If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur you may have been approached by copywriters offering their services to help you with your marketing. Why would you take them up on the offer? Here are some reasons:
1) You can write – your schoolteachers made sure of that, didn’t they? Well, they probably did; most people can string a sentence together. But did they teach you to write to sell? That’s the whole point of copywriting. It’s not meant to be great literature. It’s writing with the sole purpose of adding zeroes to your bottom line. If it doesn’t do that, it’s failed.
2) Many people think copywriters only write direct mail shots and ads, but there’s much more to it than that. Every product description in a catalogue, every company brochure, sales letter, follow-up email, exhibition handout, web page, blog, and Facebook post has been written by someone. Each one needs a slightly different approach, depending on the market you’re trying to appeal to.
3) You can usually tell when something hasn’t been written by a professional copywriter. No, it’s nothing to do with grammatical mistakes: good copywriters break grammatical rules regularly to get their point across. It’s to do with creating a desire to buy, a feeling that life will be poorer without x. It’s about giving the buyer both emotional and logical reasons for buying, since most purchases are made on the basis of an 80% emotional/20% logical decision; and yes, that goes for men’s purchases as much as women’s, business as well as consumer.
4) Good copywriters focus on the potential customer’s needs, not yours. Ouch. But you don’t have to persuade yourself that your product is good; you have to ensure that your potential customers can’t live without it. They’re not interested in the fact that your business has been around for a millennium or two, or that your staff are the best-trained in the Universe. They just want to know that your product will cure their problem – even if they didn’t know they had the problem until five minutes ago.
5) A copywriter will save you hours of blood, toil and tears. The thing about copywriters is: we love writing. A lot of people find that hard to understand because to them writing is a major chore, right up there with clearing out the garage. For these people (are you one of them?) “write blog” or “do brochure” stays at the bottom of the to-do list for a very long time; their web designers have to blow the cobwebs off the site design when the text finally arrives. A copywriter can cut your go-live time by months.
6) Finally: copywriters are surprisingly inexpensive, especially when you consider how much they’ll save you compared with you doing the work at your own charging rate. You can even go to one of the freelance sites and get your stuff done for virtually nothing, though that’s definitely a case of “let the buyer beware”. As the saying goes, the bitterness of low quality remains long after the sweetness of low cost has faded: you’re much better off buying good quality in the first place.
P.S. Just to clear up one common little confusion: one thing a copywriter can’t help you with is a legal opinion on copyright. We’re writers, not righters.