Entries Tagged 'copywriting services' ↓

Finding A Copywriter – Cost vs Value

When you scout round for a copywriter, how do you make a buying decision?

I’m betting you look at cost over and above everything else.

Yes, I understand you have budget constraints, but just looking at the cost of a service can be very short-sighted.

How much?

As a copywriter I hate getting those emails that say, sorry you’re too expensive.

Really?

What are you comparing that to?

Nine times out of ten, a potential client will gather a load of emails from Google search, perhaps throw in a few that have been recommended and then blast out an email along the lines of “I need 10 pages of copy, what do you charge?”

The problem with that is that you’re immediately telling the recipient of the email “I need some writing done, I don’t care how good it is, I just want it.”

What’s that? You do care how good it is? Oh, right, well that’s not what you’re saying.

The deciding factor shouldn’t be about cost (although I appreciate you don’t have a bottomless budget), it should be their experience (not just in your industry), reputation and quality of their work.

Why?

Because the reputation of your business is at stake.

Think about it, if you have ‘OK’ copy on your website (and other promotional materials), but your competitor has high quality, persuasive content who will people chose? Yup, not you.

If you were building a house you wouldn’t just instruct the cheapest builder, you’d want to find one that’s got a good reputation. If you wanted a lawyer, you wouldn’t just hire the cheapest, you’d ask for recommendations to find the best on in their field. So, when you’re looking for a copywriter to create compelling marketing copy don’t make your decision on price alone.

How to find a great writer

The first thing to do is look at their website.

Read their testimonials and case studies. Look at their portfolio and at the clients they have worked with.

Then, rather than sending out an email, pick up the phone and call them. Have a chat about what you’re looking for, ask for their advice. A good writer will be enthusiastic and knowledgeable – this is also a good way to see if you gel, after all, you’ll be working closely together so it’s important you find someone you can work with.

The budget for your copy should be in line with that of your website, brochure etc.

Experienced writers aren’t going to be cheap, but do you want cheap as chips or someone that actually knows what they’re doing?

Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

 

SMEs and Copywriting

Writing phobia

Do you have a fear of public speaking?

Perhaps you’re none to keen on clowns, buttons or flying.

Whatever your fear, you’re not alone.

The funny thing is that if your fear is one of the above you’re quite happy to talk about it. But there’s one fear many SMEs and small business owners don’t like to talk about – the fear of writing.

Are you bothered about how your customers see you?

Everything you write reflects on your business.

Your customers will get their first impression about your company from your website, emails, newsletters, press releases, articles…I could go on forever.

What impression are they getting?

The words you use will influence their opinion of you so it’s essential you get it right first time.

Feeling the pressure now?

One of the main objections SMEs have about using the services of a professional copywriter is that the writer doesn’t know their business as well as they do.

That’s true, but that’s not why you hire a copywriter.

You need one because they know what words to use to reach out to your customers, engage with them and convince them to buy from you.

Through their expertise your company looks professional, caring and focused on your customers’ needs.

What a copywriter can do for you

The main task that many companies are happy to outsource is the writing of their web copy. After all, not only does that have to engage the reader it also has to work well in the search engines, so you have to know what you’re doing to get the results you want.

But other than website copywriting, a copywriter will also create:

  • eBooks – to build your reputation
  • Press releases – to boost your exposure
  • Blogs posts and articles – to bolster your online marketing
  • Landing pages – to give weight to your offers
  • Sales letters – to make sure they don’t get binned
  • Ads and product descriptions – to make sure they sell the benefits
  • Taglines – to get you remembered
  • Emails – to boost your sales and build customer relationships
  • Brochures – to make sure they sell and not just inform
  • Speeches and presentations – to drive your message home
  • Profiles and bios – to tell the world what you do and how you can help
  • Video scripts – to engage your audience
  • Re-purposing content – to reach all your customers
  • SEO copy – to boost your visibility in the search results
  • How to guides and tutorials – to help your customers’ understanding

How many of those could you do with to strengthen your marketing efforts?

The greatest strength you have is to know your weaknesses. Your business and your customers deserve the best. Finding a copywriter that you can work with will result in an exponential growth of your business and happy customers that will return time and time again (and bring their friends).

Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

 

What Value do you put on Good Copywriting?

As a professional copywriter I hoped I’d never have to write this post. the value of copywriting

Writing is part and parcel of every organisation’s marketing strategy. It’s fundamental to your web presence, print materials, social media activities, video marketing…you get the picture.

And yet, considering how important it is, many companies are still opting for the cheap option rather than seeking out the experienced, professional writer they need.

As a copywriter, I love working with clients that really value great copy. We both get a real buzz from the collaborative process and, from my perspective, I get to work with someone who understands the importance of every word I use.

But too many companies shop for a writer on price alone, seduced by the “I’ll write a page of web copy for £10”  - is that really the value you’d place on your company?

No really, by opting for the ‘cheap copywriters’ you’re devaluing your own company’s reputation, because poor copy will affect your bottom line.

Plastic surgery vs copywriting

For a moment, let’s imagine you’ve decided to get a nose job. You’ve never liked the one you have, so you start to shop around for a plastic surgeon.

What do you do?

a)    Get a load of quotes and go for the cheapest one?

b)   Go by reputation and recommendations?

If you opt for a) you’ll end up with a crooked nose that’s ten times worse than your natural one. People stare at you and then walk on by looking the other way hoping you won’t engage them in conversation.

But, if you opt for b) you’ll end up with a work of art that people will compliment you on. You’ll instantly become more popular and successful with people beating down your door just to be seen out with you.

The same happens if you apply those options to your copywriting.

Going for a) (i.e. the cheapest quote) will lead to sub standard copy that, at the very least, won’t sell a bean and could even damage your reputation. Plus, you’ll end up having to hire another copywriter to re-write it because it’s not selling.

But, being sensible and going for option b) will mean you’ll get fantastic copy that resonates with your readers, draws them in and sells your products or services. Plus, because you’re using well written, engaging copy, your reputation will be enhanced.

Are you still going to opt for the cheapest writer?

The first impression many people will have of your company is going to be in writing: your website, brochures, newsletter, email, case study etc. Can you really run the risk of falling at the first hurdle?

How to find the right copywriter

When you look for your next copywriter, don’t go by cost alone:

  • Call a few up, have a chat and find out what they can do for you
  •  Ask who they’ve written for
  •  Get them to send you some examples of their work

Most good writers will work to fixed fees rather than hourly rates (and certainly not a per word rate) and they’ll need a detailed brief before they can quote you, but they may be able to offer a ball park figure to give you an idea of costs.

The actual cost should be your last consideration because your company’s reputation is at stake.

Professional copywriting isn’t cheap, but it is the best way to promote your business to your marketplace. It will enhance your reputation, engage your customers and persuade them to buy.

 

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+

182 Greatest Copywriters and the Internet Age

I don’t often use this blog to blow my own trumpet, so I thought it was about time that I did.

Monday mornings aren’t always the best time of the week, but a recent one was made much sweeter by a notification.

Joseph Bushnell had compiled a list of what he considered to be the 182 Greatest Copywriters and Copywriting Resources of the Internet Age.

In his own words:

Here is my list of the best copywriters and copywriting resources. If you’re an aspiring copywriter, these are the people you should be following, learning and swiping from

Here are the 3 main criteria for the people/resources you’ll find on this list…

1. They are specialized copywriters…

There are many marketers who are great copywriters, the list of marketers who can write good copy would be an absolutely huge list (and this list is big enough as it is). So I’ve narrowed it down to those who, for the most part, specialize in copy and conversion optimization. Perhaps they are for hire as a copywriter, have a blog about copywriting, have a newsletter about copywriting, have written a book about copywriting, have a specific course about copywriting, etc. They either write copy for a living or they teach it

2. These are modern day copywriters…

The list of great copywriters over the last 100 years would also make for a very big list. So the people on this list are modern day copywriters. Most are still alive but not all of them but their impact on the copywriting world was recent. I’ve decided to list copywriters making an impact since the year 2000 onwards (although many have been making an impact long before the year 2000 as well). I guess you could say this is a list of the best copywriters of the internet era.

Please don’t come at me with “What about Schwartz, Caples and Hopkins?!” Those guys were great, the pioneers of copy but they aren’t on this list. I’ll probably make a separate list of the old school copywriters in the future

3. They have taught me something useful…

This is my personal list. No special panel or committee decided these names, it’s my opinion. The only qualification is that they have impressed me and I have learned something from them  that I think was of value. I have been lucky enough to interview many of these great copywriters so I’ve learned from many of them one on one. I’ve also studied their books, blogs, courses and studied/swiped their copy and I find them worthy of being on the list

I know I will be missing people out. It’s not personal, it just means I somehow didn’t hear of them or I didn’t get a chance to study any of their work yet.

Also a lot of great copywriters don’t tout themselves as teachers but just stay quietly hidden, writing copy and the rest of the world don’t know about them. These best kept secrets may be great copywriters but I can’t list them if I don’t know who they are.

So if you should be on this list or you know someone who should be on this list, leave a comment below as to where I can find out more. If I think they are good, I’ll add them to the list

In no particular order, here is my big, fat list of the best copywriters and their materials…

And yes, he very kindly added little old me to his list.

Want to see who else is on there?

Follow this link to find out who his 182 Greatest Copywriters are.

If you want to know a bit more about me, here’s my latest video (feel free to share):

The True Value of Copywriting

Judging by my inbox these days, more and more people are looking to use professional copywriters, but why?

What’s their motivation?

As far as I can tell there are 3 main camps:

1. Joe who doesn’t have time

Joe spends 40+ hours a week chained to his desk. The work keeps pouring in and he’s struggling to keep his head about the water, but his boss keeps sending more his way.

The latest demand is for a re-write of the product descriptions on the company website. Its mind numbing work and Joe a) can’t be bothered and b) doesn’t have the time.

He’s just about got enough in the budget to get some help, so he Googles for a copywriter. The problem is he doesn’t see the work as important and so offers peanuts. And we all know what happens when you only want to pay peanuts.

The problem is, although the copy is fairly short, it’s vital to the success of the business. If the company’s product descriptions aren’t inviting, no one’s going to buy them.

The result? Joe outsources the work to a very cheap company (abroad) and ends up with substandard writing that simply doesn’t work – epic fail.

2. Frank who can’t write for toffee

Frank is also drowning in work, but also knows he doesn’t have the right skill set when it comes to creating engaging copy.

When his boss asks him to write the copy for their new corporate brochure, Frank turns very pale. After a meeting with his boss, Frank persuades him to get in a copywriter. The only problem is, his boss doesn’t see the value in getting someone else in and so sets a very low budget.

Franks is really frustrated because he knows it’s not enough to get a good writer on board, but his hands are tied and calls in a cheap writer.

When the copy arrives, Frank ends up having to re-write it, even though he’s far from confident in his own abilities.

Thousands are printed and taken to the next trade show…and are then brought back again because no one wants them.

3. Alice who values great writing

Monday morning is the budget meeting. Alice already knows she will be responsible for creating a new brochure, web copy and email campaign this quarter. She also knows there’s no one with the right skill set in the company. Plus, she also knows using someone outside will enhance the copy.

During the meeting she makes a strong case for using a professional copywriter and is granted a sizeable budget.

After a bit of research, Alice finds the perfect writer and meets with them to explain what the company is looking for. After taking a detailed brief, the copywriter creates exceptional copy that blends with the company’s brand and engages with the customer.

The result is higher sales, more traffic to the website and an enhanced professional image.

Joe and Frank go in search of help because they don’t have the time or skills, not because they understand the value of professional copy.

Alice, on the other hand, knows that good copy doesn’t come cheap, but she also knows that with it comes experience and the ability to engage customers.

If you think like Alice, your company will be going places.

 

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+