10 good reasons to hire a copywriter
Well if you think about it, there are definitely times when you’re a bit lost for words, especially if you’re trying to come up with something really pithy about your brand, communicate something sensitive or emotive, or create something memorable for social media. At other times the words do flow out, but once in black and white they just don’t seem to strike the right tone or get your message across. Or perhaps you love writing and have brand language nailed, but simply don’t have the time to generate much content whilst juggling all your other demands.
If you encounter computer problems at work, you call in the IT team. No time to chase invoices or balance your budgets, you hire an accountant. So, struggling with language or lacking the time to generate content? You should be straight on the phone to a copywriter.
Copywriters don’t just ‘write copy’. Our skills and expertise go well beyond that, encompassing brand management, the art of persuasion, understanding nuanced audiences and channels, a genuine flair for language crafting and creative writing, and borderline-obsessive grammar knowledge.
But for anyone still thinking they’re just not sure… let me give you a quick list of reasons as to why hiring a copywriter is a remarkably shrewd investment, likely to transform both your workload and your business performance:
1. You’re starting a new business
When you’re setting up on your own, your visual brand – your logo, website, and any printed materials you need - are often top of your list to get sorted. They’re extremely important – your shop window to tell everyone what your new venture is about and start attracting clients. But getting them set up isn’t just a visual design consideration: the language you use for your new brand is vital: it will set the tone for your new business, lay the foundations of its reputation, and set it apart from existing competitors. And given the amount of hard graft involved in establishing a new business, it’s probable that thinking about your brand’s language and producing its written content is way down your list. Enter the copywriter.
2. You’ve never thought about brand language
It’s not just new kids on the block who should be thinking about their brand language; how it represents their business and speaks to their customers. Even if you own or work for a well-established company, you may well have been muddling along with web content or marketing brochures which were written in an ad hoc fashion a few years ago, with no real branding discussion involved, it probably reads a bit disjointedly or just doesn’t convey the real feel of your work. Now’s the time to get an expert in. It might not be a case of binning the lot, it probably just needs a few nips and tucks. But a strategic look at your brand's tone of voice will transform the way customers and competitors see you.
3. Your website needs a refresh
The aspect of publicity with which many organisations have grown dissatisfied in the last couple of years is their website. It’s now nearly 30 years since the internet emerged, and at least 15 since having a website became regarded as good business sense. People who got themselves a website 10 or even just 5 years ago are finding in today’s fast-paced world their sites are already beginning to look a little outdated in terms of visuals, navigation and language. Many of my clients come to me saying their web copy now seems out of date or too wordy: it needs an overhaul to convey the feel of an industry-leader, not someone who’s merely ticking a marketing box.
4. You have a specific document that needs writing
Copywriters can help you write practically anything. Perhaps you are a charity needing a white paper written to lobby interest groups on a particular cause. Perhaps you are an HR manager needing to communicate a new initiative in an inclusive and sensitive way. You might need a report written for your board, a brochure promoting your luxury meeting venues, or a history guidebook taking visitors around your cultural venue. These are all projects I’ve worked on, and I love the challenge of a new and interesting document, whatever the industry or the brief. I get completely immersed in the subject matter and produce high-quality documents that clients might never have had the time, distance, or linguistic and marketing expertise to write themselves.
5. You need an outsider’s perspective
You might be rather good with words yourself, and generally not need someone to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. But often even the most eloquent client is simply too close to their business or the project they are undertaking, to be able to stay impartial and view things from the customer’s perspective. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own passion for your product and lose sight of framing your messaging in terms of benefits to your customer. That’s what will grab their attention, and that’s where the outside viewpoint of the copywriter is worth its weight in gold.
6. You need to persuade people, without making it too obvious
Whether you’re a retail company trying to get people to buy your product, a venue trying to fill meeting rooms, or a charity trying to get people to donate, most companies are working to persuade Joe Public to do something - often something Jo(e) might not have considered doing before (s)he stumbled across your Facebook post or picked up your leaflet. The art of persuasion (in marketing terms), is to push those conscious and subconscious decision-making buttons subtly, so that customers don’t feel pressurised or influenced, but enthused and engaged. As a copywriter I don’t just ‘like words’, I also have a decade’s professional marketing experience, so I know the science and psychology behind the phrasing, and I know what works depending on the platform, the aim and the audience. So when you bring in a copywriter you can be confident you are hiring a real expert the art of persuasion.
7. You need to make the mundane or technical sound exciting
Copywriters can make anything sound exciting. And I seriously mean anything. I’m not going to name any of my clients, but I have heard of other copywriters tasked with bringing to life air conditioning systems, engaging audiences in the minutiae of aquatic weed killer, and successfully raising the profile of the UK’s Dog Collar Museum. However niche, specialist or technical your product or organisation might be, copywriters are skilled at familiarising themselves with the subject, and bringing it to life to make it engaging, interesting and relevant, reaching your target audience to build a reputation and drive sales.
8. You have numerous communication formats and platforms
Sometimes the number of different communications channels we’re expected to market our businesses on today can be overwhelming. From the varying social media platforms, to blogs and websites, to the more traditional print brochures, magazines, leaflets, flyers and advertising. Writing enough content to feed all these channels regularly, with a consistent tone of voice but tailoring content to the specific audience and aim of each channel sounds a tall order. So get a copywriter to do it: we’re knowledgeable, qualified, and geeky enough to love it.
9. You have critical publications that need editing or proofreading
Another skill to a copywriter’s bow is often copyediting and proofreading. Most of us are complete grammar geeks and punctuation police, and love nothing more than going through text with a red pen all teacher-like, to weed out any typos, inconsistencies or ambiguities. However well you think a piece of your business comms is written, it is usually a very sound investment to ask a copywriter (or proofreader) to look over it – you’ll be surprised what we pick up in even the most academic of documents. Spending a small amount of money on proofing - especially for an important or widely-distributed publication - could save you thousands in reprinting costs or damage to your reputation.
10. You simply don’t have the time
Finally, as a business-owner or overstretched employee, however good your intentions, odds are you simply don’t have time to learn the intricacies of copywriting, immerse yourself in your web copy, or generate regular or specialised content across multiple platforms. So do what you’d do in other areas of your work: outsource and delegate. Leaving you to concentrate on building your business or leading your team.