I was invited to write an ‘About’ page for a client. I did what I always do – sent him my standard 15 discovery questions, then spent an hour or so interviewing him over the phone. I researched his competitor websites and eventually came up with a tone of voice that was uniquely his, that made him stand out from the rest, and that included the psychological triggers that would appeal to his target audience.
I sent the draft copy.
After a few days, he wrote back (I paraphrase): “You have some great ideas but I want it to be more like the competition.”
Sadly, the customer is not always right.
In marketing copy, it’s important to be different.
Admittedly, it’s hard to be unique. But every business has a slightly different product or service, with their own individual approach or focus. A copywriter’s job is to find that difference, and express it in words that the client’s customers will respond to.
- If you book a solicitor, would you go on to make your own legal decisions?
- If you pay a dentist, would you try to extract your own tooth?
- When you order a meal at a restaurant, do you go into the kitchen and tell the chef what to do?
Just because some people have learned how to throw a sentence together, doesn’t mean they are competent copywriters.
We have generally had training, achieved qualifications, or gained experience in what works and what doesn’t. We’ve taken time to learn how to wrangle words into submission. We are not distracted from running our core business into order to craft words that work. Writing IS our core business.
Please trust us to do what we are best at, so you can do what you are best at.
With the advent of Content Management Systems (CMS) where people can update their own websites, more and more are writing their own copy. That doesn’t mean that their copy will work – neither for search nor for readers. Remember, you get what you pay for. A proficient copywriter should be able to generate business that more than covers their costs.
Going back to the client above. We compromised. We kept the ‘About’ page the way he wanted and included some of my content on other pages.
And he paid me. Woof.