Why you should outsource your copywriting (and how to make the most of it)
At Ideaseed we are BIG fans of copywriters. But a lot of people don’t actually know about copywriters and what they do. And, of course, you need to hire the right copywriter for the investment to be worthwhile. Read on to find out what a copywriter is, why you need one and how to make the most of the ones you hire.
WHAT IS A COPYWRITER
A copywriter is a professional writer who writes words that inspire action. Rather than an ‘author’, who often writes words to teach or entertain (e.g. through books), copywriters specialise in writing material for businesses. For example, copywriters write websites pages, eNewsletters and brochures. They write everything from advertising copy to internal memos, book chapters to tweets.
Oh and a quick note: copywriters have nothing to do with copyright issues. You’re going to need to get yourself a lawyer if you’re after copyrighting advice!
WHAT DOES A COPYWRITER DO THAT’S SO SPECIAL?
So much! Good copywriters can articulate what you do and put your thoughts in to words. And not just any words – words that INSPIRE ACTION. So we’re talking words that get people to click, buy or reply.
They can make your message concise, and package your offerings into an elevator pitch of sorts, so that when someone asks what you do, you can confidently tell them in one simple sentence: we do this for these people.
Brevity is so important. Good copywriters can say more with LESS words. They are always paring back. So what we love to get our copywriters to do is take 20 pages of info and jam it down to 10.
Copywriters are also masters of consistency, delivering your unique tone (or ‘brand voice’) across every platform and piece of communication; not just your emails and website but your quotes, invoices and presentations.
WHAT IS MY BRAND’S VOICE?
Everyone’s banging on about this at the moment, aren’t they? That’s because defining your tone of voice is one of the best ways for businesses to stand out and attract customers. If you speak like your customers, they’re more likely to trust you and go on to buy from you.
Your tone of voice is how your business ‘talks’ to people, and it should be consistent across all your communications. Are you welcoming? Helpful? Gentle? Sweary?
But sometimes writing how you would speak is really hard! This is where copywriters come in. This is what they’re good at. If you find a copywriter who captures your brand voice, hang on to her.
WHY DOES MY BUSINESS NEED A COPYWRITER?
Two main reasons: content is king and time is money. And copywriters can help you avoid clichés (ha!).
Really though, the right copywriter can change your life.
Have you ever spent hours drafting up an email, only to find no one ever reads it?
A copywriter could write that email in half the time, entice more people to read to the end and get more people to complete your call to action (which you probably wouldn’t even have clearly articulated in the first place!).
That’s time and money well spent.
WHY CAN’T WE JUST DO IT IN HOUSE
Sometimes you definitely can. But sometimes a copywriter can save you a heck of a lot of time and tears simply because they are experts at taking thoughts and putting them into words (which is actually much harder than it sounds!).
Every business is currently IN the business of creating content – why leave this to someone who’s qualified to sell or speak or serve? Let’s face it, we aren’t all amazing writers. Getting an expert in writing is the smart thing to do.
HOW DO I FIND A COPYWRITER THAT’S RIGHT FOR ME
So you’ve decided to start looking for a copywriter. Good choice.
There are hundreds, no THOUSANDS (millions?) of copywriters out there, which is both a good and bad thing. Good because you have options; bad because, how do you choose one?
Well, first you need to decide if they fit you on a creative level. Do they understand your brand? Or can their style be adapted to your brand? (Copywriters are a bit like chameleons – they’re good at changing and adapting!)
Here’s a downloadable list of essential questions to ask before hiring a potential copywriter.
The bottom line is, your relationship with your copywriter should be productive and fun. It should invigorate you, not drain you, and it should definitely not frustrate you. Ask all the hard questions early on.
WHAT IF I STUFF UP AND HIRE THE WRONG COPYWRITER?
Oops. Make sure you do your due diligence and ask all the questions you have of a potential copywriter, but don’t stress too much. The bottom line is, you’re not married to your copywriter. If the relationship isn’t working, pay them for the work they have done and then respectfully and compassionately tell them the truth – you appreciate their work but they’re not the right fit for your brand right now. Unless there’s a contract in place. If there’s a contract you’d better check in with your legal team!
HOW CAN I MAKE THE MOST OF THE COPYWRITER I’VE HIRED
Tell them exactly what you want
Copywriters are not mind readers. Nor are they strategists or salespeople. So don’t expect them to tell you what you need if you have no idea. Copywriters work best when they are given a clear brief.
Meet in person if you can
Meeting in person can help the copywriter get a sense of you, your brand, what you do and most importantly YOUR VOICE. But there’s always Skype.
Give detailed info
Give your copywriter AS MUCH detail as you can. You never know what small, dirty detail could actually be a nugget of copywriting gold.
Send them examples
Give your copywriter any documents you have that might help their job such as past work of a similar nature and style guides (you do have a style guide, right?). Also give them examples of work you love and would like them to take inspiration from.
WHY DO IDEASEED USE COPYWRITERS?
Ideaseed provide copywriting as a service to all of our clients, alongside our design and marketing offerings, because a lot of our clients find working with multiple suppliers confusing and time wasting. We supply and manage copywriters across a range of specialties from our side so that we’re a one-stop production shop.
We have used copywriters to create marketing campaigns, branded collateral, books, videos and presentations. We use them to inform a project and to finesse it at the end.
Combining expert copywriting with relevant research, we work out what you need to say, structure the flow, ensure the tone is spot on and make sure there’s a key message to walk away with.
Copywriting is so important but it’s also SO time-consuming and SO hard to get right so it really does need to be outsourced to a professional. Plus let’s be honest, designers are usually TERRIBLE spellers and we definitely don’t want to be sending any typos out into the world.
WHAT DOES A COPYWRITER HAVE TO DO WITH DESIGN
A copywriter can often inform the design concept of a project. For example the copy might be sparse, energetic or whimsical – this will inform how a design team interprets the project brief. Copywriters also write scripts for videos and presentations, which form the base of storyboards.
Copywriters work with your business’s tone of voice and once that’s defined, it should come across in your visuals, your design and even in how you and your team present yourselves.
In an age where we’re all expected to create content constantly, copywriters are becoming an invaluable part of the design process. Make sure you request a copywriter to work on your next Ideaseed project. Head to our services page to see everything we offer, or check out our past work such as our Modern Dental Pacific case study and see how our copywriters have worked their magic.