Copywriting – It’s just words, right?
One of my key specialisms is writing. I’ve had a lifelong passion for words, and I’ve invested a great deal of time, energy and money into learning how to use our magnificent language to its best effect. I therefore believe that copywriting for any business should always have that professional touch. But I know a lot of people who simply don’t understand the value that professional copywriting brings. Here are the things I often get told and why they might not be true.
A copywriter won’t sound like me or have my passion
Whilst many writers execute work in lots of different voices, it’s true that it can take time to get to know someone and find their specific tone. To help get around this and speed things up, I work closely with my clients from the outset. I find out about them. I listen first-hand to their ideas, what their business is about and what makes them tick. And I ask them for notes that I can base all the words on.
However, there is another side to this that is often not considered. If you’re writing a blog for your business, it must have a business purpose. It should not be self-indulgent or be there because you love to write. Therefore, just because you might want it to sound like you and have your passion, it doesn’t always mean that’s the best thing for your business. Understanding how to write copy in itself will help you decipher what the right voice should be.
A copywriter won’t understand my industry
This is most likely 100% true. But it actually doesn’t matter. Just this week alone I have written content for seven different types of companies. I often do a bit of research to get me up to speed so I can have meaningful conversations with my clients, but my job isn’t to understand their industry. They’re paying me to write fantastic content.
It’s your business, you know it better than anyone else. This means the more you can drive the ideas, the better and more unique your content will be. All a copywriter needs are some general notes and we can take care of the rest. You make sure the facts are correct, we’ll make it sound amazing.
It’s too expensive
I find the people who think this have rarely ever had a quote. Do you know how much a copywriter actually costs? It might be less than you think. Also, what is massively misunderstood here is the return on investment possibilities. Well written words can really be the difference between whether someone buys from you or not. If you sound more professional and have value-led content, then you’ll grab the attention of your customers much more than if you don’t.
In addition, think about how you want to be perceived. Just because you work by yourself, do you want to sound like a one man band? Do you want your website and the content around your business to sound like it’s ‘homemade’? Think about the overall effect and how you want to be perceived. Sometimes investing in professional copywriting can elevate you far more than you could imagine.
I invest in SEO, surely that’s the most important thing on a website?
SEO is important if you want to be found on a search engine. No one could argue with that. But if you make all that effort working your business up the ranks and then you send customers to a poorly worded website, it’s all a waste of time. What you say on your website and how you engage with your audience is vital to your success. Would you trust a website that looked like it had been thrown together quickly, with boring, grammatically incorrect content, and that actually told you very little about the company? Walk in your customers’ shoes and be honest about what you want to achieve.
I know how to write, so there’s no extra value a copywriter can give to my business
Knowing how to string a sentence together is not what a copywriter does. We understand the intricacies of communication. I did a degree in Writing, and it was taken as a given that I could write. I had to send in samples of work to get on the course. I had to prove that I was already competent with words. What we then learnt was how to master the art of communication. It’s a totally different technique. How well do you understand this?
I’ll probably end up re-writing what they’ve put so it’s not a good use of time
Because I work with my clients up front and get to know them, I’m never afraid that they’ll have to re-write my work. Yes, often they might tweak things, correct the odd fact or put in an angle that they’ve just considered. But this is editing. It’s a necessary part of the process of any written work. And I find many clients love this. Starting with a blank sheet of paper is hard. Honing a fully written piece to make it perfect is often quite enjoyable. But it’s your choice, and the whole process is something you can explore with your copywriter when you work with them.
Someone else can’t know what’s in my head, so I can’t see how a copywriter could be useful for me
Remember when I said that a true writer has learnt to master the art of communication? Well, listening is a massive part of that. You’re taught to listen and observe when you learn to write, because you have to understand people to be able to communicate with them. I know all the right questions to ask to get that knowledge out of your head, and you may be surprised by just how much the final piece gives you what you thought you’d never be able to communicate.
To be really good with words, you have to know what you’re doing. I have never just guessed. I’ve spent my life either learning formally or learning from experience. I’ve also learnt that many small businesses would love to use a professional copywriter, but they simply can’t afford it. Regardless of the ROI, the funds just don’t exist in the first place.
That’s why I run my ‘How to Write Compelling Copy’ workshops. In half a day I share a great deal of my knowledge and I will teach you some tricks that you most likely will never have considered before. If you can’t get in a professional, why not learn from one?
To find out more and book on, visit my Workshops page.