Usually, the “fake it ’til you make it” mentality is seen through a negative lens. Honestly, I’ve never understood why this is—well, at least with some things.
Sure, there are people out there who are hypocritical to the max, but in matters of copywriting, getting started with things before you’re completely ready for the full-blown title of “copywriter” is without a doubt the best way to go.
I’m no longer fishing for entry-level work, but when I was, I talked the talk and did my best to ensure that my walking followed a similar trend. Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t; either way, if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Only You Know Who You Really Are
When I was younger, I wanted more than anything to become a sportswriter like Dan Le Batard or Jay Mariotti. I spent my Summer afternoons reading the paper and watching the same episode of “Sportscenter” multiple times each day.
I was bound and determined to do all I could to become a columnist for Sports Illustrated or ESPN.com. Ya know—one of those big-time publications.
Anyway, one day I hopped online and did a bit of research to try and learn how I could increase the likelihood of me becoming a top-tier journalist when I grew up.
It’s been over a decade since this happened, but I remember stumbling upon an article that claimed that the best way to become a journalist was to accept that you already were one. If you wrote regularly and sought to tell stories in an accurate manner, you could confidently refer to yourself as a “journalist” when speaking with others.
Eventually, my desire to cover sports for money gave way to making a living as a copywriter. Though my interests had changed, I never forgot the nominal side of things, and—as long as I was immersed in writing activities—openly referred to myself as a copywriter.
The evidence was there, and people never questioned me. This wasn’t a lie. The projects weren’t all that sexy. I mean, most of the time, I wasn’t even making much money off of them. Yet, years later, looking back, it was the right thing to do. Heck, it led me to where I am today, so it must’ve worked to a certain degree.
Taking Action Is the Best Way to Learn
Copywriting isn’t neuroscience. It’s a trade—almost like welding or something similar. Instead of a blowtorch, copywriters use laptops. If you want to become a copywriter, you’ve got to spend time doing the very thing copywriters spend 90 percent of lives doing—writing.
Get involved with a local publication, start and build a blog or hunt for a few one-time gigs on Upwork. By so doing, you’re becoming a copywriter. Yes, things could be better, but this is the hands-on beauty of copywriting.
I’ve looked over this post a time or two and, admittedly, it’s a bit clunky. That said, I feel pretty strongly about this one. So, what do you think? Is the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ doctrine a joke of a philosophy or something more worthwhile? Express you thoughts and feelings in the comments section below.
Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.