Copywriting is the activity of composing the words and context specifically for use in sales and marketing.
While many people may have strong English writing skills, effective copywriting involves using powerful language, along with psychological and persuasive elements within the copy to motivate audiences and achieve a specific result with a product or service.
Powerful copywriting requires both great practice as well as experience.
POINTS TO PONDER:
1) Co-workers and family members have many great opinions about our business operations.
But often they can be the worst people to ask an opinion of a piece of written copy.
Their consuming habits and biases about a target market may prevent them from giving quality feedback about an idea or a message.
If a middle aged adult male is listening to a idea, he may not be the right one to choose what works for a girl ages 8 to 13; even if he is a parent of a child that age. Large organizations spend money on research and focus groups to find out the values of their target audiences – and then write the copy that serves their needs.
2) Many business owners let the lure of doing ‘creative things’ distract them from their necessary core operations and tasks.
Sure, it would be more fun to write brochure copy or post on social media sites then to make prospecting calls.
One thing to consider is if you are busy doing those creative tasks, such as copywriting, who is the person who is talking to prospects, doing client follow up or managing the operations for a company? If these are your primary responsibilities, then it is best to multiply your best efforts by involving a professional.
QUESTIONS TO ASK:
- Is this copy clear to the reader, especially someone who isn’t in my industry?
- Does this copy motivate and explain the benefits for taking action now?
- Am I too close to my business to explain it creatively or effectively?
- Am I the right one to write copy about my business?
Copywriting will make or break most marketing you do. Be smart and hire the best copywriter you can afford. You'll be rewarded with a much higher marketing ROI and will be glad you planned it that way.
Herschell Gordon Lewis, author of Direct Mail Copy That Sells, suggests the following procedure for choosing a copywriter:
- When advertising for a copywriter, list enough specifics about the job to keep novices away.
- Ask for samples; then ask questions about the samples to validate authorship. If the candidate is boastful or seems more concerned with ego defense than with any admission of participation by others, be cautious.
- Conduct a personal interview in which you lead the candidate to believe he or she actually has the job and the conversation is just a formality. While closely examining the dialogue, look for two Achilles' heels (a) phony sincerity, and (b) contempt for whatever you're selling. Disqualify any candidate on either basis.
- Have the candidate take a timed writing test assignment. Lace the instructions with weak words from the list below. If the writer regurgitates more than a couple of those words or uses platitudes and cliches, it could fortell a lack of originality.
- Give the top three candidates an actual, for-pay assignment. One really good way to find the right writer.
Budget: $1,000 - $25,000 per marketing project or you could spread it out and budget $100 - 2,500 per month.