Playing Your Part: Understanding Your Role in a Team

Understanding the role your work plays in a greater project is vital.

Years ago, I played acoustic guitar in a band. Like many musicians, I got my start in church and later a group of us started a band called All Eyes East. We were the epitome of early 2000’s culture. Lots of black emo hair styles sweeping across our eyes. We played for youth events and local festivals - I think I even got paid once or twice.

Musicians know that you practice on your own and rehearse as a group. I was diligent in that. I’d review rhythms and strumming patterns until I was sick of them. I would spend hours with a metronome to be sure I was in the pocket. Then I’d join rehearsal ready to add my expertise to the group effort.

I often asked the team which rhythm they preferred or how to better groove with the overall sound. And the frustrating answer I always heard was, “you’re the clarinet - just blend.” The job of a rhythm guitarist is to blend in - finding the right way to flow with the bass drum and bass guitar, and knowing when to deviate from that pattern.

I totally understand the response I got (I played clarinet for several years in middle and high school). But my creativity and finesse often went unnoticed when we put the song together. My role was to fill the sound and make it a bit more robust. Once I understood that, everything began to flow and I had a lot less frustration in rehearsal.

I haven’t played music in a few years, but I’ve noticed that copywriting is very similar to the clarinet and rhythm guitar. Good copy blends into its surroundings. It fills the gaps between great design and customers.

Most people aren’t reading websites to find great copy, they’re looking for a solution to a problem. Good writing is like rhythm guitar - it goes unnoticed and blends in with great design to inform, excite, and engage with audiences. Bad writing is what gets noticed.

The same is true for working in a cohesive team. Understanding the role your work plays in a greater project is vital - whether that’s design, copy, or playing acoustic guitar. Without a team effort, projects feel disjointed. Just like a band, a cohesive team crafts better work and is imperative for any customer success.

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