Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why Professional Copywriters Are More Than Just Human Spell Checkers

I read a blog post today on Copyblogger that made me think about the "bad rep" that copywriters have received over the years, and how the craft of professional copywriting has been trivialized.

This sentence from Pace Smith's blog stood out to me in particular: "Copywriters are ridiculously expensive." Professional copywriting equals "value" - you get what you pay for and if you hire a professional copywriter, that's exactly what you will get - REAL value with real results...of the green money variety.

Copywriters go beyond just technical writing skills - they are marketing experts who help clients increase their sales. If you want fluff, then hire a creative writer. A copywriter creates no-nonsense and "right on the money" copy - literally.

As a professional copywriter, it is frustrating when non-copywriters undermine the value of my services. I wouldn't dare point a finger at lawyers or doctors (or any profession) and claim they are too expensive and charge too much money. If I receive value and see results, I have no qualms paying their rates.

My question to you - as the business owner, entrepreneur and CEO:  Do you want to stay in the dust with lagging sales, or do you want to move your business forward and increase your profits?

What do copywriters bring to your company's table?  
Copywriters bring fresh, creative perspective to the project (and to your company brand). 

Marketing/branding concepts become stale over time. As copywriters, they are able to peer deep into your business and get inside the heads of your customers and clients. Through sales and marketing-focused copy, they target the company's audience in a clear, succinct way. As a result, your customers/clients take direct action (whatever that action may be - signing up for your newsletter or buying your product).

Copywriters know their craft inside and out - that's their job. 

Just like you know your business very well, an experienced copywriter knows his/her business well - the business of copywriting. Copywriters use specialized marketing and advertising techniques and tools. That's why you need a copywriter. Copywriting isn't about slapping up flowery content on a website - anyone can do that. Yes, you could write your own copy, but why waste your time and energy (especially if writing isn't your strong suit)?

A copywriter saves you both time and money.  What would take you two weeks to write copy takes a professional copywriter one day to write. That two week window could be a matter of winnning or losing a sale - something to think about (especially in this competitive economy). Think productivity and efficiency - that's what you'll get by hiring a pro.

Copywriters know and understand industry/consumer trends. They are excellent market researchers.

What worked five years ago with your marketing and branding strategies probably won't work in 2011. Copywriters stay up to speed on the latest consumer/market trends and shifts. They are walking and talking market researchers. They are news junkies. They love to read and dig. They know how to survey and interview people. They listen and pay attention to what's going on around them in the world. They are marketing and branding connoisseurs, AND they know what makes people (your target markets) tick. Copywriters aren't just human spell and grammar checkers.

Before you jump on the bandwagon and take a similar stand like blogger Pace Smith took (she lumps copywriters into the "ridiculously" expensive category and claims that anyone can write cop), think carefully about your bottom line.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • Does your company brand look like it's stuck in 1999?
  • Is your website copy "blah"? 
  • Are your e-newsletters being deleted/ignored? 
  • Do your social media updates read stale and boring?  

It might just be the time to think about hiring a professional copywriter.
PS - I dedicate this post to my awesome business partner, Adapt Marketing & Design - who have always treated me like a pro copywriter and sees the real value of working with a professional copywriter. Thanks, Ryan! :)

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Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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