Sorin Trâncă | Friends\TBWA & FFFF | “Be clear about what you do”

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Sorin Tranca FCK.WORK/Podcast

Listen to EPISODE 3 here:

TL;DR to listen to the whole thing? OR maybe Romanian’s not your language? Here’s the highlights:

Who is Sorin Trâncă?

Sorin Trâncă is a social entrepreneur (Friends for Friends Foundation), a classic entrepreneur (Friends\TBWA), a copywriter, a strategy man, a concept guy, a manager boss and most importantly a friend.

Sorin Trâncă the copywriter vs Sorin Trâncă the manager

He opened his Friends\TBWA in 2003. After working as a copywriter for 5 years, winning some prizes and being published in Lurzer he wanted to do things his own way. Not because he thought he could do them better, but because he knew for sure he could.

He confessed that things as a manager are different than they are when you’re just a creative. As creative you could go to a client meeting and speak your mind and it would all be viewed as an amusing moment, as part of the charm of a creative. For example, you could tell a client things like: “Madam, you’re just not good at this. Let us handle it, we know better. You’re very good at doing your own job. Trust me.”

It’s not that as a manager or agency owner you can’t speak your mind, but you have think about how you say it and most of time you don’t say it all. When you’re a creative things like these are viewed as funny moments, as part of your personality. When you become a manager or owner, even if you are the same person and act the same way, your little jokes from before are seen as something inappropriate from someone who should be more responsible.

It’s all about perception

“In my first years of advertising no one ever asked me why they should work with me though I’d attended client meetings from my first week. As soon as I became an agency owner, this was one of the first questions I always had to answer.” And this happened even if Sorin Trâncă the man was the same and Sorin Trâncă the copywriter was better.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to change who you are and become submissive, overly humble. You need to understand that the world around you has changed and you need to adjust they way you express yourself.

Strategy for Sorin Trâncă

To him the role of a strategy man is to find shortest and preferably cheapest way to reach an objective. Strategy has 2 simple pillars: dos and don’ts. To have a coherent and credible presence, you need to be clear about what you do and just as clear about what you don’t do. And here’s an example, to make it understandable on a human level: I’m Georgie, I’m 2m tall, I’m super rich, I’ve won 6 chess championships and I’m also Mister America. You’re not really buying it, are you? When you hear something like this you’re going about asking “Okay, what’s wrong with you? Something is definitely wrong with you”. The same goes for brands, be they personal brands, service brands, product brands, company brand and so on.

A day in the life of the creative

That would be Friday. Because on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are dedicated to other things and processes that need his attention. He even has this schedule on his office door. An ideal day as far as creative work goes looks like this:

  • You get up as early as possible. This is something he learned pretty late in his work life. But now now admits it’s a very valuable thing to do.
  • You get to the office before 9 a.m. Or better said at least one hour before everyone else arrives. It gives you quiet time to think and focus and understand you challenge.
  • Around 11 a.m. you should jot down some first thoughts and ideas.
  • Around noon you should get a second opinion on your thoughts and ideas from someone like a creative director, you art director or even a client. Just test out what you came up with.
  • Between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. is the best time to start writing headlines, scripts and any other executions needed.

As far as going home goes, he’s not a fan of overtime or nights and weekends at the office. He did spend his first years in advertising mostly around the office, but no longer thinks this is the best way to get work done.

If you find advertising life attractive

The toughest thing to do as a beginner is to figure out what you want to be: copywriter, art director, client service, production, maybe join the digital department.

While it’s the toughest, it’s also the most important step before knocking on an advertising agency’s door. Because what you need next is to build a portfolio for the job you want. An art director’s portfolio differs from that of a copywriter. And the cool part is that you don’t need to show work for actual clients. The portfolio for your first job can have mock work, creative exercises you gave to yourself. Take a logo and reinterpret it, rewrite a TV spot you saw, remake a print you think could be better. It’s something you can talk about and debate when you’re called for an interview.

You can also read  TALKS WITH MAVERICKS where you’ll find interviews with freelancers and digital nomads and our FREE RESOURCES center. 

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May the discipline be with you.

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