A copywriter writes copy that influences readers in some way. It could be copy that entices them to find out more about you or to buy your product; that educates them about a particular subject; or that entertains them. Whatever the desired outcome, there’s a common theme: that of making something memorable and building trust with your audience.
A good copywriter will help you identify what to write about (and what not). In a manner and tone that’s true to your business. They will take into account your wider business strategy and ambitions. They will relish the challenge of writing for channels as wide ranging as websites, magazine articles, blogs, newsletters, brochures, case studies, press releases, speeches and whitepapers.
Isn’t it easier to write my own copy?
Writing your own copy is often seen as the most appropriate way to engage with your audience. However, it can soon become a painful, never-quite-finished task. There’s a number of reasons why.
Firstly, time. Even for those who really enjoy writing, it’s an activity that often gets pushed to the back burner.
Secondly, perspective. When you’re so passionate about your business, it can be incredibly difficult to write about it both objectively and with your customer, not your business, in mind.
Thirdly, knowledge. When you are expert in a subject, there’s a tendency to live in the detail which can easily overwhelm or confuse your audience.
With an aptitude for assuming the client’s perspective, an external copywriter can work at pace to capture your expertise in compelling headlines and clear copy.
Adding regular and engaging content to your website is not only good SEO practice, it also helps reinforces your brand and shows your clients you’re engaged in subjects they care about.
I love writing copy. I get paid for what I love and have the opportunity to work on a completely different subject every day. When I’m writing for my clients, ideas on what to write about next come easily. When it comes to writing content for my own business, however, it’s often a job that’s forever on the longlist…
Do you too struggle to come up with content ideas? Or maybe the ideas are there but you never find the time to make a start? Here’s five pointers to help you create great written content for your business:
1.What are you going to write about?
Before you start to write, think about what you know about. Where do you and your company add value and how might you reinforce that through useful content (and definitely not as a sales pitch)?
What advice or thought leadership might you offer to customers to improve their understanding of a particular topic? How might that understanding then save them time, money, help them implement new processes or efficiencies, offer better customer service or win new business? What questions might they be seeking answers to?
A good starting point for coming up with your list of topics is answerthepublic.com which identifies search terms related to your topic posed via Google or Bing. A search on ‘photographer’, as an example, (more…)
For many UK businesses, shouting about their achievements just seems, well, a little immodest. Client case studies are ideal in illustrating your great work but through the eyes of those who matter. Not only that, working with a client in this way gives you a much better insight into how your product or service sits within their wider business strategy.
Say something meaningful
What’s worse than having no case studies? Case studies that don’t say or mean anything! They should reflect different elements of your business: whether that be different products or services; different sectors or geographies; or, most powerfully, which client ‘problems’ you seek to address. Segmenting your audience in this way will ensure a breadth of different case studies and will avoid duplication.
One of the key barriers in creating case studies is a lack of time – not only yours but your client’s. He or she may happily agree to be the subject of a case study but be hijacked by other projects. Make the process as easy as possible by scheduling a 30-minute call to capture the information you need. Sending your questions in advance helps the client to prepare and collate any figures needed. (more…)
“I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English―it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.”
Wise words indeed from Mark Twain but when time is of the essence, it’s easier to scrap this discipline and type your thoughts straight onto the page. The result? A gush of thoughts which overwhelm your readers.
Regardless of whether you’re writing an email, a business proposal, annual report or marketing brochure, there are 8 common principles that can transform your writing:
1. Focus & meaning
What’s the single objective of this piece of writing? Want do you want your readers to do as a result of reading your content? Do you want them to say Yes to a proposal? Take action by sharing an article? Compel them to change their behaviour in some way or sign up to a cause? Meaningful content should inform, engage or influence.
2. Never forget your reader
Always write with your reader in mind. Have you made any assumptions on knowledge through use of acronyms or technical language? Will a reader who doesn’t have English as a first language understand the words or phrases you’ve used?
Imagine you are talking to your reader. Write sincerely, personally, in a style that is suitable and with the right tone of voice.
Before you start jangling the keys on your keyboard, stop! Make a note of the points you want to make in a logical order.
It might be helpful to consider the AIDA model of marketing and the stages you want your audience to go through as they read your content: (more…)
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