How can I help you? 5 things a copywriter can do to help your brand or business today.
If you've read my first blog post, you'll know pretty much what a copywriter does, but now you might be wondering how exactly a copywriter can help you with your brand or business.
Below, I've whipped up a quick list of jobs that a copywriter can help you with:
1. Summarising your key brand message.
Chances are, you know what you want to say about your brand or the service/s your business offers, but when you sit down to write it out, either a) you're completely stumped and no words appear on your screen, or b) you start typing and before you know it you've written something akin to War and Peace. A copywriter has the unique advantage of being able to approach your current brand messaging (or all of the information you have about your brand, business, service or products) from a completely objective angle.
Generally, a copywriter is far enough removed from the heart of your brand or business, that they're able to look at it from the same perspective as a customer or client would. You give them the information, history, background and ethos that makes up your company and everything it stands for, an they turn it into something that will catch a potential customer's eye, keep them reading then, finally, encourage them to book or buy the service or product you're offering.
You might think your customers want to know every minutiae of your business from the moment the idea was first conceived in your mind, but in all honesty they generally only want to know a few things: 1) How can you help me? 2) How much will it cost? 3) How can I book (or buy) this?
As dear as the entire history of you and your brand is to you, your family and close friends, it's often not what your customers or clients are on your website to find out. A copywriter can take all the very best bits of your brand - including all that lovely background information; how you first developed your product; what your great-great-grandfather's role in all of this was - and turn it into something succinct, readable, engaging, inspiring and informative.... usually in no more than 200 words.
However, if you do fancy something a little more Tolstoyesque, read on to the next point:
2. Writing your memoir.
Ah ha! Bet you didn't see that one coming. Not all copywriters offer ghostwriting services, but those who have a flair for the creative side of writing and/or have experience writing long-form pieces, might list this as one of their services.
First things first: what is ghostwriting? Let's get one thing clear - it's nothing to do with Ouija boards or paranormal activity. Ghostwriting is the act of having someone else (a copywriter or creative writer) write for you, under your name. As the client you get full control over what is written, how it is written and when it needs to be written by. Your name goes in the byline (if it's an article or blog) or on the spine (if it's a book). Your ghostwriter receives no public recognition or credit for the writing, other than payment (and hopefully a little praise!) from you.
You might be wondering why someone would use such a service, rather than just writing their blog, article, novel or memoir themselves. The reasons are varied. Perhaps your working and home life is already so busy and stretched that you simply don't have time, despite the fact that you have a really important story to tell. Maybe, for physical or mental reasons, you are unable to write but you feel a yearning desire to write the next bestseller or a beautiful memoir. Possibly you suffer terrible writers block every time you sit at you computer, even though the story is right there on the tip of your tongue!
Whatever the reason might be, using a ghostwriter is the perfect way to get your story out of your head and onto a page.
3. Proofreading your CV.
Your dream job finally pops up on a job listing site. The stars have aligned and you know you need to pounce on this opportunity and apply with your very best CV and cover letter. BUT... how do you make sure it's absolutely 100% word perfect before you hit send? Let a copywriter proofread and - if necessary - edit it, that's how!
Oftentimes, you only get one shot at applying for a job and even if you have the highest qualification and the most experience out of everyone applying, the chances are your CV won't even get a look in if there's a typo, grammar mistake or - and this truly is cringe-worthy - a misspelt word. Look, it's happened to us all at some point, and nothing quite compares to that sickening feeling when you realise you've typed the same word twice, misplaced a comma or used the wrong their/there. A genuine-yet-sneaky error such as this can some across as careless in the eyes of the person who receives your CV - yet often all it takes is another set of well-trained peepers to pick up these sort of mistakes and correct them before you hit send or publish.
With the introduction of super intuitive spell checkers and predictive settings on today's laptops and computers, a simple error might not be entirely your fault. How often has the American spell checker in Word changed the second 's' in specialise to a 'z'? That spelling might be correct in the States, but for those of us in New Zealand, Australia or the UK, the word becomes misspelt once there's a 'z' in place of an 's'. I realise (with an 's') that a lot of people/companies might not be so pedantic as to worry about a 'z' in place of an 's' - but I speak from experience when I say, some really do!
Take the pressure off yourself when sending out your CV or cover letter, and get a copywriter to proofread and edit it before hitting send and nabbing that job you've always dreamed of.
4. Writing captions for Instagram (or posts for Facebook).
There's no denying that Instagram is all about the visuals. If a picture can tell a thousand words, an Instagram post can tell a million.... and then some. So how important are the image captions? Although they're not the first thing a follower sees on your feed, they still hold a weighty importance in getting your brand message across. Are you being clear, concise and succinct in your captions? And what about hashtags - are you using them correctly? Sure, back in 2012 we all had fun writing out a sentence as a hashtag e.g. #donutwhatdonutimnoteatingadonutforbreakfasttheresnodonutshere (No? Just me?), but when it comes to representing your brand or business in the social media sphere, that doesn't look professional or tidy, and probably isn't helping you get found on the 'Gram either.
A gripe I often hear is: "I know what I want to say in my captions (or posts) but am not sure how to string the words together so it sounds appealing/intriguing/interesting/sensible!" That's where a copywriter comes in. By giving a good copywriter a couple of bullet points outlining what you want to say (showing them your image/s and your feed helps too!) they'll be able to expertly craft a catchy, concise - maybe even witty - one or two liner to sit underneath your latest Instagram post. They will also research the the hashtags that are most relevant to your brand or business and your target market - this ensures you're being seen in the right place on Instagram, by the right people.
The same goes for Facebook posts. A long-winded spiel might not be the best way to capture - and hold - your audience's attention. Remember, most people are probably just having a quick Facebook scroll on their lunch break or commute to work - they want bite-sized chunks of information which they can consume in a few seconds before they continue scrolling. If you have a lot to say about a certain subject, it's best to write a blog post about it then link to this your blog via a shorter Facebook post with an eye-catching image.
5. Crafting a press release to tell media about your brand, business or new product.
You've launched your new business, your website is looking sharp, your product is selling.... now how do you tell the rest of the world about it? Sending a press release to key media publications, websites and personalities is one way of spreading the news about what you offer.
Have you ever noticed that after a new, say, eco-friendly skincare range launches, you suddenly see it in every magazine or newspaper pull-out? That's because the skincare brand has sent out a press release to a list of magazine editors or bloggers, who then post it as an article in their publication or on their website, usually accompanied by a photograph of said product.
Sending a press release is good ol' old school PR at its finest, but you know what they say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Press releases work for a reason, but there is a formula and format that should be followed when crafting one, so that it doesn't just read like a conversational blog post or a formal company bio. A copywriter knows how to differentiate between these types of writing and should be able to whip up a press release that catches the attention of even the most time-poor magazine editor.
(Note: there are many more ways in which a copywriter could be valuable to you, your brand or your business, these are just a few.)