People of Masterworks is a series highlighting talented folks who contribute to the success of our ministry partners on a daily basis. Our hope is that, by getting to know some of our team members, you’ll also learn more about Masterworks and our mission to move hearts and minds to action.
To master anything requires 10,000 hours of hard work and practice. Jodi Carlson has invested at least that much time honing her craft of writing for nonprofits. Jodi is a senior copywriter at Masterworks, sharing her gifts and talents with ministries every day.
Jodi is passionate, determined and motivated to live out our commitment to Mission & Mastery — to align her work with the mission of our ministry partners and master her craft for their benefit. Every day, she chooses to live with integrity and holds her creative work to the same high standard.
What do you bring to the table that helps ministries feed the hungry, care for the sick, and shine God’s light into the darkness?
All of my career — at many Christian nonprofits and now at Masterworks — I’ve been honing my writing and editing skills. The goal is that the final product we offer will not only be creative, but meticulously thought-through and designed to get a response.
What motivates you in your work?
I’m highly motivated every day working at Masterworks. I think it’s because what we do influences eternity. People are coming to Jesus through the organizations we serve. And for those who are already walking with Him, their relationships are being enhanced. We’re helping believers who are strong in their faith to take their faith further as donors. However they view their giving, we hope to see their relationship go deeper just by the act of giving. The Kingdom is being impacted.
In your professional opinion, what is the biggest challenge nonprofits face today?
Having the funds necessary to do God’s work. And this brings up a whole array of other issues, like how people give differently today than they did 20 years ago. Bottom line: organizations need the funds.
What are two things you’ve learned by working with our ministry partners at Masterworks?
First, they’re people, too. They aren’t just a comment on the proof we send them. I value my conversations with clients. As soon as I see an individual’s comment on the proof, I seek to understand where they’re coming from. A comment isn’t an inanimate thing; it comes from a person who not only knows the ministry well, but has thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of their own. Second, I’ve worked hard to absorb what our ministries have conveyed to us about their brands. We have lots to learn from them. Meanwhile, they have lots to learn from us as an agency, because we can often better see the forest for the trees. We also have in-depth knowledge of their target audiences. All this to say, an attitude of partnership is vital to the relationship.
What is one thing you wish your ministry partners knew about copywriting?
I wish they knew it’s as much science as art. I’ve chosen each word, constructed each sentence, and written each headline a certain way for a reason. It’s not just that it sounds good or looks good or flows nicely. I’m really looking to evoke an overall effect, asking: what is going to prompt the target audience to give? There’s a lot of science behind the art of writing.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Go crazy! Copywriting is a broad term that encompases many many different subjects. From technical to creative, from healthcare to nonprofits– it’s all nuanced. Even if you do one exceptionally well, you may flop at another. I would say to dabble and see what brings you the greatest fulfillment.
What in your personal life equips you to serve ministries every day?
Time with the Lord. If I didn’t have that focused time with Him, I think my “creativity well” would run dry. And without grace and patience for the madness that is creative work — I just couldn’t function. One thing I’ve done since starting at Masterworks is to take a regular retreat, where I can just recenter myself with the Lord. That has been crucial for me to serve our ministries every day.
Would you rather have amazingly fast typing/texting skills, or be able to read ridiculously fast?
I would rather read ridiculously fast. It would serve me well in my job! Plus, I’ve already mastered the skill of typing fast!
We are so thankful to have Jodi on the Masterworks creative team. The wealth of knowledge and talent she shares not only with our ministry partners, but other members of the creative team, are instrumental in raising the quality and integrity of our work. How has excellent writing made a difference at your organization?