What is copywriting?
Copywriting is the writing of persuasive marketing and promotional materials that motivate people to take some form of action. The action might be making purchase, clicking on a link or scheduling a consultation. The text in these materials is known as ‘copy’, hence the name ‘copywriting’.
Many people think of copywriters as working for big advertising agencies, such as in the television show Mad Men, creating high profile print ads for global brands such as Coca Cola and IBM.
The truth is, many copywriters are solopreneurs who work with small business clients. And for many small business owners, a copywriter is an essential part of their marketing strategy. Why is that? Because a good copywriter can create clear writing that connects their business with potential customers and gets their business noticed.
What does a copywriter do?
As a customer, you’ve interacted with copywriters in the past without realising it. Have you flicked through a business brochure or product catalogue or scrolled through a business’s social media page? Chances are a copywriter was involved. Copywriters create all kinds of marketing materials, including business cards, brochures, pamphlets, flyers, print and digital advertisements, blog content, and website copy.
Copywriters can help small businesses communicate their message in a clear, concise, and engaging way. When you’re starting a new business, though, it’s common to want to save costs wherever possible. Why get someone to write your website copy when you could do it yourself? Hiring a copywriter can help take your small business to the next level, but it’s not always an easy decision. You need to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding if working with a copywriter will work for your small business.
How a copywriter can help you in your business
Every small business needs good marketing. A good copywriter can create copy that leads more customers to your website and increases your sales. A copywriter can help with many things, including:
- Creating a content marketing strategy: planning and creating engaging content across different platforms, and presenting your small business in the best possible light.
- Writing website copy: creating original, SEO-optimised content to attract and engage potential customers and grow sales. A good copywriter will have a background in keywords and SEO, and have strategies to help you connect with your audience. Armed with these skills, they can create the perfect written content for your website or social media.
- Writing blog posts and other digital content: Blog posts position you as an authority and help you engage with your customers. An experienced copywriter can generate ideas your audience will want to read. They’ll take these ideas and turn them into compelling blog posts, social media updates, sales emails and other digital marketing materials.
- Creating brochures, flyers, catalogues and other print marketing materials: A lot of business happens online, but there’s still a place for punchy, persuasive informative print materials.
How to find the right copywriter
Finding the right copywriter can be a time-consuming process. If you’re looking for a freelance writer to help you with your business, you need to know what kind of writer you want.
- The first step is to make a clear list of what you need from your copywriter. For instance, a generalist or a specialist? A specialist in EDMs, or writing web copy, or able to do most things?
- If you want a website or digital copy written, think about SEO optimisation. If you’re looking for a writer to craft SEO copy, look for someone who has experience writing content that will rank well on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- If you’re looking for someone to write copy about your product or services, find a copywriter who can understand what your potential customers are looking for. Does the copywriter understand fundamental copywriting techniques, such as focusing on the benefit to the consumer, and providing a clear and compelling call to action? Check their portfolio of work for examples.
- Consider what you’re willing to pay, the time frame in which you need to project completed, and any other constraints. Come up with a budget and time frame that works for you and is competitive to find top talent.
- A web search should bring up a list of copywriters in your area. Or you might like to search for a copywriter with experience in your business area. Browse their websites, and follow-up with writers whose style and approach gives you confidence that they will ‘get’ your business.
The process of finding your perfect copywriter will require patience and time, but it’s worth it to find the right person for your business needs.
Author: Beth Dolan