Entries Tagged 'Copywriting careers' ↓

Trust Your Copywriter

Why did you hire your copywriter?Trust your copywriter

It’s a fairly safe bet that your answer includes one or two of these reasons:

  • You needed someone with experience
  • You needed an expert in their field
  • You don’t have time to do it yourself
  • You don’t have the right skill set to create effective copy
  • You wanted to make sure your copy worked

Basically, what it comes down to is that you’re serious about making your business a success and the best way to do that is to surround yourself with experts who can make it happen for you.

What does your copywriter do?

Have you ever asked that question?

Not many people (other than copywriters) understand what it takes to create amazing copy. So, what happens after you’ve briefed them?

Well, they will spend a lot of time getting to know:

  • You
  • Your company
  • Your style
  • Your products/services
  • Your target market and their needs
  • Your brand

Then they’ll research your competitors and what’s happening in your market. If necessary, they’ll make suggestions about how to tweak your original brief to ensure optimum results.

Once all the background has been done, they’ll use their experience and expertise to create your copy, using tried and tested techniques to get the most out of the words.

They’ll  go to great pains to make sure the writing is firmly focused on the reader, providing them with everything they need to counter any objection they may have and to reach a buying decision.

The writing will then be shaped and laid out for optimum effect.

I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a lot of value.

The first draft arrives

You receive your first draft and, in light of all that I’ve said above, why oh why do you turn round and say…

“Oh, I think it would be better like this…”

…and promptly make changes to the layout, wording and, worse of all, fill it with ‘we’ and ‘me’?

Granted, there may be a few things that need amending, but you hired a professional writer because they understand how copy works, and how to use it to convince your readers to buy.

To illustrate this point, let’s say you were about to have some plastic surgery done. After your consultation, during which time your surgeon outlines the procedure that will take place and how the surgery will be performed, would you say…

“Actually, don’t you think it would be better if you did…?”

No, you wouldn’t because they are an expert in their field and you trust their judgement.

Finding the right copywriter for you

Make sure you do your homework first.

Rather than leaving your search for a copywriter until the eleventh hour, plan ahead and look around.

Have a search through Google and see who you can find; ask for referrals from trusted local businesses.

Make a short list of people you think you could work with, and then phone them for a chat. If you get on, invite them in for a meeting so you talk over your project face to face. Ask for samples of their work – and don’t be put off if they don’t have anything to show identical to what you need. They don’t need to be experts in your industry – that’s your job. Their job is to create copy that sells.

As you are going to be working closely together it’s essential you ‘click’.

As for their fee – let’s put it this way, if they’ll do all that you ask for the price of a tea bag, you’re looking in the wrong place.

Good copywriting isn’t cheap, but it is an investment that will continue to work for your business for as long as it’s ‘out there’.

As with everything in life, you get what you pay for.

So, when you next need expert copywriting help make sure you find the right person for you and trust them – they know what they’re doing.

Copywriting Is For Rhinos

copywriting for rhinosIf you’re thinking about becoming a copywriter, there’s one thing you must get – a very thick skin.

Over the years mine has thickened to rival any Rhino – that doesn’t conjure a particularly attractive image, but it is a necessity when you write for a living.

I’ve been in business as a freelance copywriter since 2007. I’m pretty good at what I do, in fact I would go so far as to say I’m an expert in my field – that’s why companies from all over the world come to me when they need help with their marketing copy.

The process is fairly simple:

  1. The client makes contact
  2. I ask for a full brief on which to base a quote
  3. They say ‘yes please’
  4. I write the copy
  5. They review it
  6. Everyone’s happy

OK, in an ideal world it would work that way. But frequently there’s a few extra steps added between 5 and 6.

You will soon discover that, no matter how experienced you are, clients will criticise your copy. I will admit that when I first started out this was, at times, hard to take. After all, I’d spent hours pouring over concepts to come up with the finished article.

Some won’t like the approach you’ve taken, others will tell you how they would write it – even though you’re the professional they’ve hired to do the work.

But the one thing you have to remember is that the criticism isn’t directed at you personally.

Copywriting is a very collaborative process. Sometimes you’ll hit it right first time and there’ll be no amendments to be done. Other times there may be a few tweaks needed and the key is to talk to your client, discuss their ideas and together produce a revised version.

Just like art, writing is very subjective – what you know is right may not be so obvious to your client.

So what do you do when they change your copy?

First, take a deep breath. Then review what they’ve said, make any change requests that are valid and then take the time to explain why you wrote the copy in the way you did. Show them the elements within the copy and how they work together. Be confident and stand up for what you believe to be right (without causing an unpleasant scene) and if you know what they are asking you to do is wrong, tell them – nicely.

They’ll have far more respect for you if you take the time to explain a concept than if you say “OK, if that’s how you want it written” knowing full well it won’t achieve the results they’re looking for.

At the end of the day, believe in yourself and your abilities but leave your ego at the door. Plus it also helps to keep sound bites to hand from clients who were happy with your work so in moments of self doubt you can remind yourself how good you are.

Routes Into Copywriting

Last year I was asked by the Guardian On Line to take part in their Q&A forum about how to become a freelance copywriter.

Well, that discussion was such a success I was asked to take part in another Q&A session on How to break into Copywriting.

You can follow the discussion here and learn from myself and other copywriting experts how to get into copywriting and other copywriting issues.

A lot of great stuff came out in the forum so if you’ve ever considered looking at copywriting as a career it’s well worth a look.

Copywriting Careers – Guardian Q&A Session

forumA while ago I was asked by the Guardian On Line to take part in their Q&A forum about how to become a freelance copywriter.

Following the success of that session I have been asked to take part in their next Q&A session on how to break into Copywriting tomorrow, 5th April 2011.

The discussion will take place between 1pm and 4pm and there will be a panel of experts available for you to throw your questions at including yours truly and my fellow scribes Tom Albrighton and Ben Locker. So if there’s anything you want to know feel free to hurl your questions at us and we’ll do our best to answer them for you.

We do have to type quite fast so please excuse any typos you may come across and make sure you aim all your really tricky questions at Ben and Tom – they love ’em.

So if you want to learn more about how to break into the world of copywriting drop by tomorrow’s Guardian Q&A session between 1 and 4pm and ask away.

See you there.