How To Give Good Feedback: Part 1
Most people will have a strong reaction one way or another the first time they encounter a new piece of copy. That’s why I always encourage (read: insist) the client take 48 hours before trying to formulate any useful feedback.
✍️ Rule # 1: Take a breath. Don’t react until you’ve let it sink in.
✍️Rule # 2: Feedback is not the same thing as criticism.
I don’t take feedback personally. (And you shouldn’t take copy that misses the mark personally.) Usually when copy isn’t quite there, it’s because we had a communication gap. And the most effective way to fix a communication gap is for me to write wrong copy and for you to set me straight.
Also, it is MUCH easier to give feedback on an existing piece of writing, than it is to tell me exactly the right information when we’re starting from nothing. I do my best to get this out of you ahead of time, but I’ve often had clients who couldn’t really articulate what they wanted until they saw a first draft.
This is why I have revision processes in place. 🙂
Your role in this relationship is to act as the steward for YOUR clients, constituents, customers, etc. Good feedback makes my (or anyone’s) writing better, and I want to leave you with the absolute best writing I can muster. But I can’t do that in a vacuum.
It can also help to step back from your personal preferences and look at this copy through your customers’ eyes. 👀
When I do my initial research, I’ll present you with my instincts and recommendations about what your customers need to hear, how it should feel, and the best /coolest angle to achieve that. (This is called Creative Direction btw.)
If the words on the page (or the design) isn’t landing, you really need to think about WHY. (“I don’t like it” doesn’t count.)
If you can’t figure it out, that’s when it’s time for us to have a conversation so I can ask you some questions to get to the root of what needs to change and why.
More coming in Part 2.
Samantha Pollack is a Copywriter & Creative Director who works with ethically minded, mission driven businesses who are actively trying to reshape our culture (and possibly tear down the patriarchy). She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Business Owner, a 12-week online program that helps HSPs & neurodivergent business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.
Sam also writes about feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and whatever else is on her mind. She currently lives in Asheville, NC.
Emails for cult thought leaders.
Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?
I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.
(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)
*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.
Books. Cats. Rants. Drawrings.
(and every couple months or so, an unexplained absence 🤷🏻)