Wednesday January 22, 2014

The start of a beautiful relationship

Or, how to get the best out of your copywriter

So you’ve decided, you’re going to take the plunge and get a professional in to craft the words on your sales email, that spanking new brochure or website re-launch.

Copywriting questions

Make it work for you

As with any investment, to give yourself the best chance of success, you have to do some homework. Two things have to happen – you need to be clear about what you want the copywriter to do and then find the right copywriter for you.

Clever chameleons

There’s a wealth of copywriting talent out there – a good one has that chameleon-like ability to adapt and deliver words that sound like you at your very best, engaging the people you want to reach.

Narrow your search according to what is important for you: location, recommendations, how much you want to spend, niche or style. Don’t forget to look at samples of work and client testimonials.

Make a shortlist of possible copywriters and get in touch with them outlining your project. This should give you a feel for the person you could best work with and an initial costing.

It’s a two-way thing

Once you’ve made your choice it’s important for you to bring certain things to the table, namely, a clear idea of what you’re about and the outcomes you’re looking for with your particular project. These are essential so that you don’t end up with the right solution to the wrong problem.

Think about the following:-

– what you/your business and specific project are about
– what marks you out from your competitors
– who you’re looking to reach
– what you want those people to do
– the timescale you want them to do it in

Write your findings down. This will form the basis of a brief, essential for your copywriter and a bonus for you as it’s a great discipline that can be adapted across all your marketing efforts.

What a copywriter will do

Taking their cue from your brief the copywriter will dig deeper and get insights on the tone, voice and style of the words. There is no expectation that your brief should be a work of art – your copywriter will shape, express and fine-tune what you want to say.

Remember, the first draft is very rarely perfect – expect some revisions (most copywriters include a set number in their quoted pricing) and editing so that you end up with exactly what you need.

What a copywriter won’t do

It’s not the job of the copywriter (or, for that matter, a web or graphic designer) to figure out what your business is really about – that has to come from you!

Copywriting Answers

To get you started and help out I’ve put together a free briefing template – it’s waiting for you in the Glossary section (under “Brief”) of the site.

What do you find helps you get the most out of your relationships with suppliers?

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