, production assistants, even people who work in the copy room. The answer I always give (although I vary it, obviously) is this one: Do things you don’t want to do.

Two Words To Ensure Creative Success Every Time – Hard Work
As any hard-nosed, long-time creative person will tell you, there’s nothing tough about ripping off another idea. And all too often, it can be avoided if you put in the groundwork and follow a set of rules that lead to a wealth of creative riches.

Write, Write and Write Again
Back in the golden age of advertising, a creative brief would be given to an art director/copywriter team in the creative department. They would be given the download on the product or service, the problem that needed to be solved, the timeline, the budget, and so on. After receiving the brief, perhaps with a little early direction from the creative director, the team did something that is very rare these days. They took a walk. Or they sat in the agency lounge, drinking a coffee. They may have placed the brief to one side and finished another job they were working on.

Working Late
There are many professions that require regular hours with occasional marathon work sessions. Advertising, marketing and design falls into this category. So do positions in law and order, politics, the medical profession, and any other kind of emergency service. And yet while most of the people in those latter professions accept it as part of the job, many people in advertising look like they’ve been hit in the face with a shovel when they’re asked to work late, come in on weekends, or even get to work a few hours early.

So You Have a New Boss. Now What?
A new boss can enter your life in many ways, and all of them can be equally unsettling. Perhaps your boss, a creative director, is fired to make way for fresh blood. Maybe your agency merges with another, and a new account director or CD is put in charge. Maybe your boss quits, and gets replaced by someone very different.

Porn For Creatives
Taking a leaf out of the popular and funny “porn for women” and “porn for new moms” books (don’t worry, none of them are x-rated), we thought it would be appropriate to put together a collection of articles that we like to call “porn for creatives.” These are articles that tell creative people exactly what they want to hear, need to hear, and...

Giving Credit Where It’s Due
In most careers, advertising included, people like to receive credit for the hard work that they do. However, unlike acting performances, top doctors or genius accountants, it’s often difficult to nail down the source of the inspiration in an advertising agency. But it's vital, for all concerned, that ideas are credited to the right people.

A Focus On Copywriting
It’s said that copywriters are the unsung heroes of the advertising world. The art directors often get the accolades and the glory. They are more involved in the execution of the idea than the writer. And even the job descriptions create a strange imbalance, with art director sounding noble and important, and copywriter sounding more like a dull...

10 Articles Aimed Squarely At Advertising Creatives
Whether you’re brand new to the advertising industry, a veteran, or maybe still in college, there is always an opportunity to learn more, and improve yourself. If you’re looking to learn a little something, improve your thinking, arm yourself with ad knowledge, or just want to see how other creatives think, the following articles are for you.

It’s OK to Do Nothing
If you see art directors and copywriters talking about movies, or shows, or sports, or a recipe for chili, you may think they're not working. In all instances, you are probably wrong. The fact of the matter is this; great creative ideas come from the subconscious mind. And the best way to let it work is to leave it alone.

Give Everyone Great Opportunities
In advertising, especially in bigger agencies, there are great rewards that come with very hard work. Those rewards include travel to places all over the world, experiencing new products and services first hand, and meetings some very cool, rich, and often famous, people. However, while some agencies will try to share these opportunities as...

FAIL and HARDER. Two words that, when placed together, create an idea much bigger than themselves. These two words are emblazoned on a wall at Wieden & Kennedy’s main office – an image made entirely of thumbtacks; over 100,000 of them to be more accurate.

When It Comes To Freelancing, Charge The Rate You Deserve
If you're a creative in the advertising or designer industry, freelancing can be a great way to earn a living, or supplement your current income. And you should never feel guilty about charging the rate you deserve. Find out why.

Don’t Forget Why You Got Into Advertising
Are we becoming a bunch of empty suits and hipsters finding more and more ways to justify our salaries? And if so, what can we do about it?

One Quick & Easy Way To Do Better Work
There is no shortcut to talent and creativity. While you can always get better, and learn more, you need to have the raw ability to become a success in advertising. But over the years, one thing has proven more of a driving force behind great creativity than anything else. And that one thing is the deadline.

What Advertising Creatives Can Learn From Columbo
"Just one more thing" is the famous line we all know Lt. Columbo says. But he's actually one of the best creative thinkers ever to grace the airwaves, and the way he solves problems could help you make much better ads. Are you ready for the Columbo how-to guide?

FIVE Big Mistakes To Avoid In An Ad Agency Interview
Anyone in the advertising industry will go through dozens of interviews during their career. Many will keep making the same mistakes. Here are the five big ones, and how to avoid them.

Don't Ever Be Tempted to Use Puns

Use Your Five Senses in Copywriting
Your copywriting becomes so much more powerful when you incorporate your five senses in every ad.

Don’t Contribute To The 89% Of Ads That Go Unnoticed
Did you know that almost every ad created, 9 out of 10 in fact, never gets noticed. That's shameful. But it can be avoided, if you know why it happens.

Spec Ads Show Off Your Talent
Like writing advertising materials? Those ad materials you're writing in your free time could get you a job.

Freelancers Must Have Contracts
No matter how simple you think a project may be, you and the client need to enter into a contract. It helps protect you both and is a very easy document to create.

Is an Advertising Career All You Think It Is?
Is a career in advertising everything it's cracked up to be? The myths that surround advertising often cloud the truth behind the career path.

Setting Your Freelance Rates
One of the toughest decisions you have to make as a freelancer is also one of the most important. Setting your freelance rates depends on a number of factors.

Your Portfolio is Your Calling Card
Even if you have zero experience in the field, you need a portfolio. It's vital to getting you the job you want.

Don't Slow Down During the Holidays
It's easy to get wrapped up in holiday cheer but companies may need your services now more than ever.

Watch Your Mouth or You Might Not Get the Promotion
A new survey shows women can be passed up for promotion if they don't watch their mouth. Don't let a foul mouth slip now cost you later.

Passionate About PR
You'll constantly be looking for news as a PR pro. Will you be enthusiastic as part of the company's PR machine or will you be bored?

A PR Job You Can Live With
What role will you take in your PR job? Know what to look for in a company before you take the job.

Writing Catalog Copy
What's the best way to write effective catalog copy? A list of DOs and DON'Ts to get you started.

Advertising is Not Always a Glamorous Profession
It looks like fun on TV so why wouldn't you want to head down the advertising career path? Just be sure you know the common myths floating around about working in the field first.

You want to get a fair deal when it's time to talk money but you don't want to lose the project or job because you threw out a number that was too high. And, of course, you don't want to sell yourself short by giving a number that's way too low.

Networking Through Advertising Clubs
Making contacts is crucial in the advertising industry, no matter what your experience in the business.

What's a SPEC AD?
Not sure what it is or why you need it? Get the answer now.

How Much Should I Charge?
Don't let the most common question in freelancing haunt you too.

The Copywriter and the SPEC Ad
Just how does a budding copywriter arrange a SPEC ad? Get the answer and put your portfolio together right.

Changing Careers
Many people don't start out with the dream of working in advertising. So just how can you change careers successfully?

Know the Difference Between Advertising and PR
Before you start interviewing for jobs in the industry, you have to know the difference between advertising and PR. Check to make sure you're on the right track.

Freelancers Network at Business Expos
Drum up business, network and land clients all in one place.

Account Executives
Learn what an Account Executive in advertising is and their many job duties.

Ad Agency Interviews
You've landed the interview. Now what? This tip prepares you for the interview chair.

Advertising Schools
Do you need to go to school to begin a career in advertising? This tip has the answer.

A Call to Action is Key
Don't let the materials you create get lost in the advertising shuffle because they're missing the main ingredient of a successful advertisement.

A Copywriter's Salary
Find out what a copywriter can expect to make working in the advertising industry.

Customize Your Résumé
You want the job. But can you get it? Tailor your résumé to show your strengths according to the job's description.

Don't Cold Call
You want to make a good impression not irritate a potential client or employer. Cold calling won't win you any friends.

DVD Résumés
Make your résumé stand out frpm the pile of paper covering an employer or client's desk.

Grab the customer's attention from the start and never let go. Write effective headlines and your ad's success chances go up dramatically.

Hiring Freelancers - The Process
If you freelance, you'll be going through this process. Find out what business owners are looking for when they seek out a freelancer.

Hiring Freelancers - The Purpose
This tip is designed for your potential client but it can help you know what to expect when you're seeking out new clients.

If you don't get paid then why bother? Because an internship could be your key to an agency's door.

Know the Difference Between Advertising and PR
If you don't know the difference between advertising and public relations, never fear. You're not the only one. Some industry pros don't know what the difference is but they are two completely different entities.

Know When You're Most Creative
No matter what your job in advertising, you have to know when you're most creative. This tip is especially helpful to freelancers in the industry.

Know Your Advertising Ethics
If you don't know your advertising ethics, you may cross the line and not even know it.

Learn by Dissecting
If you really want to learn how to create effective advertising materials, get out your scalpel and dissect them.

Leave on a Positive Note
You never know when you'll need that reference. Leave on a positive note and don't burn those bridges.

Negotiating Pay
How much are you worth? Use these tips beforehand to give you the edge in pay negotiations.

No-Compete Clauses
Heading across the street to work for a competitor? Make sure you're not trapped in a no-compete.

Publishing E-Books
Strengthen your credibility in the industry by publishing E-books. For freelancers, this is a great way to show your expertise and gain new clients at the same time.

Putting the You in Advertising
Does your copy speak to the customer or at them? Make your advertising personal and put the customer first.

Realistic Goals
Anyone can create great ads, right? It's a common misconception that's killed many budding advertising careers.

SPEC Ads When You Have No Clips
Can't get a job without clips and can't get clips without a job. Speculation is the answer.

Study Current Ads
Get your hands on current advertising materials to find out what works and what doesn't.

Creative Director, or Creative Dictator?
In a great agency, with a great creative director, the good work becomes great work, and the best ideas win…regardless of who birthed them. But that system can go astray if the creative director starts pushing his or her own ideas every single time. Maybe they are the best. Maybe they are just ok. Maybe they are terrible. The creative director has to be selfless, and cut everything that isn’t up to par. And yet, many agencies suffer from creative directors who cannot see past their own “killer” ideas.

How Do Some People Make It In Advertising? Part 1

When The Ad World Gives You Lemons

Every Project Has Potential

Take Ownership of Your Advertising Career
When the economy hits the tank, the ad industry feels it first. And that usually comes in the form of lost accounts, scaled-back budgets, and the laying off of many employees.

It doesn’t take much, but a quick paradigm shift is often all it takes to go from the desert to an idea oasis.

Advertising’s Pot Holes and Mine Fields
Advertising employees are often thought of as heartless, soulless, slimy people who care more about money than they do about people. That's not true...for 99.9% of us.

How To Deal With Creative People
From account services and production, to senior management and even clients, there are ways you can handle creatives that will get you better results.

How NOT To Write a Creative Brief
Here are some common mistakes that account managers, and even account directors, make when preparing a creative brief. Avoid these, and you’re halfway to a great brief.

How To Quit You Advertising Job
Here are five things you should do when leaving your current employer. You don’t have to do them all, but they will definitely stand you in good stead.

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