Think of a good experience you’ve had with a business recently. Or a really great conversation you’ve had with someone. Chances are, you liked the way they talked to you. That’s what copy is. It’s the way you talk to your customers, your audience, the people you’re trying to serve. And it counts for a lot.
You love it when a message is timely, polite, friendly, helpful and easy to read. Maybe even funny, clever, edgy or entertaining. Your customers feel the same way. But just because a message is easy to read, doesn’t mean it’s easy to write. I’d go as far as to say copy that’s easy to read, easy to understand, and flows naturally, is hard to write. It takes time, and it takes skill.
That’s where a good copywriter comes in. A good copywriter takes time to research your business, puts themselves in the shoes of your target audience, considers the needs and problems of those people, and chooses the words and messages that will cut through, connect and resonate.
They’ll use multiple, interlocking skills in doing this, including (but not limited to):
- common sense
- excellent communication skills
- a good ear for brand voice
- the ability to turn complicated ideas and dense jargon into plain English
- a good working knowledge of grammar
- judicious editing, and their own creative flair
And they’ll be experienced in knowing which of those skills to use at each stage of the writing process.
A stand-out brand
If you were hiring a salesperson, or any kind of representative for your brand, you’d take great care to make sure that person understood needs of your business and the needs of your customers.
You’d want them to represent your brand in the very best light possible, communicating your values, strengths and assets at every available opportunity.
Your copy is your brand representative online. It’s the often first interaction people have with your brand, and they’ll make all kinds of decisions based on how they respond to your copy.
They’ll decide whether or not they like the sound of you, whether or not they feel they can trust you, whether they believe you have something valuable to offer them, and whether they’re willing to take the next steps in engaging with you.
It’s a competitive market, and it’s only getting more crowded. Good writing stands out.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure your customer understands you. Understands exactly what you’re offering them, where, when and how. It’s the absolute basics of communication.
To build that understanding, you need to bear in mind your customers’ needs, their concerns and their time pressures, and treat them with the respect, care and consideration with which you’d like to be treated. That’s how you start to make a connection.
The words you use matter. They really matter. And although you can write, and perhaps write really well, have you got the perspective on your business to voice your brand in a way that’s consistent, engaging, appealing and persuasive? Or could you do with the help of a professional.
A copywriter will bring that perspective. They’ll have that crucial objectivity that it’s so easy to lose when you work inside an organisation.
They’ll bring new ideas and energy to tired problems and tough challenges. And they’ll work with you to make sure your message is getting through, because they know how to make connections through words. It’s their job.
Memorable, shareable content
People build their personal brands, and their business brands, by recommending the products, causes and experiences they love. If you create interesting, valuable content that people can share, it’s good for them and it’s good for you. It helps the people reading it too.
Copywriters have usually worked across a lot of different brands and organisations, and sometimes across sectors, so they’ll have a valuable overview of the kind of copy and content that’s out there, what people are reading and responding to, and what will make people want to share what you have to offer.
What do people do when they’ve had a good experience with an organisation? They talk about it with friends, family and colleagues. They post about it on social media. They want to support you. That’s your customers promoting your business, your cause, for you.
What else do people do when they’ve had a good experience with your business.
They come back for more.
First published on wisecopy.co.uk