What does a copywriter actually do, anyway?
I get asked this question a lot. And I mean a lot. But even if you think you know what a copywriter does, the answer isn’t simply: writes stuff.
Let’s start with what they won’t do. They can’t help you with the legal process of protecting your intellectual property against theft**. That’s copyright ©, and for that you need a copyright lawyer. So if that’s what you’re looking for advice about, it’s been lovely having you along for the ride, but you’ll probably want to hop off now.
Put simply: a copywriter works with words. They write the words that go into your website, brochure, catalogue, or email campaign. They’ll plan and implement a marketing campaign, write reports and case studies, and even write your industry award entry for you.
Anything that uses words to promote your business needs a copywriter.
These days, of course, that also means understanding SEO and writing all that lovely stuff known as ‘content’ – blog posts, social media, video captions and scripts, as well as product descriptions.
But to do any of that, we do a lot more than just writing. We research, interview, think, write, question, edit, think, edit again, and proofread. We learn about your business and your industry, craft and adapt to your brand’s tone of voice, and find the words that talk directly to your audience.
But I’m the business owner, and I can write. What can a copywriter do that I can’t?
Offer you a different perspective
A good copywriter will ask a whole lot of searching questions. That’s because they’ll want to understand your company, your audience, and your aims for whatever they’re writing. They’ll look at it in context (what will this sit with?) and from every angle. Because they are on the outside of your business they’ll challenge your perceptions and suggest creative ideas you might not have considered.
It can be hard to critique your own work. A copywriter looks at every word from your audience’s viewpoint, and isn’t precious about cutting stuff out. The turn of phrase they were really pleased with? Ego doesn’t come into it. If it doesn’t meet the brief, out it comes. If you’ve tried writing, you know it can be a painful process. We will take that pain away.
Their job, rather than yours.
If you’re a business owner, your job is to work on your business. It isn’t to spend hours burning the candle at both ends and second-guessing your audience as you write your own brochure copy, web copy, blog posts, email campaigns, social media posts…
That’s a copywriter’s job. Using one saves you time, and gets better results for your business.
*probably.**unless they also happen to be a copyright lawyer.