Giving Up

A Man presses a "reject" buttionEven though I kept trying many times, I had to realise this morning that I’m not a fashion expert. Not even a fashion person. And definitely not a fashion writer.

You may know that I regularly write articles for various online businesses. To name a few, I have written about smartphones, doctors, hotels… This is all managed by another company for whom I work freelance, and they keep sending me invitations for new projects.

The way this works is that you need to sign up, you get invitations for a project. If you like the project, you send a writing sample (usually according to a given brief), and if you are chosen to work on the project, you will get all the further details. And payment further down the line.

Several times now, I have tried to get work writing for fashion brands or retailers online. I do not know anything about fashion, but I did write very successfully about smartphones without owning one, so I thought this would be in the same category. Well, I never got picked, and this morning I finally understood why.

As the test, I had to write a 300-word article about a well-known fashion brand. And, being me, I took the nerdy approach: a bit of history, a bit of innovations, a bit of types of clothes and a bit about the big-name designers they currently work with. I wrote it last night and let it sit, which is always a good idea when it comes to this type of writing, at least in the beginning.

This morning, I went online to a link I was given, and all the way down, there was an introduction to the brand. (Before you ask why I need to write this when it’s already there, I guess they are regularly updating the writing on the pages to make it seem more dynamic?) And that intro took the fashionista approach, talking about shoes and hoodies and leggings and sportswear and bras and socks and caps and backpacks and accessories and of course that it will feel wonderful when you wear it.

Note that this was on the bottom of a page already showing photos of all these things (minus the wonderful feelings of course) plus: the writing brief stated explicitly not do get sales-y. There were two sentences unique about the brand (one of them talking about their latest designer), but everything else was completely interchangeable with any other brand out there.

I didn’t even bother sending in my sample. Obviously this type of writing is so far out of my natural habitat, that it is a complete waste of time to even consider learning the how-to. So: I am calling a strategic retreat and cut my losses. Best to stick to stuff that I know something about. Serious nerdy stuff. Like smartphones. 😉

2 thoughts on “Giving Up

  1. Well, fashion is like any other type of thing people buy. Do you really care about the company that makes your fridge? No. You want to know why (apart from price) you should buy their fridge and not a competitor’s. (With fridges you’d have energy ratings, general reputation [customer service, longevity, …] etc.)
    Anything that adds value to your company as a brand would be listed in those kinds of introductions. For fashion it’s stuff like: Fairtrade? Special wool? Special weaving technology? No child-labour? Donating 10 cent per leggings sold? as well as “increbly comfortable”, “designer names”, etc.
    You are not really introducing a company, you are trying to get potential buyers emotionally connected to a brand and/or product.
    If you want a smartphone example – look at what apple does. They don’t sell phones. They sell the idea of a lifestyle. Very clever marketing.

    • You’re making very good points here!

      Still, I feel that this is a bit out of my expertise, being a nerdy kind of person and all. Everything I have written so far was more of a “technical” type of thing, where you had to convey information and not feelings. For example, the smartphones I wrote for were essentially technical manuals wrapped up in full sentences.

      I guess I’m simply more of a technical writer than an inspirational/sales-y one. Nothing wrong with that. I don’t have to be good at everything. 😉