At The Hired Pens, a good chunk of our work comes from design, interactive and advertising agencies. They call on us when their internal team can’t handle a project due to scope or subject. Or they don’t actually have copywriters on staff, so we serve as their go-to copywriting agency.
We’re happy to oblige. And since we now have an employee, I have more time to find agencies and companies that should be working with us, but aren’t (yet).
This means I spend a lot of time on their sites trying to get a sense of what they do and whether we’d be a good fit. I pay particular attention to the “Meet Our Team” type pages. When companies get it right, they showcase their employee’s personalities and talents in an original, engaging way. I like them before I even meet them. And when companies get it wrong … Oh, boy.
You sound like a jerk if you …
1) Name-drop your Ivy League education in the very first sentence. Yes, I do think you’re smart: A big, stupid, smarty-pants jerk I wouldn’t want to work with because you’d probably correct me in an annoying way about ending a sentence with a preposition even though I was doing it on purpose.
3) Run a creative agency that is within walking distance of FIVE amazing independent coffee shops and you list “STARBUCKS” as your favorite coffee shop. Okay, maybe this doesn’t make me think you’re a jerk so much as not very creative.
4) Use the phrase “serial entrepreneur.” This is code for “unemployed for a long time.” (Credit: Brian Curry Hartmann)
5) Use a ton of multisyllabic words. Making others feel stupid is not a smart move. (Credit: Rich Nadworny)
6) You use the term “visionary thinker,” “industry pioneer” or “change agent,” to describe yourself or anyone else on your team. On the off chance it’s true … oh, come on, it’s never really true. (Credit: Melanie DeCarolis)
7) You use “leverage” as a verb, “our DNA” figuratively. (Credit: Helen Fairman)
I’m sure there are others, so please comment with your own ideas! And in the meantime, here are a few companies that really get it right: King Fish Media, Corey McPherson Nash and The Hired Pens. Oh, that kind of makes us sound like a jerk to call out ourselves, doesn’t it?