Creativity, Social Strategy and Rejection – an interview with Jon Savitt

Posted on: 01/25/16

Before meeting Jon Savitt IRL, we spent more time than we’d like to admit perusing his Twitter feed, coming across gems like:

and

After meeting him in person and hearing about his creative process, we found there’s more to Jon than just his talent for tweeting.

Creativity, Social Strategy and Rejection – an interview with Jon Savitt

For Jon Savitt, writer and comedian, making connections is what it’s all about. Whether it’s drafting a pithy tweet, creating copy that hits a nerve with an audience, or making a new friend, those connections drive him.

During a recent interview, Jon shared about his creative passions, his social strategy, and what he’s learned after putting his writing out there for all to see. He also talked about how he uses social media for connections, not just self-promotion.

“Humor is good for making an emotional connection,” Jon said. “If you laugh at something, you’re likely to remember it later.” When someone laughs at an article, a commercial, or an ad, it’s because they’ve related to it in some way. Humor reminds them that there’s someone on the other side of the screen. It doesn’t matter if it’s tweets or copy, “humor makes a great connection.”

Jon writes for TIME, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and more. His articles span from his love of grilled cheese and Anna Kendrick, to reimagining historical events had social media been around at the time (think Neil Armstrong with Instagram filters, or a Kickstarter for the Louisiana Purchase). In addition, he tweets hilarity to the masses, sending satirical messages 140 characters at a time.

Though he made his name through humorous pieces, he also writes about societal issues, shining a light on the experiences of our time.

How did Jon get to where he is in such a short amount of time? “My parents, probably four times a week, tell me that I have to also have fun, that I can’t just work.” The truth is, he loves what he does. The work is the fun! He knows that to be the best, to really break through, he has to work hard and always be hungry.

He’s quick to point out that reaching those heights came with a lot of disappointments and rejection. “Even now, when people see my writing in big publications, they think it’s so cool. But, it’s after years of rejection. Behind that cool thing is twenty things that didn’t work out.”

In creative jobs, sometimes the work just doesn’t land in the right person’s lap. Early on in Jon’s writing career, he sent an article to a small publication, “and they told me it wasn’t really great,” he said with a laugh. “I sent the same piece to a big, well-known publication and they loved it! And they published it!”

Jon’s advice about how to get past the inevitable rejection? “Use the rejection as motivation.” Creative jobs such as advertising, marketing, and writing are subjective. “You have to understand that people are going to like different things. Be comfortable with yourself and what you’re doing first and foremost. When I first started out, I was hesitant and didn’t believe in myself,” Jon said. “Now, I like what I’m doing and I know there are others who will like it, too.”

With his eye for creativity and marketing, he’s always looking at what might take a product, business, or brand to the next level. It can be overwhelming to consider all the social media platforms, so he thinks it’s best to be content with just a few at the beginning. Each platform reaches a different group, or can highlight content in a different way. According to Jon, the key is to find the ones that work best for sharing your message.

Jon’s passion for nurturing human connections is behind his newest project, Words From Friends. The project was born out of Jon’s own experience as a new writer. In college, he wanted to write but he didn’t know how to do it, and wasn’t comfortable yet putting his thoughts out in public. He is building Words From Friends as a platform for people to connect and support one another over writing. He believes writing is a really good outlet for people. It doesn’t have to be a career, it may be a hobby, and he wants to help people connect with that.

Connect with Jon on Twitter and at his website.

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