It’s a question I get from friends, family, acquaintances and some business people too. You wouldn’t believe how often I get a blank look when I say I’m a copywriter, and I can tell they can’t quite picture what that means.
“What exactly do you do then?”
“So, do you, like, copy things?”
“Is that different to normal writing?”
“Is that a legal thing, like, protecting rights?”
I’m being flippant. A lot of people do know and understand, of course. But many others don’t quite get it, or have a kind of idea in their mind that doesn’t quite match with the reality.
After attending a networking event recently, I was about to send follow-up emails to everyone I’d met that morning. Then I thought, why not take this opportunity to frame the copywriter’s role in simple terms while I was at it?
It was almost as an exercise for myself: to try to phrase a description of the job as concisely as possible while being clear on all the salient points, without making it sound too sales-y to this very nice bunch of business people.
Of course, there are pages on my website (and many others!) about this that I could refer them to with a link. But isn’t it nicer to put something in front of potential clients instead of making them do the work?
So, here’s how it went…
What does a copywriter do? In simple terms, it’s salesmanship in print. Someone who writes headlines, text and other content in a way that connects with the readers and impels them to act.
My aim is to help clients improve their business by talking to their target customers or public in the right voice. The kind of words, tone and language that they speak and think in themselves. We need to consider everything from the target audience’s point of view. People make decisions based on emotions, not logic, and will always be wondering: ‘What’s in it for me?’
In the past, this would have been mainly in print media: advertisements, slogans, newsletters, brochures, sales letters, leaflets, press releases, biographies, reports, etc.
In more recent times, copywriting has also come to include a load of digital media communication too: website copy (pages for home, about, services, etc), headlines, strap lines, blog posts, social media posts, email chains, direct email letters (not far removed from normal junk mail letters), web page tags and meta-descriptions, etc. And all with one eye on the holy grail of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
All these are tools for reaching out to your public. You need to arouse interest, create desire and then prompt them to take some action. Finding the right words to work with is satisfying in itself and involves research into your target audience. Where are they online already? What questions are they asking, what are they talking about and how are they saying it?
Most business-owners didn’t get into business to be a marketer (unless they are, of course, in marketing) and usually don’t have the time, inclination or skills to create the marketing copy they need. That’s where I can help.
I enjoy producing content in a clear conversational style that:
- chimes with your target audience’s needs, problems and desires, compelling them to act in the way you want;
- uses SEO and Keywords, making you more visible in Google searches and appealing to your audience to click through;
- your readers will find helpful, interesting, easy to read, and will want to share.
I can offer help with:
- website copy (headlines, page content, micro-copy, etc.)
- blog posts
- newsletters & sales letters
- press releases
- and more…
And about blogs…
I mentioned at the meeting how blog posts can work to increase awareness of a business and drive traffic to your website. A shared link in social media with a targeted headline can pique interest in a person to read more, which means they click through to your site.
If what you’ve written is great content that teaches the reader something, then they are more likely to share it. The blog post will have also primed them on your services, so you will have a more qualified visitor to your site. They perhaps might browse around other pages. And finally, blog posts don’t sleep or go out for drinks, so they can be selling your services while you’re not in the office.
In the end, copywriting helps you look good, increases engagement and turnover, and saves you time. If you’d like a quick 5-10 minute call about your needs, I’m all yours.
I’d like to think this was helpful. It certainly helped solidify things in my mind, after the blur of online profile ‘about’ sections the last few months. Did it work for you? I’d love to know.