This month marks the one-year anniversary of founding WriteVest. The genesis of the company stemmed from a need to separate my client-commissioned work from my creative and humor writing—and this “separation of church and state” is a common occurrence among most working creatives I know.
Like most things in life, flow between two or more parts (in my case, professional and personal writing) is mandatory. The trick is figuring out how to find a balance that ensures you’re firing on all cylinders whichever zone you’re in. After all, if clients pay 80% of the bills, an integrity-led philosophy means they shouldn’t just get your leftover “cognitive overhead”—as WriteVest senior writer and political journalist, Matt Johnson, aptly states. This requires planning, focus, and discipline…and creating a formula for managing two careers simultaneously.
This heightened awareness of time and energy has benefited our clients greatly over the past year, simply because we don’t want to waste anyone’s time. The goal of WriteVest is to operate like an agency without all the red tape. You know, the 48-page briefings where half the PowerPoint is about the agency, instead of creative ideas for solving a business problem. Midway through this navel-gazing presentation, you’re checked out and fantasizing about your next Netflix binge.
We aren’t fans of meetings (particularly meetings about meetings), and we have mastered the eight to twelve minute “download.” What’s more, our pricing doesn’t depend on company size; it depends on number of words, research conducted, and editing requirements. Visa and Qualtrics (real clients) pay the same as a startup like Catch&Release (also a real client). Why? Because it removes friction for me, my writers, and each client.
I’m not exactly bashing Big Agencies—because they certainly have a place, especially with multi-faceted content requirements: paid, owned, and organic. Furthermore, some companies want the prestige of an “AOR.” But many organizations are stuffed with fat and exist only by inflating prices, resources, and their own agendas. So before you hire an agency ask them: “Who is doing the actual work?” This will speak directly to the results you’ll get.
We don’t care about creating anything other than good writing that gets results. For our clients, success is realized when their customers—both present and future—take actions as a result of their content. And for us, success is getting to do what we love both professionally and personally.