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Covering All Things Pop Music With Copywriter Anthony Stamp

 Pop Music Copywriting With Anthony Stamp | Freelance Copywriter
Kat Shepherd
Kat Shepherd
May 16, 2022
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Many people are unsure what copywriting entails and others feel copywriting can be a bit ‘serious’, so when we spoke to Anthony Stamp about his colourful career in content so far, we knew it would help change some of those opinions!

Starting his copywriting career by writing about the biggest 90’s music stars on MTV, Anthony didn’t go full-time freelance until 2017, following over a decade at leading creative agency VCCP. During the pandemic, Anthony worked on some rather challenging projects while getting his head around remote working with his long-term creative partner. We spoke to Anthony about some of the best advice he’d received in his copywriting career so far, what working with new clients can be like and how he maintained his motivation during the lockdowns.

Before I took the plunge as a freelancer I was at VCCP for over a decade, and back in the mists of time, I wrote about pop music for MTV. If you want to know about *NSYNC videos, I’m your guy.

Working during the pandemic saw a different kind of project land on Anthony’s lap as he shares one of the more recent successful campaigns he was a part of;

During the lockdown, my creative partner Richard Yates and I were creative leads on a project warning parents about online abuse. It was probably the grimmest campaign we’ve ever worked on, and having to do it while stuck indoors made everything much more difficult. It was a stand-out project for a few reasons - the three elements that made it work were;
  • Keeping the idea simple. There’s so much stuff out there now that it’s harder than ever to make an impact. Just because it’s easy to churn out a zillion messages, it doesn’t follow that more will be more effective.
  • Having a clear purpose. Purpose briefs are great because the subject matter is inherently interesting and they’re more worthwhile to work on than punting toothpaste or chocolate bars. But you’ve also got a responsibility to make them really work hard, otherwise, you’re designing or filming around an issue rather than tackling it.
  • Never letting go. When a project is really important, keep pushing to make it as good as it can be. On any project, there are multiple opportunities for the ball to be dropped.

Having worked through one of the more difficult periods of a global pandemic, we asked Anthony how he remained motivated and kept his creative muscles flexed;

You need to step away from the vehicle, though that’s easier said than done. Go for a walk, shut the laptop down, and let your mind work through the problem in the background.

When it comes to working on a new project with a new client, we asked Anthony how he handles the client’s expectations;

You learn to read the room. I think it’s better to sketch out a range of rough territories and gauge where the appetite is.

With copywriting often being neglected or overlooked on projects, we then asked Anthony what he felt clients could do to make working together much smoother;

Technology makes it easier and faster to finish conceptual work up to a high standard, so there’s sometimes an expectation from both clients and agencies that everything should be highly polished even at the initial stage. This can create massive inefficiencies because the focus is almost immediately on the design rather than the idea.

With that in mind, we then asked Anthony how he personally tackles vague briefs and differing expectations from clients;

The vagueness can sometimes give you more space. I try and come back with a broad range of proposals, and make sure there’s something in there that’s easy to buy. It helps build trust that you’re not a complete live wire.

And for copywriters who might be new to the world of freelancing and briefs, Anthony’s own advice is

Clients are looking for energy and an outside perspective: that’s often why they’ve hired a freelancer. So sketch out a range of solutions and then work in from there.

Having worked with a variety of clients over his career so far, we then asked Anthony what the best piece of advice he’d received was which is a simple but effective one;

Always get dressed.

And finally, we asked Anthony how he felt about learning he was a finalist in the 2021 Freelancer Awards;

It was a nice end to the year. When you’re working in-house there’s a whole PR machine behind you – you don’t get that when you’re freelance. So it’s good to have some wind in your sails.

If you’d like to add some more colour to your copy projects, why not book Anthony today.

AspectEmployeeIndependent Contractor
Control and supervisionDirect control over how, when, and where to workFreedom to set their own schedules and methods
PaymentRegular wages; taxes withheld by employerPaid per project; responsible for their own taxes
BenefitsHealth insurance, retirment plans, paid leaveMust arrange their own benefits
TerminationOften requires notice and may include severanceCan usually be terminated at any time without benefits
Tools and equipmentProvided by the employerTypically use their own tools
I work for agencies of all shapes and sizes and provide consultancy for clients who want agency-level creative without agency-level invoices. Call me for brand development, tone-of-voice, big ideas, small projects, long copy, online copy, pitch-flaps, integrated campaigns or one-off gems. All media - B2B and B2C.
Anthony Stamp, Senior Copywriter / Creative Lead
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