Why Every Business Needs A Good Copywriter
It's difficult talking about my work as a freelance copywriter to anyone outside the industry. Their faces usually assume a fixed look of polite interest. I know they’re trying to understand but I’ve lost them. Copywriting, freelancing, SEO, web design, digital marketing… it’s all another world to the full time office worker.
It's even another world to non-creative business owners. Just like I don't know the first thing about mobile gardening or financial consulting.
And then comes the inevitable question...
So, what is a copywriter?
A copywriter, I say, writes for businesses. Every kind of writing a business could need.
Copywriting as a profession, has been around for decades. But traditionally, it focused on writing advertising and sales copy. Newspaper ads, cold emailing, mailbox flyers; writing that screamed BUY, BUY, BUY!
We've come a long way, baby.
I too thought copywriting was all about sales too. Shudder. I’m not a salesperson. I wasn’t particularly keen to join the ranks.
But in today’s digital world, copywriting is a new beast with a greater purpose. The focus is no longer about ramming sales and products at customers. It's about creating trust, authority and long term customer connections within a brand.
Yeah, we’re still selling stuff but it’s much more subtle, gentle and persuasive.
It’s also 100% necessary for any business today.
Used wisely, copywriting can be an incredibly powerful business tool.
10 reasons why hiring a copywriter is a smart business move
We’re experienced. We’ve worked on similar jobs, in similar industries. We know what your competitors are doing (or we can find out), what the market wants and what resonates with your target audience.
We’re experienced with online writing. Digital and print writing are two different beasts. We understand the difference and how to make your content work in either scenario.
We understand SEO. Most online copywriters have some understanding of SEO and some have a lot (see below for specialist copywriters). That means we know about keyword placement, the importance of headings, subheadings and content, tags and image optimisation.
We understand marketing. Again, most copywriters have a good arsenal of marketing skills up their sleeves. That means we know how to follow or create editorial calendars, strategy, branding and targeted content - and we know why they’re important for your business.
We’re a step back from the action. A clear perspective from an expert eye is invaluable for any business.
We’re good at spelling, grammar and sentence structure. Yes, it’s really important. A poorly written website, brochure or blog post isn’t going to inspire confidence in your business.
We understand readability, engagement and conversion. Online content is all about these 3 key factors and a good copywriter will know how to work your content to deliver them.
We’re full of ideas. We’re not just word monkeys, give us half a chance and copywriters will come up with loads of new ideas for your blog, marketing strategy and services. We love being creative.
We can handle your social media. If you’ve got an online business, you must be on the social media mouse wheel. It’s never-ending, eh? But a copywriter can whisky away that headache and keep the new and interesting posts and tidbits flowing.
We’ll set you free. One of the best parts of having a copywriter on board is that you’re free to do more important stuff - like your job.
How a copywriter can help your business (specifically)
Let’s get down to the actual details. Here’s what a copywriter can really do for your business.
Plan content and editorial calendars
Manage social media
But that’s not all!
Specific copywriting work
Social media posts
Social media profiles
Reports about anything really
Real estate listings
Phew. That’s a lot.
But stay with me. One step further and there’s also a horde of specialist copywriters for particular industries.
Lots of copywriters, like me, specialise in a particular field. So, you can find:
If your business is in banks, accountants, credit card companies, insurance companies, financial consultants, or financial brands, it pays (no pun intended) to work with a specialist financial copywriter. They understands the market and the lingo and can put a personal spin on number crunching.
SEO, as you may know, stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s the process of getting your site ranked on Google for particular searches. SEO is a rabbit warren of information with no magic formula. Which is why an SEO copywriter can write, edit and review your online content way better than the average Joe. They know the ins and outs of keyword research, meta descriptions, H1 and H2 tags, backlinks, analytics and more.
Ex-lawyers are often the best legal copywriters. They’re familiar with the complexities and demands of laws and legal terms and practices. They work with law firms, lawyers, legal organisations, legal publishers and other businesses needing a legal eagle eye. One such bird is Sydney-based copywriter, Libby Hakim.
Direct response copywriting
Direct response copywriting is all about immediate action. That may be making a sale, signing up to a newsletter, clicking an ad, or even following someone on social media. Direct response copywriters are skilled in writing emotional, persuasive copy. It's all about addressing the reader’s worries, fears, pain points or immediate needs. Which is a lot harder than it sounds.
Real Estate copywriters
It stands to reason that if you want to sell your house for a million bucks or more, you want to attract top buyers. Which means a generic real estate listing isn't going to cut it. You want a personal, insightful and descriptive listing that does justice to a beautiful property. Enter a specialist real estate copywriter, like Donna Webeck of Prestige Property Copy.
There are loads more of specialist copywriting fields. And there’s lots of generalist copywriters who can fill the brief. The bottom line is that if writing isn’t your thing, don’t stress. Outsource it to a great copywriter instead.
About the author: Lilani Goonesena is a freelance copywriter and web designer for businesses and organisations. Based in Canberra, she delivers smart, savvy SEO copywriting and professional Squarespace web design. She also writes an awesome newsletter on small business marketing, social media, blogging, web design and "all that online stuff".