How’d You Get Here: Marketing & Copywriting

mm
Patrick Cumming

Patrick is the newest addition to the Elastic team. He’s a recent transplant to Scotland who loves all things music-related and has a fondness for a good superhero film.

What do you do at Elastic?

I’m a Digital Marketer & Copywriter.

How long have you worked in marketing?

Although I started doing digital marketing as a “side hustle” over 12 months ago, I’ve been officially employed in the field for just over 2 months.

Do you work in the field you went to school for?

Kind of. But not really. I studied English Literature at Uni. Marketing requires me to use my writing chops daily. But the style of writing I developed at Uni is nothing like the style of writing I use to pen marketing stuff.

What’s the strangest job you had before you got into marketing?

I worked a couple of weird ones. I was broke one summer while at Uni and my Dad managed to call in a favour from a friend and get me a job laying piping for an irrigation company. It was messy, grubby work and I’m sure all the guys I worked with that summer would agree I’m a much better fit behind a desk!

How did you get into marketing?

By accident. A friend was founding a startup and asked me to use my literature skills to proofread her website content. What she had was pretty bad, so I offered to spruce it up and had a lot of fun doing it. It led me down a rabbit hole and I fell in love with all things digital marketing. After that, I started taking on a few freelance projects on top of my full-time job, which back then was as a retail store manager.

How has your position evolved throughout your career?

When I first started out, I was adamant that I was going to become a full-time copywriter. But I soon realised I needed to offer more. So I started sharpening my skills to include other important aspects of digital marketing like analytics, SEO, social media and (very basic) design skills.

What were the biggest challenges when you started your career?

My biggest challenge was finding a foot in! Even though I had some good portfolio pieces, I’d come from retail, so I had no experience within an agency. It’s hard to prove you’ll bring value to someone when you have no evidence that you can do it.

Fortunately, I came to Elastic with a good chunk of experience in retail management, coordinating teams of up to 70 people. Since about 50% of my role is project management, I had plenty of transferable skills.

What’s your favourite thing about your current position?

I get to write every day! I always wanted to be a writer, but I thought my two options were journalist or author, which didn’t really interest me. When I discovered marketing, I knew I’d found my calling.

What’s your least favourite thing about working in marketing?

When you pour your heart and soul into something and a client asks you to change it all!

The start of something big. Find out more about our marketing strategy expertise.

What makes a good employee in marketing?

Someone who can churn out good work, quickly. Even in a relaxed agency like ours we still have tight deadlines to hit.

What’s an unexpected skill that has helped you in your career?

I honestly wouldn’t say there is one. When I started researching marketing roles, I was fairly confident I was up to the job because of the skills I already had. But never say never. If I find a way to use guitar playing to advance my career, I will.

What tips do you have for someone trying to get into marketing?

Agencies get sent literally hundreds of job applications, so you’ll need to send something unique to stand out from the crowd. I have a friend who penned a short story for their cover letter as a way of standing out. And another, a designer, hand-crafted an envelope with his C.V inside and posted it directly to the director of the agency.

What’s something you would tell someone on their first day in marketing?

Learn to move on when your work is fit for purpose. You could tweak a blog post or headline endlessly and you’ll always find something to change. Save yourself time by learning when to walk away and accept that what you’ve done is more than good enough to get your client results.

Looking for something different? Check out the other posts in this series: Marketing, Design, Motion Design & Motion Graphics, or contact us today!

Share