Have I gone crazy?
Quite possibly, but there are actually some circumstances when you shouldn’t hire a copywriter.
Before I go into that, I just want to cover off what a copywriter is all about. In a nutshell, it’s my job to help you communicate more efficiently with your customers through writing. However, it doesn’t end there. I’m also here to offer advice and make suggestions about how to improve your marketing strategy and brand image.
It’s taken years of practice to perfect my art. Not only realising that it’s OK to manipulate the rules of grammar (sorry pedants, but it’s true – if it was good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for me), but also learning about search engine optimisation of content and how to use different approaches to attract different audiences. You get a lot of experience and expertise for your money (as well as some stonkingly great copy).
So let’s get back to that strange opening statement – why shouldn’t you hire a copywriter or possibly more accurately, when shouldn’t you hire a copywriter?
Its just copy
Is it though?
It’s never just copy.
If you need content, you need it for a reason; it’s never there just to fill in a gap.
So if you’re about to approach a copywriter and tell them you just need content for your site and anything will do because you’re website’s not there to sell anyway (!!??), don’t bother. A professional copywriter won’t just fling a few words together for you; they have their reputation to protect so save yourself some money and write it yourself.
How much do you charge per word?
No, no, no.
That’s like building a house and paying per brick.
The value is not in the number of words it takes to create a piece of marketing; it’s in the effect it has on your audience. Most copywriters will charge a fixed fee for the project, calculated by size and scope of project, complexity, industry, and your copywriter’s experience.
Anyone can throw a few hundred words together, but only an experienced professional copywriter can craft a message that compels your audience to take action, makes you stand out from others in your industry, and that blends with your brand personality.
Can you write a test piece?
I’ve put a lot of time and effort into creating my website and the portfolio of work on it – that should tell you all you need to know about the quality of my work and the flexibility of my skills. A great writer can write for any market because they don’t need in-depth knowledge to write (in fact it’s better they don’t), which is why they can produce content that’s fresh and vibrant rather than the same old, same old you see on other websites.
Going back to the building analogy – would you ask a firm of builders to build a small house for you so you can see what their work’s like? No, of course you wouldn’t. You’d look at their past work and read want people say about them – so why should it be different when looking for a writer?
I can’t pay
Let’s get one thing straight – I’m a professional writer, and therefore you can expect to pay professional fees.
If you want cheap and cheerful, there are plenty of people willing to knock up ‘content’ at bargain basement rates. However, think about what you’re trying to achieve?
You were searching for a professional writer because you want to convey a professional image with content that resonates with your audience and helps you get found online.
If you’re not prepared to pay professional fees, don’t commission me.
Now let’s look at why you should hire me
Below are three excellent reasons why you should hire a copywriter (there are more than just these, but they give you the idea):
- You want results, to project a professional image and instil trust in your readers
Every piece of marketing you place ‘out there’ represents your company. Therefore, the quality of writing will have a direct influence on the perception people have of your business.
Using a copywriter will mean your content will be professional, speak to your readers and show them the benefits of working with you and offer a professional image.
- You’re open to new ideas
The whole point of bringing in a professional copywriter on board is so that you can refresh and revitalise your marketing approach.
Part of my job is to look at your approach, understand why it’s not working and then devising a new a way of ‘speaking’ to your customers.
- You’re not confident in your writing.
If you’re not a confident written communicator, it will come across in your marketing materials.
Even though you write every day, it doesn’t mean you are an expert in creating persuasive marketing copy.
The strongest business minds recognise their weaknesses and hire in the help of experts to strengthen those areas.
But, if you think you know better, don’t call in a copywriter. That would be like going to the doctors about an ailment only to tell them they have no idea what they’re doing (despite the many years they’ve spent studying) and you’ll go back to the good old-fashioned home remedy your mum always used to give you.
For the relationship to be fruitful and for you to see results you have to trust your copywriter, acknowledge that they are an expert in their field and take their advice on board.
Remember, the copywriter isn’t an expert in your business – that’s you – but they are experts at what they do. They know how to structure content and how to use language to persuade and connect emotionally with your readers.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter. Working across all industries, she creates on-brand content for on and offline marketing as well as internal communications.