One of the frustrations of working as an agency copywriter is having ones writing constantly criticized by people who are non-professional writers. But the fact is, that all white collar employes are paid to write. Write emails, memos, briefs and PowerPoints daily. And while it doesn’t make them all good writers, it does make many of them judgmental of other people’s writing. Yes, even a professional writer’s writing.

And when we go to the store we can buy products that say they’re professional drill, a skillet, a vacuum or whatever one wants to buy. And I guess that makes us all professional maids and chefs as well. It’s a slippery slope.

A professional laptop on a desk.

Since founding Fluid Films, I’ve found a lot fewer people want to step behind the lens and correct my framing as want to judge my word usage. It’s certainly refreshing. But I’ve also noticed just as many people with a misconception about what makes film and video production professional. The last thing it is is a sticker that says “pro” on the side of a video camera.

So what makes someone professional? Being a professional is an attitude of not just doing ones best, but doing it the right way that will net results for a client. A dedication to a life of learning how to constantly improve your skills and your product. Improving your community by teaching and mentoring those who work with you and for you. Keeping your client’s interests first even we they don’t have the insight to do so. Being professional isn’t just doing a job, it’s doing a job better than it needs to be done because you have standards.

Being professional isn’t doing a job for pay or using the right tools, it’s rather how you do your job.