I don’t know when it dawned on me that I’m not actually a superhero, but I hope that it’s not too late.
After all, if you asked Wolverine, “What do you do?”
And his response was, “Oh, me? I’m a superhero.”
You probably wouldn’t have a follow-up question like, “Really? What sort of superheroism? Saving kids from burning buildings? Global climate change? Cats up trees, that sort of thing?”
When you respond that you’re a writer, you’re suddenly asked to specify. I can only assume the list of responses – and their judgment – goes like this:
Editorial writer (Oh, like foxy Rachel Maddow?)
Novelist (She must live with her parents. Nobody makes a career as a novelist.)
Poet (She definitely lives with her parents. Nobody makes a career as a poet.)
Blogger (She must have been disowned by her parents. Nobody is proud of being a blogger.)
Unfortunately, I respond to the inquiry as to what kind of writing I do with a sort of twenty-minute long sales pitch that inevitably leads to eye-glazing and the removal of my name from any future invite lists.
It dawned on me that we need a rebranding.
If you click onto the Ministry of Imagery site, two things are immediately clear: one, we look pathetic, and two, we will write anything for money. The latter point is the problem. The former one is sort of beyond my control.
Saying that we’ll write anything, while it may be true, is not helpful to our cause. People do not Google search “copywriters” and hit our site, our portfolio isn’t so deep that companies across the globe have us in their Rolodex. And, certainly, the jobs that fall under the “anything” category may be fun (wedding vows and rejection letters are two actual examples that come to mind) but they aren’t the sort of sustainable work that we need.
Being somewhat organizationally compulsive led me to craft a plan for revamping our brand. What’s ironic is that we have been hired for corporate rebranding in the past and, to me, it’s one of the most enjoyable and challenging jobs that there is. So here’s a little taste of what it would look like if we did it for your company. (I’ll get back to this last line later.)
Step one, as it always is with this sort of evaluation and assessment, is to identify a goal. The goal for us would be to have between five and seven continuous gigs that would pay us to do updates and various frequent projects. This handful of key players would provide us enough income to make sure we’d make rent monthly, while also being the sort of “regular” writing jobs that allow for proper time management. Which would mean a sliver of time could be spent looking for those one-time jobs that have been providing miniscule cash injections in the nick of time, and doing other bits to broaden our portfolio.
Once this objective is identified, the next step is figuring out what those potential long-term gigs would be. From my point of view, we have three or four particular writing projects that we specialize in:
- Press releases and non-traditional advertising.
- Corporate blogging, news updates, and website text management.
- Technical writing and writing for high-tech companies. Past jobs include success stories and newsletters.
- Company rebranding and assessment.
All of these can be backed up by our portfolio and a small client list. More importantly, the first two assignments on this list of four can be done more than once for the same company. Just like electric cars and the breasts of gold digging wives, these are the kinds of things that have staying power. These are sustainable jobs. In theory, a company could hire us to write several times a month for them, to keep their brand relevant, their clients informed, and their website fresh.
So now the more difficult bridge needs to be crossed while blindfolded: convincing Simon to redo the layout of the page, without getting him overwhelmed by the prospect of change. See, I could do it all on my own, but that isn’t very fair. The site was his and his alone before I came on the scene. And wherein I know and recognize the importance of having a robust portfolio completely accessible to potential clients, I also know that putting up a more focused and specified list of what we provide will only help to get more solicitations for said portfolio pieces. I’d rather change the face of the site now, and upload those examples as we move forward. Besides, if anybody wrote to us inquiring as to our previous projects, we could always email them the examples instantly. I just think that presenting a more streamlined and focused repertoire can only help us in the long-run. And it’s not as if we’d turn away anybody looking for a one-shot, small gig. I just think you need big bait to catch big fish.
I call your attention once more to the taste line that I told you I’d come back to. That’s the final step of the plan. Prove what we can do for you, or any company, for that matter. Sell ourselves in a way that’s more up-front than quirky. Sure, we might be hired 9 times out of 10 for our personalities and communication style, but we could theoretically be hired, um, I dunno, for providing a service at a good rate. We can provide examples of what we do by updating our company blog or news section bi-weekly. This will complement our portfolio, along with a few high-profile, pro-bono projects that can get our name out there. Doing a variety of specific work will give us more exposure. Like socialites and porn tapes, more exposure can only be a good thing for our career.
To everyone who donates, thank you. Y’all are like the X-Men, only more hardcore.
Write me letters, Gotham: AinsleyDrew at the gmail one.
Like Quantum Leap, only bald.