So, exactly what does a professional copywriter do? More importantly, how can one help your business? And which insights can you borrow to help enhance your own business writing?
What better way to introduce you to the benefits of Copy Café membership than by trying to explain exactly what a professional copywriter does? It is, after all, a question I’m often asked.
If you have aspirations to develop better business writing, the following informative and educational – maybe even a little inspirational – insights will, I hope, help you better understand what goes into crafting compelling marketing and business communications…
How does a professional copywriter actually help your business?
Friends and family members aside, it’s fair to say that this is usually a question posed by people who have little experience of working with partners within the creative industries.
The trouble is, it’s no easy thing to condense into the proverbial nutshell (even for a copywriter).
Making words work harder for your business
The short version is this: I work with words – and make them work harder for your business.
That’s the top line. It describes exactly what I do (and what I love doing!). But I’m guessing you’re after a little more detail, right?
Okay, well, this particular professional copywriter has run her own business for over 18 years and works with both creative agencies and direct clients.
When I’m working with an advertising, brand, digital or design agency – whether it’s being brought in on an ad hoc basis as a ‘gun for hire’ or working closely with them for years and being treated as an integral member of the team – I effectively help those agencies look great in front of their end clients.
I’m their go-to partner for all things words and brand language. They know they can rely on me to come up with creative concepts, develop tone of voice, craft compelling copy and edit existing content to within an inch of its life, creating punchy paragraphs that really stand out.
Helping you to do business better
With direct clients, I work with marketing communications teams more often than not, but also with owner-managed businesses – SMEs, start-ups and spin-outs, for example.
The bottom line here is that I help them do business better, whether that’s in terms of acquiring more customers, increasing sales, building their brand awareness or reputation or perhaps even helping them to apologise for something in a more professional and ultimately more effective way.
It doesn’t matter who I’m working with, which sector they operate within or what I’m writing about. Because any good copywriter should be able to write about any subject under the sun, given a half-decent brief. (That, of course, is another issue entirely… But you can make a great start by checking out this resource.)
Day in, day out, I juggle with words. It can generate delight and despair in equal measure.
Sometimes, the perfect expression or brand proposition springs to mind in a matter of minutes. Other days, it can take several sheets of blank paper and lots of scribbling with a Sharpie to hit upon the right idea – whether that’s for a whole ‘About us’ description or a single, strong positioning line.
When I’m in ‘work’ mode, I live and breathe words. I flex them, finesse them, sometimes play with them. Coaxing and crafting them into the best possible shape and form, to create smart copy that helps my clients do business better.
A professional copywriter’s expertise helps clients to save time and effort. Sometimes it actually saves them money, as well as helping them to make more – by enhancing sales or building their business reputation.
The iceberg approach to better business writing
One important point to be aware of is that, inevitably, the words you actually see in print or on the screen are just the final output – purely the tip of the iceberg. Because there’s a whole host of strategic input that goes into every job before that. Ultimately, better business writing is a direct result of a lot of intelligent and perceptive thinking.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve contributed plenty of creative and strategic development ideas to my clients’ business and marketing communications. The actual wording follows on from that, as an expression of that fundamental upfront thinking.
I’ve named, defined and launched new products and services to B2B and B2C markets – in the UK and internationally. And I’ve helped existing brands to step up a gear by adding impact when they were struggling to be heard.
I’ve fine-tuned phrasing to help keep market-leaders at the top of their game and dug deep into many a business psyche to quickly get to the crux of an issue and determine a smarter, better, more effective way forward.
All through the power of the written word.
Sometimes, it calls for a complete re-write of suggested content, so that the resulting copy is sharper, more logically presented and generates greater impact. At other times, it’s the ‘big idea’ that steals the show and sets up everything else.
Yes, I’m a wordsmith. But I’m also a strategist, a brand storyteller, a business troubleshooter to a degree.
You need a bit of everything to develop better business writing – and to help others do the same.
If you enjoyed this, you might also like:
> Everyone can write, right? Wrong.
> 3 key reasons to use a copywriter
> How to write a writing brief (for yourself or anyone else)