Marketing needs money. Scrooge didn’t like parting with money, hence his marketing sucked.
You have a choice: you can be like Scrooge, or if your business is important to you, you can splash the cash (in a responsible way).
That might sound like a daft question, but I feel it has to be asked.
Well, mainly due to the rise in the number of websites that offer dirt-cheap design services, website development and copywriting.
For a few pounds, you can find someone to create all sorts of creative marketing elements for you.
But cheap doesn’t mean good.
Look at it this way, when looking for sales or marketing staff, do you hire the cheapest people you can, or do you hunt high and low for the highest calibre people you can afford?
The latter, right?
Of course you do, after all this is your business we’re talking about. You don’t want any old Joe working for you. You want the best talent possible that will make you look incredible and that will drive your business onto bigger and better things.
So why do you think differently when it comes to your marketing materials?
Quality costs but it’s worth it
Let’s take your website copy as an example.
You start Googling for possible suppliers.
You find a couple of freelance copywriters you like the look of and drop them an email with your requirements and ask for a rough quote for your 10-page website. The first comes back with a figure of £1400, the second £1100.
Hmmm, ok that’s more than you thought.
So you Google some more and come up with a website that claims to have 1000s of experts on its books just waiting to work for you for a few pounds.
That should be your first clue about the quality of what you’ll get.
If they’re ‘experts’ why are they peddling their copy for only a few pounds?
You put your project up on their board and wait for some replies. They flood in. Someone has said they’ll do your entire site for £150.
You think: Result!
You commission them and you get boring, lacklustre copy that does nothing for your reputation. Come on is that really how you want people to see your business?
You do realise that most people get their first impression of you from your website, don’t you?
Now if you’d gone with one of the copywriters you found, you would have received engaging, powerful content that addresses your readers directly. It would be completely original, reflective of your core values and it would be written in a way attracts visitors (i.e. it would satisfy your SEO goals) and converts them into paying customers.
They would have worked closely with you to make sure they fully understood your business, customers and what you do. They would have taken the time to research your market and to help you discover your USP (if you didn’t already know it) to make sure your copy made you stand out from everyone else.
As to which one you decided to work with, that would have been down to you. You would have been able to check out who they’ve worked for in the past, seen examples of the work they’ve done and read what past clients thought of them.
I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds a much wiser investment. Plus, after working with them once they’ll have a firm understand your company, making them an invaluable addition to your team every time you need some marketing collateral creating.
The moral of the story
What prompted me to write this post?
A potential client approached me a little while ago looking for help with their web copy. They’d had their head turned by a company that promised amazing copy for a rock bottom price.
They were right about the price, but the copy was truly horrendous. It didn’t reflect the company, it didn’t sell the benefits, it didn’t address the reader at any point, and it was repetitive, boring and downright awful.
Realising their mistake, they asked if I could help them. I spent time talking to them about their business, what they did, why they did it, who they did it for, the benefits to their customers etc.
The outcome was effective copy that was SEO friendly, engaging, relevant and persuasive.
The image of your business – whether reflected in the service and attitudes of your staff, or your marketing materials – must be maintained at all times.
Copy that lacks punch will show you as a company that isn’t really bothered by the detail.
Prospects need to have confidence in you if they are to become customers. Howeverm that confidence can only be cultivated by exceptional communications across all channels.
If you take care of the detail and don’t skimp, your business will thrive so invest wisely and don’t let your head be turned by low prices.
Sally Ormond is a freelance copywriter with over a decade of experience. For an informal chat about how she can turn your marketing around, call her on +44(0) 1449 779605.