“Are you an experienced copywriter in our industry?”

“Have you written for our type of company before?”

Those are the two questions potential clients always ask. 

Let me ask you something – why do I need experience in your industry to write about it?

Why experience is a bad thing

You probably think that to write meaningful content about your company, I must have written for your industry before.

No, I don’t. In fact, it’s better if I haven’t. Let me explain why. 

The whole point of using a copywriter is to get:

  • an outsider’s perspective on your business so they can pinpoint what it is your customers want to hear 
  • professional writing skills
  • someone with experience in writing content that achieves your aims

That means it’s better if they come to your industry with fresh eyes. That way, they can place themselves in the shoes of your customers. They will use language that’s simple to read and not bogged down in your internal jargon. And, they will bring a fresh approach, so your content doesn’t ‘follow the crowd’. 

Having been a freelance copywriter for more years than I care to admit to, working with a wide range of industries enables me to bring something different to every project I work on. 

Techniques that have worked well in the past can be applied to industries that haven’t yet adopted them. As a result, the content takes a different approach to everyone else in your space. 

You have to be brave to be different

Recently, I worked on a project in the construction industry – not one I’ve had a tremendous amount of experience in. From the brief, the client wanted to be different from all his competitors. I explained how I would achieve that and produced an initial draft that was totally different from anything else out there.

Upon review, he got cold feet and said it was too different. That’s when we sat down together and had a conversation. His desire to be different was strong, but he wasn’t brave enough to take the leap. After explaining the approach I’d taken and shown him how it would engage his audience, the ‘conservative fog’ began to dissipate, and he embraced the copy and happily signed it off. 

Every business owner wants to be different. 

When your company is in someone’s shortlist of potential suppliers, you want to be the one that stands out. 

The problem is, to do that, you have to be different. You have to approach your content from your customers’ perspective. You have to put your company and its achievements on the back burner and show your reader how you’re going to make their life easier. 

That’s the only way you’ll distinguish yourself from the pack. 

Don’t use marketing-speak, don’t use company jargon (even if it’s also widely used by your customers), instead use plain English that tells the reader how it is. Stop using fluff and padding and be honest. 

Sally Ormond, freelance copywriter and owner of Briar Copywriting, isn’t afraid of being different.