Before I launch into this particular post, I would just like to say that what I am about to talk about doesn’t happen very often.
However, the fact that it happens at all compels me to write about it.
What am I talking about?
Copywriting briefs, or rather the lack of.
The vast majority of clients provide insightful, detailed briefs that give the guidance needed to complete the project. But there are times when this happens…
Cutting the corner and missing the point
When asking for a brief, I have been given the links to one or two existing websites and told:
“These are our main competitors. We like what they say and because we offer the same as them, you can use their content as the source. Of course, we want ours to be original and better.”
Yes, that does happen.
There are three problems with this:
- You are risking plagiarism (and no professional copywriter will do this)
- There will be nothing to distinguish you from your competitors
- You’ll be seen as boring and unoriginal
There are many more of course, but these are pretty important.
Why choose you?
Your web content has to do a lot of things, but one of the main things is to differentiate you from every other company out there that’s in the same business as you.
Every business offers something that no one else does; it’s just that sometimes it takes a bit of digging to find it.
Every business has a different ‘personality’. By displaying this through your copy, you will make your company stand out.
Every business has a specific audience, tailoring its language and approach to suit.
That’s why your writer needs to understand everything about your company before they can recommend the right approach to take.
Dare to be different
Ever since childhood you’ve wanted to be part of the crowd. You didn’t want to stand out and be seen as different. In business, you have to put that behind you, step up and be proud of your uniqueness.
By all means get inspiration from other businesses in your sector, but be brave enough to try something new. After all, if someone is comparing companies, three of which are the same and one (i.e. yours) is different, they’re more likely to want to know more and get in touch.
What I’m saying is don’t give a brief that makes you blend in just because it seems to be ‘the way things are done in your industry’. There are no rules, so be true to your business and let your personality shine through.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter. Working across all industries, she creates on-brand content for on and offline marketing as well as internal communication