When I introduce myself to people at conferences or events, I usually tell them I’m a copywriter. Although this is just one of the services I offer to businesses, I find copywriting to be the most straightforward response to the question. But I’m not just seeking an easy way out, it’s also a great way to kick off a conversation.
As a result of this initial introduction, the follow up question is usually along the lines of “so what’s the difference between copy I write myself and content a copywriter produces?”. People seem genuinely intrigued to know the answer, as if there’s some kind of myth surrounding the art of copywriting and content creation. Here’s my attempt to dispel that myth for you…
Most people think they can write their own content, and if you have a good grasp of the English language, you probably can. You’re passionate about your business, know your products and services inside out and talk about them on a daily basis (and quite possibly in your sleep too!).
Where a copywriter can add value is through their objectivity. Business owners, naturally, are emotionally connected to their business, however this can often make you blinkered and unable to consider it from someone else’s perspective. This bias can render any content you produce ineffective.
I was never a great lover of English literature at school, preferring modern languages instead. So it may be a surprise for me to quote the character of Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, by the late great Harper Lee:
‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view’
I confess I loved that book, and the quote still resonates with me today. A good copywriter is impartial and possesses a unique ability to look at your business, services and products from a customer perspective. They can produce copy and content using a style and language which reflects the personality of your business and speaks directly to your customers. This content can really sell your products or services and help you to grow your business.
So how does a copywriter do this?
A skilled copywriter will start by getting to know your business and profiling your target customers. They’ll walk around in your customers’ shoes and start to build up a picture of how they behave, speak and feel. This understanding can benefit you as a business owner too.
They can help you to define a voice and style of writing for your business, so whichever channel a customer chooses to get in touch with you, they will see, hear or read a consistent message. This will build trust and confidence in your business.
A great copywriter will use storytelling to make the reader 'feel' certain emotions and use the technique of storytelling to maximum effect. Your customers will begin to feel an emotional connection with your business.
Anyone can write, but writing clearly and concisely is a skill, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. An experienced copywriter won’t use words for the sake of it.
If you’re looking for online content, for your website or a blog perhaps, a professional copywriter will incorporate keywords to help optimise the content for search engines like Google and Bing. Don’t forget that Google loves regular updates to your website!
Did that answer your question?
I hope so! If not, please get in touch and I'd be happy to tell you more.
And next time someone asks me the same question, I think I’ll back up my response with a quick plug to this page, now that I have my response in writing ;)