So, what is a copywriter?
Whenever I share what I do for a living, after the initial ‘ooo’ reaction I get the predictable question – “So, what exactly is a copywriter?”.
I guess I’ve been in this word bubble for so long now, I assumed everyone knew what it was. But more importantly, my friends and family at least knew what I did for a living! I never thought I was the Chandler in the group (heads up: you’ll see a lot of Friends references from me!).
Anyway, let's start by setting out exactly what a copywriter is, what we do and why you should use a copywriter to develop your business.
So, what does a copywriter do?
Copywriters are skilled wordsmiths who create clear and concise copy to meet a brief. Our purpose is to encourage a targeted audience to take action, whilst maintaining your brand messaging and tone of voice. Still with me?
Basically, we write:
Social media posts and captions
Marketing materials including emails, press releases and Google Ads
In order to get the reader to:
Buy a product
Head to your website
Sign up to a newsletter
Request a demo
Book a ticket
Find out more!
Think about any poster you’ve ever read, any brand slogan you’ve ever quoted or any advert that’s interrupted your viewing and got stuck in your head – a copywriter has created those words: tailoring the message to either sell, inform or promote to the right audience, on the right platform with the right voice.
Isn’t that a content writer?
Ah, this is where it can get confusing as a copywriter and a content writer can overlap, and many talented writers do both. A content writer focuses on creating larger pieces of content such as:
Website pages including your Services, About Us or FAQs
Online content including blogs, articles, case studies, newsletters
External content including brochures, leaflets and printed articles
They’ll put a lot of time and effort into researching a particular topic or industry, often optimising essential SEO keywords. It’s often undervalued how much work goes on behind the scenes for this kind of content (well, all copywriting actually), but these longer pieces are the bits that’ll increase your authority within your industry and boost those Google rankings.
What skills do copywriters have?
These can vary as some copywriters may specialise in particular areas, but the majority have the following skills:
We do more research than your ex-girlfriend
Excellent writing and keyboard tip-tapping talents
SEO superheroes (yep, we sometimes wear capes)
Grammar, spelling and punctuation ninjas
Beady little eyes for detail
OCD editing and proofreading
Crystal clear communication
We think outside the dictionary
Master problem-solvers (even without calling our mums)
Who do copywriters work with?
Anyone and everyone! Large companies may have a dedicated content team which includes a group of in-house writers, whereas some businesses use freelance copywriters like me! This option works for business managers who need to update their website copy and consistently create content, but either don’t have the time or are unsure where to start.
By working with a freelance copywriter, I’ll take the time to understand your requirements and work my magic at home (or in a coffee shop), so you can focus your attention elsewhere.
Do I need a copywriter?
Using a copywriter can sometimes be seen as an unnecessary expense; it’s easy to just chuck some words onto paper, right? Hmmm, not quite. If you find you don’t have the time to review existing or create new content, then a copywriter can help you out. Equally, if you find it stressful, unenjoyable or perhaps you know what you want to say but just don’t know how to say it, then yes, you should look into using me…or another copywriter…you know, you decide!
Where can I find a copywriter?
Oh, hi there! A simple Google or LinkedIn search should find you a local copywriter. Be sure to look at their previous employers as this may help your decision if they’ve worked in similar industries. Read their reviews and look at any existing work or portfolios they have. This’ll give you a good sense of their style and who they are as a person. Reach out to them and get to know them; a great writer is essential but finding a writer who understands you, your business and who you actually like, is rainbow dust!