The typesetters and artworkers cried when desktop publishing came in.
The typesetters and artworkers complained that typography standards dropped. The clients said: “Good enough is good enough.” They created their own artwork using default fonts (such as Comic Sans).
The copywriters laughed. “The clients can cut out all the middlemen, but they will always need us to create original content,” we said.
The printers complained that print standards dropped. The clients said: “Good enough is good enough.” They used Vistaprint.
The copywriters laughed. “The clients can source their own print, but they will always depend on us to get the words right,” we said.
The photographers and videographers cried when camera phones were born.
The photographers complained that image and video standards dropped. The clients said: “Good enough is good enough.” They used their iPhones.
The copywriters laughed. “The clients can make their own images, they can make their own videos, but they will always need us to write the copy,” we said.
Then CMS (Content Management Systems) appeared, where clients can write their own copy.
The copywriters complained. “But they don’t know what they’re doing! They don’t understand SEO! They don’t understand marketing! There’s no call to action! Some of them can’t even spell!”
The clients said: “Good enough is good enough.” They use WordPress (now around 20% of the world’s websites).
The ex-typesetters, ex-artworkers, ex-printers, ex-photographers and ex-videographers laughed.
Many would-be clients don’t know they need a copywriter.
If they know they need help with the words, they don’t know what that’s called.
Even if they do know what it’s called, they probably can’t spell it. They confuse copywriting with copyright and trademark law.
In recessionary times, they don’t want to pay serious fees and will naturally choose a cheaper route.
As copywriters, we ought to be able to market ourselves.
So how do we communicate the return clients get on their copywriting investment?
How do we convince prospects we can help them win more than enough extra business to pay our fees?
How do we reassure them we can turn “good enough” into “brilliant” – and why that’s a good idea?