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July 8, 2022

Meet The Talent: Director of Creative Content, Jennifer McGuire

Rachael Carlson
Written By:
Rachael Carlson

With over 25 years of marketing and advertising experience, you can pretty much bet that Jennifer has seen and heard it all. Always up for a creative challenge, she’s truly the perfect person to lead our growing copy and video teams. A visionary, natural storyteller, organizer and planning guru all rolled into one, she’s a bit of a creative unicorn – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
I recently sat down with Jennifer to learn more about The Studio and how she manages both teams.
 
How would you describe the work you do at The Studio?
I oversee copywriting and video, which we collectively call the “creative content” team. Currently, there are 16 people on both teams. We also work with several freelancers, which enables us to quickly expand our capabilities when we have a lot of projects come in.

The copy and videos we produce vary widely – they might be for a new product or program launch, to support agent recruiting and retention, to provide agents with assets they can share with their clients, marketing to grow adoption of a program, or to provide creative marketing assets for agents themselves through Design Concierge. I love it because every day is different, and we’re always challenged.
 
Tell me about your favorite project so far and why it was your favorite?
It’s impossible to just choose one since I’ve been here for 10 years, but my favorite ones are when our team has an opportunity to shine and show off their talents. I personally love the social media projects we do, whether it’s creating a cool video or writing funny copy for a quirky holiday post.
 
I also love it when the Design Concierge team writes an agent bio that receives rave reviews from the client, and when the video team produces something gorgeous like our Studio sizzle videos. And I have to give props to our copywriting production and design team, which always blows me away when they update hundreds of assets each spring in a matter of a few weeks. 
 
And lately, I’ve personally enjoyed writing for the CENTURY 21 and Realogy blogs, which has been a lot of fun. Since I oversee such a large team, I don’t always get the opportunity to do the actual writing myself.
 
How do you stay creative?
I look for inspiration everywhere. The other day I was watching TV and saw an ad for a hotel chain and thought, “That was a cool transition, maybe we could try something like that for our next social video campaign.” I also read a lot, so I keep an eye out for interesting word combinations. And I have a bit of a TikTok addiction. It can be a major time suck, which is why I only scroll the videos when I probably should be sleeping at night. But I’m always impressed by the level of creativity, and many have actually inspired me.
 
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Give the client what they ask for, but also give them what they need, which isn’t always the same thing. We recently received a request for a PowerPoint presentation to help agents tell the story about how a new program will benefit consumers. But agents don’t really use PowerPoint in this way, and even if they did, the only real opportunity they’d have to use it would be the first time they sit down with a buyer or seller, which is a more limited audience. What they really needed was a series of social media assets and eBlasts that agents could send out to their sphere of influence. So, we connected with the client for a chat, and they agreed that was a better approach.
 
How do you stay on top of marketing and trends?
Social media! It’s really taken so much of marketing and condensed it down to a few major platforms where you can easily monitor what clients, competitors and influencing brands are doing. I think in a way, things have become so much more transparent because of social media.
Ten years ago, businesses would keep everything very close to the vest and wouldn’t share news about a new campaign, product or program until it was 100% ready. Today, it’s splashed all over social media, often even before things are finalized.
 
I enjoy looking at what accounts outside of real estate are doing. I follow a wide variety of influencers, brands, non-profits, media organizations and ad agencies on several different social platforms. I also read the real estate trades to stay up on industry news and the constantly evolving market. How the market is doing and what challenges or opportunities that creates for brands, brokerages and agents really impacts the messaging my team writes.
 
Favorite thing about working at The Studio?
Two things, the people and the variety. When we started working remotely after the pandemic hit, I wasn’t sure how I would like it because I really love my coworkers and as an extrovert, I get energized by interacting with people. It was an adjustment, but I think we’ve all been able to stay connected through Teams video chat. We’ve also brought so many new employees on that we still haven’t met in real life, so it’s been vital to learn how to connect authentically when you’re all remote.
 
I also love the variety of work. I never know exactly what each week, or even each day, will bring. I would get really bored if I did the same thing every day, so I like that each day is different.
 
Advice to someone interested in a career in copywriting
Even if you aren’t currently a writer, maybe you’re a college student or have a job in another role but want to become a writer, find opportunities to write so you can build up a portfolio. You can blog for yourself, volunteer to blog for an organization or local business, write social media copy for your favorite restaurant. Just do anything you can to build up a portfolio.
 
Several years ago, I hired a copywriter who had been a stay-at-home mother for nine years. She hadn’t worked in so long, but she had taken on blogging assignments for a local company that enabled her to build up a portfolio. Despite the big career gap, I could clearly see that she was a talented writer.
 
How long have you been at The Studio, your background and any other roles …?
I just celebrated my 10th anniversary with The Studio in April! Before that, almost my entire work history was with ad and PR agencies, which made me well suited for our work at The Studio. I’ve written about so many different things, from electronic doggie doors and plastic surgery to luxury travel, organic pesticides, fast food and talking stuffed animals.
 
It’s been really nice to just focus on one industry for ten years, because instead of knowing a little bit about a lot of things, I’m able to now focus and have such a deeper knowledge about the brokerage business and real estate industry.
 
Finally, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Last summer, I bought a beautiful blue Jeep Wrangler, which I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. One of my absolute favorite things to do is put the top down and drive to the beach with the radio blasting. Sometimes I’ll take my Great Dane Dani along, and we’ll stop by Starbucks for a pup cup. I have to admit, I still get a little flutter of excitement when someone gives me the Jeep wave.

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