Saturday, September 01, 2012

Chp 416. What I really do for a living

This is just another of those personal blog updates about me, but I think I have to put it out here because I have come across too many people asking me what exactly do I do for a living when I tell them I’m a copywriter at a digital advertisement agency. And of course I don’t blame anyone for not knowing because the digital industry is still quite new.

When there is lack of knowledge, it is quite understandable that people end up assuming something else.

I still remember back in 2004 when I got my BE degree in computer science, my friends and family in Mizoram called me up all the time and asked me to fix their broken computers and printers or reinstall Windows for them! Urrmmm… that’s not what we were taught. In fact I’m sure many of the toppers from our batch who got offers from Cisco, Microsoft, Infosys, Wipro etc. wouldn’t even know how to assemble a PC from scratch.

And when I got into IIM-Bangalore in 2005, my dad was utterly disappointed at me for doing a diploma course because the course degree was not even recognized by AICTE. “If you want to get a real MBA degree, I’ll ask one of my old friends to help you get admission in a proper college”, he told me. :) But one good thing about that misconception was, when I dropped out a year later, my dad, who by then had learnt about how prestigious the IIMs actually were, couldn’t reprimand me for quitting because I reminded him “hey, no big deal Pa, it’s just a diploma course” :trollface:

So now, coming to the present… who what do I exactly do?

Using the internet, I arrange escorts for politicians and VIPs in Mumbai, running a brothel of Eastern European and Russian girls. 

Nah, just kidding. :P

No foreigners in my brothel actually, because they’re kinda expensive. My girls are all Indians.

Nah, gotcha again.

I work in a digital ad agency by day, and fantasize about running a brothel by night.

Ok that is the half-truth. :D

I work at webchutney, which I may have mentioned a couple of times in my past posts. I started as a copywriter trainee, to junior copywriter, to copywriter, to senior copywriter all in less than four years. Here are a few myths people have about me that I have to debunk (these are replies to actual questions people have asked me before):

1. No, my work is not about checking if a product or advertisement has violated any copyright laws. I’m a copywriter, not a copyrighter (if ever there was one).

2. No, I do not spend my time copying texts for other people. Copy + Writer = yes, I can see the logic behind your assumption, but no, that is not what I do :)

3. No, the amount of actual writing I do is extremely less. Digital media and Print media are quite different. Print ads are more copy rich and visually rich. Digital ads aren’t like that. When was the last time you ever saw a static digital advertisement filled with text?

4. No, just because I work in a digital agency, I’m not the dude who spams you with junk mails like how to enlarge your penis by a few more inches. :P

5. Yes, some of my past work did involve creating some of the marketing emails you may have received in your inbox or spam folder. But all my clients were high-end, with an exclusive mailing list. If you received a mail from Gokulam & Sons, promoting their computer accessories at 20% discount, then that was not from me. But if you received a mail from, say… Barclays Bank rewarding you with a holiday in Seychelles for spending more than 10,000 credit points, then yeah, it was probably me who created and sent that mail to you. But again, all this is just a very small percentage of my actual work.

6. No, my blogging has nothing to do with my work. In fact most of the top copywriters in our industry do not even blog. I blog purely out of passion (though it really helped me in getting this job because my blog was like a resume).

7. No, I cannot create a website for you. I mean, it will take me some time to do that as I know a little bit of this and that, but that is not my core expertise. In a digital agency, there are three main verticals – the client servicing & business development department (these are the pretty people who deal with clients directly, interact with them and build up relationships or suck up to them, get briefs and feedback etc which they then pass on to the rest of us. They are the poster boys and girls of our company), the tech department (these are the guys who do all the coding and programming and all things geeky, the behind-the-scene guys, the ones who can actually build a site for you, using just one hand), and then there’s the creative department where I belong. We are the freaks and vagabonds of our company, the ones who brainstorm all day and come up with ideas and strategies for a pitch or campaign. Our department consists of copywriters, designers, illustrators, visualizers, animators etc. Creativity is mandatory here.

So I hope things are clear now. And like I said earlier, I do not blame you at all if you don’t know what copywriters do. In fact, when I first joined this company as a copywriter, I didn’t even know what copywriters were supposed to do! [read the hilarious confession here]

And that’s not all. Working in the digital industry, the internet is constantly evolving. Hence we need to constantly change or adapt to the changes. The copy style, the design style, the technology, everyday, something new comes up. I really feel that the work a digital agency copywriter is supposed to do cannot be defined. Hence the reason why my current designation at webchutney is “Creative Trailblazer”. Yeah it’s a made-up designation, because most of the work I do is different from what many mainstream copywriters do. 

Apart from brainstorming and coming up with new ideas, I work mainly on copy (the text and content that appear on a site/banner/mailer). I’m also actively involved in strategy building, research marketing, sitemap and wireframe designing, I’ve even designed a couple of websites myself, done video directing & editing for clients, handled their social media accounts (facebook & twitter updates), and even handled the backend maintenance for some of our clients all on my own. And right now, I am working on a game project in the role of a Game Producer, and I have my own gaming team, both here in our Mumbai office and Delhi office. So… yeah… it’s hard to explain what I exactly do in just one word :) Hence – Trailblazer :)

The main point is, at least I have pointed out the things that I DO NOT do. :)

Let me know if you have any questions about my line of work at the comment section below. This is how a simple me makes his humble living here in bustling Mumbai.

And oh, last but not the least, there’s one more myth I wish to debunk – No, I am not making any money from the popular Mizo community site that we run. Me and all the other admins of are not taking in even one single paise. We do not have Google ads running, nor are we accepting any advertisements. That is how we decided it should be and that is how it is. Cheers :)


Dr John said...

I am really impressed... Keep It Up ;-)

Carey Suante said...

Hi Kima! Always interesting to read your blog.

A couple of weeks ago I got a mail from Naukri about a position in Webchutney Delhi office, I think.

I was immediately reminded of you and your work.

Just the thought that we could've worked together gives me goosebumps....!!!

DayDreamBeliever said...

Aha! It's always nice to be enlightened about celebs' lives. And here I was, thinking all the time that you were a model down there :p Btw...this word verification it just me who can't EVER get the letters right until about the 700th try?!

Angaiha Mizo said...

haha, i appreciate your sence of humour..still can't understand your 'complicated' job though :)

mnowluck said...

haha.. everytime you write something about your work, you remind me of your first day at work confession through still ring in my ears, your little bit mix of Mizo and English tone :D

Mizohican said...

@ Dr John: Thank you boss :)

@ Carey: That is awesome! Did you apply? By they way, I am based in out of our Mumbai office and not Delhi. But still, it would have been so awesome to work with you! :)

ddb: hehehehe... you... :) And yes, the word verification thing is a big pain in the ass, but if I don't keep that, then my blog gets flooded with spam :(

@ Angaiha: hehehe it is not that complicated :)

@ mnowluck: Ahhh those fond memories, lolz. How quickly time passes bro.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you're not earning from your blog from Google+. Ignore this comment if you already are. Making this comment since I see so few advertisements on your blog page....

Zohminga (ex-Bangalore, still with Airbus)