Copywriters – 10 reasons why to use one
1.) Copywriters don’t make the most common, fatal mistake
ALL of us see our business from our own perspective. So, when writing promotional material it isn’t easy to jump out of that mindset and into our customers’ viewpoint – which is of course what business need to do when writing brochures, website text, newsletters, etc.
2.) Copywriters ask the key questions
To write about a business, copywriters have to ask lots of questions, and quite often this includes questions that employees (because of No. 1 above) have not seen or realised (like, ‘Have we told customers we have that experience?’), or are too embarrassed to ask the boss (‘Why don’t we do things this way, instead?’).
3.) Copywriters quickly spot a business’ USP
It might seem counter-intuitive, but an outsider will often see a business’s USP far better than someone inside it. Or they will see some of the business’ qualities that it is not stressing, or not making enough of, to customers – e.g. their years of experience, after-sales support, product certification/recognition, etc.
4.) They know how to write
As a copywriter for more than 10 years, I sometimes say to businesses, ‘You may be better at making money than me, but I am probably a better writer!’ In choosing to make a career out of writing, the chances are a copywriter will do a reasonable – excellent, hopefully – job. They know their p’s and q’s, and can write in the style a business wants, e.g. chatty and light, formal and academic, etc.
5.) … and the tricks of the trade
Some writing jobs require specialist knowledge or ‘tricks of the trade’ (e.g. the writing of sales and marketing copy, or website text), rather than just writing skills. A good SEO writer, for example, will be up to date with how Google works, and know all about keywords and how people read/behave online – essential ingredients for writing an effective business website.
6.) Plus they have the stamina to get things right
It takes several drafts to write something really good. Expressing clearly what we mean, finding the right words and putting them in the best order, isn’t easy. (It’s hard enough to do that when talking, so no surprise people struggle in their writing – which they do far less.) But in loving words – and playing around to get them concise, persuasive and impactful – copywriters are happy to do the extra mileage often required to get some text spot on.
COPYEDITING AND PROOFREADING
7.) Copywriters can see the wood for the trees
When editing and proofreading their own writing, most people lean towards correcting the minutiae (e.g. ‘Shall I put a comma in here or not?’). As No.3 above, an outsider is more likely to ask the more important, ‘big picture’ questions (e.g. ‘Is this piece structured right?’ Or ‘Will it persuade our customers?’), which a business may otherwise forget to ask of its text.
8.) They know all the punctuation and grammar stuff
You know what I mean: dangling participles, split infinitives, commas, and the difference between colons/semi-colons, etc.
9.) Copywriters prevent the costs of miss-spelling and poor writing
Mistakes, errors and misspellings can cause damaged reputation, lost business, print re-runs … need I go on? In this article on the costs of misspelling on online sales, the revenue from each visitor doubled after the spelling mistakes were removed.
10.) How good is your driving?
Many people are happy to pay for business coaching, sports training, relationship counselling …but far fewer pay for help with writing. But in the same way that passing a driving test doesn’t make you a great driver 10–20 years later, passing school/college English exams doesn’t make a great business copywriter. Please, please, don’t pour good money, in the form of an expensive print run, into bad, i.e. poorly written text.