Too many cooks spoil the broth

and the marketing campaign ✨

The current climate is far from the most inspiring. Here in England, we are mid-way through a national lockdown and I think we are all feeling the pinch. Whether that be financial or emotional, one thing’s for sure: times are hard.

Even though many of us have spent the majority of 2020 working online, I still think we are far from perfecting the recipe for a successful remote working strategy. And that has never been more obvious than when it comes to collaboration.

From group Zoom calls to shared Google Docs or spreadsheets in Teams, I am sure I’m not alone in feeling frustration. For one thing, it’s not the most creative way to work - which is a shame, especially when you are collaborating with other creative designer and professionals who are typically a joy to work with. And secondly, it’s a logistical nightmare… everyone has an opinion and not everyone is able to accurately communicate it.

While I think the issue of too many cooks has always been a source of headaches for marketing professionals, it's certainly much worse in the remote working age. Every man and his dog has an opinion, and keeping everyone happy is impossible.

I am sure if you are also a copywriter, then you will understand the pain of writing content that you’re proud of for a client, to only see a butchered on their website a few months later. Dave knows what I mean…

Even before pen hits paper (or fingers hit keys), there is so often a power struggle. And no matter how innocent or pure your intentions are, there is always someone else in the room (or on the Zoom call) who is out for themselves.

To me, it’s how you navigate these situations that really builds character and puts you in good stead for future work. It’s easy to get angry in the moment, and I am certainly not immune to that. In fact, peak-lockdown I had a spat with a client’s supplier when they started telling me how to do my job - not my proudest moment, I’ve got to admit.

However since then, and every day as we go forward, I am learning how to be a better freelancer.

My late-mam used to say: it all comes out in the wash. And yes, that was typically in response to some benign friend betrayal like the theft of a Bratz doll or that time I deleted Alison’s near-complete save on N64’s Banjo Kazooie (sorry Alison, I know you read this). The premise of Miriam’s wisdom still stands - stand back now and you will prevail in the long term.

The fakers, snakers and all-round piss-takers will get found out soon enough. So sit back, do your best and be kind… it’ll all come out in the wash.

📺 No reading recs for me this week as I am back on the epic fantasy hype and darn, those books are long. Maybe I will have an update next week! Other than reading huge books, I have been watching a lot of YouTube commentary videos and painting with gouache.

🌲 My favourite thing about this week was being free from self-isolation! We went to the beach at the weekend and met five other greyhounds, it was great.

That’s all from me this week! If you liked this, feel free to forward it to your most awkward client… and if this was sent to you then hi, please subscribe.

Ellen x

Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:

11 November: Everything is different now, so why are you trying to live like before?

4 November: Lockdown Part II: Here's my manifesto 📜

28 October: Why business owners don't talk about depression

21 October: How to actually stick to something (and why it’s okay if you don’t)

14 October: Meet the bosses who shaped me

6 October: Running a business when you're sensitive AF

30 September - Let them eat lockdown layer cake 🍰

23 September - Poetry in Notion: How one tool revolutionised my work ✨

16 September - A sceptic’s guide to self development

9 September - A quick one from Bonny Scotland

2 September - I’m here 🙋‍♀️