M Agency Copywriter Valerie Hendel: What is my M?

What is my M? My M is PAINTING WITH WORDS. My M is the gift I always try to bring forward to share with our clients, my fellow co-workers, and those I engage with outside of my professional life. As a copywriter, my job is simple: I write. But what is exciting is the level of analysis and craft that goes into writing. At M Agency, I have developed concepts around which creative work—including writing—anchor. I’ve written blogs, employee guidelines, video scripts, and social media content. On the other end, I am a copy editor and enjoy the polish and refinement that is involved with a good thorough going over.

M Agency copywriter Valerie Hendel

What initially inspired you to become a writer, and how did you get into marketing?
Writing has been a part of my expression for as long as I can remember. In grade school, I wrote serials with my friend, and in high school, I was in journalism. As a kid, the thesaurus was an amazing book that I would pick up to read for fun.

My sister is also a professional writer, and my mother had aspirations to write for radio. My earliest memories include my mother, with her long black hair, carrying a stack of books she had checked out from the library. My grandmother, who only had an eighth-grade education, also had a voracious appetite for reading. I noticed the inclination running strongly through our family tree. It wasn’t until late in life that my grandmother explained that her people had been the schreibers or scribes of their village—the people you went to if you needed something read or written. That moment connected me to a lineage, and I feel that it is a gift to be brought forward and shared. Marketing is really telling stories and making connections, so it’s a natural fit.

How does my M inspire your life outside of work? 
Well, there is a natural attraction between artists … you know each other when you meet. I like to encourage artists in their process. I mean, creating art is fraught with emotional risk, and many artists find themselves, at one time or another, fearful or even paralyzed. I’m good at talking people down from their creative ledges. And then there is critique. You absolutely cannot grow and develop your craft without critique, and yet many writers are extremely defensive. They will avoid it at all costs. Working with other writers through this part of the writing process takes patience, sensitivity, and confidence.

Like many writers, I have a dozen projects in various states of doneness. When one project is in my focus, that is my work, and the other projects on the back burner I think of as hobbies—like my screenplay. Oh, I like to knit hats … that’s a good hobby, right? My kitchen is also in a constant state of experimentation—jams, yogurt, bread. I also have a fascination with floor plans and interior design—did a bit of that in another life.

Our M provides a supportive platform for the entire tribe here at M Agency. Bobbie leads the charge that sets the tone—find your purpose, and let your light shine. Hobbies aren’t frivolous, and working for our clients isn’t really work. It’s just a bigger part of our lives and how we connect to our community at large. I like that.

Why is it important for small businesses to have content marketing?
It’s especially important for small business to have content marketing. Writing an ad or a piece of copy isn’t just about writing something that sounds clever and is grammatically correct. Content marketing asks some pretty fundamental questions before one word hits the screen like what is important to your customers? Who is your audience? What do they care about? What are their needs? And what is the point at which the company’s message and the audience’s values connect? Good content marketing tells that story.

I doubt that any business plans to sustain its growth only by word-of-mouth. Small businesses can’t afford to not tell their story in a genuine, meaningful way. And at the risk of sounding self-serving, it’s important to let your writer, marketer, etc. do what they do best, so that you can focus on doing what you do best in your business. That’s how success is built.